- Associated Press - Thursday, October 25, 2018

No. 16 Texas A&M; (5-2, 3-1 SEC) at Mississippi State (4-3, 1-3), 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Line: Mississippi State by 2½.

Series record: Mississippi State leads 6-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Texas A&M; is trying to continue its impressive rise in the SEC West under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher. Mississippi State’s first-year coach Joe Moorhead is trying to fix the offense and get a disappointing season back on track.

KEY MATCHUP

Texas A&M; RB Trayveon Williams vs. Mississippi State’s defense. Williams has been one of the most productive backs in the SEC, with 798 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. He’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Mississippi State counters with a defense that’s one of the best in the nation and has elite playmakers along the line such as DE Montez Sweat and DL Jeffery Simmons.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas A&M;: TE Jace Sternberger. He’s been an important part of Texas A&M;’s passing game with 29 catches for 496 yards and six touchdowns.

Mississippi State: QB Nick Fitzgerald. It’s been a tough senior season for the three-year starter, who has thrown just four touchdowns and seven interceptions in six starts, including four interceptions against LSU last week. Fitzgerald is still running the ball well, but the Bulldogs have to figure out how to get the passing game going.

FACTS & FIGURES

Texas A&M; can clinch bowl eligibility for a school-record 10th straight season with a win. The Aggies also have their highest national ranking since 2016. … The Texas A&M-Mississippi; State series is tied at 3-3 since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012. … Texas A&M; P Braden Mann leads all of FBS with a 54.5-yard punting average. … Mississippi State’s Simmons and Sweat have combined for 48 tackles for a loss over the past 20 games. … Mississippi State has allowed just eight offensive touchdowns this season, which is the fewest in the nation.

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More AP college football: www.apnews.com/tag/collegefootball and www.twitter.com/AP_Top25 .


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