TUCSON, AP — The Wildcats host the Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday night at Arizona Stadium in Game 8 of the schedule against a Southeastern Conference team.
- MATCH: Mississippi State (1-0) at Arizona (1-0), Saturday, 8:00 p.m. MST
- TV: FS1 Radio: KCUB-AM 1290 (Wildcats Radio 1290)
- LINE: Mississippi State by 11½ (FanDuel Sportsbook)
- SERIES: First encounter.
WHAT IS AT STAKE?
It’s a fascinating Pac-12/SEC showdown featuring teams that looked impressive in Week 1. Mississippi State coach Mike Leach is in his third season and Air Raid offense. was fully effective in a 49-23 season opener win over Memphis. Arizona picked up one of the most surprising wins of Opening Week when they went on the road and beat San Diego State 38-20. The victory signified significant progress in coach Jedd Fisch’s second season at Tucson.
Mississippi State QB Will Rogers put up monster numbers against Memphis, finishing with 450 passing yards for five touchdowns and one interception. Arizona’s defense allowed just 62 passing yards in the win over San Diego State, but Leach’s offense will provide an entirely different test.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mississippi State: WR Rara Thomas is on a hot streak dating back to last season, catching six touchdown passes in his last six games. He finished with a career-high 81 yards on five receptions, including 71 yards after receiving.
Arizona: WR Jacob Cowing made a terrific debut for the Wildcats, catching three touchdown passes in the win over San Diego State. The UTEP transfer seems to have formed a quick bond with QB Jayden de Laura, who is also a transfer from Washington State.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- The Wildcats are 1-5-1 all-time against opponents in the Southeastern Conference.
- Leach is 4-2 against Arizona since coaching Washington State.
- De Laura threw for 299 yards and four touchdowns against San Diego St. The quarterback is 6-0 in games he throws at least three touchdowns.
- There are 1,474 miles between Starkville and Tucson. It’s the longest road trip for Mississippi State since completing 1,710 miles to BYU in 2016.
- Mississippi State completed passes to 12 different receivers against Memphis.
- Rogers led the SEC with 364.5 passing yards per game last season.
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