These are two teams that need a win in a big way. Mizzou has played exactly one Power Five team and got thumped by Kansas State 40-12.
By Steve Wright
Auburn didn’t look great in wins over competition they should have dominated, then was out-classed in every area in a 41-12 defeat at the hands of Penn State last time out.
Here are the three keys for a bounce-back win for Auburn.
Stop Throwing Interceptions
There is a chance that Bryan Harsin’s job is on the line here. Expectations are big at Auburn, and this team is currently doing nothing to meet them. It is a team lacking an identity, which has shown in the passing game.
Six picks to two touchdown passes aren’t going to get the job done. TJ Finley and Robby Ashford haven’t been good enough, and the play calling is sometimes weird for what should be a run-focused team. The quarterbacks are playing like they are scared to make a mistake and are making too many of them.
The Auburn running game should be more than good enough to control the tempo, but this is another area where the team is currently failing. Auburn has had the ball for just 28 minutes per game, not good enough for a team that isn’t racing up and down the field like some of the other SEC squads.
Mizzou is still trying to bed in several pieces on offense, but they are holding the ball for 34 minutes a game. Auburn has to be better on third down to extend drives and give the defense some rest. K-State ran for over 230 yards against Mizzou, Auburn should look for a similar number here.
The Mizzou offensive line is the worst unit on their team. They have committed 13 penalties through three games as a unit and had five holding penalties called on them last week. Right guard Connor Wood has been the biggest culprit with four penalties, but Auburn should be able to apply pressure to the linemen off both edges and up the middle.
Penalties have been a problem for Mizzou in general. They are tied for 117th in the country with 27 penalties. This is a team that can’t lack discipline, and that should be a point of focus for Auburn.