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BYU-Mississippi State Matchups and Prediction: Tough place to change things around

October 13, 2017

Here is Jared Lloyd’s look at the BYU-Mississippi State matchups, including his prediction for the final score for Saturday’s game at Davis Wade Stadium:

BYU offense vs. Mississippi State defense

It’s tough to be optimistic about the struggling Cougar offense going up against statistically the No. 17-ranked defense in the country. Tanner Mangum is going to need to elevate his game to a whole new level for BYU to even have a shot.

Edge: Mississippi State

Mississippi State offense vs. BYU defense

The Bulldogs look like a matchup nightmare for the Cougars, since BYU has struggled to stop good running teams from marching on long drives. Mississippi State is averaging more than 250 yards per game on the ground.

Edge: Mississippi State

Coaching

Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen might not have been able to get his team ready for Auburn and Georgia but BYU’s Kalani Sitake and his staff haven’t been able to get much of anything going all year.

Edge: Mississippi State

Intangibles

The Cougars come in without expectations but also without momentum and with the pressure to get better fast. Mississippi State’s big win over LSU should have the Bulldogs feeling confident in getting the win at home.

Edge: Mississippi State

Key Matchup: BYU linebackers vs. Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald

The Bulldog senior hasn’t been lights out through the air (70-of-132 for 783 yards with eight TDs and five interceptions) but when you factor in his 343 yards and five TDs on the ground, it’s clear he is very dangerous. Fred Warner, Butch Pau’u and the rest of the linebackers will have their hands full.

Edge: Mississippi State

Prediction

Until BYU shows some signs of being able to compete at a high level, there is little hope the Cougars can go into SEC country and get a win. Look for BYU to have a little success early but again fail to maintain it as the Bulldogs pull away.

Mississippi State 36, BYU 7

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