Quarterback Nick Marshall appears to be the real deal. Although the junior threw two interceptions and overthrew several passes, he connected on 23 of 34 attempts for 339 yards and two touchdowns. Oh, and he led the Tigers’ game-winning drive like a seasoned veteran.
While the Tigers’ rushing game slacked some, Auburn finishing the game with 120 yards on the ground, Auburn still had multiple runs of more than 10 yards.
There’s not much question any more than the secondary is suspect. Mississippi State racked up 213 yards through the air, as quarterback Dak Prescott picked apart the Tigers for most of the night.
While’s Auburn’s defensive line held its own most of the night, the Bulldogs still gained 202 yards on the ground, which will certainly raise eyebrows. However, the D line did step up in the fourth to get Auburn the ball back in order to win the game.
Special teams were a long kick away from a perfect night. Kicker Cody Parkey was perfect on the night, hitting three field goals ranging 19 yards, 40 yards and 47 yards.
Punter Steven Clark also played a huge role when the Tigers’ offense was unable to move the ball. On four punts, Clark averaged 48.0 yards, which is nothing short of what you’d expect from the senior.
There were two play calls in the game that stuck out — Auburn’s successful 2-point conversation in the first quarter and not going for it on fourth-and-three within five minutes of the end of the game in the fourth.
However, those two calls, and many others, were overshadowed by the way the offense drove 88 yards on 12 plays in 1:46 to win the game. Head coach Gus Malzahn and the offense found a rhythm and went straight down the field. Completion after completion out shadowed every bad call throughout the game. After all, at the end of the game, a win is a win.
The SEC losing streak is over the Tigers. It’s a breath of fresh air and will help Auburn move on.
Although it wasn’t always pretty and Mississippi State led for nearly the entire fourth quarter before Auburn worked some magic, it’s difficult to be too negative toward the win when it did end a 10-game league losing streak and is 3-0 for the first time since 2010.