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Arizona Wildcats face Mississippi State in home opener

Coming off Arizona's dominating season opening win at San Diego State, the Wildcats now prepare for their home opener against the SEC's Mississippi State.
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Posted at 6:41 AM, Sep 06, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz (KGUN) — Coming off Arizona's upset over San Diego State on Saturday, the Wildcats enter week 2 as their home opener brings an ever bigger competitor, Mississippi State.

This not only marks the first meeting of the two teams, but it's also the first time since 2006 that Arizona will play a team from the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

While the season opener 38-20 win over San Diego State debuted a team that showed refreshing discipline and dominance from the beginning, the Bulldogs bring a whole new beast.

“I haven’t seen much about their offense right now other than what I already know... They throw the ball a lot. And the key to be good in that offense is being accurate. And that’s what they look for, that’s what they found. And I’m sure it’ll be a great challenge for us,” said head coach Jedd Fisch in his weekly press conference on Monday.

Jedd Fisch Mississippi State preview press conference

The Mississippi State Bulldogs currently rank among the Top 5 Power 5 Teams in the nation in yards after catch.

They are also one of four teams to rank inside the top 25 nationally in both total defense and total offense during the 2021 regular season.

"Mike Leach is always going to have good passers. There is nothing really surprising in terms of the fact that he is producing, you know, a 400-yard passer- that's what he does," said Fisch.

Backing Mississippi State is head coach Mike Leach, a two-time national coach of the year with 151 career wins behind his belt.

The Bulldogs also follow the leadership of quarterback Will Rogers who currently leads the nation in completions at 38.0 per game.

"I know (Will Rogers) threw five touchdown passes. I know that he was an outstanding quarterback a season ago. I know he’s a very good passer," Fisch said.

Despite the pressure of being the underdog to an SEC team who's ranked fifth nationally, Fisch says it makes no difference to the team and the game they play.

"I'm really focusing on us, and how we can get better. Keep getting better each day and then we'll see if Saturday we can play better than we did last Saturday, regardless of who the opponent is," Fisch explained.

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Breanna Isbell is a reporter for KGUN 9. She joined the KGUN 9 team in July of 2022 after receiving her bachelor’s degree in sports journalism from Arizona State University in May. Share your story ideas with Breanna by emailing breanna.isbell@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, or Twitter.