Auburn Football 2010: Some Observations Looking Forward To Mississippi State

Kevin McGradySenior Writer ISeptember 5, 2010

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 1: Running back Onterio McCalebb #23 of the Auburn Tigers rushes upfield against the Northwestern Wildcats in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2010 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Auburn has two formidable teams to play in the next two weeks, Mississippi State and Clemson. Both came up big winners on opening day. While there is little to be learned from these opening day games, a close examination does reveal some insight into what may be expected from these teams.

Mississippi State beat Memphis 49-7. Memphis was 2-10 in 2009 and ranked 116 of 120 teams on total defense.

Clemson beat North Texas 35-10. North Texas was 2-10 in 2009 and ranked 97 of 120 teams on total defense.

Auburn beat Arkansas State 52-26. Arkansas State was 4-8 in 2009 and ranked 41 of 120 teams in total defense.

Week One Statistics 2010 Season

2010 Statistics


Mississippi State 


Passing Offense

241 yards

372 yards

177 yards

Average Per Play

15.06 yards

14.88 yards

8.43 yards





Rushing Offense

367 yards

197 yards

246 yards

Average Per Play

7.48 yards

4.8 yards

9.84 yards





Total Offense

608 yards

569 yards

425 yards

Average Per Play

9.35 yards

8.62 yards

9.24 yards





Sacks Allowed








Passing Defense

323 yards

196 yards

269 yards

Average Per Play

6.59 yards

6.13 yards

7.91 yards





Rushing Defense

43 yards

41 yards

193 yards

Average Per Play

1.23 yards

1.95 yards

3.94 yards





Total Defense

366 yards

237 yards

462 yards

Average Per Play

4.36 yards

4.47 yards

5.57 yards









Tackles For Loss








Punt Returns

47 yards

49 yards

41 yards

Average Per Play

9.4 yards

12.25 yards

20.5 yards





Kick Returns

47 yards

48 yards

41 yards


9.4 yards

12 yards

20.5 yards





Lost Turnovers




Auburn won big as expected on Saturday. They beat a respectable team that will likely have a winning season in 2010 and go to a bowl game.

It was the worst statistical defeat this Arkansas State team has suffered in years.


Michael Dyer averaged 6.79 yards per carry in his first game at Auburn while gaining 95 yards and one touchdown. It was not a bad start for a true freshman tailback.

Onterio McCalebb averaged an eye-popping 8.4 yards per carry for 76 yards.  

Cameron Newton displayed no accuracy problems. He also displayed the ability to make defenses pay if they do not play containment on him. It was a good first outing for the new Auburn quarterback.

Auburn had fumble issues in the return game once again. This is an issue that will cost Auburn games if not corrected.

The offense stranded the defense with poor field position on occasion. This resulted in cheap points given up. Many of the Red Wolf scores were gift wrapped.

The Auburn defense adjusted and had a pretty good second half. While the initial fumbling problems of the offense put them in a bad position, the defense actually played well in the second half.

There was no sign of fatigue evident in this game even though Arkansas State ran 84 plays. This is a good sign going forward.

There were still some missed tackles in this game. This seems to be a prevailing factor that will not go away.

Auburn did not take the ball away from Arkansas State on defense. This is not a good sign going forward.

The opening game actually answered more questions than expected. The results Cameron Newton accrued were unquestionable. He is certainly not a weak point on this Auburn team.

It was a very vanilla Auburn offense that was displayed. Little if any can be learned of its potential effectiveness from this game.

The defense needed a tune up game and showed positive signs of improvement as the game progressed.

Penalties continue to be a huge problem for this Auburn team.

While all is not sunshine on the plains, no SEC opponent performed at a higher level this opening day.