Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. BYU Cougars
Date and Time: Friday, October 14, 2016, 10:15 p.m. ET
Location: Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo, UT
Week 7 College Football Odds at BookMaker.eu: BYU -7, 53.5
Mississippi State vs. BYU TV Coverage: ESPN
It hasn’t been pretty in Starkville this season. The Bulldogs only wins have come against a down South Carolina program and a UMASS squad that’s taken some huge steps backwards in 2016. The offense ranks out in the bottom third of the league in most pertinent categories which include scoring offense (No. 92) and yards per point average (No. 85).
That’s made it even tougher on a defense that’s only conceded an average of 371.4 yards per game (No. 47) and 26.2 points per game (No. 60). Miss State just got its clocks cleaned at home by Auburn falling 38-14 as 4 point underdogs. However, it almost shocked LSU in its first road game and beat the Minutemen the following week.
BYU has played to a hellacious schedule thus far. It opened its campaign with a neutral site win against the Arizona Wildcats in the desert. Then traveled to Salt lake City for the Holy War where it fell 20-19 but covered as 3 point underdogs. After that, UCLA came a calling to Provo where it escaped with a 17-14 win but failed to cover the 3.5 point spread. The Cougars fell the following week when West Virginia pulled out the 35-32 win at FedEx Field, but once again, BYU covered the closing number.
Over the last two weeks, BYU was able to even up its record at 3-3 overall by taking down Toledo at home in an exciting back and forth affair, and then followed it up with that aforementioned win in East Lansing. To date, the Cougars have played to the nation’s No. 17 ranked schedule while the Bulldogs have played to the No. 45 toughest schedule.
Player to Watch
Jamal Williams almost singlehandedly led Brigham Young to the 55-53 win and non-cover against Toledo a couple weeks back, and was also crucial in leading the team to that upset win over Sparty. Michigan State possesses a darn good run defense, but he still carved it up for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
The Spartans were only conceding 3.2 yards per carry heading into last week’s game, but he almost doubled it by averaging 5.4 yards per carry. The kids a flat out stud, but you have to wonder if he’ll have his legs for this one having been forced to tote the rock a ton over the last couple weeks.
Mississippi State vs. BYU Free Picks
BYU opened up a virgin -4 to win this game, but it was quickly bet up to -7.5 and then back down to -7. Currently 62.7 percent of all the action taken on the odds at BookMaker.eu are riding the home team in this matchup, and as good as they’ve looked over the last two weeks, I can understand why. However, I can’t help but think this is the spot all the adrenaline they ran on over the last couple weeks runs out.
Mississippi State doesn’t do anything particularly well, but the one thing it does excel at is stopping the run with it conceding just 134.2 yards per game (No. 39) at 3.7 yards per carry (No. 32). It also does a good job valuing possession of the pigskin in turning it over just 1.2 times per game (No. 35) while forcing an average of 1.6 turnovers per game (No. 59). If it somehow finds a way to limit a fatigued Jamal Williams, forces Taysom Hill to the air and wins the time of possession battle, I think Mullen and his kids will be able to give the home standing Cougars a major run for their money.
Mississippi State vs. BYU ATS Pick: Mississippi State +7 at BookMaker.eu
Mississippi State vs. BYU Score Prediction: BYU 31 – Mississippi State 30