Auburn (0-2) at Mississippi State (2-0) Post-Game Wrap Up: Bulldogs Get The Job Done

Instant Analysis: Coming into Saturday’s game against the Auburn Tigers, the Bulldogs had suffered two painful losses against their SEC West rival. They knew the time had come for them to finally get it done. They did just that, behind the strong arm of Tyler Russell, who threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns. The Bulldogs were able to finish the job this time, defeating the Tigers 28-10. The win brings the Bulldogs’ record to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the SEC

Things I Liked

A. Stout Bulldog D: The play of the Bulldog defense may have been the best I’ve seen in years. I know that Auburn isn’t exactly the Oregon Ducks, but they still performed at a high level.

B. Bumphis Appearance:  Chad Bumphis actually made plays in an SEC game. He finally stepped up when his team needed him to do so.

C. Green’s Performance: Marcus Green had a career day with four catches, 54 yards, and two touchdowns.

Things I Didn’t Like

A. Banks Whiffing: I have to call Johnthan Banks on his poor tackling effort to begin the second half. He whiffed on McCaleb and allowed him to score a touchdown.

B. Putrid Kicking: I’m too disgusted to waste words on the kicking.

Key Stats

A. Auburn’s 2.3 Yards Per Rush: I guess the Tigers found out that this isn’t the same Bulldog defense they killed on the edges for the past few years.

B. MSU’s 23 First Downs: The Bulldog offense was clicking and did a good job of moving the chains.

C. Slay, Banks Three Interceptions: While I’m disappointed in Banks’ tackling effort to start the second half, the all-SEC cornerback and his backfield mate, Darius Slay, became Kiehl Frazier’s best receivers on Saturday.

Players To Watch

Auburn

A. Kiehl Frazier: Frazier had a bad day; he threw for 125 yards but had three interceptions. The true sophomore just looked overwhelmed as the game came to a close.

B. Tre’ Mason: Mason wasn’t much of a factor, with 25 yards rushing.

C. Phillip Lutzenkirchen: Lutzenkirchen only had two catches for 12 yards.

MSU

A. Tyler Russell: See the player of the game.

B. Joe Morrow: Morrow had a few targets, but didn’t have a catch.

C. Deontae Skinner: Skinner did a good job of sealing the edge and rushing the passer; he finished the game with five tackles and one-and-a-half for loss.

Key Match Up

Auburn Defensive Ends vs. MSU Offensive Tackles: Although Auburn’s defensive ends were able to get pressure early, the Mississippi State offensive tackles settled in as the game went on and gave Russell time to throw the ball.

3 Keys To Victory

Auburn

A. Attack The Safeties: With the pressure from Bulldog defenders, Frazier barely had time to go deep and challenge the safeties.

B. Get To Russell Early: They got to Russell, but he held his composure.

C. Minimize Turnovers: Negative.

MSU

A. Give Me More Wildcat: The Bulldogs lined up in the formation once, but there was a penalty. They did bring in back-up quarterback Dak Prescott for a few plays.

B. Force Quick Decisions: Let’s just say that they did.

C. Go Vertical: They attempted to go vertical once to Morrow, but he was unable to pull down the ball.

Final Analysis: The Bulldogs will celebrate the Auburn victory today, but after today, they must prepare for non-conference foe, Troy Trojans. It will be a 6 p.m. kickoff and won’t be carried by a major network. ESPN3.com will be streaming the game live, though, for the fans who want to watch the game.

Real Story Player Of The Game

Tyler Russell: This is one time I’m glad that I was wrong about a player. Russell showed up and became the quarterback many thought he could become when he signed in 2009.

 

Jeremiah Short covers Mississippi State University football and basketball.  Follow him on Twitter, @DaRealJShort; join his Facebook blog, Real Story Sports: J.Short’s Blog, or e-mail him, JShort@realstorypublishing.com.

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