Mississippi State Sports Blog


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GAMEDAY: No. 24 MSU at No. 13 Auburn




HALFTIME: Auburn 21, MSU 10 




TEAM: 148 yards, 87 passing, 61 rushing, 4.1 yards per play (it was much worse early on). MSU is 3-10 on 3rd down with an average distance to go of 6.1 yards.  


Nick Fitzgerald: 8-17, 87 yards, 1 TD; 5 carries, 24 yards 


Aeris Williams: 8 carries, 22 yards; 1 catch, 3 yards 


Keith Mixon: 1 catch, 45 yards 


Jesse Jackson: 2 catches, 17 yards 


Reggie Todd: 1 catch, 11 yards 


Donald Gray: 1 catch, 6 yards 


Justin Johnson: 2 catches, 5 yards, 1 TD 




Brandon Bryant, Johnathan Abram and Jeffery Simmons: 5 tackles each. Simmons has a sack, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. 


J.T. Gray: 4 tackles 


Montez Sweat, Leo Lewis, Mark McLaurin: 3 tackles each. Sweat has a sack, McLaurin has 0.5 tackles for a loss. 




- I won't lie, the first half had its ugly parts, but the drive chart is slowly but surely looking better for MSU. Aside from the 77-yard TD drive to basically end the half, there was also a first down on the drive before it and 34 yards on MSU's final possession of the first quarter. 


- MSU has to figure something out in between the tackles. Not only has running in that area not worked more times than not, but one sweep sticks out to me where a tackle shed his block and ruined the play by chasing it from the inside. Throwing downfield is a good way to neutralize that, which it did in that final possession of the second quarter, but obviously we know that's not necessarily MSU's strong suit over a large sample size. 


- I also think MSU has been just a half-step behind on most of its block shedding throughout the game. That half-step is the difference between 5 yards and 2 when you face an Auburn run game like this, and I don't think I need to explain why the difference between 2 and 5 yards is important in a game that's more or less played 10 yards at a time.



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