September 7, 2012

Chizik talking Mississippi State

One score has separated the outcomes of the past two Mississippi State-Auburn matchups.

In those two contests the Tigers have been able to escape victorious en route to a national championship in 2010 and an eight win year ago. Auburn head coach Gene Chizik is expecting another battle on Saturday as the two square off once again in the SEC opener.

"Every time we've played them - certainly the last two - it's came down to the wire," Chizik said. "It could very well come down to that again on Saturday. We'll have to play really good to have a chance to win because this is a good football team."

The Tigers won a 17-14 decision during their last visit to Davis Wade Stadium and diverted a MSU fourth quarter rally last year on the plains by stuffing quarterback Chris Relf on the goal line as time expired.

Chizik has been able to start every SEC season with a victory over the Bulldogs since his arrival at Auburn in 2009 while his counterpart Dan Mullen has been given a hole to dig out of during the same span.

"I think this game is very important to both sides," Chizik said. "I think it kind of sets the tempo in a way for the year. This has been a physical game on both sides of the football for them and for us. This type of football game, old school tough physical SEC football, is big and it's big to be able to win a game like that. I know it was big for us last year and certainly the year before as well."

The first thing that Chizik notices about State is their more balanced offensive attack. During their 56-9 season opening win over Jackson State, the Bulldogs totaled 395 yards with 202 coming on the ground and another 193 through the air.



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