BYU vs. Mississippi State: 5 Questions

Here are five questions questions of interest for the BYU Cougars as they take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs this Saturday.

BYU backup QB Joe Critchlow (Isaac Hale, Daily Herald)

1. How will the BYU quarterback situation play out?

Tanner Mangum is going to get the start. Has his ankle fully recovered? Does he need to be looking over his shoulder at Joe Critchlow? While continuing to stand by Mangum, the BYU coaches aren't holding back Critchlow's development. Does that mean he enters the game, regardless of how much time is left, if BYU falls behind by a certain number of points? Does the Mangum led offense have to score a certain number of points by halftime?

2. Will BYU abandon the run?

BYU didn't run the ball once in the fourth quarter against Boise State. The Cougars have been better running than passing the ball this season. The opponents that have run the ball well against Mississippi State have also had a lot of success through the air. BYU's offensive success will heavily depend on running the ball. BYU can't afford to abandon the run.

3. Which Mississippi State team will show up?

After three games, the Bulldogs looked like world beaters. They had allowed just 28 points, and scored almost 150. Knocking off LSU in dominating fashion got the nation's attention. The last two games, Mississippi State has been embarrassed by a combined score of 80-13.

Has Mississippi State been exposed, the same way the Bulldogs exposed LSU? Has the drop off had to do more with the level of competition?

4. Can the BYU defense get off the field? 

Time of possession has been a problem this season, and it isn't all because of the offensive woes. The Cougar D has struggled to get opponents off the field. Boise State converted four third downs on a third quarter drive that drained nearly seven minutes off the clock. Wisconsin held the ball for all but one play in the final 13 minutes of the game. BYU needs to get third down stops, and the earlier in the drive the better.

5. How will BYU handle a real road trip?

The last time BYU left the state was game two against LSU. Can BYU play better this time around? Will the uncomfortable surroundings cause the offense to regress, again?

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