Mississippi St in recovery mode when Bowling Green visits

Bowling Green (1-2) at Mississippi State (2-1), Saturday, noon ET (SEC Network) Line: Mississippi State for 30 1/2, according to…

Bowling Green (1-2) at Mississippi State (2-1), Saturday, noon ET (SEC Network)

Line: State of Mississippi by 30 1/2, according to FanDuel.com Sportsbook.

Series: State of Mississippi leads 1-0.

WHAT IS AT STAKE

Mississippi State appears to be recovering from its 31-16 loss at LSU, in which it lost 21 straight points in the fourth quarter. Bowling Green looks to follow up on his 34-31 overtime win over Marshall, who defeated then-number 1.8 Notre Dame the week before.

KEY COMBINATION

Bowling Green QB Matt McDonald vs Mississippi State QB Will Rogers. They’re obviously not going toe-to-toe, but the game looks to be a passing contest with both tied for fourth nationally with 10 touchdowns each. McDonald played at least four touchdowns in two straight games, including a career-best five against Eastern Kentucky in a 59–57 seven-overtime loss. Rogers leads the nation with nearly 34 completions per game and is sixth with nearly 326 yards per game. He’s looking to bounce back from a 214-yard game at LSU, which scored his lowest total since his rookie season.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bowling Green: LB JB Brown made his presence felt across the field for the Falcons. He is second on the team with 19 total tackles (15 solo), including 2.5 per loss and one sack. Brown is also tied for third nationally with two forced fumbles. The Falcons rank seventh nationally with 12 sacks, and 10 players have at least half a sack.

Mississippi State: WR Rara Thomas is close to surpassing his rookie numbers as he leads the Bulldogs’ receiving corps. He has 14 receptions for 211 yards (10th in the SEC) with two TDs. He caught 18 passes for 252 yards and five touchdowns last season. Thomas is averaging 15.1 yards per catch and has seven touchdowns in his last eight games.

FACTS AND FIGURES

Bowling Green is facing an SEC opponent in back-to-back seasons for the first time since playing at Florida and Mississippi State in 2012-13. … BGSU is 4-9 against the SEC. … MSU only managed 289 yards against LSU, 214 passes. … Bulldogs WR Austin Williams played a school-record 53 games and is tied for sixth with 14 TD receptions. … MSU will honor Frank Dowsing Jr. and Robert Bell as their first African-American varsity players on the 50th anniversary of when they last dressed for the Bulldogs.

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