When it comes to week 1 of the college football season, the die has been cast and teams have an inkling of knowledge about what their squads will be like in the season at hand. With many SEC teams emerging on the losing end of games in week 1, some college football prognosticators (and even SEC coaches themselves) have already begun asking just how good the conference really is.
While it is true that many SEC teams did end up losing in embarrassing fashion last Saturday, a few of the teams that lost did so admirably after putting up a good fight for 60 minutes of game time. One such team was the Auburn Tigers.
Last Saturday’s matchup for Auburn was going to be a battle, and everyone knew it. After all, they were facing Clemson, last year’s CFP runner-up. Auburn fought valiantly and played well against a potent Clemson offense, and they almost made a comeback in the waning minutes of the game, only to come up short 19-13. It may not have been a win, but it was an encouraging start to a season that many speculate could be Malzahn’s last in Auburn orange.
What to watch for
It’s really no secret that Auburn’s defense is among the best in the SEC, if not the country. Last week, they proved that. After allowing only 19 points, albeit during the course of giving up 400 offense yards, Auburn began looking like a team that can compete with some of the best the SEC has to offer.
This week, look for Auburn’s high-caliber defense to dominate against an Arkansas State team that struggled to score 10 points at home against Toledo last week. This talented Tigers team should have no problem holding the Red Wolves to only a few scores, if that.
In the end, I really do not think that Arkansas State has much of a shot against an Auburn team that looked surprisingly good and competent last week. The Red Wolves have shown their inability to produce an offense, and the Tigers will no doubt pounce on that. On the offensive side of the ball, look for Kerryon Johnson to break through openings left and right as Arkansas State’s defensive line shouldn’t prove much of a threat to stopping the run.
Score: Arkansas State 13, Auburn 34