SuperTalk Mississippi

MSU at home, USM on the road in week 9

Photo courtesy of Maddie Czosek

Week 9 of the college football season is one day away as Mississippi State will look to bounce back from a loss, while Southern Miss is trying to make it two wins in a row.

#16 Texas A&M (5-2) vs. Mississippi State (4-3)
Photo courtesy of Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics

Last week in their 19-3 loss to LSU, QB Nick Fitzgerald threw 4 interceptions and completed just 8 passes with many questioning whether he was the right man to lead the offense.

During his weekly press conference, head coach Joe Moorhead said that backup QB Keytaon Thompson may see the field against the Aggies as MSU looks for a spark on offense. He also stated that the offensive struggles don’t only fall on Fitzgerald’s shoulders.

“Three things need to happen for the pass game to be successful. You need to protect, you need to run good routes and gain separation and the quarterback needs to throw the ball accurately. Unfortunately, right now not all three of those things are clicking,” Moorhead said.  “We have discussed in the offensive staff room – not making a change – but during the first half and second half giving K.T. an opportunity to start a drive for two reasons: as a change of pace to give him an opportunity because he is a talented player and, secondly, to take some of the physical wear and tear off of Nick.”

Fitzgerald did run the ball well in the loss but expect the running backs to be more involved in the gameplan to help either of the QBs take a few less hits.

The Bulldog defense, led by DE Montez Sweat, has only given up just one touchdown in their last 30 drives, and they’ll need to continue that dominance until the offense can find their rhythm.

They’ll now face a Texas A&M offense that has found plays when they need them, but they haven’t put up big numbers. After two early losses to #2 Clemson and #1 Alabama, the Aggies have won three straight SEC games and are coming off of a bye week. QB Kellen Mond plays better when he’s complemented by a running game, led by Trayveon Williams, so if MSU can shut that down and force Mond to throw more, that could be a recipe for success.

After the overwhelming atmosphere on the road in Baton Rouge, a return home may be just what State needs when this one kicks off at 6:00.

Southern Miss (3-3) @ Charlotte (3-4)
Photo courtesy of Southern Miss Athletics/Joe Harper

For Southern Miss, they’re coming off of a win over UTSA, and they’ll hit the road to take on Charlotte as they look to get over .500.

Last week, the ground game led the way for the first time this season, but the 49ers are giving up just over 80 yards per game on the ground. If the Golden Eagles want to continue to establish the run, they’ll need strong performances from both RBs Trivenskey Mosley and Steven Anderson.

“They both have different qualities, which is a good thing,” head coach Jay Hopson said. “In the running back room, you want guys that are kind of different tempos. Trivenskey is certainly an explosive back with great vision and Steven is that guy that is your prototypical big back. (Steven) runs hard and low, and has great athleticism. It’s good to have that one, two punch. We need those two guys to continue on. It was a good game but we want our running game, our passing game, our gap integrity; everything to be better. That’s my big journey. I want to see us get better every week.”

Charlotte’s defense has been more susceptible to the pass, so even if the running game isn’t strong, QB Jack Abraham has a chance to make plays. WR Quez Watkins has caught 7 of Abraham’s 13 TD passes this season, so look for this connection to make an impact on Saturday.

Kick off from Charlotte is set for 1:00 p.m.

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