Mississippi St vs Georgia: Early season showdown in SEC
The Associated Press
Sep. 21, 2017
No. 17 Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at No. 11 Georgia (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Georgia by 6.
Series record: Georgia leads 17-6.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
This early season showdown will go a long way toward determining the best team in the Southeastern Conference after top-ranked Alabama. Mississippi State is eager to show its 30-point blowout of LSU was no fluke, while Georgia is looking to return to prominence in the SEC after a disappointing debut season for coach Kirby Smart. this game is especially important for Georgia, which travels to Tennessee and Vanderbilt the next two weeks.
Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald vs. Georgia OLB Lorenzo Carter. Fitzgerald had a breakout performance against LSU, throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more. The Georgia native was passed over by the Bulldogs. Carter is having a monster year, recovering a pair of fumbles at Notre Dame and following up last week with two sacks against Samford.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mississippi State: DT Jeffery Simmons. The sophomore leads the nation with two blocked kicks and scored two touchdowns against Louisiana Tech, the first defensive player to accomplish that feat for Mississippi State since 2009. He has 17 tackles and 2.5 sacks.
Georgia: QB Jake Fromm. He's hardly looked like a freshman since taking over in the first quarter of the season opener when Jacob Eason went down with a sprained knee. Fromm has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes for 449 yards, with five TDs and just one interception.
FACTS & FIGURES
This is the first meeting since 2011. ... It's also the first time since 1989 that Georgia has opened its conference schedule against Mississippi State. ... Georgia's running back duo, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, has combined for 450 yards on the ground. ... Mississippi State ranks sixth nationally in points allowed (9.3 per game). ... Georgia S Dominick Sanders has 12 career interceptions, giving him a shot at the school record held by College Football Hall of Famer Jake Scott (16). Another Hall of Famer, Scott Woerner, is second on the list with 13. ... Mississippi State is 3-0 for the first time since 2014.