- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

No. 7 Texas A&M (7-1, 4-1 SEC, No. 4 CFP) at Mississippi State (3-5, 1-3), Noon, SEC Network

Line: Texas A&M by 13½.

Series Record: Texas A&M leads 5-4.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Texas A&M is still in the hunt for the SEC’s Western Division and very much in the discussion for the national playoffs after being slotted at No. 4 in the first college football playoff rankings. Mississippi State could use a marquee win in a season that’s been full of disappointing losses.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas A&M’s defensive line vs. Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald. The Aggies have some of the best defensive linemen in the nation, including ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall. They’ll be trying to get to Fitzgerald early and often. Fitzgerald has been inconsistent, but has also had a few huge games this year, including last Saturday when he threw for 417 yards passing and ran for 119 more yards in a win over Samford.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M: QB Trevor Knight. The graduate transfer has been very good for the Aggies this season, throwing for 1,868 yards and 13 touchdowns while also running for 529 yards and nine touchdowns.

Mississippi State: WR Donald Gray. The Bulldogs’ second-leading receiver had a breakout game against Samford last week, catching four passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

Mississippi State DE A.J. Jefferson is fourth in the SEC with 10 tackles for loss. … Fitzgerald is fourth in the SEC in total offense at just over 269 yards per game. … Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk leads the SEC with 54 receptions. … A win would give Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin at least eight wins in each of his first five seasons at the school. … Garrett and Hall have combined for 7½ sacks, 18 quarterback hurries and 19 tackles for loss this season.

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