The last time Auburn won a football game by scoring just three points was on Oct. 4, 1974 when the Tigers blanked the Miami Hurricanes 3-0 in Miami.
Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville said his team was its own worst enemy with turnovers and other miscues on offense. "We kept them in the game," he said. "If we had ever gotten one across the goal line and gotten them more than one score down, I thought we could have opened the offense up a little bit, but that's not Tony's fault, that's my fault."
The head coach was talking about new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, whose offense struggled in the red zone and managed three points on 315 yards of total offense.
Tuberville added he made the decision to "do whatever we had to do to get the win," even if that meant pulling the reigns in on the struggling offense and the new coordinator. "It was ugly, but we will take 3-2 every time we play this year."
In other notes from the SEC game:
*Neither team converted a third down in the opening quarter. Auburn was 0-4 and the Bulldogs were 0-3. At the end of the opening quarter, Auburn had just 49 total yards on 17 plays while the Bulldogs netted 44 yards on 14 plays.
*At halftime with Auburn up 3-0, the Tigers were 0-8 on third down conversions while Mississippi State was 0-7. Auburn managed a fourth and inches fourth down conversion on a quarterback sneak by Chris Todd. Auburn finished with 3-16 third down conversions and MSU was 0-14.
*At intermission, the Auburn defense had allowed the Bulldogs just 65 yards and three first downs. The Tigers had nine first downs and 170 total yards with 19 runs for 74 yards and Chris Todd was 10-19 passing for 96 yards.
State got its only offensive scoring opportunity early in the second half one play after a good kickoff return by Tristan Davis. On the first play from scrimmage, Todd and Lester botched a handoff exchange and Derek Pegues fell on the football at the Auburn 32.
After sack on the next play by Antonio Coleman and Sen'Derrick Marks, the Bulldogs got a pass interference call on Walter McFadden for a first down, but stalled after that. A 38-yard field goal with the wind didn't get up high enough and was wide left after a low snap ruined the timing and Auburn escaped without damage.
*Brad Lester was taken off the field on a stretcher with 10:29 left in the third quarter after landing on his neck on a running play. Fortunately, the injury wasn't serious and he was back in the locker room at the end of the game after a trip to the hospital with a neck sprain. Tuberville said he should be able to play next week.
*Antonio Coleman had a third quarter sack to give him one in each game this season.
*Montez Billings had three catches for 68 yards, his second highest single game total behind 78 on six catches for LSU last year. "That wasn't a pretty game on offense," the junior receiver said. "The defense bailed us out tonight."