published Thursday, September 6th, 2012

David Paschall: MSU can get over 2 humps

OTHER PICKS

S. Carolina 19, E. Carolina 10

Ole Miss 30, UTEP 27

Arkansas 42, UL-Monroe 15

Kentucky 21, Kent State 16

Vandy 28, Northwestern 21

Ga. Tech 55, Presbyterian 18

Temple 27, Maryland 24

Kansas State 26, Miami 23

N.C. State 23, UConn 22

Virginia 14, Penn State 9

Clemson 41, Ball State 20

Boston Coll. 36, Maine 6

Va. Tech 44, Austin Peay 7

UNC 33, Wake Forest 16

Stanford 38, Duke 19

MTSU 29, Fla. Atlantic 28

Notre Dame 35, Purdue 14

Mississippi State has not started a football season 2-0 since 2000, when Jackie Sherrill was coach and quarterback Wayne Madkin and tailback Dicenzo Miller headed the offense.

Auburn has been a roadblock in many of the seasons since, and the Tigers are in the way again as the two SEC West programs vie Saturday in Starkville. An MSU win would give fourth-year coach Dan Mullen his first victory over a West team other than Ole Miss, a fact he hears repeatedly.

"I don't think about it," Mullen said Wednesday. "I think the media thinks about it an awful lot, but I never really think about it. I think we've beaten some really good teams since I've been here, and I know we've lost to some really good teams, but I don't mull over which great teams we've beaten and which great teams we've lost to."

Mullen has a 6-3 record against teams from the East, including wins over Georgia and Florida in 2010.

Gene Chizik's Tigers were ravaged last Saturday night by the Clemson quarterback-tailback tandem of Tajh Boyd and Andre Ellington but have a different task this week. The Bulldogs' senior receiving trio of Chad Bumphis, Arceto Clark and Chris Smith will face Auburn defensive backs who must be more effective in coverage than they were last week in run support.

"They've got a lot of experience together, and it will definitely be a challenge for us in the secondary," Chizik said.

Pasquali's Pix:

Auburn at Mississippi State: The Tigers, incidentally, have not started a season 0-2 since 2003. Bullies 23, Tigers 17.

Florida at Texas A&M: Last week was not the most reassuring performance by the Gators on offense. Aggies 24, Gators 19.

Western Kentucky at Alabama: The Crimson Tide have been ranked No. 1 at some point each of the last five seasons. The Hilltoppers have not. Crimson Tide 44, Hilltoppers 6.

Savannah State at Florida State: The original pairing of FSU and West Virginia, which joined the Big 12 and had to adjust its schedule, would have been a tad more attractive. Seminoles 75, Tigers 6.

Georgia State at Tennessee: Bill Curry is the first head coach to square off against Vince Dooley and Derek Dooley. Volunteers 58, Panthers 3.

UTC at Jacksonville State: What an uneventful week in Mocland. Mocs 24, Gamecocks 17.

Washington at LSU: Tigers coach Les Miles may go down as the last human being to defeat Nick Saban two straight times. Tigers 27, Huskies 16.

Georgia at Missouri: Bulldogs defensive coordinator Todd Grantham is eager for an opportunity to yell at another James Franklin. Bulldogs 31, Tigers 24.

Last week:

Winners..................23

VanGorders.............2

Pasquali is 23-2 overall (92.0 percent) this season.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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