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Auburn barrels through Mississippi State, 56-23

The Tigers ran roughshod on the struggling Bulldogs

Mississippi State v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers racked up 578 total yards of offense en route to their 56-23 demolition of the Mississippi St. Bulldogs on Saturday night.

361 of those yards came through the air, as Bo Nix had his best showing ot date. Nix went 16-for-21 for 335 passing yards. Nix threw the ball to eight different receivers, with Seth Williams getting the most targets (10) and receptions (8). Naturally, Williams also had the most yards receiving, as he piled on 161 receiving yards on the night with two touchdowns. Anthony Schwartz, Will Hastings and Sal Cannella each had two receptions apiece, while Eli Stove, Malik Miller, Jay Jay Wilson and Zach Farrar all had one reception.

Meanwhile, the Tigers gained 217 yards on the ground, and did so without a single 100-yard rusher. Nix led the team with 56 yards on the ground and needed just seven carries to get there. JaTarvious Whitlow had 55 yards on 10 carries, and scored three times on the night. D.J. Williams had 32 yards rushing, while Kam Martin followed him up with 31. Schwartz piled on 25 and Shaun Shivers got 22 of his own. Whitlow, Nix, Martin and Schwartz all had at least one rushing touchdown of the night, good for a total of six.

This was a complete and thorough domination by Auburn. The Tigers scored on each of their first five drives of the game, all for touchdowns. Those drives lasted nine seconds, 1 minute and 24 seconds, 42 seconds, 3 minutes and 52 seconds and 2 minutes and 22 seconds. Their next two scoring drives took just 2 minutes and 32 seconds and 1 minute and 32 seconds. Needless to say, Auburn didn’t need much time to get the ball in the end zone at all.

For as great as Auburn played, Mississippi State played as woefully. They committed two turnovers, both fumbles, and had a TOD towards the end of the game. They punted the ball away six times over the course of the game, three times in each half. They could only muster 334 total yards, 118 of them coming on the ground. They committed nine penalties, went 3-for-12 on 3rd down conversion attempts, averaged just 5.2 yards per play, 3.1 yards per carry and fumbled the ball three times, with one recovery.

Garrett Shrader played a “clean” game under center, but threw for just 209 yard son the day. He went 12-for-23 with two touchdowns, one to Osirus Mitchell and the other to Stephen Guidry, and threw no interceptions. The run game, the heart of State’s offense, was absolutely stifled though. The usually great Kylin Hill was held to just 45 yards on 17 carries. His meager 2.1 yards per carry was just not enough on the day for the Bulldogs, as the aforementioned Shrader outgained him with 89 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. But given that the team, as a whole, ran for 3.1 yards per carry, even Shrader’s solid performance didn’t instill enough ammo to get them going.

Farrod Green led the team in receiving yards with 69, and needed only three catches to get there. Like Auburn, they got the ball around to eight different receivers — Green, Mitchell, Deddrick Thomas, Hill, JaVonta Payton, Isaiah Zuber, Geor’quarius Spivey and Guidry. But obviously, the numbers were starkly different.

Auburn can take solace in this win and say that there’s nowhere to go but up. A big collision awaits with the similarly unbeaten Florida Gators awaits them next week in The Swamp, which could and should be a pivotal SEC matchup. State, meanwhile, slides to 3-2 on the year. They should be able to handle the lowly Tennessee Volunteers in two weeks, but optimism is certainly hard to find after these last few performances.