Auburn Vs. Mississippi State News & Notes

Onterio McCalebb's big return was one of the few bright spots for the Tigers vs. Mississippi State.

Starkville, Miss.--Senior Onterio McCalebb provided Auburn with a huge spark immediately after halftime, returning the Mississippi State kickoff 100-plus yards to give Auburn a 10-7 lead in its SEC opener on Saturday.

"At first I didn't think I was going to get the chance with the new kickoff rule, but everybody on kickoff return did their job and I got past a couple of guys and after that I knew nobody was going to catch me," the speedy running back said.

The Tigers would go on to fall to Mississippi State 28-10, but McCalebb said at the time of the Tigers' lone touchdown he thought that was the turning point in the game.

McCalebb, who returned a touchdown for a kickoff in Auburn's last SEC game to close the 2011 season vs. Alabama, became the first Auburn player to return a kickoff 100 yards since Tim Carter did it vs. LSU in 2000.

However, after the game McCalebb was more concerned about his team's offense, which managed to produced a mere 216 yards on 61 plays.

"We can't put our head down," the tailback said looking toward the future. "As for me, I'm a senior so a lot of people look up to me. I have to keep everybody into the game no matter what.

"We've got a lot of young guys and I'm not basing everything off of that, but we've got a lot of things we need to correct and move on from," McCalebb added. "Our season isn't over yet, we've still got 10 more games."

In other news and notes:

*McCalebb's kickoff return for a score was the fifth for the Tigers in the Coach Gene Chizik Era.

*Kiehl Frazier set a career high with three interceptions and two fumbles. The QB has thrown six during his two years at Auburn. Frazier finished the first half completing 1-7 pass attempts for -2 yards and two interceptions.

*Steven Clark punted the ball six times for 245 yards, averaging 40.8 yards a kick.

*Angelo Blackson's field goal block was Auburn's first since Jake Ricks did it vs. Kentucky in 2009.

*Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks intercepted back-to-back passes from Frazier. The senior cornerback, who had a pick-six in the Bulldogs season opener, entered the game tied for fourth among active players for career interception.


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