Kodi Burns had three 1-yard touchdown runs and threw for another in Auburn’s 49-24 win over Mississippi State on Saturday night.
The Tigers’ diversified new offense gained 589 yards to help Auburn score its most points in an SEC game since 2005 – a year after these two teams played to a 3-2 final won by Auburn.
Ben Tate ran for 159 yards and Onterio McCalebb got 120 yards, becoming the first freshman to run for more than 100 in his first two games at Auburn (2-0, 1-0).
Burns, the Tigers’ former starting QB, took snaps from offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s wildcat formation on all four TDs he had a hand in, including the 13-yard pass to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen.
Quarterback Chris Todd was 10 of 23 for 186 yards and no interceptions.
Anthony Dixon carried 20 times for 92 yards and a score for Mississippi State (1-1, 0-1 Southeastern Conference) after sitting out a game’s suspension following a DUI arrest.
Darvin Adams caught five passes for 116 yards, all in the first half.
Mississippi State went ahead 17-14 when Patrick Hanrahan blocked a punt and Robert Elliott returned it 10 yards for a touchdown about five minutes before halftime.
On Auburn’s next possession, McCalebb took a pitch around left end 48 yards for a touchdown. Burns added a scoring run from the wildcat to give Auburn a 28-17 lead at halftime.
Auburn continued to dominate in the second half, scoring twice in the third quarter – on Burns pass to Lutzenkirchen and on a 35-yard run by Tate. It was Lutzenkirchen’s first career reception.
Mississippi State got a one-yard touchdown run by Christian Ducre early in the fourth quarter before Burns scored on another one-yard run from the wildcat with 5:19 left.
The teams traded scores in a wild first quarter before Auburn took charge late in charge late in the second quarter.
The Tigers jumped off to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, scoring first on one of Burns’ scores as Auburn showed it would rely heavily on the wildcat. Burns carried four times for 11 yards and two touchdowns from the formation in the first half.
Defensive end Antonio Coleman had an interception return for a touchdown.
The Bulldogs stormed back early in the second quarter, sparked by the return of Dixon, who scored on a one-yard run with 12:05 before halftime. Dixon rushed nine times for 50 yards on the 12-play drive.