Offensive coordinator Al Borges points out that the Tigers rushed for only 131 yards last season in Auburn's 28-0 victory over the Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium. One of AU's scores came on a fumble recovery in the end zone by Will Herring. The Tigers threw 18 passes vs. the Bulldogs and netted 202 yards last year.
Borges says he thought Mississippi State was good defensively last year and states that he believes the Bulldogs are significantly better on defense in 2006.
"They are very active and athletic," says Borges, who points out that the Bulldogs play well together as a smoothly functioning unit. "Of the three years we have played them, this is the best defense without question. They are experienced. They have got nine of 11 guys back. They run to the ball well.
"Ellis (MSU defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson) has got them playing hard, Borges points out. "He has always done a good job on the defensive side of the ball. He has got a system. They are formidable in that they are athletic and they have speed."
Auburn threw just 18 passes in the opener as the Tigers took a 40-14 victory vs. visiting Washington State. Borges says how Auburn will attack the Bulldogs this week depends on how MSU lines up defensively on Saturday.
"We are going to try to take what they give us," Auburn's offensive coordinator says. "If it means throwing 30 to 35 passes, we will do that. If it means throwing 18 again, we will do that."
The Tigers and the Bulldogs will kick off at 11:30 a.m. from Davis Wade Stadium. The game will be televised regionally by Lincoln Financial Sports.