The Auburn coach said the play of the No. 3 ranked Bulldogs had a lot to do with his team’s loss on Saturday. The Bulldogs remained undefeated with a 38-23 victory over the Tigers in front of an overflow crowd of 62,945 at Davis-Wade Stadium on Saturday.
“The bottom line is that you have got to give Mississippi State credit,” he said. “They are a good football team.”<
Despite the loss the Tigers are far from finished in the SEC West race. Last year the Tigers lost their first SEC road game at LSU and bounced back and won the divisional and league titles.
“We have to learn from this,” Malzahn said. “We had a setback similar to this last year. There are a lot of champions in that locker room. They are disappointed and they should be. They are great competitors. They will be committed to getting better and that will be our focus.”
Malzahn added, “I feel very good about this team. We didn’t play well today and we played one of the better teams in the country on their home turf and they had all of the momentum and everything that goes with that.”
The Tigers, who are 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, are off next week before returning to action with a home game vs. South Carolina. The Tigers will have plenty of time to work on their mistakes that included four turnovers.
“Our turnovers they turned into points and their turnovers we didn’t do a really good job of turning their turnovers into points,” Malzahn said. “I thought that was a big factor, too.”
In other news and notes:
*The four turnovers in the game are the most since Malzahn took over as head coach. The Tigers came up with four takeaways, too, with two interceptions by Jonathan Jones, one by Johnathan Ford and a fumble recovery by Brandon King on a punt.
*MSU coach Dan Mullen credited the fans with an assist to the victory. “It was an unbelievable, electric atmosphere,” he said. “Our student body was out of control--unbelievable. Our alumni, our fans, they did their part.”
*MSU quarterback Dak Prescott, who was intercepted three times, said his teammates picked him up vs. the Tigers. “I had one of my subpar games of the season and I didn’t play very well,”?he said. “My teammates rallied around me and did a great job of making plays.”
*The 38 points are the most Auburn has given up to the Bulldogs since the 1998 season when MSU won the SEC West.
*The Bulldogs now have won nine straight games, the second longest streak behind FSU’s 22.