East Tennessee State
Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers (2) is pressured by Georgia linebacker Chaz Chambliss (32) as he tries to pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State Set to Host East Tennessee State

The East Tennessee State Buccaneers (3-7) travel to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-4, 3-4 SEC) Saturday.

Bounce Back for Both Parties

The Buccaneers and Bulldogs are both coming off tough losses in their most recent matchups.

East Tennessee State held a lead against Western Carolina Saturday before letting it slip away in the fourth quarter. Their inability to get timely stops hurt the Buccaneers. Moreover, the team  allowed 268 yards through the air, scoring just three points in the second half.

On the other side, Mississippi State faced the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs. Keeping it a one-score game after the half, Georgia imposed their will in the second half, outscoring Mississippi State by 21 points.

Senior Day for Mississippi State

The Bulldogs and head coach Mike Leach are set to honor 28 seniors in Saturday’s matchup.

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The leader of the senior group is linebacker Nathaniel Watson. Watson is the heart and voice of the defense as the team’s lead tackler, recording 94 tackles on the season along with four sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.

Air Battle

The Bulldogs have leaned heavily on the passing game this year with quarterback Will Rogers. Rogers has been one of the top quarterbacks in the SEC with over 3,000 passing yards and 27 touchdowns, this year. Also, he leads the SEC by over 200 yards in passing yards and the junior has done an impressive job building up his draft stock in preparation for the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Additionally, East Tennessee State is 110th in the FCS in pass defense, allowing nearly 300 yards per game.

The Buccaneers are led by a more balanced attack with sophomore quarterback Tyler Riddell at the helm with 1,900 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Moving to the ground game, running back Jacob Saylors has recorded 1,271 rushing yards with 15 rushing touchdowns. Averaging 6.0 yards per carry, Saylors has been on a tear for the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers will look to spoil the Bulldogs’ senior day Saturday at noon.

About Kyle Curtis

A third-year journalism student with a focus in sports and media.

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