Auburn travels to Mississippi on Saturday night to take on Mississippi State in a game that is going to be a defensive battle. This year both teams are not at the level they want to be but this is a game that the winner could get back on track. Auburn has taken a loss to LSU while MSU has lost two in a row. Both teams are very much in the hunt for a New Year’s bowl and this game could thwart one of their dreams. Auburn is favored by four points.
|WHO WILL WIN THE GAME?||SPREAD||MONEYLINE|
|Auburn Tigers||-4 (-112)||-175|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||+4 (-108)||+155|
Auburn Battle Tested
Auburn has played two very tough games up to this point on their schedule. They beat Washington in the season opener when they were ranked 6th in the nation and they lost to 12th ranked LSU two weeks ago. Auburn stands at 4-1 on the season and 1-1 in SEC play. They have struggled to move the ball at times as they pass for less than 200 yards a game but they throw it for 178 a game.
Even though sometimes their offense is lacking, the defense makes up for it greatly. Auburn has one of the best defenses in the nation allowing just 12.6 points a game which allows them to be in every single game. Jarrett Stidham leads the offense throwing the ball for 963 yards and five touchdowns.
JaTarvious Whitlow leads the team in rushing with 326 yards on the ground on 61 touches. Whitlow has also run for four touchdowns. As a team, Auburn has run for 13 touchdowns on the season with seven different players finding the end zone. Auburn likes to spread its targets around as 15 different players have also recorded a catch on the season.
Bulldogs Defense Elite
If Auburn’s defense is good, then Mississippi State’s is great. They allow almost 20 yards less a game but allow a point more. Mississippi State also moves the ball more efficiently gaining 433 yards on the ground a game. Their rushing attack is the best part of their game getting 219 yards a game via the rush. Even though they move the ball so well, they are 0-2 in conference games dropping a game to Florida and Kentucky in low scoring affairs.
This week could be different as they will look to utilize their passing a bit more to move the ball against an Auburn team that has been susceptible to the pass this year. Two quarterbacks have thrown passes for Mississippi State this year. Nick Fitzgerald has thrown for 640 yards and two touchdowns while Keytaon Thompson has thrown for 397 yards and four touchdowns. Kylin Hill leads the rushing attack with 348 yards on 45 carries while Fitzgerald is close behind with 318 yards on 70 carries. Like Auburn, MSU has run for a ton of touchdowns.
Five different players have accounted for 13 touchdowns, much like Auburn. The numbers that really jump off the page are the average yards per reception as all but three of the 15 pass catches have an average of less than 10 yards a catch.
Pick and Prediction
This will be a very good SEC showdown. It will come down to which offense can make the most plays when they are needed. Both defenses have the capability of stopping the other team, but both offenses have the ability to run off chunk plays. Whichever team has success with moving the ball will win the game. This one will come down to the last possession and I can see it being a 14-10 type of game. With all that being said, I am going with MSU to get on track at home over Auburn. Bulldogs in an upset.