The Matchup: No. 16 Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0) vs. Auburn (1-0, 0-0)
When: September 10, 2011
Where: Auburn, Alabama
Game Time: 12:20 ET
TV: SEC Network, ESPN3
What You Need To Know About Mississippi State:
The Bulldogs will be bringing their daunting spread-offense running game into Jordan-Hare Stadium for their first division game of the season. State thrashed Memphis a week ago, rushing for over 220 yards on the ground. The Bulldogs’ offense totaled 645 yards. Vick Ballard ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns, while Chris Relf added two scores through the air.
Dan Mullen will be giving the football to Vick Ballard and Chris Relf throughout this game, and he will make Auburn stop them on the ground before going to the air attack.
State gets their star defensive tackle Fletcher Cox back from a suspension a week ago, and this defense only allowed 190 total yards.
What You Need To Know About Auburn:
Auburn escaped a dog fight a week ago against Utah State, and the Aggies’ offense really torched the Tigers’ defense.
Barrett Trotter, on the other hand, looked very crisp and accurate, as he threw for 261 yards and three touchdowns. His passes were right on the mark, and I’m not sure he could have played a better game. There is cause for some excitement at this position.
Look, we know this Auburn offense will score points with Gus Malzahn calling the plays. It’s the defense everyone is worried about, and they gave up 448 total yards and five rushing touchdowns; so, there has been a sense of frustration on the part of the coaching staff and the fans.
Auburn does have a star in the making with kick returner and running back Tre Mason. The kid looks like he will be a good one. Keep your eye on him this week.
The key matchup in this football game will be the State rushing offense against Auburn’s run defense. State will run the football 55 to 60 percent of the time, and Mullen will make Auburn’s defense stop them.
This will be an interesting game because, while everyone just thinks State is better, I think Auburn will have a few tricks up their sleeves in order to get a victory.
You never know what will happen in any SEC football game.