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Blog Entry

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Posted on: September 10, 2011 4:48 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 5:16 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

AUBURN WON: The rumors of the Tigers' death have, as it turns out, been greatly exaggerated. After going down 21-14 on an ugly Barrett Trotter interception State's Johnthan Banks gratefully returned for a touchdown, Gus Malzahn's offense ripped off 27 of the game's next 33 points.to open up a 41-27 fourth-quarter lead. But State showed some Auburn-like resilience of their own, scoring one touchdown and driving down to the Auburn 1-yard line with 20 seconds to play. Vick Ballard was stuffed on first down and with no timeouts, Chris Relf was then upended by little-used sophomore safety Ryan Smith inside the 1. Time ran out, and Auburn moved to an incredible 10-0 in their last 10 one-possession games. 

WHY AUBURN WON: Because even without Cam Newton and four three-year starters, Malzahn still knows how to put together a run game. With a week to lick their wounds from their Utah State struggles and shake up their offensive line (senior A.J. Greene was returned to the starting lineup), the Tigers rededicated themselves and tore through the Bulldogs' veteran defensive front for 235 rushing yards on just 36 carries--a team average of 6.5 yards per-carry. Sophomore star Michael Dyer picked up 150 of those on 8.3 yards an attempt, including a pivotal 52-yard dash that took the Tigers out of the shadow of their own goalposts late in the third quarter and set up his team's final score.

Thanks to the running game, Auburn was able to open up just enough space for the Tiger passing game (though he threw for just 146 yards, Trotter also threw two long touchdown strikes) and leave State with just too little time to accomplish what would have been a stirring comeback. 

Some measure of credit may also be due the Auburn defense, which despite another brutal day in the box score -- 531 total yards given up, 333 of them on the ground, 97 plays faced as State converted 11-of-20 third downs -- rose up and got the two goal-line stops they had to have to keep their nation-best 17-game winning streak intact.

WHAT AUBURN WON: A return to the AP poll, no doubt, and a week after looking like the sort of team that might struggle to make the postseason, a simple "2" in the win column is not close to being something to sneeze at. But the Tigers also served notice that despite the vast personnel losses, the Week 1 embarrassment, and a defense that bends so badly it seems as if it must have already broken long ago, their remarkable knack for making just enough plays to earn victory is every bit as intact as it was in 2010.

Auburn won't win the SEC West this season (not without some rapid, substantial defensive improvement), but with Malzahn's offense still capable of putting up a 40-spot on any given weekend, the Tigers are still plenty dangerous enough to have a large say in who does.

WHAT MISSISSIPPI STATE LOST: This was supposed to be the season the Bulldogs were something more than just "scary" or a "sleeper"; this was supposed to be State's chance to surge past the likes of the green, inexperienced Tigers to cement themselves a legitimate player in the West, their opportunity to surprise one of the consensus top three teams and maybe start to sniff Atlanta. But with the Bulldogs now stuck again behind Auburn in the current West pecking orderthose dreams are going to have to be put off at least until they pull one of those LSU-Alabama-Arkansas-type upsets.

More practically speaking, the Bulldogs also saw starting tackle James Carmon go down with a knee injury and stretchered off. With LSU coming to town this Thursday, there won't be much time for him to get better.


Comments

Since: Sep 11, 2011
Posted on: September 11, 2011 5:30 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Matt - Jerry's great writing didn't start at TWER... try going back a little further to JCCW for some older informative (and always entertaining) writing that continued with his move to TWER. 

Jerry - keep up the good work and welcome back to TWER... looking forward to more biased work over there!




Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: September 11, 2011 7:32 am
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Auburn won't win the SEC West this season (not without some rapid, substantial defensive improvement), but with Malzahn's offense still capable of putting up a 40-spot on any given weekend, the Tigers are still plenty dangerous enough to have a large say in who does.


Try this instead: 

The SEC West is the toughest division in college football and it's really difficult to say which team will finish first. After two weeks the only thing we know is Auburn still has to be considered a contender and it's unlikely Miss State can rebound from this early season loss. Auburn is 67-0 when scoring 30 points, and with Malzahn's offense still capable of putting up a 40-spot on any given weekend, the Tigers are still plenty dangerous enough to handle any team left on their schedule even with a defense that needs rapid, substantial improvement.




Since: Jul 23, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:01 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Auburn got drasticly better between week 1 and 2 and hopefully thee will be even more progress next week.Auburn has great skill players on offense,and probably the best special team unit in the SEC,but the o-line and d-line are very green but extremely talented.The secondary has speed but is young.With the great coaching staff AU has I believe both lines and the linebackers will improve weekly and AU will suprise alot of folks.9-3 is very possible,8-4 more plausable with Auburns schedule....And the haters said MSU would come in and beat AU by 2-3 tds,actually 49ers fan,a huge Bama fan said it right on that thread saying there was no way MSU would come to Auburn and blow them out..



Since: Sep 10, 2011
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:56 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Maybe it isn't fair, but I kind of question the fandom of Auburn people who aren't familiar with one of the best writers on one of the best Auburn sites on the web. Hopefully some of these guys will be educated a little bit and check out The War Eagle Reader. www.twer.com



Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:50 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Exactly, MattAU05!

These, so-called Auburn fans obviously don't even know one of our own.  The War Eagle Reader is one of the best AU blogs out there, up there with the WarBlogle.  And you hit the nail on the head with the unbiased review of an AU game.  I am kind of amazed that CBS would want him writing reviews on his own school, but obviously he can put across an unbiased opinion of how things went and he is very knowledgable of the SEC.  

Great to get another W today!  War Eagle! 



Since: Sep 10, 2011
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:40 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

For you fellas bashing Jerry, you do realize he is a big Auburn fan right? Google "war blog eagle". Yhats where you will find his Auburn-fan-geared writing. But he has to be objective as a blogger for CBS, and the reasonable person would say Auburn is unlikely to win the West. But recognize that Jerry loves Auburn and then decide if shoving an Auburn win in his face really makes sense. 

Anyway, great win. This team has a lot of heart. I enjoyed the article Jerry. WDE!



Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:34 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Do Auburn fans think they are going to win the SEC West this season?



Since: Oct 25, 2010
Posted on: September 10, 2011 7:00 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Hinnen, Svck It.



Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: September 10, 2011 6:20 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Auburn 41, No. 16 Mississippi St. 34

Please keep saying Auburn will not win the SEC West this season. How did you think they would do against Miss State?


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