The Tigers have certainly been off to a better start to the season than the Bulldogs, as the records would indicate. However, both teams have been very effective defensively, allowing fewer than fourteen points per game to this juncture of the season. And it is the defense that will decide the winner, not which QB throws multiple TD passes for the first time in weeks. The Auburn Tigers are -3.5 over Mississippi State on Saturday.
Gus Malzahn has the Tigers as the #8 team in the country at this point, and will look to help them to continue to climb the rankings. Jarrett Stidham hasn’t been impressive by any means, but he has strayed from turning the ball over, with only two INT’s to his five TD”s and 963 yards in five games. JaTarvious Whitlow has been effective this year, as he’s got 326 rushing yards and four TD’s on the season. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 20 points per game here in 2018.
On the defensive side of things, they have looked sharp. They are averaging almost three sacks per game, with Deshaun Davis having a team-high seven tackles for loss. They’ve also intercepted seven passes, one of which (from Daniel Thomas) has been returned for a touchdown. With playmakers across the board defensively, Mississippi State is going to have to take awfully good care of the ball to stay competitive.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Between Nick Fitzgerald and Keytaon Thompson, they’ve got nine TD passes and three interceptions. Kylin Hill has led the running game with tremendous efficiency, picking up 348 yards on just 45 carries, giving him 7 yards per carry. He’s also averaging 10 yards per reception and has five total touchdowns this year.
Both QB’s have added three rushing touchdowns, as it has been the ground game that has been the biggest scoring tool for the Bulldogs. Montez Sweat has five sacks in as many games and is leading a team that has sixteen already. They put a lot of pressure on the QB, so Jarrett Stidham may be getting to know the turf a little better this week.
Defense, as we mentioned in the intro, will ultimately decide the winner of this contest. The Bulldogs only allow 13.4 points per game (8th in the nation), so watch for how efficient they are at the start of the contest. They only allow 286 yards per game (120 rushing), so we have to see how they can handle their opponents running backs.
Auburn wins, gets to 5-1 on the season
They will be climbing the rankings a little more with this W, as Gus Malzahn’s squad takes down the Bulldogs of Mississippi State.
JaTarvious Whitlow and Kam Martin will combine for 190 yards and THREE touchdowns to help lead the team to victory. Jarrett Stidham won’t have a great day, but he also won’t have any turnovers.
Auburn walks away 5-1, while Mississippi goes to .500 at 3-3.
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