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Staff Predictions - Auburn @ Mississippi State

Low-scoring? Yes. Lowest-scoring? YES.

Okay, with the way these two offenses have performed over the past few weeks, there are more than a few predictions out there hearkening back to 2008 and the infamous 3-2 Auburn win (greatest game in SEC history, bar none). Auburn’s offensive line has looked terrible in wins over Arkansas and Southern Miss, while the Bulldogs have scored a combined 13 points in their last two games. Does Gus-tober break out? Does anyone score at all? Are we destined for a 0-0 eternal affair? M


Auburn (-3.5) @ Mississippi State (O/U 44.5) - 6:30 pm CST - ESPN2

“We return to the scene of ‘Baby I’m Burning’ - The 10 Year Reunion. Both offenses are struggling to bust a grape while the defenses are looking pretty stout. I think Auburn will get the win here mainly because of the question marks for both teams. Auburn’s defense struggles stopping the pass but Nick Fitzgerald struggles finding receivers for the most part. Auburn has looked more competent than Moo State on the whole on offense, but the line will have to give Stidham time (HAHAHAHAHA) and Auburn will need to win this one through the air. Go with the under... I don’t know what it is but it will be under. Auburn 13, Moo State 9.” - Drew McCracken

“Well, this is really the moment of truth. After trying to work on some things against Arkansas, and then having whatever plans we had for Southern Miss completely blown up by a nearly three-hour delay, this is the week we see if Auburn has learned the lessons of LSU and really gotten their act together. If Coach Grimes can get this offensive line playing even 20% better as a unit for this weekend, I will consider him the greatest magician that has ever lived. The Cowbells will be really amped up for this meeting. It’s a must win for them, after already having their season that they for some reason thought was going to be THE season turned into... well, it could still be one of the best seasons ever for MSU if they can just beat Auburn. That’s not going to happen. I’m going to put my faith in the Tigers to shake off this funk, go into The Devil’s Anus, and come back to Auburn with the win. AU 28 - 10” - AU Chief

“This game features two fanbases standing on the cliff more than ready to jump. Somebody will take the plunge after Saturday. I’m not happy with this offense but I’m not as “OMG WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE” as some appear to be. I think Jarrett Stidham is a better QB than Nick Fitzgerald. I also think Auburn’s defense is better than State’s. The key is not turning the ball over and generating enough explosive plays to put some points on the board. I think it’s ugly a la AU in 2010 & 2013 but the Tigers get it done 17-6.” - AU Nerd

This is the game that either means everything or maybe it means nothing. I have no idea anymore. Maybe Auburn is building something week to week, but also maybe each game is some fresh new torment. Either way, I’ve got nothing better to do than watch. I bet it all clicks this week, and I also bet Auburn gets a pick six. Auburn 34, State 17.” - Son of Crow

“I’ve got a good feeling in this one. Even before the MSU offense broke, I thought this was going to be a perfect matchup for our defense. Dontavius Russell, Derrick Brown, and the rest of the defensive tackles are going to feast on Nick Fitzgerald. On the other side of the ball, the same sort of situation may be taking place. State has a solid defensive line, and we’re going to struggle keeping them contained. The difference maker is that despite the last few weeks, I trust Stidham to hit a few passes, while I don’t think Fitz will. I’m also going to call my shot, Asa Martin is gong to score on a 30+ yard pass/screen. Give me Auburn 27-13.” - Ryan Sterritt

“In my head I see this as an ugly game between two offenses that are struggling opposite defenses that are carrying them. From that standpoint I see Auburn with a better defense and quarterback, but State with home field advantage. In that scenario I lean Auburn in a low scoring game. I want to believe Auburn has been sandbagging a bit to try and brute force themselves into a functional offense. Last week was a little better than Arkansas, and I think this week will be a little better than the first half of Southern Miss (as I said in Snap Judgements, I don’t really care about anything that happened after the rain delay other than two injured tackles and Derrick Brown’s Superman sack). I definitely believe the coaching staff has held back some adjustments for the sake of this game. That and a great defense pull us through. Auburn 23, MSU 17.” - James Jones

“Call me crazy, but I’m really happy this is a night game. In Snap Judgments last week, I said this game was going to be a rock fight and I’m sticking with that.

So, there are two things that I hope happens this weekend:

First of all, Offense: Show me something. It’s been a struggle, especially the past few weeks. My hope is these last two games have been spent experimenting with some things to see if they work and they were holding a bunch of stuff back for this week.

Second, I would love nothing more than to FINALLY see Auburn win a road game that I’m attending (Yes, I’m going to Stark Vegas this weekend for the first time). But after picking Auburn to score a bunch of points the past several weeks, I’m not going to this week. The offensive line is obviously the biggest issue with the status of both tackles (and the entire line for that matter) in question. In addition, with no Boobie, it’s going to need to be the Martins (Kam and Asa) and Shaun Shivers Show in the Backfield (wouldn’t mind more Malik Miller either). In the passing game, it seems like Seth Williams has become Stidham’s favorite target, especially on the deep ball. I’m hoping for a big play or two from those guys. Defensively, I expect us to continue to do the things we’ve done all season and Mississippi State has 13 points combined in their last 2 games. Looking forward to being at Davis-Wade Stadium Saturday night and give me Auburn AND the Under, Auburn 13 Mississippi State 10.” - Will McLaughlin

“The last two weeks I’ve said that the offense was going to break out. Maybe they were going to do that before the rain last week, and maybe they have been just working on themselves instead of game-planning for the opponents. I can’t be sure. Gus could’ve known that Arkansas and Southern Miss posed no real threat, and that he was just trying to make us a better team by getting the kinks out. Could be. There are real problems on the offensive line, and without Boobee Whitlow, the running back rotation could go through some road growing pains as well. If that’s the case, then we need to see nine or ten targets to Ryan Davis to loosen things up, and a couple of deep shots to our receivers. If we get back to what we did against Washington, I feel like things can work for this offense. Defensively, we’re fine. Special teams, we’re fine. I’m not going to predict a high-scoring game until I see one. Auburn 20, Mississippi State 9.” - Jack Condon