Texas A&M and Mississippi State meet Saturday for a key SEC West clash. After early-season slip-ups in September, both teams are looking to maintain momentum coming off of recent wins.

In the Jimbo Fisher era, Texas A&M is 2-2 against Mississippi State. Under Mike Leach, MSU is 1-1 against the Aggies.

We’ll see which coach gets above .500 in the series on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET when the Aggies and Bulldogs face off at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. The game will air on the SEC Network.

Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State preview

Fisher and Leach are known for their offensive backgrounds. Saturday’s showdown, however, looks to be a defensive battle, as the betting over/under for the final score currently sits around 45 points.

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Arkansas entered the Southwest Classic averaging 37.7 points per game. Texas A&M’s defense limited the Razorback attack to 3 scores and converted a turnover into a touchdown of its own to help the Aggies win a 23-21 game in Dallas.

The Aggies enter Week 5 No. 8 nationally in scoring defense at 11.8 points per game. Mississippi State comes in averaging 37.2 points per game, No. 36 among FBS teams. Bulldogs QB Will Rogers leads all SEC passers in yards per game (346.5) and touchdowns (16).

Zach Arnett’s Mississippi State defense is in the top-50 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 21.2 points per game. The Bulldogs are about to face a Texas A&M squad that ranks in the 100s in the 4 major offensive categories (rushing, passing, scoring and total offense).

Adding to Texas A&M’s offensive woes, leading wide receiver Ainias Smith (15 catches, 291 yards, 2 touchdowns) is out for the year. 5-star freshman Evan Stewart is No. 2 behind Smith with 13 catches for 141 yards and a TD. Smith and QB Max Johnson connected 3 times for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Arkansas game.

Facing an Arkansas defense that had allowed 353 passing yards per game, Texas A&M managed just 151 yards through the air in Week 4. Mississippi State is allowing 205.8 passing yards per game entering Week 5.

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Texas A&M’s rushing offense is No. 100 in the FBS at 127.2 yards per game. On the ground, the Bulldogs are allowing 113.5 yards per game (No. 44).

Texas A&M vs. Mississippi State prediction

Texas A&M has the better defense, while the Leach and Rogers combo gives Mississippi State the superior offense. MSU’s solid defense against the Aggies’ struggling offense down a key playmaker should give the Bulldogs the edge on Saturday.

Against Arkansas, Texas A&M was just 4-of-12 on 3rd down. Give Leach’s offense enough opportunities, and points will be scored no matter how good the opposing defense is.

Prediction: Mississippi State 24, Texas A&M 20