Mississippi State at Auburn Preview



Auburn almost got beat by Utah State, but don’t think they no longer have good players, or that their coaches forgot how to coach. Texas didn’t go 5-7 last year because of a lack of talent or coaching…but with their 4-5 star players who came in with a sense of entitlement, that they could just put on the jersey and they’d win games. I’m not saying Auburn did that last week, but no one expected the game to be that close, and their players were just as surprised as everyone else that it happened. Auburn played 21 freshman including 13 true freshman, and they started 11 players who had never started before. Rest assured the Tigers coaching staff will have their full attention this week.

On Offense:
The Tigers can put some of their stellar athletes up front on the D-line and contend and make plays in the first half on raw talent and effort alone. Even though their defensive line looked awful last week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Relf gets sacked once or twice, maybe Ballard gets caught behind the line of scrimmage. At least in the first half, I think Auburn’s D will maintain State’s offense to a degree, hold them to 14-21 points.

As Auburn’s D-line wears down from the brutality of an SEC O-line they’ve never had to play a full game against (or never been in an SEC game) they will not be able to make as many plays. And as they are unable to pressure Relf, I think MSU’s WRs will be able to get open against Auburn’s poor secondary. Look for State to control the ball and run plenty in the second half, hopefully getting 5-7 yards per carry.

On Defense:
There’s no doubt Gus Malzahn will find a way to score. He’s still got playmakers in Emory Blake, Ontario McCaleb, Michael Dyer, and Philip Lutzenkirchen. He was good with Chris Todd in ’09, he’ll make Trotter into at least a middle of the road SEC QB on scheme alone. So as much pressure as I think State’s D-line can put on Trotter, which I think is a lot due to their very inexperienced O-line, Malzahn will run misdirection and who knows what to get his skill players in open space. I’m going to assume they will have at least 3-4 20+, maybe 30+ yard plays from scrimmage in the game.

State’s biggest advantage is State’s D-line vs. Auburn’s O-line. Auburn’s lineman will have a tough time keeping pressure off Trotter and MSU’s linebackers will be able to stay in coverage to see what kind of plays are developing instead of moving up to stop the run. I think this will be a huge advantage to the defense and will probably result in some INTs when Trotter is pressured.


Auburn lost 45% of their letterman from last year (31 players)…State lost 35% of their letterman (24 players)

Auburn lost 49% of their rushing yards…..State lost 1%

Auburn lost 64% of their receiving yards….State lost 11%

Auburn lost 96% of their passing yards…….State lost 0%

Auburn lost the #1 (Newton) & #13(Fairley) overall NFL draft pick…..State lost the #32 (Sherrod) overall draft pick