As previously suspected, we're looking at two entirely different teams from the last time the Bulldogs and Tigers met in Starkville. Where before neither outfit who couldn't score to save their lives, now they're humming machines with real moving parts at quarterback.
Following a sack on Chris Relf (who, at well over six feet and well over 200 pounds, is not the easiest guy to bring down), the Bulldogs punt on 4th and 23, and bobble the snap -- but catch a break. The punt slides right through the Auburn returner's hands, and State recovers at the Tiger 20. Auburn's special teams, it seems, will be a recurring issue this season.
A shovel pass from Relf to Marcus Green takes the ball down to the 9. Vick Ballard adds a 7-yard run, and Relf tries to take it in himself. He crosses the plane, and the ball comes loose, but it's recovered in the pile by Gabe Jackson for a Bulldogs touchdown. 7-7, 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Oh, and after the play, a State player headbutted an Auburn defender and then put on the most delectable "What, me?" play-acting show imaginable to the officials. Patrick Hanrahan is our early leader for Erk Russell Player Of The Game.