No. 21 Mississippi St tries to keep momentum vs. La Tech

Louisiana Tech (6-2) at No. 21 Mississippi State (5-3, No. 18 CFP), 7:30 p.m. EDT (SEC Network)

Line: Mississippi State by 23½.

Series record: Mississippi State leads 10-3.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Louisiana Tech’s had a very good season and already shown it can be competitive against an SEC team after playing LSU tough in a 38-21 loss. Mississippi State is trying to keep momentum after an impressive 28-13 victory over Texas A&M.

KEY MATCHUP

Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald vs. Louisiana Tech DE Jaylon Ferguson. Fitzgerald has had an up-and-down season but was very good in the win against Texas A&M, throwing for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Ferguson’s among the most productive defensive linemen in the country and leads the nation with 10½ sacks this season. He’s also the nation’s active career leader with 38 sacks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Louisiana Tech: WR Adrian Hardy. He’s the Bulldogs‘ deep threat in the passing game, catching 38 balls for 644 yards and five touchdowns.

Mississippi State: LB Erroll Thompson. The defensive line gets a lot of publicity, but Thompson is a great player in his own right. His 53 tackles are second on the team and his fourth-quarter interception against Texas A&M helped seal the win.

FACTS & FIGURES

Louisiana Tech is bowl eligible for a fifth straight season. The program has won four straight bowl games. … Ferguson needs six more sacks to tie the NCAA’s all-time career record, which is 44 by Terrell Suggs. … Mississippi State has allowed just nine offensive touchdowns this season, which leads the nation. … QB Nick Fitzgerald has run for at least 100 yards 18 times during his career. The Bulldogs have a 15-3 record in those games.