Like offense?

Since Mississippi State and Ole Miss call their annual showdown the Egg Bowl, perhaps MSU and Tennessee should dub their Saturday night meeting at Neyland Stadium the Goose-Egg Bowl.

Given that the Vols and Bulldogs rank 1-2 among SEC programs in offensive futility, maybe the first team to cross midfield should be declared the winner. Otherwise, the game could go to overtime tied 0-0.

Statistically, it's difficult to determine which attack unit is worse – Tennessee's or Mississippi State's. Suffice to say, both have been horrendous to date. How do the Vols and Bulldogs struggle? Let me count the ways:

- Tennessee ranks 11th among the 12 SEC teams in scoring at 17.3 points per game. Mississippi State ranks dead last at 16.3 ppg.

- Tennessee ranks ninth (122.2 yards per game) and MSU 10th (121.5) in rushing offense.

- Mississippi State ranks eighth (179.2 yards per game) and Tennessee ninth (177.3) in passing offense.

- The Bulldogs rank ninth (300.7 yards per game) and Tennessee 10th (299.5) in total offense.

- Mississippi State ranks eighth (107.8) and Tennessee ninth (106.2) in pass efficiency.

- The Bulldogs rank 10th (16.7 per game) and the Vols 11th (14.8 per game) in first downs.

- Mississippi State ranks eighth (36.3 percent) and Tennessee 10th (32.9 percent) in third-down efficiency.

- Tennessee ranks 10th (73.7 percent) and Mississippi State 11th (63.6 percent) in Red-Zone scoring. The Vols have six rushing TDs, four passing TDs and four field goals to show for 19 trips into the Red Zone. The Bulldogs have seven rushing TDs, five passing TDs and two field goals to show for 22 trips into the Red Zone.

Besides a chance to see the SEC's two weakest offenses, Saturday night's game offers an opportunity to watch two of the NCAA's most impotent offenses on the same field.

Crunch these numbers:

Mississippi State ranks No. 103 and Tennessee No. 104 among the 119 Div. 1-A teams in total offense.

Tennessee ranks 89th and Mississippi State 91st in rushing offense.

Mississippi State ranks 92nd and Tennessee 93rd in passing offense.

Tennessee ranks 108th and Mississippi State 113th in scoring.

By the way, neither Phil Fulmer's Vols nor Sylvester Croom's Bulldogs will be the most offensively inept team to play in Neyland Stadium this fall. That distinction goes to Wyoming. The Cowboys, who visit Tennessee Nov. 8, rank dead last among the 119 Div. 1-A schools in scoring at 9.0 points per game.

On second thought, maybe THAT game should be dubbed The Goose-Egg Bowl.


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