Mississippi State Three Keys: Texas A&M

Three-keys-Mississippi State

A cathartic 45-14 win over Bowling Green was helpful, but the collapse against LSU still stings. A win here over a Texas A&M team that isn’t playing at its talent level would be a big step for this team.

By Steve Wright

Here are the keys to a Bulldogs’ win over Texas A&M:

Control The Clock

Texas A&M needs to control the clock but hasn’t been doing so. The worst offense in the SEC finally got something going last weekend when running back Devon Achane rushed for 159 yards in a win over Arkansas. In the LSU loss, the Bulldogs barely had the ball in the second half, and the Tigers eventually held the ball for 33 minutes of the game. The running game isn’t working, so the third downs must be completed in the mid-range passing game. Clock control will be massive in this game.

Let Will Rogers Loose

The Mike Leach offense takes a minute to learn, but Bulldogs’ quarterback Will Rogers is now thoroughly set in the system. Rogers has thrown 16 touchdowns through four games to just three interceptions. He has almost 1,700 yards through the air on 140-of-190 passing. Rogers has had to be this good because of the lack of a running game. Thankfully for the Bulldogs, wide receivers such as Austin Williams, Jaden Walley, and Caleb Ducking combine on a wide receiver crew that is talented, deep, and experienced,

Break Key Tackles

The Aggies have the speed and athleticism to get to the ball. Their secondary isn’t going to be good enough to shut down the passing attack completely, but their back seven is rangy and will get to the receiver quickly after the catch is made. Enough first downs will come through the air, but now and again, a third-down conversion will need to be attained by a receiver breaking a tackle to get extra yards. This will be a close game – the Aggies do enough to make every game that way – and third-down conversions will be the difference between a win and a loss.

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