Instant analysis from Kentucky’s 30-27 loss to Auburn at Commonwealth Stadium on Thursday night:
How the game was won
Auburn converted its first six third-down conversions and eight of its first 11 and built a 23-10 first-half lead that Kentucky was never able to overcome.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
1. Auburn offensive line. Tigers quarterback Sean White had so much time in the pocket in the first half, he could have live-tweeted the game.
2. Sean White. For a supposed "game manager," the redshirt freshman (17-of-27 passing for 255 yards) made a lot of big plays.
3. Garrett Johnson. Kentucky wide receiver (nine catches, 160 yards) had the best game of his UK career.
1. Kentucky defensive front. The Wildcats' pass rush was all but non-existent.
2. Kentucky special teams. The hidden yardage surrendered to Auburn on long kick returns and one very short UK punt did the Wildcats’ defense no favors.
3. UK two-minute offense. A questionable run call and Patrick Towles failing to see an open Blake Bone on fourth-and-3 at the Auburn 44 killed the Cats’ shot at last-gasp victory.
0 and 7. In seven meetings between Kentucky and Auburn in Commonwealth Stadium, UK has won zero and lost seven. Of SEC teams that have played in Commonwealth, Auburn is the only one UK has never beaten (Texas A&M has yet to play here).
For the sixth game of 2015, the Wildcats wore silver chrome helmets, blue jerseys and blue pants.
Kentucky will travel to Starkville on Oct. 24 to face Mississippi State (4-2, 1-2 SEC) at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs are coming off a 45-17 victory over Troy and play Louisiana Tech on Saturday in State’s homecoming game.
Know your foe
1. Mississippi State Coach Dan Mullen is 6-0 against UK. Thanks to Mullen’s dominant run, MSU has now evened the all-time series with Kentucky 21-21.
2. Dak Prescott, State’s star quarterback, has been a potent Cat killer. In 2013 in Starkville, Prescott completed 23 of 31 passes for 268 yards and two TDs in a 28-22 MSU win. Last year in Commonwealth Stadium, Prescott hurt UK with his legs, running for 88 yards and two TDs in a 45-31 victory.
3. Mississippi State’s most impressive outcome in 2015 is its 17-9 win at Auburn on Sept. 26. The Bulldogs won even though they were outgained 389-326. Prescott played a clean game – 270 yards passing, two TDs, no picks – but the key for State was its red-zone defense. Four Auburn visits inside the 20 yielded only two field goals.