On Thursday (8:00 P.M., ESPN), the Missouri Tigers (4-4, 1-4) play host to the Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-2, 2-2).
Both teams are coming off of a bye week.
Missouri’s last outing was a 3-10 loss at Vanderbilt, while Mississippi State defeated Kentucky 42-16 in their most recent outing.
Mississippi State hasn’t played the toughest schedule in the country, but the Bulldogs have outscored their collective opponents nearly 2-1.
Earlier this week, Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel described Mississippi State as “a very, very good football team”.
“They're a very, very good football team,” said Coach Pinkel. “Mississippi State's playing really well.”
On the season, Mississippi State is averaging 35.1 points per game, and surrendering 17.8 points per game.
Offensively, the Bulldogs revolve around 5th-year senior, and returning First-Team All-SEC QB Dak Prescott, who a year ago received considerable Heisman consideration, and was a finalist for the Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, and Johnny Unitas Awards, as well as an Honorable Mention All-American.
This season, Prescott leads Mississippi State in rushing with 371 yards and 7 TDs on 72 carries (5.2 yards/carry). He has nearly as many carries as the Bulldogs’ top two running backs, co-starters Ashton Shumpert and Brandon Holloway, combined. The 6’2” 218-pound Shumpert, a junior, has carried the football 42 times this season, for 159 yards and 1 TD. The 5’8” 165-pound Holloway, also a junior, has 196 yards on 42 carries. Shumpert and Holloway are also among the nine different players for Mississippi State who have averaged at least 1 reception per game.
Not only does Prescott spread it around in the passing game, he is also extremely efficient as a passer. This season, he is 173-260-1 for 2048 yards and 14 TDs, and carries a passer efficiency rating of 149.70 into the game at Missouri.