The Tigers of Missouri boast the nation's 6th ranked defense. Allowing just 282 yards of offense per game, Mizzou has been stingy throughout the 2015 schedule. Opponents are averaging just over 12 points per contest.
Mississippi State offensive guard Justin Malone reports that the Bulldog offensive staff have stressed consistency in execution throughout the practices leading up to the game.
"They are very good at what they do," Malone said of Missouri's defensive line. "They are an active team. They play hard and they like to move around a lot. They are a lot like us when it comes to working hard. They try to outwork their opponents, so they are going to try and outwork us.
"They have a lot of different twists and a lot of games that they like to play that we have to be on top of."
As a competitor, Malone reports that he is eager for the challenge and looks forward to matching up with the Tigers in what promises to be an exciting contest.
"It's exciting," Malone said of the game within the game. "It's fun to be able to see something you haven't really seen a lot of before. It's a chance for us to get better and a chance for us to show what we can do. We need to go out there, have fun and just play."
Malone has been a solid player throughout his Bulldog career. The Madison-Ridgeland Academy standout reports that games like the one at Missouri this week are the reason players come to play in the Southeastern Conference.
"I just have to come out and play like I know how to play and how the coaches know I can play," Malone said. "I just need to go out there and do my job and have fun. I just want to play to the best of my ability. Once we're on the field, you can't worry about anything. You just have to go out there and play."
The Mississippi State offensive line is coming off perhaps its' best games of the season, a 42-16 win over Kentucky. Malone believes the group is beginning to find a solid groove in the second half of the season.
"I feel good about everything," Malone said. "We have come together and we know each other now. It took us three and a half years to do that with the older guys that left after last year. Now with this group we have some of that. We know each other and how to play with each other. We know each other's tendencies.
"We still mess up from time to time, but that's going to happen. Instead of things being completely new to us now, we are getting it done."
Malone is one of just two seniors in the offensive line rotation. There remains the possibility that Malone could return in 2016 with a medical hardship year. Malone was lost in game one of the 2013 season, so a 6th year of eligibility could be something the talented guard and the Bulldogs consider down the road.
"A lot of people have asked me about that," Malone said. "I am just trying to play the season right now. Once we get through with the season, I know that I am going to have some opportunities. It may be coming back or it may be in the NFL.
"I just want to get through the season and then I will decide what I want to do. I feel like I have some good options no matter what I decide to do."
For now, Malone is focused on the task at hand and that is a road trip to Missouri. The talented senior, who is not a fan of flying, reports that he there is a lot to enjoy when the Bulldogs take the show on the road.
"The road trips are fun," Malone said. "It's kind of like what we do here, when we go to the hotel up here. It's just us when we get away from campus. It's not the fans, it's not the students, it's just us. When we go on the road, it's just the guys that travel and the guys who are playing in the game.
"It's about us coming together to do a job that we all want to do. It's the job that we're here to do. To me going out there and doing that job together is what makes this all fun."