Can the Missouri Tigers Reach Bowl Eligibility?

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Mississippi State

Oct 17, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) looks to throw the ball during the first half against Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State rocketed to prominence last year, holding the number one spot in the Associated Press poll for a time. The Bulldogs lost a large portion of that team in the transition to 2015. One piece they kept from that team was its lynchpin, QB Dak Prescott. The former Heisman candidate is still giving his opponents fits, having already thrown for 1700 yards this season. Prescott is also not exactly mistake-prone; through his first six games has yet to throw an interception and is the owner of a 65 percent completion rate.

Offensively speaking, Mississippi State is a far more capable opponent than Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs are tied with Indiana for 41st in offense, and are scoring 31 PPG, making it the best offense the Missouri defense will have faced up to that point.

Defensively, the Bulldogs are slightly weaker than Vanderbilt despite giving up a similar average points per game. Mississippi State has given up 2579 total yards, mostly through the air. With the shots the running game has taken, Gary Pinkel would be wise to rely on the passing game. We saw flashes of it in certain drives against Georgia, and if they can rely on the passing game, the Tigers might have a chance against the Bulldogs.

I don’t see the Tigers winning this game. While the Bulldogs are defensively comparable to Vanderbilt, they are a different animal entirely on offense. The Bulldogs will get more than enough out of their offense to stifle any chance Missouri has to win the game.

Next: BYU