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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET11:00 PM GMT7:00 AM 北京时间4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST, Oct. 2, 2021
Kyle Field, College Station, Texas  Attendance: 87,973

No. 15 Texas A&M tries to rebound vs. Mississippi State

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Texas A&M Aggies

  1. Texas A&M and Mississippi State have each won seven games in their all-time series, but the Aggies hold a slim 5-4 edge since joining the SEC in 2012. Mississippi State has won just once in College Station, coming away with a 35-14 win at Kyle Field in 2017.
  2. Mississippi State fell, 28-25, to LSU last week for its second straight loss by a combined five points. The Bulldogs have lost five one-possession games since the start of last season, tied for second in the FBS over that span -- only Nebraska has more (six).
  3. Will Rogers ranks fourth in the FBS among qualifiers with a 75.1 completion percentage this season and is tied for eighth with 11 passing touchdowns -- already matching his total from nine games last season. His 169 completions this season are the most by an FBS passer through four games in the last 25 seasons.
  4. Texas A&M fell to Arkansas, 20-10, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, snapping a nine-game winning streak against the Razorbacks. The Aggies have allowed just 9.8 points per game this season, second in the FBS behind Georgia (5.8) and their fewest through four games since 2002 (8.8 points/game).
  5. Isaiah Spiller rushed for 95 yards and caught five passes for 26 yards in the loss to Arkansas. He is one of 15 players in the FBS with 300+ rushing yards and 100+ receiving yards this season and one of just two SEC players in that group along with Missouri's Tyler Badie.

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and his Aggies are licking their wounds after being pushed around by Arkansas in his team's first loss of the season.

"We did not play well, consistently," Fisher said this week about the 20-10 setback to the Razorbacks. "As I always try to say, it's doing ordinary things better, becoming more fundamentally sound in how we do things and becoming much more consistent."

The No. 15 Aggies (3-1, 0-1 SEC) look to get back on track at home on Sunday when the Mississippi State Bulldogs come to College Station, Texas.

First thing on Fisher's list in turning things around is getting better production from the quarterback position.

Backup quarterback Zach Calzada took over for injured starter Haynes King (broken right leg) earlier this season. The sophomore signal caller struggled against the physical Arkansas defense, finishing with just 151 passing yards and an interception in the loss.

One way for Fisher to protect Calzada is to run the football more effectively with running backs Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. The two combined to average 5.3 yards a carry against Arkansas and are averaging 143 yards a game.

"Zach's a new guy," Fisher said. "We've got experienced receivers, backs, tight ends and all of that. We have to play better around him."

Fisher added, "He's got to grow."

The Aggies also got carved up defensively by Arkansas's big-play offense, giving up 448 total yards.

Led by head coach Mike Leach, Mississippi State (2-2, 0-1 SEC) has lost two in a row, including a 28-25 setback to LSU in the Bulldogs' SEC opener last week.

Texas A&M and the Bulldogs have met 14 times and are tied at 7-7. The Aggies have won the last two contests, including last year's 28-14 decision.

Mississippi State has twice knocked off a ranked Texas A&M team in recent years - beating No. 16 Texas A&M in 2018 and the No. 7 Aggies in 2016 - both games in Starkville, Miss.

Leach, meantime, is 7-4 all-time against Texas A&M, including a 7-3 mark during his tenure at Texas Tech.

"We are making progress, but we've got to finish drives," Leach said. "Whether it's offense or defense, we've got to finish drives."

Quarterback Will Rogers powers the Bulldogs' passing game, completing 75 percent of his passes for 1,454 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Makai Polk tops Mississippi State with 33 catches for 304 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

"Mississippi is playing outstanding defense right now," Fisher said. "There giving up just 71 yards a game rushing. They're experienced and physical up front. They're front seven is very physical. In their secondary they have long, big athletic corners. And on offense you know Mike's going to throw it."

The Bulldogs could be without cornerback Emmanuel Forbes this weekend. Forbes suffered an unspecified injury in a collision with a teammate against LSU and had to be carted off the field.

If Forbes can't play, Decamerion Richardson would likely get the nod.

"He's still emerging," Leach said, when asked about Richardson. "He's doing a good job and we want to see if we can get more and more out of him. We're always on the search for quality players to go out there and play, especially at that position."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 28, 2021

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