This week's game: Auburn (0-1, 0-0 SEC) at MSU (1-0, 0-0), Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN (Dave Pasch play-by-play, Brian Griese analyst, Jenn Brown sideline)
Before we get into game week stuff, there is a major housekeeping item that requires your attention: This blog is getting a new home.
This will become a Wordpress-supported blog, and so you should go ahead and bookmark insidemsusports.com, and it will go live around 10 a.m. today. In a few days, we hope to have all the old posts from this blog moved to that one, but until then, you can keep visiting this blog to catch up or review older entries.
This is a major upgrade for us. The new blog will allow me to do much more, especially in the multl-media department. Video and audio can be directly uploaded to the new blog, and I will be able to post from my phone when the situation requires it. I believe the overall look and feel of the blog will be greatly improved.
You will probably see some tweaks early on as I get settled in over there, but I believe your experience of reading about MSU sports will be greatly enhanced by this move. One notable change as far as you're concerned is the comments section. We'll be using Disqus, a popular commenting system that allows you to log in via the social network of you choice. This will hopefully make for more robust conversations among readers.
If you have any questions about anything, let me know and I'll try to help.
OK, let's get back to football now. Be sure to check out my MSU rewind in today's Journal (CLICK HERE), and now let's take a look at Auburn.
• Last meeting: Auburn 41, MSU 34 (Sept. 10, 2011, in Auburn)
• Series: Auburn leads 60-23-2.
• Auburn on the Web: auburntigers.com
• Auburn coach: Gene Chizik (30-11, fourth year)
• 3 Auburn players to watch: RB Tre Mason, WR Emory Blake, LB Daren Bates
• Premature review: During our Premature Preview of Auburn (CLICK HERE), we discussed the changes at offensive and defensive coordinator. Gus Malzahn is gone to Arkansas State, so now Scot Loeffler is the man running the show, and he's doing so with a new quarterback, Kiehl Frazier.
The early returns aren't great. Auburn lost to No. 14 Clemson, 26-19, to open the season (CLICK HERE). Frazier was 11 of 27 for 194 yards, a touchdown and an interception, and Auburn had 374 total yards, including 180 rushing. Meanwhile, Clemson piled up 528 yards against Brian VanGorder's defense.
I don't know that the Tigers would call it a good loss, but it wasn't a bad one. Clemson is supposed to be very good this season, and Auburn is trying to fill some big holes. However, the matchup for MSU certainly seems favorable, especially its offense against that Auburn defense. And there's the added motivation of the last two meetings, which Auburn has won by a combined 10 points.
"Our guys are motivated, they know how big it is, and we always put that emphasis on the first (SEC) game of the season," Dan Mullen said on his teleconference Sunday. "That first conference game of the season is so important. I think they'll be ready to go, they'll be fired up and ready to play, and I know they're going to be ready to find a way to pull it out here in the end finally this year."
Vegas has MSU as a 3.0- to 3.5-point favorite at home.