This week’s game: Auburn (0-1, 0-0 SEC) at MSU (1-0, 0-0), Saturday, 11 a.m., ESPN/ESPN3.com (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Jenn Brown)
We’ve probably said everything that’s to be said about the import of this game for MSU and Dan Mullen. We’ve broken down the matchups best we can, studied the recent history of the series. I’ve made my prediction (27-23 MSU, if you missed it). Ultimately, of course, none of us is sure what will happen until it does.
As you can read in today’s Journal, the Bulldogs are having to prepare for some unknowns with Auburn, which has two new coordinators. Mullen isn’t sure how much the Tigers showed last week versus Clemson, although that was certainly a big game for Auburn, so you wouldn’t think Gene Chizik would be holding back too much.
It may be more a matter of Auburn simply trying to find its identity, something Mullen mentioned earlier in the week. Can this be a strong running team with the experienced Onterio McCalebb and potentially explosive Tre Mason? Can Kiehl Frazier be a legitimate threat to both run and pass? Is the defense better than the 528 yards it gave up to Clemson? (It should be noted that for all the yards Clemson gained, it only found the end zone twice.)
There are some unknowns with MSU, too. Such as whether Tyler Russell can get over on an SEC defense, or whether LaDarius Perkins and his tailback pals can pound out some yardage, or whether the defensive front can give opposing quarterbacks headaches.
Tomorrow, some of these questions begin being answered.
Some links from the Auburn side: Chizik expects to play more DBs this weekend. … Freshman Avery Young feels right at home at right tackle. … This is a couple of days old, but Jermaine Whitehead is looking forward to being back in Mississippi.
Here’s the rest of this weekend’s schedule (all games Saturday).
• East Carolina at South Carolina, 11:21 a.m., SEC Network
• Florida at Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
• Western Kentucky at Alabama, 2:30 p.m., SEC Network
• Georgia State at Tennessee, 3 p.m., PPV
• UTEP at Ole Miss, 6 p.m., FSN
• Washington at LSU, 6 p.m., ESPN
• UL-Monroe at Arkansas, 6 p.m., ESPNU
• Kent State at Kentucky, 6:30 p.m., CSS
• Georgia at Missouri, 6:45 p.m., ESPN2
• Vanderbilt at Northwestern, 7 p.m., Big Ten Network