Missed opportunities at critical times and the inability to stop Auburn’s dual-threat quarterback Cameron Newton ended up dooming Mississippi State on Thursday night at Davis-Wade Stadium, as the Bulldogs fell to the No. 21 Tigers 17-14.
On a night where the Bulldogs played with the effort it takes to knock off a Southeastern Conference team, it was not doing the little things, the sheer inability to make big plays that killed their chances late in the game when the outcome was still in doubt. (September 10, 2010, Page 6A)
Gene Chizik made a statement in his first season as head coach of Auburn. He took a program that had surprisingly grown stale on offense under Tommy Tuberville and turned it into a more dynamic, cutting edge group. The end result of installing a fast-paced, spread offense was an 8-5 overall record and a win over Northwestern in the Outback Bowl.
The Tigers amassed a school-record 5,613 yards on offense last year under Chizik, a coach known more for his defensive ability, and the hope this year is even better results.
There is no question that the offensive philosophy of coordinator Gus Malzhan can produce results, the bigger question now lies on defense and it’s ability to stop teams. If the Tigers can improve on defense where five of the team’s top tacklers return, then they may have a legitimate shot of winning the Southeastern Conference Western Division title. (August 25, 2010, Page 10)