Auburn Tigers vs. Mississippi St. Bulldogs
The Auburn Tigers and the Mississippi State Bulldogs meet at Jordan-Hare Stadium for a huge week Two SEC College football match up. The Bulldogs are -6 point favorites over the Tigers with an over/under point total set at 54.5.
The Auburn Tigers have to feel good about getting the win in week one despite having to rally to get it but it’s been quite some time since Gene Chizik’s team has taken a loss and when the season is over and all is said and done, the record book will show a week one win over Utah State. When I look at Auburn’s numbers from their first game there are more than just a few intangibles here like Barrett Trotter’s first game at QB replacing Cam Newton and of course the Tigers first game and first home game since winning the BCS National Championship last season. Regardless of the outside factors, Auburn simply didn’t run the ball effectively enough and the defense just looked like a sieve. Trotter was 17 for 23 for 261 yards and three TD’s passing but Michael Dyer had just 57 yards and Onterio McCalebb had 44 yards and though Dyer had two TD’s and averaged 4.1 yards per carry and McCalebb averaged 4.9 yards per carry, Auburn simply couldn’t keep Utah State offense off of the field. If anything it was Auburn’s special teams that made the difference in that one as Tre Mason returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and it was an onside kick recovery that allowed Auburn to escape with the win in the end. The stakes get a lot higher and the competition gets a lot tougher this week as Mississippi State comes to town.
This is a big year for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and with several of Dan Munson’s key players from last season returning, the Bulldogs showed in their opener that they are ready to play this season. QB Chris Relf threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another 51 yards in the win over Memphis but there has to be at least some concern with his completing 13 of 21 passes against an over matched Memphis team. Vic Ballard was dominant as he has been his entire career and while he continues to be one of the most under rated players in the country his 10 carry, 166 yard and three touchdown night against Memphis will help him get on the map. Chad Bumphis had just one catch and it went for 44 yards for a touchdown and Jameon Lewis had four catches for 113 yards and a touchdown on a play that went for 80 yards. In all MSU put up 645 yards while allowing 338 while the Bulldogs turned the ball over once and created three turnovers for themselves. The reality of it is, while they were on the road last week, it is nothing like what they will face in this one and it will be games like this which ultimately decide their fate this season.
Auburn is 5-2 against the spread in their last seven games as an underdog, 12-5 against the spread in their last 17 SEC games, and 10-6 against the spread in their last 16 home games. Mississippi State is 8-2 against the spread in their last 10 games as a favorite, 7-4 against the spread on the road, and 4-0 against the spread in their last four as a road favorite.
My pick in this one will be on the under, it will be settled by the defense and while both of these teams put up big numbers last week, don’t expect the same here.