Something Has to Give When Texas A&M Visits Mississippi State

By Ryan Darcy
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M probably didn’t anticipate struggling the way it has when it bolted the Big 12 for the SEC last year.

The Aggies travel to Starksville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs in a game featuring two teams headed in the wrong direction. Both teams have taken identical paths to a 2-4 conference record–two wins followed by four losses. Someone has to win tonight, right? Neither team runs a very efficient offense, so it’ll probably be an ugly one at the Humphrey Coliseum.

Texas A&M is reliant on their smothering defense as they limit opponents to under 60 points per game which could spell disaster for an anemic Bulldog offense. The Aggies haven’t really been tested on the road this season and have only played four true road games, so a trip to Mississippi State will be a good test. Texas A&M also does a good job on the offensive glass, averaging 11.7 offensive boards a game despite their lackluster defensive rebounding (22.5 drpg). Offensively, the Aggies are led by Elston Turner (15.7 ppg), who scores nearly a quarter of their points. He’s coming off a 19-point performance the other night in a loss to Georgia.

Coming off their 35-point thrashing at the hands of the No. 7 Florida Gators, Mississippi State is looking to avoid their first 2-5 SEC start since 2007. As bad as their offense is, it is pretty balanced–they feature four players averaging better than nine points per game. Their lack a true point guard and it shows. That coupled with the team’s lack of experience is really what’s hurting them this year. Not to keep piling it on, but the Bulldogs have only managed to grab 42 rebounds in their past two games–not exactly a recipe for success. Freshman Gavin Ware has been the best on the boards for the Bulldogs, averaging 6.9 per game.

Texas A&M is the road favorite tonight in their first trip to Starksville. As a program they’re looking for the 1300th all-time victory, which could serve as some motivation if staring a five-game losing streak in the face isn’t enough.

It’ll be ugly, but the Aggies should escape with a win.

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