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Stark Villains

Back in September of 2017, the Dawgs were still perceived as a team that under-performed in big games. This was probably a justifiable opinion, given the outcome of multiple ranked match-ups in the latter part of the CMR era. Of course, Coach Kirby Smart was the new sheriff in town and was dead set on changing the national narrative. In week 2 of the 2017 season, the Dawgs had gutted out a 20-19 victory at Notre Dame in true freshmen QB Jake Fromm's first collegiate start. Heading in to the 2017 season, we knew that the defense and running game were going to be great, but once Jacob Eason got hurt, it was hard to know what the ceiling of the team was. In week 4, Dan Mullen and his Mississippi State Bulldogs came to Athens looking to temper the expectations of Dawg Nation. ESPN Analytics even gave Mississippi State a slight edge going in to the game. All they had was the audacity!!




Not so fast, my friend! The Dawgs had other ideas. A 31-3 beat down, sparked by a flea flicker to Terry Godwin on UGA's first offensive snap, had Sanford Stadium rocking the entire night. The Dawgs cleared a mental hurdle, and this game was a turning point of sorts for the program. Few doubts remained about whether a Kirby Smart led UGA program would deliver in high pressure situations. On a side note, Dynamite Dan Mullen took over the Florida job the following season, and this game foreshadowed how many of the future CKS vs Mullen meetings would go.


Dtru's nickels

  1. After week 10, Bill Connelly's SP+ has Mississippi State ranked 21st overall (33rd offensive and 28th defensive).

  2. Mississippi State is ranked 29th overall in the 247 Sports College Football Team Talent Composite.

  3. Miss. State HC Mike Leach (aside from being widely known as an enigma) is the co-founder of the Air Raid offense which became popular in the late 1990s. ICYMI, his teams like to throw the ball...... a lot. So far in 2022, Miss. State has attempted 439 passes, the 2nd most in the country (for comparison purposes, Stetson Bennett has attempted 292 passes which is 35th most). All that to say, Miss. State will throw it early and often on Saturday.

  4. Expectations were high for QB Will Rogers heading into this season, as he was coming off a 2021 season in which he completed 74% of his passes and threw for more than 4,700 yards. Rogers has been pretty good so far in 2022, but has seen a drop off in accuracy and is currently 43rd in the country with a QBR of 67.1 per ESPN. Rara Thomas is the leading WR for Miss. State, but Rogers spreads the wealth, as Miss. State currently has 8 different WR/RB with at least 200 receiving yards this year.

  5. Dillon Johnson and Jo'quavious Marks are the leading rushers for Miss. State. As ESPN noted in the screenshot below, Miss. State is only averaging 81 YPG on the ground. 247 Sports Mississippi State Insider Paul Jones noted that Miss. State has been able to run for 140+ in wins over Texas A&M and Arkansas. In each of their losses against LSU, Alabama, and Kentucky, Miss. State had less than 75 rushing yards. While the team is recognized for its dangerous passing game, it seems that running the ball effectively has been a critical part of its wins this season. We saw what happened last week when the Junkyard Dawgs managed to shut down the Tennessee rushing attack and make them one-dimensional. The havoc plays came in bunches on obvious passing downs. Let's hope the Dawgs are able to do that again this week.



The defending national champions will be playing in their 2nd SEC night game of the year on the road, despite having 0 such games at Sanford Stadium. The disrespect continues! Starkville can be a tricky place, and the cowbells together with a cold front that is moving in could make the conditions interesting. On top of that, the Dawgs will be facing the Air Raid offense, the pesky 3-3-5 defense that Miss. State runs, and an SEC crowd that has spent the whole day drinking. I am sure that Coach Kirby Smart has been staying on the team all week to avoid a letdown, and I feel confident that the culture he has built within the program will carry us through challenging environments like this.


After successfully taking Dawgs -8.5 last week against Tenn, Kritesh aka The Notorious K.R.I.T, is back to make everyone some more money. He is on UGA -16.5, with a score prediction of Dawgs 35 - Miss. State 17. For those keeping score, Kritesh is now 2-0 ATS this season when making guest picks on Dtru's Dimes.


Go Dawgs!

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