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Abilene Christian at Mississippi State
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 23, 2019
Where: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi

It's been a rough year for Mississippi State heading into Saturday evening's homecoming matchup with Abilene Christian of the Southland Conference. The Bulldogs have lost five of their last six after last week's 38-7 drubbing at the hands of No. 5 Alabama and they still need victories in their final two games to have a chance to extend the school record for consecutive bowl appearances to 10.

"We knew against a team of Alabama's caliber we were going to have to come in and play a clean game and execute well," Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead told reporters afterward. "Certainly spotting them a 14-0 lead within the first few minutes didn't help. I thought our kids played hard and competed until the last whistle, but at the end of the day, we didn't coach or play well enough to beat a team like Alabama." The Bulldogs were far more competitive against the top teams in the SEC a year ago, but this season they have lost by at least 21 points to all three of the SEC West division's top teams -- Auburn (56-23), LSU (36-13) and Alabama (38-7). Moorhead says the team hasn't "necessarily (taken) a step back," but one week after rolling up a season-high 640 yards in a win over Arkansas, the Bulldogs managed just 270 yards against Alabama, just three more than their worst outing of the season against Tennessee (267). Abilene Christian's offense hasn't performed any better the last two weeks in home losses to Sam Houston State (24-10) and Southeastern Louisiana (35-14), with the Wildcats getting held below 300 yards in both contests.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network Alternate. LINE: None

ABOUT ABILENE CHRISTIAN (5-6): Quarterbacks Sema'J Davis and Luke Anthony each threw three interceptions and were sacked four times last week, but the two did combine to pass for 248 yards, the Wildcats' second-highest passing yardage total in the last seven games. Sophomore receiver Kobe Clark caught six passes for 104 yards in the loss to boost his receptions to 76, moving him into second place in the school record book for single-season receptions behind Ronnie Vinson (82 in 1969). Senior running back Tracy James had his 11-game scoring streak come to an end as the ground game was held to just 35 yards, way below the rushing average entering the game (196.5).

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (4-6): The passing attack couldn't get anything going against Alabama with Tommy Stevens hitting 12-of-21 passes for just 82 yards, but Stevens, who has rushed for 222 yards all year, led the way with 96 of the team's 188 yards rushing. Running back Kylin Hill is the only player in the SEC with 1,000 yards rushing (1,062) and at least 10 rushing touchdowns as he scored his 10th against Alabama for the team's lone score. The Bulldogs, who rank 70th in the country in rushing yards allowed per game (161.7), have held 20 of their last 23 opponents below 200 yards on the ground, tied for third most in the SEC during that time.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Mississippi State has won nine straight homecoming games.

2. Hill has not lost a fumble in 387 career carries.

3. The Bulldogs are tied for third in the SEC with 18 takeaways (seven INTs, 11 fumble recoveries) in 10 games this season.

PREDICTION: Mississippi State 37, Abilene Christian 17
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Abilene Christian 5-6 L2 29.9 27.1 4-2 1-4 5-2 0-0 4-5
Mississippi State 4-6 L1 26.5 31.0 2-3 2-3 2-6 0-0 2-5
Last Meeting
Abilene Christian Mississippi State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Abilene Christian N/A
Mississippi State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Abilene Christian N/A
Mississippi State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Abilene Christian N/A
Mississippi State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Abilene Christian N/A
Mississippi State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Abilene Christian L. Anthony 70.6 273 1 0
Mississippi State G. Shrader 55.1 1022 7 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Abilene Christian T. James 16 106 6.6 2
Mississippi State K. Hill 192 1062 5.5 10
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Abilene Christian J. Fink 2 72 36.0 1
Mississippi State O. Mitchell 26 377 14.5 5
Touchdowns Player TD
Abilene Christian T. James 2
Mississippi State K. Hill 10
Quickchart Matchup
Abilene Christian Abilene Christian Off vs  Mississippi State Mississippi State Def
Abilene Christian 41.5 yards
Mississippi State 401.5 yards
Abilene Christian 5.1 yards/rush
Mississippi State 4.8 yards/rush
Abilene Christian 7.8 yards/attempt
Mississippi State 8.7 yards/attempt
Mississippi State Mississippi State Off vs  Abilene Christian Abilene Christian Def
Mississippi State 394 yards
Abilene Christian 52.3 yards
Mississippi State 5.2 yards/rush
Abilene Christian 5.6 yards/rush
Mississippi State 7.3 yards/attempt
Abilene Christian 10.1 yards/attempt