Miss St: Most Important Game of the Season?

By Posted on: September 9th, 2013 in Football 18 Comments »

m davisOn the surface, the above headline may sound stupid. When has Miss St. ever been the most important anything when it comes to football? Saturday may be a first. It’s not a reach to say that Auburn must win against the visiting Bulldogs to realistically have a shot at a bowl game and a winning record.

We’ve seen the “must win” term thrown around a lot during the first two weeks of the season. Georgia’s been carrying that weight since visiting Clemson on opening weekend. Now Alabama and Texas A&M will hear it all week.

For Auburn, it’s all too real.

A win over Miss St. gets the Tigers to 3-0 heading to Baton Rouge a week from Saturday. Barring an upset at LSU, Auburn will either be 3-1 or 2-2 with Ole Miss coming to town Oct. 5.

A win against the Bulldogs and Auburn will need one more conference victory (assuming non-conference wins over Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic) to become bowl eligible. A loss and that number doubles heading into the meat of the SEC schedule.

Auburn’s remaining conference schedule after Saturday looks like this: at LSU; Ole Miss; at Texas A&M; at Arkansas; at Tennessee; Georgia and Alabama.

A loss to Dan Mullin and statistically speaking Auburn will likely have to grab consecutive road wins in Knoxville and Fayetteville to be bowl eligible with six wins. Ole Miss remains a possibility, but they’ll be favorites heading to Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Either way you slice it, Saturday night is huge for this Auburn program. It’s dangerous to predict the future in the SEC, so my prognosticating is potentially way off. What I do know is that heading to LSU at 3-0 does give you a little wind at your back.

The early Vegas betting lines have Auburn a solid 6 ½ point favorite against State…

If you were in the stands Saturday, you surely felt a change back to normalcy. While nobody is predicting a New Year’s Day game for Gus Malzahn’s first team, you do get the feeling that old Auburn football is returning – especially on defense.

Sure Ellis Johnson’s unit gave up some big numbers, but for the first time since Will Muschamp roamed the Auburn sidelines, this group played nasty. They got after the ball and laid hit after hit.

We are starting to see the ability these kids possessed in high school taken to the next level. It’s called coaching and it’s what got Gene Chizik fired. There are surely rough roads ahead, but count me a believer in Johnson and his staff…

When it comes to attendance there are a lot of things working against Auburn. Many season ticket holders last season felt burned by the product on the field and didn’t return this year.

While there was no ticket price increase for 2013, Auburn prices remain out-of-reach for most fans. Throw in big screen televisions and air conditioning and you can see why the upper decks have had swaths of empty seats during the first two weeks.

Let’s hope the crowd returns this week. There’s no arguing that Gus is bringing the excitement back. Now it’s time for the fans to return the favor. Crowd noise must be a factor against Miss St. for Auburn to win.

If you haven’t made your way over to the Plains yet, Saturday is a good time to start. Auburn needs you.

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  1. Autgr91 says:

    I’ll be making the 9 hour trip down to do my part to drown out any cowbells that happen to show…I fully expect all my regionally closer Auburn kin to do the same! War Eagle and beat Miss. St.!!!

  2. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    The Baton Rouge War Eagle Express has an E.D.T. of 9:00 AM on Friday, 13 September 2013, headed for The Lovliest Village. We’ll be doing our best to join our family in drowning out the cow bells on Saturday in Jordan-Hare.. Beat MSU !!!

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  3. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    I want to be there so bad it hurts… But my son is playing his last year of youth football and as my luck would have it his games are Saturday nights at 7:30 (not ideal IMO). But next year he plays Junior High and his games will be on Tuesdays…

  4. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    Loud and Proud! It’s Great to be an Auburn Tiger!! I’ve already been to 2 Tiger Walks and there’s nothing like ‘em!
    We’ve been lucky so far not to have too many opposing fans but the dawgs could show up Saturday and we don’t want them to be too loud especially with those incessant cow bells (which I still don’t get and why the SEC allows them). Let’s represent!

    #WarEagle #GusDelorean #MarshallPlan

  5. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I don’t like the importance of this game, but there it is! I’ll be hollering so loud in my living room that you guys down south might even hear me :) . War Eagle!

