Mississippi State set to face Auburn and new QB White

Published 9:40 am Friday, September 25, 2015

AUBURN, Ala. – The most accomplished starting quarterback in the Southeastern Conference will match up with the newest member of that group.

Both Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott and Auburn’s newly anointed Sean White will have similar goals Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium: Trying to help their teams rebound from losses to LSU and make their way back into Western Division contention.

The big difference is White has never played a college snap while Prescott has passed for 6,382 career yards.

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“It doesn’t change our game plan at all, really,” Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen said. “I haven’t seen the other guy (White) play. I don’t know how it affects them, but for us we’ve just got to go out there and play hard and it’s not going to change anything we do.”

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is starting the redshirt freshman over Jeremy Johnson, who was benched after throwing six interceptions through three games and never getting a normally prolific offense in gear.

The Tigers are hoping the move will spark a resurgence after tumbling from a No. 6 ranking following a lopsided loss to No. 8 LSU, but they’ve also got significant defensive deficiencies.

They’ll find out quickly if the QB switch paid off, and if it’s permanent.

“We’re thinking about nothing but Mississippi State,” Malzahn said. “We’re putting the first three games in the rearview mirror and it’s over. All we’re thinking about is Mississippi State and that’s the way we’re going to operate.”

Both teams want to avoid being left in the rearview mirror in the SEC West race. Auburn (2-1, 0-1) was a popular pick to win the deep division while the Bulldogs (2-1, 0-1) were picked last.

Now, they’re in a similar position.

Mississippi State regrouped from a 21-19 loss to LSU with a rout of FCS Northwestern State, setting a school record with 647 total yards.

“We both, in conference play, are back-against-the-wall and have to come out to fight and ready to play,” Mullen said.

By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer