AUBURN, Ala. -- It wasn’t easy, but Auburn found a way to win Saturday. The Tigers rallied in the final minutes to beat Mississippi State 24-20 and win its SEC opener. Now let’s hand out some helmet stickers from the game.
QB Nick Marshall: He deserves a helmet sticker for his performance on the last drive alone. He led Auburn on a 12-play, 88-yard drive in the final minutes and threw the game-winning touchdown pass to tight end C.J. Uzomah with 10 seconds left. He didn’t look like a quarterback who was playing in his first SEC game -- he looked like a seasoned veteran. For the game, he finished 24 of 32 for 339 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s the first Auburn signal caller to throw for over 300 yards in a game since Cam Newton did it against South Carolina in the 2010 SEC Championship game.
WR Marcus Davis: It was Uzomah who caught the last touchdown, but the Tigers would’ve never been in that position had it not been for Davis. The freshman wide receiver caught four passes for 38 yards on that final drive. Auburn had been looking for a go-to player at the position, and Davis stepped up against Mississippi State. If nothing else, he proved he was reliable. He finished the game with six total catches, tripling the amount he had through the first two games combined. More importantly, when the game was on the line, Marshall trusted the freshman to make plays, and Davis delivered.
DE Dee Ford:It was his first game back from injury, but Ford made a significant impact down the stretch. He recorded five of his six tackles in the fourth quarter when Mississippi State was trying to put the game away. He and Robenson Therezie combined to tackle quarterback Dak Prescott short of a first down on a critical 3rd-and-4 play late in the contest. If the Bulldogs convert there, the game is likely over. It was also a boost for the defense just to have the senior defensive end back on the field. The unit also welcomed back linebacker Justin Garrett, who played for the first time all season.
Honorable mention: CB Ryan White