Rapid Reaction: Auburn destroys Mississippi State, sets up best SEC matchup of season
If you had any doubts about Auburn entering Week 5 of the season, the Tigers had to have answered your concerns Saturday night on The Plains.
Not only did Auburn humble Mississippi State 56-23 to improve to 5-0 on the season but the Tigers appeared to be unstoppable at times in this matchup. The Tigers even scored on their first play from scrimmage Saturday night.
Gus Malzahn’s offense, run by true freshman Bo Nix, started the game with five consecutive touchdown drives to jump out to an early 35-9 lead in the game. A fumble on the offense’s sixth drive halted the momentum for a brief moment but the Tigers then rebounded with consecutive touchdown drives to jump out to a 49-9 lead.
Mississippi State’s nightmare outing started early as starting quarterback Tommy Stevens only played two drives, both three-and-outs, before being injured on the field. The Bulldogs got something going once backup Garrett Shrader took the field but Auburn’s avalanche of momentum was too much to overcome. Stevens did not return to the game.
We already knew how outstanding Auburn’s defense was entering this matchup but the progression of Nix has got to be of concern to the Tigers’ upcoming opponents. The freshman completed 16 of 21 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 56 rushing yards against Mississippi State.
Seth Williams is quickly turning into Nix’s favorite option, as the receiver registered eight catches for 161 yards and both touchdown passes thrown by the quarterback. No other Auburn player finished with more than two receptions during the period while Nix was in the game.
The latest example of Kevin Steele’s unit playing some outstanding football? Kylin Hill entered the weekend leading the SEC in rushing. Auburn held the Mississippi State star to only 45 rushing yards on 17 carries (2.6 per carry).
Auburn is now scheduled to travel to Florida to face the 5-0 Gators next weekend. Mississippi State drops to 3-2 on the year and officially begins a bye week following the conclusion of this game.