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Auburn vs. Mississippi State Final Score 2016: What we learned from the Tigers’ 38-14 win

Auburn is a legitimate player in the West race. Mississippi State? Not so much.

NCAA Football: Auburn at Mississippi State Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Carl Lawson had two sacks, including a strip sack that led to a Montravius Adams touchdown, and Auburn rolled up 335 yards of total offense in the first half as they built a 35-0 halftime lead on their way to an easy 38-14 win over Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday.

Auburn mostly shut things down after halftime, but in the first half Sean White and the Tigers’ offense were rolling, scoring on 9-play, 12-play, and 12-play drives to get out to a 21-0 lead. After a quick touchdown off a short field, Auburn added insult to injury with a defensive touchdown shortly before halftime.

Mississippi State scored a couple of touchdowns in the second half to make the final score respectable, but the outcome was never really in doubt. The Bulldogs’ only real scoring threat in the first half came after an early interception, but Westin Graves missed a 28-yard field goal. Mississippi State never really threatened again after that.

What did we learn?

  1. Auburn’s defense is legit. The Tigers have had some strong defensive performances this season, but against Mississippi State the defense was simply suffocating. Now it doesn’t seem so weird that Clemson “only” scored 19 points in the season opener. That said more about Auburn than it did about Clemson.
  2. Mississippi State probably won’t make a bowl game. The Bulldogs currently sit at 2-3 after the loss, and still have to play Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Texas A&M, in addition to a game against BYU next week that certainly isn’t a gimme. MSU will be hard-pressed to get four wins out of their remaining schedule.
  3. It’s possible for an SEC game to be unwatchable. The second half of this game consisted of Auburn essentially trying to run out the clock and Mississippi State making a half-hearted effort to make the final respectable, but little real threat to win. Seriously, you guys made me switch over to a football game involving Kansas.