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A spirit that is not afraid

Cowbells at Mississippi State 'like a dripping faucet'

Sammie Coates misses a pass in the rain against Mississippi State on October 11.

Sammie Coates misses a pass in the rain against Mississippi State on October 11. Raye May / PHOTO EDITOR

For the first time this year, Auburn is hitting the road.

After five consecutive home games to open the season, Auburn will play its first game away from Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday when the Tigers travel to Starkville to play Mississippi State.

Davis-Wade Stadium always presents a challenge regardless of how well the football team is playing for one reason: the cowbells.

“Loud is loud,” said Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. “But they do have a tendency sometimes to just, the constant ringing, (it's) kind of like a dripping faucet a little bit. I think if you let your mind go there, it can affect you. But you can't. You've just got to go play, and most of the time guys, especially quarterbacks, you get on the field, you're playing.”

The players notice it too. It’s easier on the defense though, because the Mississippi State fans don’t ring the cowbells when their offense is on the field. It’ll be a marked difference compared to playing at home, when the Auburn fans go ballistic to try and disrupt visiting offenses.

“Like I say, in these first five games, our fans have been unbelievably loud,” said linebacker Deshaun Davis. “And we've really needed it. Sometimes you watch film or watch the game, you can see me have to literally like go up to the interior front and yell in their ears for them to move this way or move that way. But I feel like our communication will be very smooth with being on the road now.”

Auburn’s last trip to Starkville didn’t go too well. It was ranked No. 2 in the country and owned an undefeated 5-0 record, but fell to then-No. 3 Mississippi State, 38-23, and kicked off a downward spiral. Auburn dropped four of its final seven games to close the season, and the win over South Carolina in October marked the last home game Auburn would win until the Tigers knocked off LSU just two games ago.

Then last year, Auburn dropped its second-straight game to the Bulldogs when Mississippi State visited the Plains in late September and left with a 17-9 win in what was quarterback Sean White’s first start.

If Auburn hopes to snap its two-game losing streak to Mississippi State and win in Starkville for the first time since 2010, it’ll have to shut the cowbells up. Luckily, they know a way to do that.

"I mean, they're loud as heck,” said Auburn guard Braden Smith. “That's all I know. You've just got to get past it. If we're doing good, then the cowbells will stop. That's the only way you can silence them basically."

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