No. 24 Mississippi State at No. 13 Auburn


Coming off a breakout performance for the offense Saturday night in Columbia, the Auburn Tigers hope to ride the momentum as the No. 24 ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs come to town.

Auburn leads 14-3 at the end of the first quarter, and it's easy to see how one poor call can swing the fortunes of a game quite a bit.

Johnson had a five-touchdown performance last week at Missouri and he added three more TDs this week, becoming the first back in Auburn history to score eight touchdowns in a two-week span. He accumulated 116 yards on 23 attempts. But when Jarrett Stidham needs a completion, he looks toward Davis, who has caught all but four of his 33 targets. In the first half, Stidham had a handful of instances when he left the pocket too early when anticipating pressure.

Mississippi State linebacker Montez Sweat had never before recovered a fumble in his MSU career, but there was the football right in front of him.

Stidham launched a handful of deep balls for Auburn, including a 47-yard touchdown to a wide-open Will Hastings and a 57-yarder to Eli Stove from his own end zone.

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None the less, two high-powered offenses should make for an entertaining matchup at Jordan-Hare Stadium Saturday. The Bulldogs had seven false start penalties. The crowd also fired up the defense. The Tigers can convince us further starting next week against Ole Miss.

Since the beginning of last season, Auburn's defense has been the clear strength of the team. It's the first time since 1987 that Auburn has beaten back-to-back SEC opponents by 30-plus points.

Auburn was almost forced to do without one of its most pivotal defenders, safety Tray Matthews, for almost the whole game.

Two interesting, and telling, plays happened on Auburn's opening drive. Had he been completely healthy, he no doubt would have scored like he did from 60 yards out against the Eagles prior to his Week 1 injury. After catching six balls for 32 yards and his second touchdown of the season against Mississippi State on Saturday, the junior slot man has 29 catches. Johnson had enough separation to score if he were fully healthy but was caught from behind. None found the back of the net in a double overtime contest with Auburn University (5-3-3, 2-0-2 SEC), which ended in a scoreless tie.

Pettway also played after sitting out the game in Columbia, Mo., but was not almost as effective, rushing five times for 6 yards and losing a fumble.