5 impact players to watch: Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss
With a victory in Saturday’s Egg Bowl, Mississippi State could tie for second place in the SEC East Division. The Bulldogs must try to control the most prolific passing attack in the conference. How they defend against Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly and a trio of receivers, including junior star Laquon Treadwell, should be a major factor in the outcome.
Here here are five players to watch with a good chance to make an impact in the game:
1. Mississippi State RB Brandon Holloway – Holloway has taken over as the Bulldogs’ lead back due to his versatility as a runner and pass-catcher. In Mississippi State’s Week 12 win over Arkansas, Holloway led the Bulldogs with 14 carries and added four receptions. With his 18 touches, Holloway gained 164 total yards and scored on a 38-yard reception.
2. Ole Miss WR Laquon Treadwell – Treadwell is on a tear for the Rebels. He has caught a TD pass in six straight games, totaling seven in that span. Last week against LSU was the first game in that stretch Treadwell didn’t have at least 100 receiving yards, but his 1,060 on the season are tops in the SEC. Treadwell’s 72 receptions also rank first in the conference and his eight TDs rank third among SEC receivers. He will be the toughest challenge Mississippi State cornerback Taveze Calhoun has had all season.
3. Mississippi State CB Tolando Cleveland – If Calhoun is busy with Treadwell, Cleveland and the rest of the Bulldogs secondary will have to neutralize Quincy Adeboyejo and Damore’ea Stringfellow, two other big-play receivers who have combined for 10 TDs. Cleveland has been solid in coverage, but is still looking for his first interception of the year.
4. Ole Miss TE Evan Engram – The junior had his most productive pass catching game last week with five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown. If the Bulldogs take away the Rebels wide receivers, Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly can look for Engram defended by a linebacker or safety.
5. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott – Coming off of a seven-TD performance (five passing and two rushing) against Arkansas, Prescott is perhaps the SEC’s most valuable player. The senior has thrown for 23 TDs and run for nine more. He’s thrown only three interceptions.