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Texas A&M football vs. Mississippi State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Aggies battle Bulldogs

Kellen Mond #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies rolls out looking for a receiver in the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Kyle Field on September 8, 2018 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Kellen Mond #11 of the Texas A&M Aggies rolls out looking for a receiver in the first quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Kyle Field on September 8, 2018 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Three consecutive wins have Texas A&M climbing back up the rankings, and how it fares in a pair of stiff tests on the road could determine just how far the team is poised to go. The 17th-ranked Aggies will try to move the winning streak to four when they visit a dangerous Mississippi State team on Saturday.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Mississippi State -2.5

 

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No team in the FBS can match Texas A&M when it comes to quality losses - at No. 1 Alabama and home against No. 2 Clemson - and a strong finish could push the team into the College Football Playoff discussion. "This is pretty much where the real season begins," Aggies defensive end Landis Durham told reporters. "You'll be able to tell what teams can finish strong and teams that just fall off. In the past, we’ve had a reputation of falling off at this point in the season, so we’re really looking to finish strong." The Bulldogs are heading in the opposite direction as a promising start has given way to losses in three of the last four games. "I am particularly disappointed with the performance of our offense in these games, especially considering my track record of success on this side of the ball, relative to our lack of productivity," Mississippi State coach Joe Moorhead told reporters. "So, the thumbs at me. My job is to get it fixed and it will. We are exhausting every option and working diligently to make that happen."

ABOUT TEXAS A&M (5-2, 3-1 SEC)

The Aggies are winning games at the line of scrimmage with a rushing defense that ranks second in FBS at an average of 78.4 rushing yards allowed while the offense churns out an average of 204.3 yards on the ground. Junior Trayveon Williams is leading the charge with 798 yards and eight touchdowns and is averaging 99.8 yards on the ground in SEC play. Williams opens things up through the air for sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond, who threw for 353 yards and a touchdown without an interception in the last game, a 26-23 win over South Carolina on Oct. 13.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (4-3, 1-3)

The Bulldogs have failed to score in double figures in any of their three losses and are coming off a 19-3 loss at LSU in which quarterback Nick Fitzgerald was just 8-of-24 passing for 59 yards and four interceptions. "Obviously, our struggles in the pass game are apparent," Moorhead told reporters. "It doesn't just go to (Fitzgerald). Three things need to happen for the pass game to be successful. You need to protect, you need to run good routes and gain separation and the quarterback needs to throw the ball accurately. Unfortunately, right now not all three of those things are clicking." Fitzgerald is completing 46.9 percent of his passes and has yet to throw a TD pass in SEC play.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Mississippi State RB Kylin Hill, WR Keith Mixon and OL Stewart Reese are all day-to-day with lower body injuries.

2. Texas A&M TE Jake Sternberger entered the week tied for first among FBS tight ends with six TD catches.

3. The Bulldogs took the last two meetings, including a 35-14 road victory last season in which Fitzgerald threw for 141 yards and two TDs.

PREDICTION: Texas A&M 20, Mississippi State 17

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