Auburn edges Mississipp St.STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Cameron Newton threw two touchdown passes and accounted for 206 total yards to help No. 21 Auburn beat Mississippi State 17-14 on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Cameron Newton threw two touchdown passes and accounted for 206 total yards to help No. 21 Auburn beat Mississippi State 17-14 on Thursday night in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams.
Newton, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior, had another impressive showing after gaining 357 total yards last week against Arkansas State, mixing his passing game with an ability to run over and around the Mississippi State defense.
He compeleted 11 of 19 passes for 136 yards, the two touchdowns and one interception and also ran for 70 yards on 18 carries.
Newton outgained Mississippi State 146-125 all by himself in the first half. But after leading 17-7 at halftime, the Tigers had to lean on their defense to pull out the hard-fought victory.
Mississippi State’s last drive ended at the Auburn 40 when Chris Relf’s fourth-down pass fell incomplete with 22 seconds remaining.
Both teams had impressive high-scoring openers last week, with Auburn beating Arkansas State 52-26, while Mississippi State battered Memphis 49-7.
Neither team was as impressive against an SEC defense, but both had their moments.
Auburn started quickly, taking a 7-0 lead on Newton’s 39-yard touchdown pass to Emory Blake early in the in the first quarter.
Mississippi State tied after offensive lineman Gabe Jackson fell on quarterback Chris Relf’s fumble in the end zone.
Auburn added a 12-yard touchdown pass from Newton to Darvin Adams and a 34-yard field goal from Wes Byrum to take a 17-7 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Mississippi State pulled to 17-14 on Vick Ballard’s 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third.
after grinding through a 12-play, 63-yard drive.
But after that, the Tigers’ defense didn’t allow much of anything.
Before Relf’s final pass fell incomplete, Mississippi State receiver Leon Berry dropped a pass that would have put the Bulldogs in field goal range.
Relf completed 12 of 25 passes for 110 yards.
Auburn has won 17 of its past 18 SEC openers. The Tigers outgained the Bulldogs 348-246. Mississippi State hasn’t won its first two games in a season since 2000.