Offense: Two things about Chris Todd were exposed in this game. (1) His arm just isn't that strong. (2) He doesn't run the football. The first is a problem because it will allow defenses to ignore deep routes and shut down the short routes, which were his bread and butter when he won the starting job against Southern Miss. The second is a problem because so many of the running plays in this offense are options, and they assume that at least one defender will consider the possibility that the quarterback may run. The Bulldogs didn't spend a single nanosecond thinking that Todd would run. That makes life a lot harder for the running backs. Give Ben Tate a little credit for breaking a forty-yard run to close out the game late. Take it away for the fumble he lost right before that.
(D-, but only because I don't give F's when we win)

Defense: Granted, Mississippi State does not have a good offense, at all. That having been said, Auburn's defense was awesome. They should have worn down at some point, but they didn't. Every time the offense failed to gain or score, the defense came out and punished the Bulldogs for the rebellious act of stepping onto the playing field. There were numerous fine performances, but the play that sticks in my mind is the interception by Walter McFadden. Clutch.
(A+)

Special Teams: Two missed field goals (though I think one of them was tipped by the Bulldogs). An only decent day punting; although, given how many punts there were, I should probably cut the kid a break. Kickoffs and returns were a non-factor. Robert Dunn had decent returns when he actually had an opportunity, including one long one. A free kick out of bounds.
(C)

Coaching: I honestly don't know what to think about the coaching in this game. It's clear that Paul Rhodes had his defense ready to play. I don't know why Tony Franklin (or, heck Tommy Tuberville) didn't give Kodi Burns one single snap. I know Franklin wants to let Chris Todd keep his rhythm, but he didn't have any rhythm today, and I really doubt anything could have gone worse if Kodi had got in the game. Kodi has a stronger arm, and he is a threat to run. I don't like quarterback controversies, but Auburn can't survive the season with quarterback play like we saw in this game. Auburn hasn't lost a game since Franklin got hired, so I guess I should trust him. Therefore,
(C)

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