Part 2, AU 41, MSU 34: News, Notes, Quotes

Comments from Emory Blake and news and notes are featured in this report from Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Auburn, Ala.-- Gene Chizik doesn't mince words when it comes to junior wide receiver Emory Blake who contributed a 46-yard touchdown catch from Barrett Trotter among his seven receptions for 108 yards in Auburn's heart-stopping 41-34 win over Mississippi State on Saturday in the SEC opener for both teams.

"I tell you what, he's a special player," Auburn's head coach said in his post-game comments after the thriller.

"He's a tough guy," Chizik said. "Don't lose sight of the fact that he covers kickoffs and he covers punts. He took a hit on the sideline today that may have knocked the other guy out, and he popped right back up. He's just a football player and he loves the game. He's a huge part of what we do."

Blake's effort Saturday against Mississippi State came a week after he caught a touchdown pass and latched on to an onside kick that led to Auburn's last-minute 42-38 win over Utah State in the season opener.

Blake's second quarter touchdown catch against the Bulldogs was the fifth consecutive game he's recorded a TD. He is the first Tiger to have TD receptions in five consecutive games since Byron Franklin--a current member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees--accomplished it in 1980 when he caught TD passes in six straight games.

Terry Beasley, Auburn's career leader with 29 touchdown receptions, caught TD passes in eight straight games in the early 1970s to set the record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch.

The 46-yard touchdown strike from Trotter against the Bulldogs looked similar to the 56-yarder he had for six points against Utah State. Blake found an opening in the middle of the field where Trotter found him in stride. A nifty move and a burst of speed found him in the Mississippi State end zone to tie the game 21-21.

"It was a well-called play against the defense that we went out there and executed," Blake said.

Blake said the offense was clicking and making plays after a tough week of practice.

"It was a great overall win for the team and we just need to keep on trucking," Blake commented. "We were a lot more physical in practice this week. Coach Chizik told us we were going to make big improvements this week because of the way we practiced. We did and you saw that on the field."

But there's much more improvement that's needed.

"I'm not really satisfied with a 2-0 start," said the son of Jeff Blake, who played quarterback 14 years in the NFL. "We are off to a good start, but we are definitely not satisfied with the way we are playing."

In other news and notes:

*Cody Parkey first career field goal came with five seconds remaining in the first half to give Auburn a 31-24 lead after an outstanding drive highlighted by Blake's 22-yard catch to Mississippi State 41-yard line for a 22-yard gain. The catch, on which the Bulldogs' Nickoe Whitley was charged with a personal foul after spearing Blake in the head, came 15 seconds before the half with no timeouts remaining for the Tigers.

It didn't take Parkey long to get his second field goal of the season. It came from 37 yards out on Auburn's first possession of the second half to put the Tigers up 34-24.

*Until Saturday, Auburn and Mississippi State had not met with both teams nationally ranked since the 2000 season when Auburn was 15th and 13th in the two major polls and Mississippi State 20th in both polls. Ironically, Auburn is the first defending national champion to fall out of the AP rankings in the second week of the following season since the 1960s when only 10 teams were ranked each week.

The Tigers started the season at 23rd in the AP poll and 19th in the coaches poll. After narrowly defeating Utah State 42-38 in the season opener the Tigers had the 27th most votes in the AP Top 25 and were 22nd the coaches poll going into the Mississippi State game against the Bulldogs, who were ranked 16th by AP and 17th by the coaches. Auburn had been ranked 18 straight weeks in the coaches poll prior to the Mississippi State game.

*Auburn leads the series with Mississippi State 60-23-2. That includes a 27-6 advantage in Auburn, where the Tigers have now won 10 games in a row at Jordan-Hare Stadium. That's the longest home win streak for the Tigers since taking 12 in a row from 2000-01.

*Dating back to the 2010 Outback Bowl, Auburn has won 17 straight games, the longest current win streak for FBS teams. It is the longest win streak for Auburn since the Tigers won a school record 20 straight games in 1993-94.

*During his flight prior to kickoff, Spirit flew into and bounced off a skybox window before continuing his flight. The bald eagle made a lengthy flight before landing normally. His handlers seemed to be concerned when reaching the sideline to check Spirit out.

*After and emotional pregame ceremony in memory of 9-11 terrorist attacks against the United States, Auburn wide receivers Travante Stallworth, Quindarius Carr and Jaylon Denson carried an American flag on behalf of the team when the Tigers exited the tunnel for the playing field at the outset of the game.

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