Mississippi State and Auburn each got off to a rusty start as each team struggled offensively and in the case of state on special teams. Missed field goals looked as if they may haunt the Bulldogs on this soggy Saturday in Starkville as their freshman kicker Devon Bell was zero for two in the first half.
Special teams play would rear their ugly head again to start the second half as Auburn tailback Onterio McCalebb became the first Tiger to have a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown since Tim Carter vs. LSU in 2000.
That was the best play of the day for Auburn as their offense under quarterback Kiehl Frazier was atrocious. It was so bad that they had negative two passing yards at the end of the first quarter. Frazier was attacked by a relentless Bulldog defense all day long and threw three interceptions on the day–two of them to All-American cornerback Johnthan Banks–and also lost two fumbles late in the fourth quarter.
Mississippi State’s offense was humming after the first quarter as they doubled up Auburn in terms of total yards. Tyler Russell looked poised in the pocket throwing for three touchdowns and LaDarius Perkins ran for more than 80 yards as they kept the Tigers defense off balance.
The story of the day is that Mississippi State is going places with Dan Mullen running the football program in Starkville. This is his first SEC west win against a team that is not Ole Miss, or as Mullen would refer to them, TSUN (the school up north).
The first 2-0 start for state in over a decade is a monumental feat for the program that looks to emerge from the bottom of the pack in the toughest division in the toughest conference in America.
Bulldog fans can ring their cowbells all night long knowing their team is in sole possession of first place in the SEC west after the 28-10 win.
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Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on Sportstownchicago.com Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.