Game 1 Prediction: Jackson State at MSU

The matchup: Jackson State (9-2 last season) at Mississippi State (7-6)

The kickoff: 6:08 p.m., Fox Sports Net

The weather: Hot and wet

The line: No line

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Despite some buzz about this on Twitter, Tim Couch did not pick JSU to upset the Bulldogs. That’s because, as the color anaylst for this game, he recused himself from making a prediction. But if he were to pick, Couch would not be so foolish as to take Jackson State. None of us would be so foolish.

So let’s not even pretend JSU has a chance to win this game. Sure, there are some nice players on this team, like receiver Tobias Singleton (formerly of Ole Miss) and defensive end Joseph LeBeau (16 sacks last year). And by year’s end, JSU’s offense will probably again be near the top in a lot of categories. Rick Comegy is a good, veteran coach who will have the Tiger contending for the SWAC title.

But MSU is going to win this one going away. It should, right? Tyler Russell will be flinging it around to a boat load of receivers, LaDarius Perkins will speed past linebackers, and that MSU defensive line will wreak havoc in the Jackson State backfield.

The main goals for MSU, besides winning, should be to get lots of players in the game and stay healthy. Set things up for the big game against Auburn next week. The only question I have is how many yards Russell will throw for (and how long will he even be in the game)?

A blowout? Most certainly, although I suppose a wet track could help even the playing field. Or not.

The prediction: MSU 42, Jackson State 10.