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Trench War/Fare: Mississippi State

Come for the line talk, stay for the food

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Aggies came up just short against Ole Miss on Saturday, missing a game-tying field goal as regulation ended. Texas A&M now comes back home to take on the other school from the Magnolia State - the Bulldogs from Starkville. While Texas A&M has struggled on the road, their lone loss at home has come to SEC West leader - Alabama. Mississippi State has faced struggles of their own in 2023. The Bulldogs have just one conference win, a 7-3 victory over Auburn. To reach bowl eligibility, Mississippi State must win two of their next three. Let’s talk about what Texas A&M needs to do to prevent a surprising home loss to the Bulldogs.

Offensive Line

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s offensive line had one of their better performances on Saturday in Oxford. The Aggies surrendered just one sack against Ole Miss and though Max Johnson didn’t come out of the contest unscathed, he had more protection than usual. The rushing attack also proved more successful on Saturday with the Aggies averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Both Amari Daniels and Le’Veon Moss averaged over five yards.

Mississippi State’s defense plays with physicality but can be outmatched on the perimeter at times. Additionally, while the strength of the Bulldogs lies with the interior, they aren’t particularly adept at rushing the passer - ranking in the back half of the league in sacks.

If Texas A&M can successfully replicate even a small part of their success from the road trip to Ole Miss, the Aggies should handle Mississippi State with ease. Jimbo Fisher’s squad doesn’t need a lot out of it’s squad on Saturday as the Bulldogs have yet to score more than 17 points against SEC West competition.

Defensive Line

NCAA Football: Texas A&M at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas A&M defensive line didn’t have a particularly great performance on Saturday, though most of the fault for the loss lies with the secondary. The Aggies front seven performed well against the run until Ole Miss completed big passes and went with tempo. The resulting approach wore down the Texas A&M defensive line.

Unsurprisingly, Texas A&M surrendered the most points since their Week Two loss to Miami. The most disheartening aspect of the performance was that the Aggie defense had a real shot to clinch the game after the offense took the lead in the fourth quarter. Ole Miss marched down the field with ease, leading to the game-winning touchdown.

The good news for the Aggies?

Texas A&M’s front seven should absolutely dominate Mississippi State. As mentioned above, the Bulldog offense has struggled mightily in SEC play. They managed just three points last week against Kentucky and haven’t fared much better against other SEC competition with the exception of South Carolina.

State is going to attempt to possess the ball and drain the clock with their rushing attack. This should limit the exposure of the Texas A&M secondary while allowing the interior of the defensive line to do what they excel at. I’m expecting a big bounce-back performance from this unit on Saturday. It’s a perfect stylistic matchup for Texas A&M to limit this Mississippi State team to a poor performance.


Brisket Crunchwrap from CM Smokehouse in Austin, TX
Jay Arnold-Good Bull Hunting

I am a huge fan of the culinary niche that Taco Bell occupies in the fast food world. One of the signature items is the crunchwrap supreme. At CM Smokehouse in Austin, they offer an incredible interpretation of the Taco Bell classic.

With smoked brisket serving as the meat filling and a few other personal touches that elevate the Taco Bell classic, the brisket crunchwrap from CM Smokehouse is one of the most dynamic bites you can get in a city full of great barbecue. I’m a huge fan of the entire menu and highly recommend dropping by if you find yourself in the capital city of the Lone Star State.

Plus with the Aggies finally getting a night kick, what better way to celebrate than by getting a late-night staple infused with barbecue?

What do you have on the menu for Texas A&M’s meeting with Mississippi State?