Butch Dill, Associated Press
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald throws a go all through recreation in opposition to Auburn, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Auburn, Ala.
STARKVILLE, Miss. — As BYU schleps into the town this weekend lugging a five-game shedding streak, don’t expect Mississippi State to turn the Cougars any sympathy.
Or any of that well-known Southern hospitality.
The Bulldogs have misplaced two consecutive video games — in opposition to a couple of top-10 groups, Georgia and Auburn — through a mixed rating of 80-13.
After a bye week, Mississippi State is taking a look to bop again in opposition to the Cougars Saturday (10 a.m., MDT, SEC Network) ahead of completing its Southeastern Conference time table.
The Bulldogs are delighted to go back to Davis Wade Stadium, in a the town affectionately referred to as Stark Vegas, for the primary time since beating LSU, 37-7, on Sept. 16.
Yes, that’s the similar LSU staff that walloped BYU on Sept. 2 in New Orleans, 27-Zero.
“It’s nice to be again at domestic. We have not been at domestic in about 28 days, which is more or less peculiar,” stated MSU trainer Dan Mullen, a former Utah assistant. “That’s how the time table panned out for us this yr.
“Last time we have been at domestic, it was once an electrical environment. Our fanatics gave us a perfect home-field benefit. That’s so vital on this league. Hopefully we now have a perfect turnout for the sport and an electrical environment and a perfect home-field benefit to paintings to our get advantages.”
On height of that, Mississippi State wish to avenge a sour 28-21 double-overtime loss to BYU in Provo 365 days in the past.
MSU’s dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald finished 17 of 36 passes for 214 yards and a landing in opposition to the Cougars that evening and he additionally ran for 41 yards on 16 carries for any other two TDs.
“They kind of run some base defense with a few crazy blitzes here and there,” Fitzgerald said of BYU. “It’s going to be a lot similar to what it was last year.”
This season, the junior QB leads an offense that ranks No. 17 nationally in dashing, averaging 252.eight yards according to recreation.
Fitzgerald has rushed 54 occasions for 343 yards (6.four yards according to raise) and 5 touchdowns. He’s additionally finished 70 of 132 passes for 783 yards with 5 interceptions and 8 touchdowns.
“Their quarterback has any other yr below his belt. He’s much more efficient, particularly within the run recreation,” stated BYU trainer Kalani Sitake. “He can do some really good things with his feet. They’ve had some really good success with him running behind center. But they’re an SEC team that’s physical. They’re used to big games and we’re going to their house. It will be a different deal.”
BYU cornerback Troy Warner stated overlaying MSU’s receivers is a problem.
“If (Fitzgerald) scrambles out of the pocket, receivers have the tendency to adjust their routes and do things on the run,” he stated.
“He’s a good quarterback,” BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki stated of Fitzgerald. “He’s a little bit better this year as far as going through his reads. A big guy that can run like that is always concerning. He made a lot of plays with his feet against us last year. We’ve got to make sure we bottle him up.”
It’s unsure whether or not Mississippi State’s beginning left take on, Martinas Rankin, will play in opposition to BYU. He left the sport in opposition to Auburn with a sprained ankle. In the second one part in opposition to the Tigers, the Bulldogs attempted to fill Rankin’s void with a redshirt freshman take on, Greg Eiland.
Against Auburn, MSU was once victimized through large performs, one thing Mullen hopes his staff corrected all through the bye week. The Bulldogs are No. 17 within the nation in general protection and No. nine in go protection, however simply No. 95 in go potency protection.
Fitzgerald was once 13 of 33 for 157 yards with two interceptions and one landing in opposition to Auburn. He ran 13 occasions for 56 yards.
But this week the Bulldogs are dealing with a 1-Five BYU staff — now not a top-10 opponent like Georgia or Auburn.
“Hopefully the fellows are mentally and a bit of bodily brisker and get able to head,” Mullen stated. “Hopefully we now have were given an enormous turnout with our fan base and a perfect home-field benefit for us.”
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Cougars at the air
at Mississippi State (Three-2)
Saturday, 10 a.m. MDT Davis Wade Stadium
TV: SEC Network
Radio: 1160 AM, 102.7 FM