Auburn Wire Roundtable: Mississippi State predictions

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Auburn may have its hands full in their matchup Saturday with the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The Bulldog air raid seems to be a hit or miss type of attack in the SEC this season but Auburn’s defense is playing the best ball that they have all season.

Bo Nix, Tank Bigsby, and the Auburn offense struggled in Texas A&M, but does that issue carry over a week later? That’s the question Auburn fans are asking.

The Auburn Wire staff discusses several topics about the Auburn football season and their matchup with Mississippi State in this week’s roundtable.

Let’s jump in.

How will the Auburn defense look against the Mississippi State air raid?

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Zac Blackerby: I think the Auburn defense will be fine. Expect them to stay on the field for a long time but to stand strong in the red zone in bend-but-don’t-break fashion.

Lance Dawe: Mississippi State is going to run their four or so plays- cross, mesh, four verts, and halfback swings. I think Auburn will allow those completions, but not much past that. Auburn has athletes that can tackle well in space. Communication will be very important for the Tigers. Auburn may give up short yardage on plays, but they won’t break.

JDM: Everyone knows Mississippi State is going to throw the ball plenty of times and I think Auburn will match up well. It will be crucial for Auburn to tackle well as Mississippi State relies on short passes, but I expect Auburn’s defense to play well and slow the offense down.

Will Auburn run the ball effectively on Saturday?

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ZB: The answer to this question may decide the game. I think the Mississippi State defense will go all-in on slowing down Bigsby and company. In short, no. I think Auburn will need to use the passing game to help out the running game on Saturday.

LD: I don’t think so. Mississippi State has one of the better run defenses in the SEC and does not allow teams to get into a rhythm (MSU has the least amount of plays allowed per game in the SEC). Bigsby may have another game where he struggles.

JDM: Yes, the Bulldogs shut down the rushing attack of LSU and Kentucky but was gashed by Texas A&M, Alabama and Arkansas. Auburn should look to run the ball early and often on Saturday.

Which player has surprised you the most this season?

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: I’ll say Jarquez Hunter. He’s slowed down some since his strong start but I thought the hype around him this fall was just fall fluff stuff. It wasn’t. he’s a solid SEC back as a true freshman.

LD: I will say Kobe Hudson. This receiver room is lackluster, but Hudson has been able to do things I didn’t think he was capable of in year two with Auburn.

JDM: Jarquez Hunter, I expected Hunter to get touches this season due to Auburn’s lack of depth at running back. However, I did not see him having such success and looking like a potential star.

Is there a true freshman that you’d like to see get more time in the last few games?

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: I’ll say Garner Langlo. Auburn needs to change some things on the offensive line and learn more about some of the younger guys before they hit the portal hard this offseason.

LD: Landen King. He’s a guy that could be a huge threat for Auburn in years to come. I would love to see him some more touches this season.

JDM: Tar’varish Dawson, Auburn’s receivers have struggled this season and there could be some value in seeing how Dawson looks early on.

Score predictions.

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

ZB: Auburn 24 Mississippi State 21

LD: Auburn 37 Mississippi State 23

JDM: Auburn 28 Mississippi State 20

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