Defense owns third but Auburn strikes

AUBURN, Ala. --The defense has returned to the Plains ... for a quarter.

After the first half was dominated by 55 combined points between Auburn and Mississippi State, both defenses surrendered just a field goal each in the third quarter, making it 34-27 Auburn.

Auburn's offense drove at the end of the quarter and was saved by a tough first down on a fourth-and-1 run by Michael Dyer. Through three quarters, Dyer had 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. But his nifty 52-yarder put the Bulldogs' backs even closer to the end zone. A couple of plays later and Barrett Trotter hit Philip Lutzenkirchen on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make it 41-27.

Mississippi State's running game had success in the third, but now the passing game needs to get more involved if the Bulldogs want to come back in this one.