Auburn Football 2010: 10 Things To Look for at Mississippi State

Kevin McGradySenior Writer ISeptember 7, 2010

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 15:  J.C. Brignone #70 and Derek Sherrod #79of the Mississippi State Bulldogs get ready on the line of scrimmage during the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn will be forced to go into Starkville and play Mississippi in a short week with only four days to prepare. The Bulldogs will have the cowbells out in force. There will be little worry about any fine if they think it can help in this game.

Mississippi State had a big win against Memphis last week. While the game sounds impressive, it is not anything new for the Bulldogs. In this article, months ago, the preview for this game has changed very little.

Let’s take a look at week one for these two teams as they chewed up cupcake teams.

All Statistics in Yards



Mississippi State 

Rushing Offense



Passing Offense



Passing Efficiency (rating)



Total Offense



Scoring Offense (points)



Sacks Allowed



Punt Returns



Kick Returns



Rushing Defense



Passing Defense



Total Defense



Tackles For a Loss






Time of Possession



With all of this in mind, there are some factors to look for during this game.

1. Running backs will be utilized more as the Mississippi State defense is forced to take Cameron Newton’s running ability into account. Look for all three Auburn running backs to have a major impact in this game.

2. The Bulldogs will attempt to load the box and contain the rush. It is a case of pick your poison. Dan Mullen will likely see the Tiger rushing attack as the bigger threat.

3. Passing will become more prevalent as the Tiger offense makes the Mississippi State defense pay for selling out to the run. This is where the talented Auburn receiving corps will show their abilities.

4. Speed kills and the Auburn Tigers have an abundance of speed at the skilled positions. Look for this speed factor to take its toll during this matchup. Speed at receiver will force the defense to leave a cushion. If the throws are accurate, this will generate yardage.

5. More deception and misdirection will be utilized by Gus Malzahn in this game. This will force the State defense to play disciplined, position defense.

6. Expect Dan Mullen to utilize a two quarterback system. Chris Relf a junior is 6’4” and 240 pounds of athleticism. He is not fast, but is very athletic and a load to bring down. He is a 53 percent passer during his career. He averages about six yards per carry rushing. Tyler Russell a red shirt freshman is a less mobile pocket passer. He was 13 of 15 in the season opener.

7. When Tyler Russell is in as quarterback, there is a deep threat and the medium and long range passing game will become prevalent.

8. When Chris Relf is quarterback, there will be a short dink-n-dunk passing attack to supplement the rushing attack.

9. Mississippi State is athletic up front on defense and will challenge the Auburn offensive line in the beginning of the game. Look for their effectiveness to decline as fatigue sets in as the game goes on.

10. The Bulldog offensive line is big and strong, but not that quick. They do well in run blocking, but have some problems against athletic defensive lines.


The Auburn defense did not create many turnovers in their first outing. They must improve on this in week two.

The Tiger defensive line had four sacks in game one against a very similar offensive line. Look for that trend to continue this week.

Defensive line pressure up front will disrupt any passing rhythm by the Bulldogs. There should be some interceptions in this one.

Look for the Auburn defense to remain stingy against the rushing attack. Mississippi State has no real go to running back this year. Chris Relf will likely be utilized as their running game inside.

The Auburn passing attack will come alive in this game. There were some hints in week one and this should continue to improve as Cameron Newton becomes more comfortable in the offense.

Look for a tired Mississippi State defense to be exploited in this game with positive results for the Tigers.

Here are game one details for Mississippi State.

Here are first game details for Auburn. 


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