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14.05.2018 14:58
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STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The last time Auburn played a football game at Mississippi State was 2014 when the Tigers were ranked No. 2 in the nation and the Bulldogs were No. 3. Both teams were undefeated and it was arguably the biggest home game in Mississippi States history.The stakes arent as high this Saturday.Auburn (3-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) and Mississippi State (2-2, 1-1) will both be unranked when they meet at Davis-Wade Stadium. The two teams have had some encouraging moments this season, but both are still trying to prove they can be a real factor in the SECs Western Division race.It is going to be a good test, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said.Auburn has won two games in a row, including last weeks 58-7 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers have also been competitive in losses to nationally-ranked Clemson and Texas A&M.Mississippi State -- which has won three of its last four against Auburn, including the 2014 game -- hasnt played since Sept. 25 when it beat UMass 47-35 .Sophomore quarterback Nick Fitzgerald leads the Bulldogs with 603 yards passing and 329 yards rushing this season. He had 305 yards passing and 110 yards rushing in the UMass win, making him just the third quarterback in the country this season to have a 300/100 game.Fitzgerald said hes been impressed with Auburns defense, which is giving up just 16.4 points per game this season despite playing three nationally-ranked opponents.Theyre definitely a really solid SEC defense, Fitzgerald said. Really strong up the middle with the defensive line and linebackers. Were going to have to work hard. When were running were going to have to move some bodies.-----A few more things to watch when Mississippi State hosts Auburn on Saturday:HELPING FITZGERALD: Most of Mississippi States offense has run through Fitzgerald, who leads the team in passing and running. The sophomore could use some help against the Tigers. The most likely candidates are receivers Fred Ross and Donald Gray, along with running backs Brandon Holloway and Ashton Shumpert.LEVELING UP: Tigers quarterback Sean White, who made his starting debut against Mississippi State last season, has thrown all five of his touchdown passes against two Sun Belt Conference defenses. In fact, Auburn produced two of its top four performances in total yards in those games against Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe while totaling three touchdowns in the other three games. White is averaging just 166 passing yards against the three Power 5 conference defenses he has faced.IMPORTANT OCTOBER: Mississippi State has been to a bowl game for six straight seasons, which is a school record. The month of October will likely go a long way toward determining whether the Bulldogs can push the streak to seven. Mississippi States next four games are winnable ones against Auburn, BYU, Kentucky and Samford. After that, the Bulldogs face four teams that are currently in the national rankings -- Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Mississippi.STRENGTH ON STRENGTH: Auburn leads the SEC with 269 yards rushing per game. The Tigers will go up against a Mississippi State defense thats solid against the run, giving up just 110.8 yards per game.RED ZONE TROUBLES: Auburn managed to beat LSU with six field goals, but that also illustrates the Tigers troubles in the red zone. Theyve scored touchdowns on just 11 of 27 trips inside the opponents 20-yard line, a problem that plagued them against the Bulldogs last season.-----AP Sports Writer John Zenor in Montgomery, Alabama, contributed to this story.-----Follow David Brandt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/davidbrandtAP . AP College Football website: www.collegefootball.ap.org . Robert Griffin III Jersey . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Cheap Ravens Jerseys . Cuban testified Thursday that he was upset when the companys CEO told him news that would reduce the value of his shares, for which hed paid $7.5 million. But he said he did nothing improper when he sold those shares over the next two days. http://www.cheapravensjerseysauthentic.com/?tag=authentic-willie-snead-iv-jersey . Once again, DeLaet finished tied for second at a PGA Tour stop on the weekend, this time at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The pride of Weyburn, Sask. Hayden Hurst Jersey . LOUIS -- St. Eric Weddle Jersey . Ferrer, trying to win his fourth title on Mexican soil, will next play South Africas Kevin Anderson, who eliminated American Sam Querrey,7-6 (2), 6-4. Also Wednesday, Gilles Simon (6) of France beat Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 6-3, Ukraines Alexandr Dolgopolov downed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 and Croatias Ivo Karlovic defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 7-6 (4), 6-2. Fast bowlers might be the yeah, nah men of Australian cricket, but their new coach David Saker is no yes man. The newly appointed assistant coach has vowed not to hold back on his opinions when he joins head coach Darren Lehmann in the national set-up, despite their history of what they have both referred to as robust discussions.As coach of Victoria last summer, Saker raised the ire of Lehmann by questioning why Australia would rush fast bowler James Pattinson back from injury, comments that led Lehmann to publicly tell Saker to mind his own business. But Lehmann has spoken of his admiration for Sakers passion and energy, and Saker said he would continue to voice his sentiments in his new role.A lot was made out of that, but Darren and I talk on the phone quite regularly and we begged to differ on a few things last year, Saker said in Melbourne on Friday. But weve both got Australian cricket at heart and we both want the best for Australian cricket.Sometimes you need good robust conversations in a group. You cant have people always agreeing. I dont think thats a great environment. Thats one of the things that I hope I do bring to the team. I hope Im honest and say what I think. I think thats important.He [Lehmann] probably works a bit similar to me, hes quite relaxed in the dressing room, he knows a lot about the game, he communicates really well. I think those are the things I do well. We do have some really good discussions at times. Obviously throughout the year we did that. But we both have the best interests of Australian cricket at heart.Saker will join the Australian group in time for the one-day tour of South Africa in September-October, and will leave his position as coach of Victoria after only one season - albeit one in which the Bushrangers won the Sheffield Shield. And Cricket Australia has already floated the likelihood that Saker will step in as head coach at some point in 2017 to give Lehmann a chance for time off.Western AAustralia coach Justin Langer was acting head coach during the recent one-day tri-series in the West Indies and has been viewed as a strong candidate to take over the job whenever Lehmann chooses to step down, but Sakers new role will see him well-placed for the position as well.dddddddddddd Saker said he did harbour head-coaching ambitions, but first was keen to learn from Lehmann.To work with Darren Lehmann and to be maybe put in charge of a tour here and there, thats really inviting, Saker said. Its a great opportunity and one that Im really looking forward to.This is just another learning curve for me. Its been great, all through my career Ive learnt off a lot of really good coaches. Working under Darren Lehmann is going to be the same. Its going to be a really good experience. What happens down the track we dont know, but Im always keen to keep going with my coaching and see where it goes from there.Prior to succeeding Greg Shipperd as Victoria coach, Saker spent five years as Englands bowling coach and during that time was part of their away Test series wins in Australia and India. His brief with Australia will be to help them achieve similar success in such campaigns, initially in India during a four-Test tour early next year.When theyve got all their players on the park, theyre a really good team, Saker said of Australia. Mitchell Starc is as good a bowler as there is in the world. I think when they get all their bowlers back and firing, youve got a really good attack. I think the really pleasing thing about it is theres quite a lot. You need six or seven of them, and theyve got that.Most of them are quite young, compared to Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, who are pretty experienced cricketers. 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