Tulsa vs

Mississippi St.

at Fort Worth
Thu, Dec 31
9:00 AM Pacific
Rotation: 317
Odds: Mississippi St. +2.5, Total: 49

Game Analysis

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Note: The Strong Opinion on the Under 49 was released to subscribers last week when the total was higher. The total dropped since then, partially due to my release of the under and partially due to worse than expected weather.

Strong Opinion – Under (49) – Mississippi State (+2.5)  19   Tulsa  18

Original predicted score was 21-19

Note: The weather in Fort Worth for the Armed Forces bowl between Tulsa and Mississippi State is dreadful, with heavy rain and 15 mph winds. Those weather conditions affect passing by 0.6 yards per pass play and usually force a slower pace due to more running. I don’t expect Mississippi State to run the ball that much more, but Tulsa probably will. Overall, the weather is likely to reduce scoring by 5.6 points and I had only had a bit more than a 2 point adjustment when I checked the weather forecast before releasing the under as a Strong Opinion last week.

Both of these teams are much better defensively than offensively and I don’t expect either team to move the ball consistently in this game. The constraint on the Strong Opinion Under is now 45 points or higher.

Tulsa has been mediocre offensively, averaging 5.7 yppl and 27.3 points against teams that would combine to allow 5.7 yppl to an average team. Mississippi State’s defense has been really good this season, yielding only 5.7 yppl and 28.3 points per game against an SEC schedule of teams that would combine to average 6.6 yppl versus an average defensive team. Tulsa is projected to gain just 308 yards at 4.9 yppl in this game.

Mississippi State mysteriously scored 51 points (37 by the offense) and averaged 6.9 yppl in their final game against Missouri but that random outburst was preceded by 8 games in which the Bulldogs averaged only 14 points and scored 24 points or fewer in each game. The only two teams that Miss State scored 24 points or more against this season rank as average (Missouri) or bad (LSU) defensively and Tulsa’s defense has been very good all season. The Golden Hurricane have yielded only 20.8 points per game and 4.9 yppl to a schedule of teams that would combine to average 32.1 points and 6.0 yppl against an average offensive team. Paramount in defending Mike Leach’s Air Raid attack is having a good tackling secondary that keep those short passes as short gains and Tulsa has allowed a very low 10.3 yards per completion this season and has been 1.3 yppl better than average defending the pass. Miss State QB Will Rogers has only averaged 5.2 yards per pass play and Tulsa’s pass defense is 0.8 yppp better than the weighted average of pass defenses that Rogers has faced. I project Rogers with just 4.4 yppp and for the Bulldogs to gain just 290 yards at 3.9 yppl.

Neither team is going to have an easy time moving the ball and I like the Under for a Strong Opinion at 45 points or higher.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Tulsa
  • Mississippi St.


  • Run Plays 36.5 38.0
  • Run Yards 165.6 149.0
  • YPRP 4.9 4.2


  • Pass Comp 18.4 19.3
  • Pass Att 32.4 31.4
  • Comp % 56.8% 61.3%
  • Pass Yards 241.4 204.3
  • Sacks 2.1 2.1
  • Sack Yards 14.4 12.1
  • Sack % 6.2% 6.4%
  • Pass Plays 34.5 33.5
  • Net Pass Yards 227.0 192.1
  • YPPP 6.6 5.7


  • Total Plays 71.0 71.5
  • Total Yards 407.0 353.3
  • YPPL 5.7 4.9


  • Int 1.1 0.8
  • Int % 3.5% 2.4%
  • Fumbles 0.9 1.3
  • Turnovers 2.0 2.0
  • Points 27.3 20.8
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