After four weeks of college football, there is an SEC contest between two top 25 teams. The Auburn Tigers are currently the thirteenth ranked team in the country according to the latest AP poll. Joining them in the AP poll is none other than the Mississippi State Cougars who are the twenty-fourth ranked team in the country according to the AP poll. Both teams entered the season with high hopes and a win here could help cement either team as being the second-best team in the SEC behind Alabama.
The Auburn Tigers entered the season in the AP poll top 15 and were expected to compete for a conference championship. So far this season, the Tigers are 3-1 and look poised to win their first conference championship since 2013. However, Auburn’s perfect record was ruined by the number two ranked Clemson Tigers who defeated Auburn 14-6 back earlier this season. In that game, Auburn’s star quarterback Jarrett Stidham was sacked an astounding 11 times. However, Auburn has rebounded quite nicely from that defeat and beat both Mercer and Missouri by at least two touchdowns.
Auburn’s offense is led by star quarterback Jarrett Stidham. Stidham was originally a quarterback for Baylor back in 2015 before transferring to Auburn in search of more playing time. In 2015, Stidham threw for 12 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Stidham is an extremely talented dual threat quarterback who can also generate tons of yards on the ground with his legs. However, Stidham has struggled so far this season and has only four total touchdowns in four games.
One reason for Stidham’s underwhelming statistics this season is the extremely talented running back group on this Auburn team. Auburn has three separate running backs with over 180 yards rushing and each of them have scored at least one rushing touchdown. Running backs Kam Martin, Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson have destroyed their competition this season and look to continue their success against Mississippi State. Last week, Johnson had five rushing touchdowns against Missouri and one can expect him to get the ball on goal line and short yardage situations. The only question is whether or not Mississippi State can actually stop him.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs started the season with hopes of building upon last season’s bowl victory against Miami (OH). So far this season, the Bulldogs have looked extremely solid on both sides of the ball and the team has won several games as a result. The Bulldogs made national headlines when they upset top 25 ranked LSU with a 30 point victory. However, the Bulldogs’ euphoria of winning quickly faded as they were pounded by Georgia last week and lost by 28 points. Now, the Bulldogs look to rally and return to their winning ways. If the Bulldogs manage to pull off this upset, expect them to jump a ton of teams in the AP poll next week.
The Bulldogs’ success is due to junior quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. So far this season, Fitzgerald has looked extremely well in the air and on the ground. He has 12 total touchdowns and only three interceptions. Last season, Fitzgerald became the focal point of this offense and had 37 total touchdowns with only 10 interceptions. Fitzgerald has the skills and size to be a professional quarterback in the NFL and a great performance here might cement him as a draft pick in the first few rounds of the draft.
As for predictions, I have to side with Auburn. It is extremely difficult for a team to travel into Jordan-Hare Stadium and to defeat these Auburn Tigers. Auburn has a dual threat quarterback, a great running back committee and a very solid defense. I expect Mississippi State to keep the game close but I think Auburn squeaks out a victory in a very close contest.
Auburn vs. Mississippi State: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Auburn vs. Mississippi State
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017
Start Time: 6:00 P.M. EST
Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, AL
How To Watch Auburn vs. Missississippi State Online & Mobile
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