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Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20: Initial thoughts on the Tigers' last-second win

Auburn played pretty poorly on offense for most of the night, but Nick Marshall and his receivers came through in the clutch.

Todd Van Emst/Auburn University photo

We're out of breath. Auburn defeated Mississippi State, 24-21, and we're not really sure how it happened. Initial thoughts:

  • Nick Marshall looked great in the first half. His deep balls were on the money, and he really looked confident throwing. If he keeps it up, this offense is going to be really dangerous this year.
  • However, his fourth quarter interception, even though it was off a deflection, was bad. He needed to put a lot more air under the ball to get it over the linebacker.
  • And that overthrow of Sammie Coates midway through the fourth, that was terrible. Coates was wide open for the go-ahead touchdown. But the final drive, that was incredible. Marshall made one bad throw, and he showed pure guts.
  • Of course, it would help if the receivers caught those on-the-money passes. Key first-half drops really slowed down the offense. Auburn had just 18 yards in the second quarter.
  • The secondary really missed Chris Davis. No surprise, since he's Auburn's best DB. Hopefully, his injury won't keep him out too long.
  • The offensive line was getting worked all night. Apparently, SEC front sevens are a lot tougher than those of Washington State and Arkansas State.
  • The defensive line was too often not a factor. State was able to run it up the gut with ease.
  • Jake Holland. He didn't have a good game. Auburn really missed Kris Frost in the first half. Frost did some good work when he took over at the position in the second half.
  • The defense didn't look good for a lot of the game, but in the fourth quarter, it shut State down. Auburn doesn't win if that doesn't happen.
  • Auburn lost the turnover battle, 3-0, and averaged under four yards per carry. It's tough to win that way -- especially in SEC play. But Auburn -- improbably, unbelievably -- found a way to win. This team is growing up.
  • C.J. Uzomah. You are a man.
  • 3-0. 1-0 in SEC play. War. Damn. Eagle.