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Can RedHawks Exorcise SEC Demons In St. Petersburg Bowl?

It has been a weird season for the Miami RedHawks, but if they want to cap it off in style, they will need to top the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the St. Petersburg Bowl. This matchup can’t exactly spell hope for Miami, losers of eight straight games against SEC opponents.

Shark Bites
  • Mississippi State is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games in the playoffs.
  • Miami is 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Mississippi State's last 15 games after a win.

This has been a season of two halves for Miami, which opened the season going 0-6 only to win six in a row and become bowl-eligible in the last game of the season. The change was largely due to the return of quarterback Gus Ragland, who missed the first six games while recovering from an ACL tear. The sophomore has proceeded to complete 62.4 percent of his passes while throwing 15 touchdowns and no interceptions in his six starts.

Ragland’s comeback also provided a boost to the defence, no longer having to constantly work from behind. The RedHawks defense went from giving up 29.3 points per game in the first six to just 19.3 in the final six games. The secondary features a pair of ball hawks with both Heath Harding and De’Andre Montgomery recording four picks this season.

Quarterback play was always critical to Mississippi State’s offensive success and that has been reinforced this season now that Dak Prescott is gone. Nick Fitzgerald has earned the starting role, but his play has basically dictated how the team fares. In the Bulldogs’ seven losses, Fitzgerald accounted for six touchdowns and five picks, while he threw for 15 touchdowns and five interceptions in wins. Fitzgerald also happens to be the team’s leading rusher by a wide margin.

Mississippi State ranks near the bottom of the nation in yards allowed, surrendering 461 yards per game. The Bulldogs have been especially terrible at defending the pass, permitting opposing quarterbacks to complete over 60 percent of their passes, and have given up 31 touchdowns through the air.

Miami-OH RedHawks vs Mississippi State Bulldogs Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Supporters of the Miami-OH RedHawks have seen them go 6-6 and 8-4 ATS so far this season, while the Mississippi State Bulldogs are at 5-7 and 5-7 ATS. In totals betting, the Bulldogs are 7-5, while the RedHawks are 4-8. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Mississippi State vs Miami-OH injuries news.

The OddsShark Power Rankings have the Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 82 and the Miami-OH RedHawks at No. 57 heading into this contest.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Mississippi State Bulldogs No. 51-ranked offense (31.5 PPG) against a Miami-OH RedHawks defense that ranks No. 42 at 24.33 PPG. The Mississippi State Bulldogs passing attack has averaged 215.33 yards per game, more than the Miami-OH RedHawks give up through the air (214.92 YPG on average).

In comparing defenses, the Miami-OH RedHawks own the league's No. 23-rated front 7 in terms of stopping the run, allowing 133.17 yards per game when on the road. Mississippi State, on the other hand, rates No. 23 this week in generating rushing yards at home.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

In their last game, Miami-OH's aerial attack generated 380 yards and the RedHawks came away with a 21-20 victory over Ball State at Fred C Yager Stadium.

Ole Miss was unable to contain Nick Fitzgerald in its last action Saturday and the result was a 55-20 Week 13 loss against the Bulldogs.

Betting Trends
  • Miami-OH is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Miami-OH is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • Miami-OH is 8-15 SU in its last 23 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Miami-OH's last 11 games
  • Mississippi State is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Mississippi State's last 5 games