Nick Marshall looked a bit spotty throwing the football, the secondary gave up some big plays, and there are still lanes for the opposing offense to run up the middle, but Auburn still cruised to hang on for the victory, 59-13.
Auburn opened the game running different formations on every play with different personnel, and at first it seemed all would be glorious when Nick Marshall busted up the middle for a 50 yard run. However, Marshall - who has at times struggled with holding on to the football - fumbled going to the endzone. San Jose State failed to capitalize, and Auburn quickly scored. Only to see San Jose State score on the first play of their next drive when Auburn's secondary let the Spartans get WR Tyler Ervin free for a 75 yard TD. The game looked close for a bit before Auburn pulled away in the second quarter.
While giving up a few big plays, the secondary did come up with three turnovers. Jermaine Whitehead was the first with an interception - his second in two games, becoming the first Auburn Tiger since Jeraud Powers in 2007 to have INTs in consecutive games - followed by Rudy Ford on a tip drill, and Trovon Reed late in the game as the Spartans were driving into Auburn territory. The defensive line also appeared to have some of the same issues as against Arkansas, particularly against the QB draw up the middle. Montravius Adams played like a man possessed at time, coming up with multiple tackles for loss and one big sack. He's only going to get better, and that is very exciting. Quan Bray showed why he won the punt return job again tonight with some great moves on a return for a TD. It's so much fun when you have an electric return man.
Jeremy Johnson scored a rushing touchdown, and Roc Thomas scored on his first touch as an Auburn Tiger to round out the scoring for Auburn. Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne each ran for over 100 yards (103 and 112 respectively), with Corey Grant adding another 89 as the Tigers racked up 358 yards rushing.
For such a lop-sided score, there were plenty of mistakes made that will need to be cleaned up going into the bye week. Marshall still needs to work on his passing, going 10-19 for 101 yards with a few bad throws. However, some of the drops were catchable. Two weeks into the season, the offense still looks good, but there are areas to improve upon. The defense is definitely still a work in progress. There are flashes of brilliance and bright spots, but there are also hands-over-eyes moments as well. Our own Peggy Rossmanith wins the night with this tweet:
I think I speak for all Auburn fans when I say we want the D.— Peggy (@peggyrossmanith) September 6, 2014
All in all, the Tigers are 2-0 going into a bye week with time to prepare for Kansas State - who struggled with Iowa State this afternoon. War Eagle.