The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


September 13, 2013

Auburn-MSU meet in SEC opener, as usual


The Bulldogs sat seven starters, including quarterback Tyler Russell and tailback LaDarius Perkins, in last week's 51-7 win over FCS team Alcorn State.

This time it's Auburn trying to halt an embarrassing losing streak. The Tigers have dropped 10 straight SEC games, though Malzahn said he doesn't bring up last season with his players.

"Not even thought about it," he said. "I've told those guys I'm not even worried about last year. It's a new year, and it's a new season. We understand the SEC that we're going to have to play well to win. But we've not talked about last year."


Here are 5 things to watch when Auburn hosts Mississippi State on Saturday:

QUARTERBACKS: The status of Mississippi State's Russell is still questionable after he sustained a concussion in the opener against Oklahoma State. Dak Prescott replaced him against Alcorn State. Auburn's Nick Marshall is still getting a handle on things but appeared to be more comfortable in his second game as a starter.

AUBURN'S DEFENSE: The Tigers haven't given up a touchdown in their last six quarters, a first since matching that string in 2008 against Mississippi State and two quarters of the LSU game.

TOP RUNNERS: The Bulldogs are expected to get back Perkins, who rushed for 1,024 yards last season, from an ankle injury but still ran 54 times in his absence. Auburn's Tre Mason, Cameron Artis-Payne and Corey Grant all have run for 150-plus yards already.

FAMILIAR STAFF: Auburn has four assistant coaches who spent a total of 25 years on Mississippi State staffs, including defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith. Smith was on the staff last season, and Tigers cornerback Jonathon Mincy said he was more involved in gameplanning this week because of his knowledge of the offense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Both teams have produced big plays on special teams. Only Oregon, Minnesota and Mississippi State have blocked a field goal and punt already this season. Auburn kicker Cody Parkey has made 4 of 5 field goals and Tre Mason returned a kickoff 100 yards against Washington State.

Text Only


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee