Matchups: Who comes out on top between Mississippi State and East Tennessee State?

The state of Mississippi plays its annual egg bowl tuning game at home on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (6-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) take on East Tennessee State (3-7, 1-7 Southern Conference), their only FCS opponent of the season, at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Here’s who comes out on top in each position between MSU and ETSU.

quarterback

Mississippi’s Will Rogers is 3,173 passing yards this season and completing 67.1 percent of his passes with 27 touchdown passes and five interceptions. For East Tennessee, Tyler Riddell has a completion percentage of 54.5. He has thrown 15 touchdown passes and nine interceptions for a total of 1,903 yards so far this year.

Edge: State of Mississippi

Back race

Jacob Saylors has rushed for an impressive 1,264 yards for the Buccaneers this season, good for sixth place among FCS teams (and what would be fifth in FBS). Saylors has 15 touchdowns and is averaging six yards per carry. For MSU, Jo’quavious Marks wins this season with 398 rushing yards to Johnson’s 415 overall over Dillon Johnson.

Edge: Even

Wide receiver/tight end

Sophomore Rara Thomas remains Mississippi State’s leading receiver with rushing yards for 563 this season. Rufus Harvey – who passed Caleb Ducking for second place – and Jaden Walley each had big games against Georgia, while Lideatrick Griffin received some offensive touches. At ETSU, Will Huzzie leads the team with 531 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Einaj Carter has 436 yards and four points.

Edge: State of Mississippi

offensive line

ETSU has allowed 22 sacks this season while Mississippi State has waived 20. Of course, the quality of the competition matters a lot as MSU faces much more talented defenses week in and week out. The Bucs run five yards per carry while the MSU averages 3.5 yards per carry. But an FCS O-line can hardly compete with an SEC unit.

Edge: State of Mississippi

line of defense

The Mississippi State defensive line brought Jaden Crumedy back against Auburn, a big boost for a unit that hadn’t quite lived up to expectations all season. The Bulldogs have allowed 4.5 yards per carry and have 21 sacks, slightly below FBS averages. East Tennessee State has 17 sacks this season and is allowing 4.1 yards per rush attempt. But again, an SEC line is hard to hit here.

Edge: State of Mississippi

linebacker

Mississippi State middle linebacker Nathaniel Watson has had as many as 94 tackles this season, including four sacks — he’s second on the team. Tyrus Wheat leads the team with five sacks and secured an interception of his own defense against Georgia while Jett Johnson had 84 tackles for the Bulldogs. For the ETSU, linebacker Chandler Martin has 99 tackles and is ranked 11th in the FCS. Martin’s 3.5 sacks are tied for the team lead. Outside linebacker Erek Campbell has 53 tackles and an interception.

Edge: State of Mississippi

Secondary

ETSU’s Alijah Huzzie has tied Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes with five interceptions this season and tied for second in the FCS. But ETSU is 104th of 123 FCS teams in allowed yards, giving up 264.1 yards per game through the air. MSU has conceded 218.1 yards per game — against obviously stronger offenses.

Edge: State of Mississippi

Special teams

East Tennessee’s Tyler Keltner has had 17 of 22 field goals and 10 of 11 attempts within 40 yards this season. Mississippi State is 9-of-13 in terms of field goals, with Massimo Biscardi on form in the last two games. The Bulldogs’ lead in the second leg is undeniable, with punt returner Zavion Thomas scoring a touchdown against Georgia, which adds to Lideatrick Griffin’s electric skills in the kickoff return department.

Edge: State of Mississippi

Appetizers

State of East Tennessee

offense

QB 2 Tyler Riddell Sun.

RB8 Jacob Saylors Sr.

WR 11 Isaiah Wilson Jr.

WR6 Einaj Carter Jr.

WR 9 Will Huzzie Jr.

TE 40 Noah West Sun.

LT76 Blake Austin Sun.

LG66 Shaun Hastings Sr.

C62 Joe Schreiber Sr.

RG 71 Tavon Matthews Jr.

RT 64 Braxton Shipp Fri

defense

DE 44 Davion hood Fr.

NT74 Timmy Dorsey Sr.

EN 93 Max Evans Sun.

OLB 3 Jalen Porter Jr.

ILB0 Stephen Scott Jr.

ILB 11 Kramer Martin Fr.

OLB 25 Di’Andre Davis Sun.

CB7 Quinn Smith Jr

P 14 Chris Hopefully.

S9 Mike Price Jr.

CB 28 Aliyah Huzzie Sun.

Special teams

K19 Tyler Keltner Jr.

P 49 Gauge Kelley Fr.

State of Mississippi

offense

QB 2 Will Rogers Jr.

RB 7 Jo’quavious Marks Jr.

-or 23 Dillon Johnson Jr.

-or 22 Simeon Price Fr.

WR 0 Rare Thomas So.

WR 85 Austin Williams Gr.

WR82 Rufus Harvey Sun.

WR 4 Caleb Ducking Sr.

LT 66 Kwatrivous Johnson Sr.

LG64 Nick Jones Jr.

C 63 LaQuinston Sharp Gr.

RG57 Cole Smith Sr.

RT58 Cameron Jones Jr.

-or 76 Albert Reese IV Fr.

defense

DE 6 Jordan Davis Gr.

NT 93 Cameron Young Sr.

DT 94 Jaden Crumedy Gr.

SLB 2 Tire Wheat Sr.

MLB 14 Nathaniel Watson Sr.

WLB 44 Jett Johnson Gr.

CB13 Emmanuel Forbes Jr.

S 8 Jackie Matthews Gr.

S19Collin Duncan Sr.

S0 Jalen Green Sr.

CB 3 Decamerion Richardson Jr.

Special teams

K 29 Massimo Biscardi size.

P 56 Archer Trafford Sr.

-or 88 George Georgopoulos Gr.

Theo DeRosa covers Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.

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