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Auburn 38, Arkansas State 9: Initial thoughts on the Tigers' win over the Red Wolves

Gus Malzahn's team looked much better in Week 2.

Todd Van Emst/Auburn University photo

Auburn moved to 2-0 with s 38-9 win over Arkansas State Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. While there were some hiccups, it was a pretty solid performance overall. Our initial thoughts:

  • The defense. Oh, the defense. Auburn bent without breaking early, and then pretty much dominated late. The defensive line got plenty of pressure that really disrupted Arkansas State's offense. The Tigers haven't given up a touchdown in a game and a half. Mercy.
  • Chris Davis and Robenson Therezie were all over the field once again. Davis walked off limping after an ASU punt, so hopefully he's alright.
  • Jake Holland was booed before the game, and aside from one bad miss on a fake, he had a solid night. He even recovered a fumble. We've criticized him for his play plenty, but if you were at the game and you booed him, just don't bother showing up again.
  • Nick Marshall looked much sharper than last week. Yes, his accuracy is still an issue, but it's getting a little better. The touchdown passes to Marcus Davis and Sammie Coates were gorgeous. But yeah, if he's not hitting his receivers better in SEC play, it will really hurt Auburn.
  • Marshall is really good with his legs, too. He made some great decisions on the zone read and did a nice job of extending plays.
  • The Tigers haven't used a whole lot of hurry-up, and it has hurt the offense a bit. When they were snapping quickly, ASU was completely off balance, but when Gus Malzahn slowed it down, his team often got out of rhythm.
  • Auburn has a stable of fantastic running backs. Tre Mason, Corey Grant and Cameron Artis-Payne are all fantastic.
  • Overall, the defense is definitely ahead of the offense right now. Can't say we saw that coming.
  • Even the linebackers, including Jake Holland, played well. Kris Frost looked especially good. Speaking of Kris Frost ...
  • THAT TARGETING RULE IS THE DAMN WORST. Hopefully, the SEC will overturn Frost's suspension for the first half of the Mississippi State game.
  • This team has some intensity -- especially on defense -- that we haven't seen in a while. <3