No. 7 Auburn hosts Mississippi State in SEC home opener
Mississippi State (3-1, 1-0 SEC) at No. 7 Auburn (4-0, 1-0), Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (ESPN).
Line: Auburn by 10.
Series record: Auburn leads 63-27-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Auburn is trying to keep the positive buzz going with a brutal schedule coming up — and not look ahead to a trip to No. 9 Florida. The Bulldogs could make a big statement a week after beating Kentucky and likely climb into the Top 25.
Mississippi State’s running game versus Auburn’s defense. The Bulldogs’ Kylin Hill is the SEC’s leading rusher with 551 yards and five touchdowns. He faces a defense that has held three of four opponents below 100 rushing yards. The Tigers‘ defensive front is led by Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson, who between them have won the past three SEC defensive lineman of the week honors.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mississippi St: QB Tommy Stevens or Garrett Shrader. Stevens missed the Kentucky game with an unspecified upper-body injury. Shrader filled in capably and was named the SEC freshman of the week after passing for 180 yards and rushing for 125.
Auburn: DT Derrick Brown. The 6-foot-5, 318-pounder is hard to block and is a key run-stopping presence while also getting two sacks against Texas A&M.
FACTS & FIGURES
The home team has won six of the last eight meetings. The Tigers are 29-7 against the Bulldogs in Auburn. … Mississippi State’s 23-9 win over Auburn last season was the program’s largest margin of victory over a Top 10 team since beating No. 2 Auburn 38-23 on Oct. 11, 2014. That win vaulted Mississippi State to its first No. 1 ranking. … Auburn leads the SEC in rushing offense and ranks last in passing. … The Tigers are the only team to have beaten two AP Top 25 teams this season. … Mississippi State and Ohio State are the only Power 5 teams to have rushed for 200-plus yards four times this season.