Texas A&M followed a high-scoring upset over Florida a week ago with a defensive masterclass against Mississippi State on Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
The Aggies won a physical matchup against the Bulldogs, 28-14, behind a stifling defense and two touchdowns from star running back Isaiah Spiller.
It took a wild pick-six in the third quarter by Mississippi State cornerback Emmanuel Forbes to finally get the Bulldogs on the board.
Two weeks ago, Alabama thoroughly outclassed Texas A&M (3-1), calling into question whether this team could compete for an SEC title. Two wins later, however, and the Aggies appear to be for real.
Peter Burns @PeterBurnsESPN
Easiest path to the @CFBPlayoff right now in the @SEC? Texas A&M. Yes, the Aggies They'll be favored in every single game rest of season and the Alabama loss means they could go 9-1 and not have to play in SEC Championship. Bama & UGA likely to have to play twice still. https://t.co/DJno2ZHxaY
Mississippi State (1-3) is trending in the exact opposite direction, with three straight losses since opening the season with an upset win over LSU. And for the second straight week, starter K.J. Costello found himself benched midway through the game in favor of Will Rogers. The ship is sinking in head coach Mike Leach's maiden SEC voyage.
Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M: 18 carries for 114 yards and two touchdowns; two catches for 19 yards
Kellen Mond, Texas A&M: 13-of-23 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and an interception
Chase Lane, Texas A&M: Two catches for 70 yards and a touchdown
K.J. Costello, Mississippi State: 15-of-22 for 99 yards, an interception and a lost fumble
Will Rogers, Mississippi State: 15-of-18 for 120 yards and a touchdown
Malik Heath, Mississippi State: Five catches for 57 yards and a touchdown
Isaiah Spiller Is the Man
Yet again, the Texas A&M star running back led the way, rushing for over 100 yards for the third time this season. It's no big surprise that Spiller is on his way to 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns after rushing for 946 yards and 10 scores as a freshman last year.
Frankly, Spiller has the look of a player who will be starring on Sundays in a few years.
The Aggies would be wise to keep feeding the rock to Spiller, in other words.
It's Time for Mississippi State to Start Will Rogers
Remember when Costello threw for 623 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions against LSU, becoming a dark-horse Heisman candidate in the process?
How the mighty have fallen...
Since that game, Costello has thrown for one touchdown and eight interceptions to go along with a lost fumble Saturday. Yikes. The problem for the Bulldogs is that Rogers is a true freshman who came into Saturday with two interceptions in 15 passing attempts.
The Bulldogs are at the point that they need to just take their lumps with the youngster. He was absolutely better than Costello on Saturday.
Texas A&M has a bye week before hosting Arkansas on Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network. Mississippi State also heads into a bye before traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 2 Alabama on Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.