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Cookin’ Up the Competition: Endangered Animals Edition

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The Tigers of Auburn come to town Saturday. Let’s converse with the enemy, shall we?

A costumed human
“One. That’s how many mascots you should have.”
Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

After a few weeks away, CUtC is back! This time, out featured proteins are both endangered to some degree so that’s no fun. (Btw, why does Auburn have two mascots?) This week’s contributor is from College & Magnolia and was kind enough to not send me a picture of a middle finger when I sent him an email this morning asking for his participation, so thanks for that @Walt Austin.

1) Walk me through the last play of last weekends game vs LSU from your perspective.

I had a pretty good view of the play, actually, from my seats. I watched the clock hit zero on the board and then turned to the play. I had enough time to see the 0:00 and then turn my head and realize the ball hadn't been snapped well before the play began, so I knew the play shouldn't have counted. I was screaming it at the top of my lungs while they let it play. I was also screaming that LSU wasn't set, because I saw the right tackle still going into his crouch and the WR still getting to his mark when it was snapped.

It was a serious roller coaster of emotions, though. Certainty there should be a flag or no play, then heart break with the call on the field, then elation at the result. Funny enough, PodKatt of And The Valley Shook was sitting right behind me in the stands. That wasn't planned; it just worked out that way. It's hard to describe the feelings you go through on a play like that, though. In the end I don't know that I would have expected anything else from an Auburn/LSU game, though. They always have some form of insanity to them.

2) Why is Jordan-Hare Stadium so full of magical powers and how can we transfer some of that to Davis Wade?

It's because we're just #Blessed, I guess. It hasn't held too much magic over the last two years, though. Hopefully, we've regenerated what we spent in 2013.

3) What position group should Mississippi State fans be most concerned about on Saturday?

The defensive line is the heart of Auburn's defense. Going through the 2-deep and even into the 3rd string, they're all either former 4* or 5* players. Auburn will rotate almost all of them into the game at some point to keep the line fresh. It's been a while since Auburn has had a consistent pass rush, but this season they're getting to QBs and forcing errant plays like they haven't done in a long time. Don't sleep on the linebackers, though. After years of disappointing play from that group, new coach Travis Williams has been getting those boys to play like he did as a part of the 2004 team, and they're fun to watch.

4) Give me your honest thoughts on Mississippi State football in the year of our Lord 2016.

I think Mississippi State is rebuilding. It's hard to replace a QB like Dak Prescott, and there will always be growing pains involved in that. I don't think MSU is a bad team by any stretch of the imagination; I think they're an SEC West team (which means records aren't always indicative of how good they are given the teams we all play every week) capable of beating anyone on any given Saturday and just a few pieces a way from having a really good team. Those pieces may not necessarily be players, either. It may just be figuring out the new pieces - including the QB - and making it all work. Y'all just do me a favor and not figure that out be this weekend, ok?

5) Prediction time: who wins and who is the game's MVP?

I think if Auburn can figure out how to score in the red zone, Auburn will win. If they can't, then this is going to be a very interesting game. Having faced Texas A&M and Clemson and still having the #15 scoring defense in the nation, I'm fairly convinced Auburn's defense can limit MSU's offense. It's getting the ball across the goal enough to take advantage of that which is Auburn's issue so far. I think it could come down to field goals made or missed, though, and so I'll give the MVP to Daniel Carlson (#Legatron) who has been Auburn's best weapon for three seasons, now.

Bonus: What is the preferred toilet paper of Toomer's Oaks?

Whatever you can get a hold of! If I had to go into throwing mechanics, I'd want something a little heavier that will hold together when thrown. There's an art to how you grab and throw the roll (fingers up under the hanging paper, letting a bit hang off and over the wrist, roll it off the fingers as you throw so that it unrolls more while flying). However, for the Trees' sake, lighter weight paper is probably preferred.

Thanks again to Walt Austin and check out my Q&A with them on their site to get your full coverage of both sides in this weekend’s matchup.