No other team benefited more than the No. 2 Auburn Tigers after last week’s round of upsets throughout college football. The Tigers are now in an excellent position to take control of the SEC following Alabama’s loss to Ole Miss, and their own 34-point blasting of LSU.
But first the Tigers must take on the Magnolia State’s other upstart squad, the No. 3 Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium.
The Bulldogs are enjoying their first top 5 ranking in school history following a rousing 17-point upset over then-No. 6 Texas A&M, and another shocking win at LSU the week before, after years on the periphery of the SEC. A third straight upset over a top 10 opponent will not only move Mississippi State further up the rankings but also put them in line for one of the four coveted spots in the College Football Playoff.
Let’s take a look at several key players on both sides, who could make a huge impact in the SEC showdown.
Players To Watch
Dak Prescott, WB, Mississippi State
The junior’s already blown past his career-high in touchdown passes, and will likely do the same on the ground. With so many Heisman contenders struggling for various reasons this season, Prescott could have his moment against the Tigers, who boast the No. 9 ranked defense in the country.
Richie Brown, LB, Mississippi State
Brown is second in the SEC with three interceptions, but against run-centric Auburn he’ll have to adjust his game to stifle running back Cameron Artis-Payne and quarterback Nick Marshall. The Bulldogs are allowing 98.2 rushing yards per game, and Brown will certainly get some help from Benardrick McKinney and Preston Smith, who’ve combined for 6.5 sacks.
Montravius Adams, DT, Auburn
At a burly 6-foot-4 and 306 lbs., the sophomore’s first on the team with five tackles for a loss of 20 yards, and while he only has one sack he’s hit opposing QBs four times. How he clogs up the middle versus Prescott and leading Bulldog running back Josh Robinson may very well be the key to the game.
Trovon Reed and Jermaine Whitehead, DBs, Auburn
With Prescott firing on all cylinders, this pair of senior defensive backs, who account for four of the Tigers seven interceptions, can severely limit Mississippi State’s offense from the get go.
Start Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EST
TV Channel: CBS
Live Online Stream: A live stream is available at CBS sports here