Mississippi State football vs. Vanderbilt preview

Mississippi State football

It’s been a while, but Mississippi State football is finally favored to win a game.

This Saturday, Mississippi State is back at home for homecoming to battle against the winless Vanderbilt Commodores. Mississippi State will be honoring the Flying M jerseys worn in the 60s and 70s with special uniforms this week. According to ESPN, Mississippi State has an 87.1% probability to win with a -19 spread. The game will be televised on SEC Network at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Neither team has fared well this season with both teams in last place in their respective divisions. Mississippi State is coming off of a 41-0 beat down by Alabama, while Vanderbilt is coming off of a 54-21 loss to Ole Miss.


Getting the ball into the end zone has been extremely difficult for both teams so far. Mississippi State’s 14.3 points per game rank 13th in the conference, only ahead of Vanderbilt’s 11.3 points per game. Both teams have only scored more than 20 points once this season.

Mississippi State will be without All-American running back Kylin Hill for the rest of the season. On Nov. 3, Hill officially announced on Twitter that he would be opting out of the rest of the 2020 season to prepare for the NFL draft. Along with Hill, over five other players have departed the team or entered the transfer portal.

Vanderbilt true freshman quarterback Ken Seals had sort of a breakout game against Ole Miss going for 319 yards with a 78% completion percentage but will have his work cut out for him against Mississippi State’s pass defense, which ranks first in the conference, only allowing 212 yards per game.

The struggling Mississippi State offense will finally have a chance to rebound. Vanderbilt ranks 108th in the country in total yards allowed per game, while in contrast, the Bulldogs rank 24th.

Mississippi State head coach Mike Leach has not made any updates on the quarterback competition or the injury status of K.J. Costello.


So far, Leach has kept his quarterback decision very close to his chest. Many expected Will Rogers to make his first career start last week to which he did not, but given the hard hit Costello took in the head and the fact that Rogers is the future of the program, it would be shocking to not see the true freshman get the nod as the starter.

However, whoever starts at quarterback will finally be playing against a team that is as bad on defense as the Bulldogs are on offense. The air raid offense isn’t going to make any substantial season-changing strides in this one, but it should do enough to finally put points on the board.

The Mississippi State defense will be the game-changer in this one as the Bulldogs will keep Vanderbilt out of the end zone for the majority of the game. Turnovers by the Bulldogs will help out the Vandy offense, but Seals will not nearly be as successful against this Mississippi team.

It will be closer than many think and it certainly won’t draw many viewers, but Mississippi State football will get a much-needed win to get the program back on track.

FINAL SCORE: Mississippi State 21, Vanderbilt 10

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications