It’s the regular season finale on Saturday as the Missouri Tigers (5-4) head to Starkville to take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs (2-7) for their first road game since November 21st. Fortunately, there’s still plenty to play for in this one. Eli Drinkwitz will look to become Mizzou’s first-year head coach to have a winning record since Warren Powers in 1978, and there’s still a good opportunity for a high-profile bowl game as well.
Kick-off on Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. CST on the SEC Network Alternate Channel (because of course it is).
Here’s the Q and A as Landon Young of For Whom the Cowbell Tolls answered some questions about Mississippi State’s season thus far:
Sammy Stava: Mississippi State comes into the final game of the regular season with a record of 2-7. How disappointing has this first year been under Mike Leach, what were the main expectations coming into this season, and what has ultimately gone wrong for the Bulldogs?
Landon Young: I don’t think it’s a disappointing first year because we’re 2-7. I think it’s a disappointing first year because of what the Bulldogs did against LSU the first game of the season. The expectations were not high before that first game. I would have guessed we would have 3-4 wins on the board before the season started. I don’t necessarily think things have gone wrong. I think the Bulldogs are young and are still figuring out this Air Raid attack.
SS: There was a lot of hype surrounding K.J. Costello after the season-opening win at LSU, but injury issues have sidelined him ever since. Freshman quarterback Will Rogers has now stepped in and is getting valuable time. How would you grade Rogers’ performance so far? Do you still expect him to be the starting quarterback on Saturday?
LY: I would grade him with grace. The kid is a true freshman. Last year at this time, he was playing high school ball in Brandon, Mississippi. I think he has a lot of potential and has the fire of a QB that any team would want. I do expect him to be the starting QB on Saturday.
SS: There have been a lot of opt-outs this season for Mississippi State, and most notably star running back Kylin Hill. How differently do you think this season would have gone if he had stuck it out?
LY: Very differently. Kylin Hill was a playmaker. We don’t have that one player that stands out anymore. I think we’d have 2-3 more wins if he had stuck it out.
SS: At 2-7, it could be tough to find motivation for a game at this point in the season, but it will be Senior Day in Starkville. Do you think this team will be ready/excited to play this game or do you think they have kind of checked out to this point?
LY: I think the team is looking at it as another opportunity to play/practice. This season has been so strange, and I believe this team needs all the reps they can get against an SEC opponent.
SS: Missouri comes in as a two-point favorite. How do you see this game playing out on Saturday? Have a final score prediction?
LY: I think it will be a close one. Mississippi State’s defense should keep them in this game. I’ll go with 35-28 Bulldogs.