Saturday afternoon, Zach Arnett’s Mississippi State Bulldogs will face off against the Auburn Tigers. Can the Bulldogs get another SEC West win?
For the first time since 2016, the Mississippi State football team will get the pleasure of facing off against a Hugh Freeze-coached team. First year head coach Zach Arnett and his Mississippi State Bulldogs are set to meet up with the Auburn Tigers in Jordan-Hare Stadium this weekend.
While Freeze and the Tigers have lost four games in a row, Arnett and his Miss. State Bulldogs are searching for their second SEC win of the season after MSU beat Arkansas in Fayetteville last weekend.
Can the Bulldogs win three in a row? Or will we see the Tigers bounce back and get their first SEC win of the season?
Despite the fact that Auburn is 3-4 on the season and the Tigers have yet to win a single SEC game, it seems like ESPN’s Football Power Index believes Freeze’s team might come out on top of this contest.
Mississippi State Bulldogs prediction: ESPN FPI favors Auburn Tigers over MSU football
When checking in with ESPN Analytics, it looks like ESPN’s FPI is giving the Tigers a 62.9 percent chance of coming out on top here. That means FPI gives the Bulldogs a 37.1 percent chance of beating Auburn.
That’s not great, but it’s hard to tell exactly what this MSU team will look like.
Depending on who starts at quarterback, how healthy the Bulldogs are at running back, and how much freedom to dictate pace Kevin Barbay has will really influence what we see out of the Bulldogs’ offense. And, well, it’s not really all that clear what Arnett and Matt Brock will do on defense and who is leading there.
But, after an 0-3 start in SEC play, Mississippi State now has a chance to get to 2-3 in the conference and 5-3 overall. If State can go 0-3 in the month of October as Arnett has expressed a desire to do, this Miss. State football team can continue to build some momentum and get some more respect.
With the Kentucky Wildcats, Texas A&M Aggies, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, and Ole Miss Rebels left on the schedule, a win over Auburn would help solidify this team’s bowl chances. It would also likely impact the way ESPN’s FPI would predict matchups down the line. Those Kentucky and Texas A&M games might start to look a lot more winnable, according to FPI.
While this isn’t exactly the position the Bulldogs should be in given what Arnett was put in charge of, there are worse positions to be in right now. Hopefully Arnett can continue to grow as a coach and the Bulldogs can continue to win.