Ranked No. 21 heading into its SEC opener Thursday night, can Auburn stand prosperity? Mississippi State represents a very winnable road game for the Tigers, and AccuScore has them as a three point favorite. AccuScore went 8-1 picking winners in the SEC for the opening weekend.
New quarterback Cam Newton made his first start of his career last Saturday, and it was impressive. A former back-up for Tim Tebow at Florida, Newton turned in a very Tebow-like performance in his first start throwing for 186 yards and rushing for 171 more scoring a total of 5 touchdowns. The performance of course must be taken with a grain of salt given the fact it was against Arkansas State, but Newton showed he has the potential to be a dynamic offensive weapon. He is projected to throw for 205 yards and also be Auburn’s leading rusher (90 yards).
Even though Mississippi State was picked last in the SEC West, it does have the advantage of hosting this game with both terms coming off a short week. Winning as an underdog though often means winning the turnover battle. Bulldog QB Chris Relf threw an interception on the first throw of the season. Luckily, it would be the only turnover for his team against Memphis as Relf split time with Tyler Russell.
Russell was much more impressive than Relf throwing for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns so AccuScore projects him to take the majority of the snaps. If the Bulldogs don’t turn the ball over (11% chance of this) they actually become slight favorites. If Auburn forces two or more turnovers however, the Tigers push their average margin of victory to eight points.