After a surprising 45-41 loss to Auburn, Texas A&M has righted the ship with two consecutive wins over Vanderbilt and UTEP. In a season that has been slightly disappointing, next up will be the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who have only one victory in the SEC, although they kept it close for a half against South Carolina.
Something worth watching will be the A&M defense, which appears to have turned a corner a bit -- after allowing more than 30 points in three straight games, their victories over Vanderbilt and UTEP showed much better results on that side of the ball. Even when factoring in the competition, it is at least somewhat encouraging. A 41st-ranked MSU offense will provide a much better measuring stick, though -- Vandy and UTEP rank 70th and 84th in total offense this year.
Rankings and records: The No. 15 Aggies have a 3-3 record against MSU, and they won last season's game, 38-13.
Weather: Sunny with a high of 72 from Kyle Field.
Three names to know
Dak Prescott (Mississippi State quarterback) -- The Bulldogs have their own Johnny Manziel in the 6'2, 230-pound junior. His passing still leaves much to be desired, but Prescott has rushed for 568 yards and 10 touchdowns on the year, including a 133-yard performance against Auburn.
Howard Matthews (Texas A&M defensive back) -- Highlights have been few for a struggling Aggies defense, but Matthews is among them with his 67 tackles, three interceptions and eight passes broken up.
Darian Claiborne (Texas A&M linebacker) -- One of the players who will be chasing around Prescott all game, Claiborne has a team high 6.0 tackles for loss. If he can add a few more to that number on Saturday, it would help greatly.
Two things at stake
With two losses on the year already, A&M is pretty much out of the SEC West chase. Still, wins remain important for postseason positioning, and with No. 13 LSU and No. 8 Missouri to close out the season, the Aggies don't have many easy ones on schedule. They could be staring down an 8-4 finish -- and without a win in this one, it could go as low as 7-5.
Mississippi State is still alive in bowl contention, and they'll have to split two of their final four games to do it. Besides this Saturday's matchup with A&M, the Bulldogs will also get Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss. Postseason play is very much in sight and would get much easier with an upset.
How to witness
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Online streaming: SEC Live
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