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College Football Preview – Week 9

Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta'amu. Photo courtesy of Telesouth Communications Inc.

Mississippi State (5-2) @ Texas A&M (5-2) 

Last week, the Mississippi State Bulldogs dismantled the Kentucky Wildcats and this week they travel to Kyle Field to take on the Aggies of Texas A&M for another SEC showdown. With both teams sitting at 5-2, a win could make or break either teams spirits as we move into November. In their last two road games against Georgia and Auburn, slow starts have doomed the Bulldogs. If they are able to strike early and take the crowd out of the game while seizing momentum early, they have a good chance to walk out of College Station with a win. In last week’s win over the Kentucky, QB Nick Fitzgerald was the team’s leading passer and rusher with 115 yards and two TDs on the ground. If he can remain turnover free, and run the ball effectively the A&M defense may not be able to slow down the Bulldog offense. A&M has won four of their last five games with the one loss coming against Alabama. Aggie QB Kellen Mond is a freshman who has been asked to step up this season, but if the Bulldog defense can get to him early, it may be a winning formula.

Kick off at Kyle Field is set for 6:15

Arkansas (2-5) @ Ole Miss (3-4)

Ole Miss will play their first game since losing QB Shea Patterson for the remainder of the season in their loss to LSU. Jordan Ta’amu will get the start as the Rebels welcome Arkansas to town. Ta’amu filled in for Patterson on two drives last weekend and led the offense to a FG before the half and a touchdown while the game was well out of reach. He’ll have to grow up quickly against another SEC defense. While the Razorbacks have lost their last three games, their rushing attack poses problems for a Rebel defense that gave up almost 400 yards rushing last week to LSU. The Razorback defense isn’t particularly stout and should be a good bounce-back opportunity for the deep wide receiving core of the Rebels, who never could get anything going against LSU’s secondary last week. In the recent history of this matchup, the Razorbacks have had the Rebels’ number, winning the last three meetings. Arkansas hasn’t won an SEC game this season, and Ole Miss is in the midst of what only be described as a lost season so expect both teams to play with nothing to lose on Saturday.

Kick off at Vaught Hemingway Stadium is set for 11 a.m.

UAB (4-3) @ Southern Miss (5-2) 

Southern Miss won a 2OT thriller last week against Louisiana Tech to make it three wins in a row. This week the Golden Eagles will take on UAB at home. QB Keon Howard is a perfect 2-0 since taking over for the injured Kwadra Griggs and will look to add another win to his resume. The Golden Eagles are playing their fourth straight conference matchup, and the Blazers currently sit one spot behind them in the West in Conference USA. Last week against Louisiana Tech, the Golden Eagle offense was able to control the clock with over 40 minutes of possession time, but four of their drives ended with field goals. This week they may need to finish those drives in the end zone rather than through the uprights if they want to make it four wins in a row.  On the other sideline, UAB’s A.J Erdely is completing just under 60 percent of his passes and could spell trouble for the USM defense. UAB fell in OT last week to Charlotte and will be looking to bounce back and ruin the Golden Eagles’ win streak.

Kick off from M.M. Roberts Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m.

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