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Auburn 31, Washington State 24: Initial thoughts on the Tigers' win

It wasn't pretty, but Auburn opened the season with a win over the Cougars.

Michael Chang

Like we said in out preview, Washington State made Auburn fans nervous Saturday night -- maybe even more nervous than we were anticipating. But Auburn held on late for a 31-24 win to open the 2013 campaign 1-0. Here are some initial thoughts.

  • Montravius Adams is the real deal. The freshman defensive tackle was the best of Auburn's three touted freshman linemen, and really, he was the best player on the line. When he wasn't in the game, Auburn got little pressure on Connor Halliday, but he made a huge difference and earned extra snaps. He needs to be starting.
  • Robenson Therezie was great in place of Justin Garrett at star. He was all over the field and came up with two interceptions, including a huge fourth-quarter pick in the end zone.
  • Three interceptions. One more than in all of 2012. That's improvement.
  • Auburn is still weak at linebacker. Jake Holland was consistently out of position or missing tackles, and Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy didn't help the defense much.
  • Corey Grant was Auburn's best offensive player. His speed was the difference when Auburn had the ball, and it resulted in a 147-yard night. He's just fine in the speed-back role.
  • Nick Marshall has some work to do, but he showed some signs of promise. He used his athleticism to extend the play, and then he made good decisions. If he can improve his accuracy on deep balls, he'll be OK.
  • The Tigers still don't have a go-to receiver. The inability to get open and a few drops really hurt the offense.
  • Auburn is 1-0. After last season, we'll take it.

What's your reaction to Saturday night's win?