No worries; this year there is no Cam Newton and Corey Broomfield is keeping an eye out for the bagman!
For the second straight week the Bulldogs are hosting the Tigers at Davis-Wade Stadium. It's Aubie's turn, and considering last week's heartbreaking loss to Clemson, the Tigers are going to be very hungry to get into the win column. As all loyal Bulldog fans already know, this game will not be an easy one to win. Even when Auburn struggles, MSU still finds a way to lose (see 2008 game). We all want to believe that this year will be different. For me, it will be different.
I usually try to attend the Auburn games, but this time I've resisted the urge to do so. I'm tired of walking out of that stadium with my head hung low thinking of all the woulda-coulda-shoulda's that I wish had occurred during the game.
I suppose as I get older I'm beginning to become more superstitious. So, if the Bulldogs find a way to pull out the victory this Saturday, I will have to believe it is, at least in part, due to my absence from the game. Of course then I'll never be able to attend an Auburn game at MSU again...but, I digress.
This week's simulation was a thriller that came down to the final minutes. It was a tough loss to swallow for the losing team, but who lost? Find out after the jump!
The Auburn Tigers win the coin toss and choose to kick off.
Jameon Lewis receives the kick and runs it out of the end zone. He's brought down at the 30 yard line. Tyler Russell's first pass is complete to Brandon Holloway for a ten yard gain and a new set of downs. The next play is an option to LaDarius Perkins that picks up another five yards. Russell throws on second and five and the pass is complete to Chris Smith. Smith is brought down at the Auburn 42 yard line and MSU again gets a fresh set of downs. Back to back runs by Perkins gains another seven yards. On third and three, Russell again goes to the air and Brandon Holloway is open at the Auburn seventeen yard line. He's tackled immediately. Arceto Clark catches a lateral pass and gains 5 yards. He's slow to get up and appears to be shaken up on the play. It's now 2nd and 5. Tyler Russell makes the decision to tuck it and run...he loses 3 yards in the process. It's now 3rd and 8. As he's done on every third down previous, Russell again goes to the air and Chad Bumphis makes a catch at the back of the end zone eerily similar to the first TD pass in the JSU game. He keeps both feet in bounds and the Bulldogs have the first TD of the game!
Bulldogs on top early 7-0
Auburn takes a knee on the kickoff...their drive will begin on the 25. The first play is a run by senior Ontario McCalebb for ten yards and an immediate first down. Kiehl Frazier again hands the ball off to McCalebb and the back delivers again, gaining nine more yards. It's 2nd and 1. Another run by McCalebb produces another first down. Auburn is now at midfield. Frazier drops back for a pass on the next play. He throws a rocket deep down the field and the tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen is the intended target. Lutzenkirchen has a blanket of maroon jerseys on top of him and the pass has no chance of being completed. If anything, Auburn is lucky that it wasn't picked off. On 2nd and 10 Auburn decides to return to what was working. Ontario Mcalebb takes the ball for a six yard gain. Frazier decides to throw on 3rd down and is nearly picked off by linesman Denico Autry. Auburn is forced to punt the ball away and succeed in pinning the Bulldogs down on their own 9 yard line.
Russell drops back to the goal line and the o-line provides him with plenty of time to throw the ball. He finally spots Chris Smith near the side line and fires the ball his direction. Russell is nearly picked off by an Auburn defender. On second down Russell completes a short pass to LaDarius Perkins and Perkins gets a nine yard gain. The next play sees Perkins run for a short gain, but enough for a first down. Again, Russell hands the ball to Perkins and again Perkins gets a first down. Finally the drive stalls out. A short gain on the ground and two incomplete passes forces MSU to punt the ball away.
Auburn begins their next drive at the 22 yard line. The first pass was way off target and falls innocently to the ground. On second and ten a bizarre play occurs. Frazier runs an option play and as he pitches the ball to McCalebb, Jonathon Banks comes out of no where to intercept the ball while it's in mid air. There is no one in the backfield to stop him and Banks runs in for an easy score!
Bulldogs now lead 14-0
Auburn returns the kick off to the 27 yard line. Frazier completes an easy ten yard pass for a first down. On second down, Ferlando Bohanna hits Frazier as he throws and the pass is incomplete. The first quarter ends.
Bulldogs still lead 14-0
MSU comes with a blitz again and this time DB Louis Watson gets the quarterback for a sack on the play. Its now 3rd and 12. Auburn completes a pass play well short of the first down. They are forced to punt.
Jameon Lewis returns the ball to the 28 yard line. Two runs and a pass later find MSU in a 4th and 8 situation. They punt the ball back to Auburn.
Auburn starts the next drive at the 38 yard line. A completed pass to Travonte Stallworth earns a first down. Auburn is now just across midfield. Ontario McCalebbs gets three tries for another first down and fails. Auburn punts the ball back to the Bulldogs for a touchback.
