Auburn 34, Mississippi State 0 Football Notes

Starkville, Miss.--News and notes from Auburn's 34-0 season-opening SEC football victory over Mississippi State are featured.

*Wide receiver Rodgeriqus Smith says he made sure the second time he had a chance to score a touchdown on Saturday that he held on to the football. The redshirt sophomore fumbled on an opportunity to score in the first half, losing the ball at the MSU one.

In the second half, Auburn had a draw play called at the Mississippi State 20-yard line, but quarterback Brandon Cox read blitz and checked into a quick passing play. "Brandon made a nice read on the play," offensive coordinator Al Borges says. "They covered the slant and Brandon dumped it in the flat and it turned out good."

Smith caught the short pass and raced down the right sideline for his first college touchdown.

Rodgeriqus Smith scores his first college touchdown as an MSU signals in the background.

*Since Sylvester Croom took over as head coach at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs have scored just one touchdown vs. Auburn. That came in 2004 with 15 seconds left vs. the Tiger reserves.

*Auburn brought four players from the state of Mississippi to the game and two of them, senior offensive guard Tim Duckworth, and junior defensive end Quentin Groves, served as game captains along with Matthew Motley. Duckworth was so pumped up about the game he got dehydrated in the second quarter and had to have IV fluids pumped into his 320-pound body. "I guess I got too pumped up," he says. He returned to action after the treatment.

*Other Mississippi Tigers making the trip were fullback Michael McLaughlin, who saw action in the fourth quarter, and outside linebacker Steve Gandy, who is still recovering from compartment syndrome. True freshman linebacker Hendrick Leverette from Hattiesburg is redshirting and was not on the travel squad.

*Auburn's defense allowed MSU just 161 total yards, the lowest amount since giving up 110 to Kentucky in 2004.

*AU has won six straight football games vs. the Bulldogs to take a 56-22-2 overall lead in the series.

*Courtney Taylor's 103 yards receiving were his high since getting 111 vs. Tennessee in the 2004 SEC Championship Game. Those are the most receptions for an AU receiver since Ronney Daniels totaled 10 vs. Central Florida in 1999.

*John Vaughn's 55-yard field goal is two yards shy of AU's school record set by Neil O'Donoghue in 1976 vs. Tennessee and matched by Philip Yost vs. Kentucky in 2003.

*Defensive tackle Pat Sims now has forced fumbles in each of Auburn's first two games.

*MSU has now lost six straight games to ranked opponents.

*WR Omarr Conner caught six passes vs. Auburn, a career high.

*Defensive lineman Deljaun Robinson had a big game for the Bulldogs. The 6-3, 287 senior made five tackles behind the line of scrimmage and was in on seven tackles. He was congratulated after the game by Auburn defensive line coach Don Dunn.

*Earlier in the week, MSU coach Croom said that freshman tailback Anthony Dixon was out of action with a finger injury suffered in Tuesday's practice. However, he played and rushed 15 times for 69 yards and caught one pass for three yards.

The coach said the decision to play the running back was made on Saturday morning. "Before the game we took him out and threw him some passes and let him hold the ball because we were not sure how he was going to do handling the football after the injury," Croom says. "He is a special young many, he really is, and he is going to be a great football player for us."

*Auburn center Joe Cope says he believes Mississippi State defensive's toughness will help the Tigers prepare for a physical LSU team. "It was a good second game for us," Cope says. "I think that their defense was a real good test for our offense."


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