Kansas State Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Line: Mississippi State -7; Over/Under: 52; TV: ESPN
Saturday, Sept. 14 at 12 p.m. E.T.; Davis Wade Stadium; Starkville, Miss.
Now this is an intriguing game. It features two teams with tepid optimism who started the season 2-0 against lesser squads and now want to prove that they have reached a certain winning level, albeit for different reasons. At least one of them gets to face Tennessee football, which is looking like a sure win.
The Kansas State Wildcats have replaced Bill Snyder once again, this time with Chris Klieman, a defensive specialist. Coming off a 5-7 season, they are 2-0 under Klieman, outscoring their opponents 101-14. With a defense that returned a ton of talent and an offense that, despite losing key weapons, does have its line back, this could be a very good team.
Meanwhile, the Mississippi State Bulldogs were looking to take another step under second-year head coach Joe Moorhead, but they also had to offset losing so much talent. The result has been two ugly wins over the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. But they have gotten better, and this could be their breakout game.
Both teams are defensive-minded, and the Bulldogs have a horrible offense. So off the top, take the under in this game. In addition to that, Mississippi State will win and cover. They are improving, and they get this game at home. There is no shame in struggling to put away a very good Group of Five team in the opener, and in this game, the Bulldogs will shut down the Wildcats.