The Auburn Tigers are hanging on for dear life in the SEC West. Losses to Texas A&M and Georgia have put them at 3-2 in the SEC West. They’re looking up at A&M now after the Aggies’ victory last week, and are one game back in the loss column to rival Alabama. They still have an outside shot to win the West, but they’ll need some things to break their way. They also need to hope to take care of their own business. On Saturday, they face a Mississippi State squad that is 3-3 in SEC play. The Bulldogs aren’t bowl-eligible yet, but can be if they are able to knock the Tigers off.
How to watch Auburn vs. Mississippi State
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: ESPN App
(via DraftKings Sportsbook)
Spread: Auburn -5.5 | Mississippi State +5.5
Moneyline: Auburn -200 | Mississippi State +170
Auburn’s pass defense stood up well to Texas A&M this past weekend. While it’s true that Zach Calzada was banged up in the game against the Tigers, allowing under 200 passing yards was certainly strong. But the worst part of that game was their run defense. They gave up 6.4 yards per carry and 219 yards on the ground to the Aggies. Given that they only mustered 73 on the ground themselves, there was a significant and stark contrast between the two teams.
Mississippi State doesn’t run the ball enough for me to really be worried about that. Nor do they run it very effectively, either. In the last five games, they’ve amassed YPC of: 1.8, -0.1, 2.8, 2.7, and 2.7 again. They’ve only averaged above 3.5 YPC just once this season (4.4 vs. LSU). Given it’s not in their DNA to run the ball much either, the Tigers will probably be able to get away with that here. The hope for them should be that this pass defense shows up, and not the one that allowed over 300 yards to Ole Miss, LSU, and Penn State.
Very sneakily, Mississippi State has had a pretty solid defense this year. Especially in the last three games. While the YPP has ballooned from 3.7 to 4.5 to 5.6, they’ve allowed under 200 passing yards in each of the last three games. While they gave up 202 yards on the ground last week, it came on 45 carries. And they are still allowing under 4.0 YPC this entire season. Auburn has nearly a 1:1 ratio this year of runs and passes, so State should likely be tested up front in this game.