Today’s game between Mississippi State and Auburn could be the pivotal turning point for both programs this season.
Both the Bulldogs and Tigers enter the game with 2-1 records having lost their SEC opener to LSU and are hovering in the “others receiving votes” category of the Top 25. The winner will still have a fighting chance to get to Atlanta while the loser will have plenty of questions to answer after a 0-2 start in league play.
“We still have everything in front of us,” said MSU quarterback Dak Prescott. “This game really does that. If we win this game, we are still in the position we need to be. If we lose this game, we have to get some things straight.”
Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
MSU and Auburn have had some classics of late with three of the last five meetings coming down to the final drive. Although the Tigers own a commanding 61-25-2 lead in the series, it has been the Bulldogs that have claimed two of the last three meetings including a 38-23 victory in Starkville last season.
But Jordan-Hare Stadium hasn’t been kind to State. The Bulldogs have just one win on the plains since 2000 and are 0-3 there under Dan Mullen.
Prescott started his first career game during Mississippi State’s last visit to Auburn in 2013. Prescott had the Bulldogs in position for a win until the Tigers came roaring back with a 12-play, 88 yard drive to score the go-ahead touchdown with 10-seconds remaining in a 24-20 victory.
“I now know what to expect going to Auburn,” Prescott said. “I know exactly what the stadium is going to be like, hard to hear. It is a great environment to play in. I am using it as motivation to come out with different results than I did the first time being there.”
Prescott has certainly had his share of success against the Tigers. In two starts, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has rolled up 713 yards of offense and five touchdowns becoming the only player opposing Auburn in the last 40 years to account for 200 yards passing and 100 yards rushing and has done so in back-to-back years.
The Tigers were the preseason pick to win the conference outright but have fallen out of favor with quarterback Jeremy Johnson after only three games.
Auburn makes a change today going with Sean White as its signal caller although the redshirt freshman has yet to take a snap at the collegiate level.
“I don’t really know how it’s going to affect them,” Mullen said. “For us, we just have to go out there and play hard. It’s not going to change anything that we do.”