Mississippi State makes the trip to Missouri for an SEC clash Thursday night. You won’t find many SEC games on these weekday schedules, but the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Missouri Tigers get the spotlight tonight. The Tigers who had some hype entering the 2014 season, have become absolute horse manure since. Maty Mauk was supposed to be the greatest quarterback Mizzou ever had. Uh, that hasn’t come to fruition. After taking over for James Franklin in 2013, Mauk finished the season with 11 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. His greatest time came in a big win over a good Florida defense. The Tigers’ quarterback savior had arrived. The Tigers were going to go and be threats in the SEC. They did that, and made it all the way to the SEC Championship game before getting blasted by Alabama. Mauk threw for 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2014, respectable numbers for a team that showed a much improved defense on the field as well.
The defense has carried over into 2015 for the Tigers, but Mauk and the offense haven’t, ranking in the bottom 100 in the country. Mauk will finish this season passing for 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Finished because he has officially been suspended for the rest of the season. He was suspended a few weeks ago, reinstated, and then suspended once again. Who knows what he did to get these suspensions, but the kid isn’t the most model citizen by the looks of it. Already been arrested a few years back, Mauk hasn’t seemed to grow up yet. Rumors are he is heavy into drugs and this is what triggered the latest suspension. Who knows, whatever it is, I can say he has a brick for a brain.
Freshman Drew Lock has filled in for Mauk, who has gone 1-3 as the starter. Lock has passed for 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions on the season. I don’t think he is a bad quarterback, but he has entered an unfavorable situation to start his career off at Mizzou. You have Mauk running around doing Gods no what who is a player that should be mentoring him, the offensive line is offensive to watch play, and the receivers have stones for hands. Mizzou at 4-4 is just fighting to find a bowl game this season. It’s been just under a year since they’ve been in the SEC Championship game, now they’re trying to win enough to become bowl eligible. The defense will be left with the task of having to shut down the Mississippi offense that features Dak Prescott at the controls.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Missouri Tigers College Football
Mississippi State -7.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Mississippi State vs. Missouri Pick:
The Missouri offense has averaged only 14.9 points per game this season. Quite the pathetic display for a team that was so vested on offense with James Franklin, and then carrying over to Mauk. It really is difficult to do anything with this offensive line. I think even the better quarterbacks in college football would have troubles operating behind them. Mauk tried to do the best he could avoiding defenders to make some plays out of nothing, but it was just too much to handle. Mauk is more mobile than Lock, so with poor offensive line play it does payoff having a mobile guy in there. Lock is much more of a pro-style quarterback. Despite their lack of an offense, the defense has played well, allowing only 12.5 point per game. They are going to need to rely on the defense to win this game.
The Bulldogs feature an offense scoring 35.1 points per game. Due in large part to Dak Prescott, who is going to be without a doubt the best quarterback Mizzou has played this season. He’s thrown for 14 touchdowns and only 1 interception, rushing for 7 touchdowns as well. So that is 21 touchdowns to 1 interception. The Tigers have played some pretty bad offenses thus far, and while I think the Missouri offense is good, this will actually be their first test of the season, this far in. Conversely, Mississippi State does have a pretty nice defense that is allowing 17.8 points per game. A lot is lost in the mix as the talk is all about Prescott and the offense, but the defense is strong as well. I see the Bulldogs advancing to 7-2 with a win tonight. Missouri is a team you have to fade at this point given the circumstances of this team.