THE Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M Game Preview


Maroon, White, Ag, Jackie Sherrill, Engineering, dog mascots, Adidas, Emory Bellard, etc., etc. – it’s time again for Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M. Round 4 in the SEC vs. SEC part of the series; A&M is 2-1, and the overall series is tied 4-4.

Statistical Comparison

MSU rushing offense: 145 YPG (99th) vs. A&M rushing defense: 179 YPG (82nd)

MSU passing offense: 304 YPG (24th) vs. A&M passing defense: 188 YPG (37th)

A&M rushing offense: 187 YPG (59th) vs. MSU rushing defense: 179 YPG (81st)

A&M passing offense: 285 YPG (32nd) vs. MSU passing defense: 170 YPG (26th)


State fans have been worried about their running game all year, and it was compounded after the Auburn game. Texas A&M fans have held the same concern for their offense.

Both teams had similar offensive games last week. They both had much fewer plays than they’d like to have had, and couldn’t get anything going on the ground. MSU had just 56 yards, the Aggies had just 65 vs. Arkansas.

For MSU it seems to be more of a running back problem, for A&M it seems to be more of an offensive line problem.

The question will be: will Dan Mullen or Kevin Sumlin – two coaches who want to run the ball – try to force the issue or will they stick to passing?


Sep 26, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Myles Garrett (15) in action against the Arkansas Razorbacks at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Myles Garrett is probably the best defensive end in the country. Last year, as a freshman, he had 11 sacks. He already has 6.5 sacks.

He primarily lines up on the weak side so that means Left Tackle – not exactly a position of strength for MSU. Rufus Warren is in his first year of starting on the edge and has played average at best. Redshirt Freshman Elgton Jenkins played a lot vs. Auburn and did well. After what we saw last week, don’t be surprised to see a tag team effort to stop Garrett.

Garrett had 10 tackles and one sack against State last year. Blaine Claussell did pretty well in his career against great defensive ends – the other time was in 2013 when he held Jadeveon Clowney almost completely silent. Hopefully Jenkins and Warren learned from what Claussell did in those games so they can keep Garrett from being a major disruption.

If State has trouble defending Garrett they may want to let him through and try to burn him on the read option with Dak.


I don’t want to get too cliche here, but MSU has an opportunity to win this game by winning in the trenches. Arkansas pretty much dominated Texas A&M on both lines of scrimmage….and while they didn’t win the game they proved the Aggies aren’t quite as good up front as they have been in the past.

MSU’s defensive line may have an opportunity to get to the quarterback against A&M’s O-line. They’ve allowed 12 sacks on the year which is the worst in the SEC and as I mentioned above, only paved the way for 65 yards rushing vs. Arkansas. In my opinion, State’s D-line is a little better than the Hogs’.


This is a game between two teams with good quarterbacks, stud receivers and a talented but questionable defense. We could be in for an all-nighter if both teams stick to the pass-heavy offense from last week. Or will they try to establish the run to eat up clock and keep the other offense off the field?

Who will make the big play and which defense will be opportunistic and force turnovers? Can Manny Diaz continue to excel on 3rd down and in the red zone? Can John Chavis continue to get sacks and tackles for loss?

The answer to who wins this game will largely depend on which offense performs the best. The winner of this game the last two years has scored 48+ points. A&M scored only 38 in 2012 but that’s only because they were off to such a huge blowout win they took their foot off the gas. Score, and score often.

Next: Texas A&M Game Hype Video