Mississippi State gets blasted by Auburn 56-23

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Photo Courtesy of MSU Athletics
  • Story by SportsTalk Mississippi MSU Beat Reporter Brian Hadad

It didn’t take long for Mississippi State to know it was not going to be the Bulldogs’ night at Jordan-Hare Stadium, as State took a delay of game before the first snap of the game, then proceeded to find themselves down 21-0 before six minutes had passed in the first quarter. It never got better for the maroon and white, as the Tigers boatraced MSU to the tune of a 56-23 final score.

Tiger freshman quarterback Bo Nix accounted for 391 yards of offense and three touchdowns, putting together a huge night through the air. For the Bulldogs, once again they saw Tommy Stevens leave with an injury, turning it over to Garrett Shrader. Shrader had a decent night himself with 298 yards and three scores of his own, but it was far too little to counter the relentless Tiger offense, which scored touchdowns on eight of its first nine possessions.

THE PLAYER

Honestly, Jak the Bulldog may have shown more fight than just about anybody on the MSU defense. He would return to the game later, showing no ill effects. But no player tonight stood out for the Bulldogs for positive reasons, beyond Shrader’s valiant effort in defeat. Auburn’s defense completely bottled up Kylin Hill to the tune of 45 yards rushing, State’s receivers again suffered through some key drops, and defensively, nothing worked. State shot itself in the foot with 9 penalties, a missed extra point, and two lost fumbles. Even Joe Moorhead found himself the perpetrator on a violation, getting flagged for having words with an official after a late hit on Shrader. State came out flat, and by the time the Bulldogs got their feet under them, it was already over.

THE PLAY

Mississippi State’s first three plays went nowhere, a short punt and a good Auburn return gives the Tigers great field position, and Boobie Whitlow wasted no time declaring the game was over. The talk all week was that Mississippi State’s defense was going to have to play better than they had all year to stop the Auburn run game, but that didn’t happen. The Tigers went for 217 yards on the ground, consistently grinding out yards against Bob Shoop’s hapless unit. The loss of last year’s starters combined with the missing players on suspension have turned what was the most feared unit in the country into a shell of its former self.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Mississippi State will take the bye week to lick their wounds, then travel to Knoxville for the first time since 2008 to take on Tennessee, who will likely be coming off their fourth loss of the season to Georgia. Obviously, the story to watch in the coming days is will Shrader be named starter regardless of Tommy Stevens’ health. This was a game most predicted MSU to lose, so its not the result that is troubling, rather the way the game went. We’ll see if the Bulldogs can fix the leaks that plagued them Saturday night on The Plains.

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