For the second week in a row Mississippi State got a huge win at home in Starkville, this time over the number 2 ranked Auburn Tigers. The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in the SEC now with wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn.
The first half started about as badly as it possibly could have for Auburn with their two opening drives ending in turnovers. Mississippi State was able to take advantage on each turnover running out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. Quarterback Dak Prescott continued his momentum from the win over Texas A&M throwing the first touchdown and running in for the score that made the lead 21-3. The Bulldogs defense had some big stops early holding Auburn to a field goal on their best drive of the day that made the score 21-3.
Auburn started to get some momentum going their way in the latter stages of the first half with some interceptions and a recovery of a Mississippi State muffed punt. The interceptions only led to one more field goal but the Tigers were able to finally get a touchdown after getting great field position from the recovery of the muffed punt. Quarterback Nick Marshall finally found a man in the end zone and Auburn pushed it to 21-13. Mississippi State was able to answer very quickly with another calculated drive that ended in a Prescott rushing touchdown and went into halftime with a 28-13 lead.
To open the second half Auburn had a huge pass to Sammy Coates called back because of a very questionable offensive pass interference call. On their second drive of the half they were able to get past the call and drive down the field very effectively through the air. On that drive Duke Williams made some excellent catches and scored the touchdown when he pulled down the Marshall pass in a lot of traffic making the score 28-20 with Mississippi State holding onto a diminishing lead.
Auburn did a much better job keeping Prescott and the Mississippi State offense in check not letting them score the entire third quarter. The offense starting to go on longer drives and score more points seemed to help the defense since they were able to get longer breaks in between drives preserving their energy. The Bulldogs were, however, able to keep their lead at 28-20 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started with a long Mississippi State drive that ended in a field goal making the score 31-20. Immediately after the field goal the Bulldogs got a huge momentum shift when Auburn fumbled the kickoff return and the home team recovered it. The bulldogs then got another score pushing their growing lead to 38-20 on the back of running back Josh Robinson. Auburn needed to climb out of a big hole to come back but on the next drive they could only muster a field goal making it 38-23 keeping it a two score game.
Auburn got the ball back with around 5 minutes left and were driving very well down the field needing to score twice to get back in it. On about the 15-yard line Nick Marshall’s pass was tipped and Mississippi State intercepted the pass essentially ending the game with the Bulldogs having the ability to run out the clock.
Mississippi State beat Auburn 38-23 in another huge win for them in the SEC West after beating Texas A&M the week before. Auburn had a lot of mistakes and turnovers that helped the Bulldogs get the win, which should move them up in the rankings as they came in ranked number 3, and Auburn came in ranked number 2.
Commentary By Max Petkevicius