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Game Preview and Open Thread - Auburn vs Mississippi State

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Down, dogs.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC) versus Mississippi State (3-1, 1-1 SEC) this evening at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Kickoff comes at 5 pm CST and we’ll see the Tigers’ first shot at a somewhat real conference opponent. We fared pretty well (despite the obvious offensive woes) at Clemson, and had no trouble at all at Missouri last week in one of the most complete games that Auburn’s played in the last few years.

One of the big reasons for optimism is the way that Jarrett Stidham and the offense seem to be coming around. I know, I know — 24 points against Mercer. Still, Stidham was 32-37 and most of the issues stemmed around the slippery fingers of the rest of the team, giving the ball away time and again. We didn’t see that last week, and Stidham got a full quarter of rest after going 13-17 for 218 yards and a score.

Over the last two games, he’s gone 46-54 (that’s 85%) for 584 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Not bad, even if it is against two pretty bad teams. Now, with hopefully having a full complement of tailbacks in the backfield, I expect the offense should be able to do fairly well tonight.

On defense, I don’t foresee many issues. If Mississippi State scores 17 points (not including any garbage points late) then I’ll be absolutely shocked. Shocked, I tell you. They seemed to have a bit more of a mean edge last week, and being under the lights should only provide to make that a little bit rougher for Nick Fitzgerald and his guys tonight.

So, what’s going to happen tonight? I, for one, think that we take pretty easy care of Mississippi State and win going away, with the run game capping it late. We’ll be feeling pretty good come tomorrow morning.