Tyler Russell completes a 5 yard pass to Ricco Sanders. Another huge pass play to Jameon Lewis has the Bulldogs at midfield now. After another botched run by Russell, he again goes to the air and tags Jameon Lewis for a seven yard gain. They try a running play on third down and come up a yard short. It's 4th and 1 and with halftime looming near, the Bulldogs decide to go for it! Tyler Russell decides to tuck it and run and is stuffed in the backfield...but there's a flag. Auburn jumped offsides! First down for the Bulldogs and the drive continues! Russell finds Chris Smith on a slant play and gains seven yards. With less than a minute to go, the Bulldogs quickly reset and Russell fires a bullet that is caught by Chad Bumphis at the Auburn 6 yard line! On first and goal Russell can't find anyone to throw to and wisely throws the ball away. On second down Tyler Russell again decides to run and again the results are pathetic...loss on the play. Its now 3rd down and with 30 seconds left on the ticking clock, Russell hurries back to the line. Russell hurries his throw and there is no one in the vicinity of where the ball hits the ground. It's now 4th and goal. MSU attempts a field goal and is successful!
Bulldogs lead is extended to 17-0
Auburn begins their next drive at the 21 yard line. After several completed passes, the Tigers run out of time.
Halftime arrives and the score is still 17-0 Bulldogs!
The Tigers begin the third quarter at the 25 yard line. Their first play goes to the air and it's successful for a ten yard gain and a first down. Two more passes earn another first down and suddenly the Tigers are at the MSU 40 yard line. Bohanna drops a sure pick on the next play...it's 2nd and 10. Again Frazier goes to the air...this time its a huge gain. Auburn is at the MSU 11. Finally the Tigers take it to the ground. McCalebb rushes for two plays and has the Tigers 4 yards away from the end zone. Now Frazier returns to the air and the pass is caught at the back corner of the endzone. Auburn is now on the scoreboard.
Bulldogs still lead 17-7
MSU returns the ball to the 30 but get called for holding. Backed up at their own 10, Russell scrambles and is sacked at the 2 yard line. On 2nd and 18 Russell again scrambles around in the backfield (or in this case the end zone) struggling to find someone to throw the ball to. When he doesn't find anyone he decides to try his luck on the ground. He is nearly brought down for a safety! Instead, the Bulldogs now find themselves on their own goal line. Russell finally completes a pass, but its a short gain to Bumphis. MSU breathes a sigh of relief and punts the ball away.
Auburn begins their next drive on MSU's side of the field; they're at the 48 yard line. A nice run by McCalebb picks up six yards but Frazier throws an incomplete pass on second down. On third down Frazier tries another deep pass and it's caught...but fortunately for the Bulldogs it's caught out of bounds! It's now 4th and four and Auburn is going for it. A nice pitch and catch earns them a first down and the drive continues. Back to back runs earn another first down for the Tigers. They're now at the MSU 12 yard line. Another nice pass to the back of the end zone becomes another TD for the Tigers.
The Bulldogs are still clinging to a 17-14 lead.
MSU begins the next drive at the 20 yard line. Tyler Russell is driven into the ground for a sack on the first play for a ten yard loss. 2nd down is an incomplete pass but Russell connects with Chris Smith on third down. He comes up just inches short of getting a first down. MSU punts the ball away.
The third quarter ends and MSU still leads 17-14
From the 33 yard line, Frazier drops back for another long pass. Trovon Reed is wide open and takes it to the house. MSU now in trouble and trailing for the first time in the game. The score is 21-17.
Plenty of time left for the Bulldogs to make something happen. Jameon Lewis returns the ball to the 20 yard line. Perkins earns 6 yards on first down. 2nd down is another hand off to Perkins that goes no where. The third time is a charm and Perkins makes a big gain on third down. The Bulldogs are now at midfield. This time its a pass to Perkins and again the Bulldogs get a first down! Tyler Russell decides to run it and for the first time the entire game he actually gets positive yards in doing so...8 in fact. MSU is now at the Auburn 32 yard line. Russell gets greedy and tries to run again...he's dropped in the backfield for a loss. On 3rd and 8 Russell completes a pass to Chris Smith but he's tackled a yard short of the first down. As expected, the Bulldogs are going for it on 4th and 1. The handoff to Perkins comes up short...turnover on downs.
Frazier decides to run on first down and is brought down for a two yard loss. They take their time letting the clock run before completing a seven yard pass. It's now 3rd and 3. Frazier tucks it away and runs it himself for a big gain. He's finally tackled a the Bulldog 40. It's looking bad for MSU now. The Bulldogs take their first time out to conserve clock. Another two runs and MSU burns up their other two time outs. It's now 3rd and 2 for Auburn. MSU has to stop them here....but they don't. Auburn has a fresh set of downs at the MSU 25. With no time outs left Auburn forms the dreaded victory formation and burn up the rest of the clock.
Auburn Wins 21-17
If the results of the Auburn simulation have disheartened you, don't let it. Click here to find out why.
Tyler Russell was 16 for 21 passing with a TD (185 yards)
Kiehl Frazier was 15 for 23 passing with 3 TDs (233 yards)
Auburn had 109 yards rushing and MSU had a measly 34
Auburn had the only turnover of the game