War Eagle Extra

Gameday: Auburn tries to restart season Saturday when it hosts Mississippi State

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

AP

Week 4: Auburn (2-1; 0-1 SEC) vs. Mississippi State (2-1; 0-1 SEC)

When: Sept. 26, 2015; 7:30 EST

Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium (Auburn, Alabama)

Watch: ESPN2

Listen: Any of Auburn IMG Sports Network's affiliate stations across Alabama, and the surrounding states. 

Did you know?

Auburn has had its share of success against Mississippi State as it leads the all-time series between the teams with a 61-25-2 record. Many of the recent games in the rivalry have been close ones with three of the last five coming down to the final drive.

Nick Marshall capped an 88-yard drive by hitting C.J. Uzomah for a game-winning touchdown with 10 seconds left in 2013 for a win over the Bulldogs. Last year, the teams combined for eight turnovers, and the Bulldogs pulling away late for a 38-23 win.

Great Pres-Scott!

In Dak Prescott’s two starts against Auburn he’s enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with 713 yards of total offense, and five touchdowns. He’s the only player in last 40 seasons to rush for at least 100 yards, and throw for 200 against Auburn.

A feat he’s accomplished twice.

“Their quarterback is one of the better players in all of college football, and he is their leader,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He throws the ball extremely well, and he is like another running back. He really makes their offense go.”

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior, who owns 21 Bulldogs records, is 66 of 101 for 7999 yards and five touchdowns this season. He has thrown a 150 straight passes without an interception, a streak that goes back 13 quarters. He also has 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns this season.

For his career, he has averaged 5.1 yards per carry, and has surpassed 800 yards on the ground in each of the past two seasons. 

Fork in the road

The fierce competition in the SEC gives teams in the conference very little room for error. With both teams opening conference play with a loss to LSU, neither can afford another loss this early in the season.

“You don’t want to fall that far behind,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said.  “We both, in conference play, are back-against-the-wall and have to come out to fight and ready to play.”

Coach Malzahn echoed those thoughts earlier this week.

“The SEC games are very important, especially when you’re playing at home,” Malzahn said. “We definitely understand that. It’s going to be a challenge. They’re a very good team. We need to play well. They’ve got one of the better offensive players in all of college football and their defense has a lot of guys back from last year that were very good players. They have a very good defense.”

Rewind

Auburn QB Sean White has history erasing doubts

Can personnel changes  fix Auburn's struggling defense?

Lack of confidence a factor in Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson's benching

Auburn names a new starting quarterback

No extra motivation needed for Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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