The Choctaws have started their season hit and miss. After taking a tough loss to Alcorn State, they got a nice win over the Albany State Rams. They followed that win up with a big victory over the North Greenville Crusaders on First-Responders’ Day / Family Day. But have since taken back to back losses at West Florida down in Pensacola and over at Valdosta Georgia.
Next up is Florida Tech on Military Appreciation Day, at home in Robinson-Hale Stadium. I haven’t seen NCAAF Odds on the game, but if I were handicapping this game, it would definitely be under a touchdown point spread. Right before the start of the 2019 season, experts predicted the Flordia Tech Panthers to place 5th in the Gulf South Conference. That prediction may not be far off as the Panthers are currently riding the 4th place spot just behind Delta State, West Florida, and Valdosta State.
The Choctaws are sitting in 6th at the moment, with a 1-2 conference record and 2 -3 overall. Winning this game could potentially slide the Choctaws into 4th, as the Panthers and ‘Taws would have a similar record, however, the Mississippi College would be up on the head to head. That said, this would depend on what happens with West Georgia this week. As well as Delta State. Delta State is likely to take a loss to Valdosta State which put Delta with the same conference record and overall record as Mississippi College. So technically, the Choctaws could end up tied for 3rd.
Right now the Mississippi College Choctaws are scoring 21.6 per game overall and allowing a whopping 31.6 points per game on defense. But at home, those numbers improve to 31.5 points per game on offense and just 22 points per game allowed by the Choctaw defense. Passing-wise Mississippi College puts up just 80.2 yards per game, but they make up for it with 182.2 rushing yards per affair.
The Panthers are putting up 30.8 points per game on offense and holding teams to just 24.6 on average. But on the road that average drops a bit to 27 and the defensive number gets raised to 26.67 points per game. Where the Panthers get the bulk of their yardage is in the passing game, putting up just a hair under 280 per game. They also manage around 161 rushing yards per duel. In sheer yardage, the Panthers hold the advantage, but in home versus away scoring, the Choctaws win-out. Mississippi College is scoring 4.5 more points at home than Florida Tech does on the road and is better defensively as well, with an allowed scoring margin differential of 4 points and change. All in all, the Choctaws are about 8 points better in this home vs. away matchup, statistically speaking. So, Mississippi College has a legitimate chance at handing Florida Tech their first road loss this season.
The Panthers pass defense is pretty stout, only allowing 174. 4 per game, so we shouldn’t expect the Choctaws to run up the numbers there. But the Panthers have proven to be vulnerable upfront, allowing 198.2 yards on the ground per game. So expect John Bland to pound the rock into the Panthers’ gut all day, controlling the clock and wearing that defense down.
It’s not going to be an easy win, but this is definitely a winnable game. My prediction is Mississippi College wins, 27-24.