The story of the season for Auburn has been their offense, or the lack thereof. Things against Missouri last Saturday went perfectly. The Tigers put up 482 all purpose yards in which was a complete domination.
Running Back Kerryon Johnson wasn’t efficient in the backfield, but he racked up 5 scores. Jarrett Stidham had an efficient outing, but then again, he hasn’t been asked to do too much so far. There will come a time when he’s asked to flat-out win the game and we haven’t seen that yet. Nothing to say about the Auburn defense, they just do what they do best — play at an elite level. There is no doubt in my mind that the Tiger defense is a top 10 defense in the country.
This game is going to be interesting because Mississippi State has a dangerous offense with a mobile quarterback, while the Auburn Tigers have an incredibly stout defense. It’s going to be strength vs. strength come Saturday evening and it’s a mouth-watering SEC match-up.
Auburn Keys to Victory:
Contain Nick Fitzgerald
Nick Fitzgerald is one of the best QBs in the country and he rarely gets talked about. He can light you up in a hurry. This Auburn defense has to make sure they keep that offense honest or it could end ugly for the Tigers. The defense did a great job against Clemson QB Kelly Bryant, so they’ve already proved they can compete with top offenses, but Fitzgerald is going to be another challenge during this season-long journey.
Take shots down the field
Mississippi State is probably expecting Auburn to come out and run the ball 8,000 times tomorrow, so it’d be a good idea to build on what we saw at Missouri and let Jarrett Stidham take some more shots down the field. After all, he is a QB who possess the ability to be able to throw it down field and he hasn’t put that strong arm to test too much this season.
It’s obvious that Mississippi State loves to control the game with their offense and tries to keep their defense off the field, today, Auburn should be the team to keep their defense off the field. Let Stidham and the offense get into rhythm because once they get going, Auburn could be a scary team moving forward in this 2017 season. They’re not going to get better until they get a good feel for each other and although they were good against Missouri, we still need to see them do something against a real defense.
Auburn’s defense will prove to be too much and the offense will just do enough to improve the Tigers to 4-1 on the season.
Mississippi State 20-31 Auburn