AUBURN, Ala. — An efficient offensive performance and solid defense from No. 7 Auburn was too much for Mississippi State in a 56-23 loss Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The Bulldogs fall to 3-2 (1-1 SEC), while Auburn improves to 5-0 (2-0 SEC).
Mississippi State senior quarterback Tommy Stevens started the game, but was injured during the first series after taking a big hit. He was replaced by true freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader. Shrader finished the game with 209 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also rushed the ball 16 times for 89 yards and one touchdown.
Junior running back Kylin Hill, who entered the game ranked No. 3 in the nation in yards rushing, was limited to just 45 yards rushing on 17 carries.
Senior tight end Farrod Green led the team with 69 yards receiving on three catches. Junior wide receiver Osirus Mitchell caught two balls for 33 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown catch. Senior wide receiver Stephen Guidry’s lone catch of the game was a 9-yard touchdown grab.
The Auburn offense compiled 578 yards of total offense in the game. True freshman quarterback Bo Nix completed 16-of-21 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 56 yards and one touchdown on seven carries. Sophomore running back JaTarvious Whitlow scored three rushing touchdowns in the first half, including a 30-yard run on Auburn’s first play. As a team, the Tigers rushed for 217 yards and six touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Leo Lewis anchored the defense with eight tackles, including seven solo tackles, one tackle for loss and two fumble recoveries.
After three rushing touchdowns from the Tigers put the Bulldogs down 21-0, Shrader and the Bulldog offense put together a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a 9-yard touchdown pass to Guidry to make it 21-6.
Another rushing touchdown from Auburn made it 28-6 in the second quarter before junior kicker Jace Christmann made a 27-yard field goal to make it 28-9 midway through the second quarter.
Three unanswered touchdowns from the Tigers then made it 49-9. A 21-yard touchdown connection between Shrader and Mitchell made it 49-16 late in the third quarter. The teams would then trade 7-yard touchdown runs to end the game’s scoring.
The Bulldogs have a break next week before heading to Knoxville, Tennessee, to play the Volunteers on Oct. 12. Game time and television info for the matchup is expected to be announced Monday.