For the first time as co-members of the SEC, Missouri and Mississippi State will square off on Thursday night. It's a very rare Thursday home game for the Tigers. Check our college football pick.
Prescott Having Another Big Season
I thought that Mississippi State would take a big step back this season because while the Bulldogs did bring back star quarterback Dak Prescott, they had the fewest overall starters returning in the SEC. But MSU (6-2, 2-2) still has a shot at playing in a major bowl game for the second straight year if it can win out. Its losses were 21-19 against then-No. 14 LSU on Sept. 12 and 30-17 at then-No. 14 Texas A&M on Oct 3. Mississippi State is definitely going to have a say in who wins the SEC West Division as after this game it hosts No. 7 Alabama, visits Arkansas and then hosts No. 19 Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
The Bulldogs enter on a three-game winning streak, albeit against not very good competition. They have scored at least 42 points in each game during that run, a school first. MSU was off this past Saturday after beating Kentucky 42-16 on Oct. 24. Prescott tied the school record with six touchdowns (three passing, three rushing) while throwing for 348 yards and rushing for 117 yards.. Prescott was named National Offensive Player of the Week. The win got MSU bowl eligible for a school-record sixth year in a row.
Prescott will go down as the best QB in school history. The senior has scored 41 TDs in his career (38 rushing, three receiving) and been responsible for a school-record 96 TDs (6th in SEC history). Prescott is the only active FBS player with at least 7,000 career passing yards and 2,000 career rushing yards. He’s one of only three players in SEC history to throw for at least 50 TDs and rush for at least 30 in a career. Prescott needs 65 yards Thursday to become the 10th player in SEC history with at least 10,000 career.
The fourth quarter is the money quarter and MSU hasn't allowed a TD in that quarter this year and is outscoring foes 62-12 in the fourth. The Bulldogs also have won 17 straight games against unranked teams. They are 5-3 against the spread on college football odds this season and 3-5 'over/under.'
Missouri In Offensive Funk
Former Missouri starting quarterback Maty Mauk will not play the rest of this season due to suspension. He had been suspended the past four games but re-instated last Sunday. He practiced with the team during last week's bye and split some reps with true freshman Drew Lock. But something happened later last week that caused Gary Pinkel to extend the suspension through the season. I wouldn't be surprised if Mauk transfers because Lock is a highly touted recruit and the clear future of the program under center. Mauk is 17-5 in his career as a starter at Missouri.
The Tigers enter this game on a three-game slide, the school's longest since 2009, and the offense has been terrible over that stretch, scoring just 12 combined points against Florida, Georgia and Vanderbilt. Lock didn't complete better than 50 percent of his throws of any of those games and was picked off twice.
While Mississippi State has one of the SEC's best offense, Missouri generally wins with defense. The Tigers lead the SEC in scoring defense (12.5 ppg) and pass defense (161.5 ypg) and are second in total defense (282.1 ypg). Mizzou ranks in the Top 25 nationally in six major defensive categories while MSU ranks in the Top 25 in four major offensive categories.
This is only the third Thursday night game that Missouri has hosted and the Tigers are 0-2. Mizzou is 2-6 ATS on college football picks and 0-8 O/U.
Not much to take from the last meeting as these schools have played only twice all-time and not since 1984. This is the first trip for Mississippi State to the Midwest since that '84 game. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen owns a 12-4 career record against the SEC East and MSU is seeking to sweep its East Division schedule slate for the second straight year and fourth time under Mullen.
MSU and 'under'. The Bulldogs are 12-4 ATS in their past 16 conference games. Missouri is 1-4 ATS in its past five at home. The 'under' is 8-0 in Mississippi State's past eight SEC games. The 'under' is 13-3 in Missouri's past 16 at home.
College Football Picks: Mississippi State -8 & Under 39 at 5Dimes