Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
East Tennessee State has been dominant at home so far this season, but they’ve left something to be desired with their losses on the road against UNC Wilmington and in their last outing against Dayton. ETSU brings back a lot of talent and adds some intriguing transfers to a roster that has the potential to compete for the SoCon title, but the Bucs need to start playing with more confidence in road settings to reach their ultimate goals. ETSU has been putting up some strong numbers, boosted somewhat by a manageable slate, standing 62nd in the nation in scoring average and 92nd in total defense. ETSU has better talent and depth than most mid-majors and this group is led by veteran guard T.J. Cromer who’s averaging 17.4 points per game.
Mississippi State remains a work in progress under head coach Ben Howland who’s bringing in his players to run the system he’s been implementing. The Bulldogs have opened the year 6-2 overall and Mississippi State looked strong in their last outing getting past Georgia State at home by a final of 82-60. Mississippi State has played in some of their best games of the year over the past couple weeks, but this group is still developing ranking 228th in the nation in scoring average and 110th in total defense. The Bulldogs have been led by Quinndary Weatherspoon who’s averaging 18.3 points per contest.
This should be a competitive matchup between a mid to lower tier SEC team and one of the best teams from the SoCon. ETSU hasn’t been playing up to their abilities on the road thus far, but this is another chance for the Bucs to prove themselves in the nonconference. We like ETSU to push for the upset as they go on to cover the spread.
East Tenn St +1.5 -110