  6. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    First game of the year for me. Looking forward to the drive over, the refreshing adult beverages, the nerves, Tiger Walk, Toomer’s, some Bodda Getta, Aubie, night game, more refreshing adult beverages…

    Anyone tailgating? We need to pitch in to have a TET tailgate tent so we can meet and put faces to names…

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      You guys form a spot and I’ll show up myself. I’d like to meet more of you guys too and I’ve been wanting to several years now. I’ll be in town for this game.

  7. LSU Jonno says:

    State is definitely the most important game.

    I think most people would put State 13th in the conference in a power poll. If you lose that game, that means Auburn is 13th, and you don’t play UK so another winless SEC season is likely. Right now I think I’d put Auburn at 9th in the conference ahead of both Arky and UT. I think 3 SEC wins sounds about right. That puts this team at 7-5 which is a pretty good start. I think 8-4 is probably the ceiling for this team if they get lucky in a game vs LSU, OM, UGA etc.

  8. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    The running game certainly has begun to look like what we expect from an Auburn football team. The defense is coming around too.

    • HamiltonAUfan HamiltonAUfan says:

      I think the defense is coming around too……. the running game has begun to look like I expect

  9. HamiltonAUfan HamiltonAUfan says:

    I think that it is an important game for Auburn…..Go TIGERS!

  10. wpleagle says:

    I think Tigerstripe’s idea about a TET tent, or just an area where we can congregate, is a great idea. My wife and I gave up our season tix after 19 years for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is her health and both our advancing age. However, I would make trips to the Plains to meet and greet fellow Tiger Trackers! Just pick the spot and spread the word.

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      I’m with you. I say we should get a thread up and rolling and get this thing coordinated. I’ll show up myself and I look forward to seeing some folks on here if possible.

  11. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    After the first game I had no clue and was still wondering how good we were this year. After Saturdays game I was feeling a little better but still had little evidence to hang my hat on. Then when I saw WSU beat USC and SoCal only scored one TD on them I was back to wondering if we might have a chance against top notch teams. USC is not having their best run lately but they are still a top tier program and loaded with good athletes.

    I believe the Doggies game will clear up the fuzzy picture. If we lay a butt whipping on them I will feel like we can play with anyone, maybe not win them all, but stay in the game. If we lay an egg, not so much.

    Malzahn teams always get better as the year goes on, we could be peaking around UGA-UAT time and surprise some people.

  12. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    UT San Antonio put up 35 on Ok St Saturday. Ms St put up 3 against that same defense. Gus is going to have a field day this weekend, these bull dogs dont have teeth! Auburn might not be as good as some of us hoped, but the other SEC teams are worse than we had a right to hope for. War Eagle!

  13. restless6 says:

    I agree that this is the most important game.

    Having gone winless in SEC play last year, a win here will be great for morale and momentum.

    WDE

  14. DBAU81 says:

    No question this is an important game. A 3-0 start would give this team some much-needed confidence heading to the Bayou and beyond. Playing at night and at home in front of what is certain to be an amped-up crowd (and with not many MSU fans there – the Ding-a-Lings never travel well), and with momentum on our side, I like our chances. We really, really need to win this one, because things are about to get a whole lot tougher in a hurry.

  15. tigertracker says:

    I hope both sides continue to improve as our competition gets stronger. I really like our rushing attack with smash, slash, and dash all taking turns in the backfield. Marshall is doing exactly what we need …for now. Take care of the ball and do enough passing to keep the D honest, while we eat up chunks on the ground. Yes, the defenses we face will get much better than what we have seen to date, but if we can keep games close into the 4th we have a chance for our backs to break off big runs when our opponent is worn down. No one wanted to tackle CAP late in the game Saturday. I really think uzomah is going to be key and Gus is holding that back for now. A large, athletic tight end is going to be Marshall’s best friend when he has to make quick reads in the near future. Im curious to see if we run more of that package that has two stars on the field at same time. Garrett was hands down the best player i saw on the field at A day. Hoping he is back soon and still at that level. He and therezie have got to be better than what we are seeing in LBs right now if they can handle tackling big backs consistently. I feel like i see some fire in this teams gut, but you never know what you have until you’re down a few scores and clawing out of a hole. Keep working guys. We’re behind you. War eagle and earhole those bulldogs!