Game analysis: Auburn 62, Western Carolina 3
by Mark Edwards
medwards@annistonstar.com
Oct 12, 2013 | 2629 views |  0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Auburn’s Tony Stevens (8) celebrates a 22-yard touchdown catch with fellow receiver Marcus Davis (80) and  quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6). (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
Auburn’s Tony Stevens (8) celebrates a 22-yard touchdown catch with fellow receiver Marcus Davis (80) and quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6). (Photo by Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star)
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Offense

Auburn rolled to a record day against Western Carolina, which has won only three games in the past three seasons — all against Division II Mars Hill.

Jeremy Johnson passed for 201 yards and four touchdowns, but considering the competition, he isn’t threatening Nick Marshall’s job.

The running game picked up 511 yards, as Auburn gained 30 first downs.

The 712 yards are a school record and gave the offense a chance to build some good will.

Defense

The Tigers gave up a field goal, and that was all Western Carolina could manage.

The Catamounts gained only six first downs, and it’s a wonder they turned over the ball only once.

The Tigers recorded four sacks as the front looked solid.

The day went about as well as a defense could ask — keeping in mind the opponent, of course.

Special teams

About the only thing that didn’t go well for Auburn was the 2-point run that failed after the final touchdown.

Steven Clark didn’t get to punt, although he likely didn’t mind.

Cody Parkey got some use out of his leg, as he kicked eight extra points and kicked off 10 times. Nine of his kickoffs went for touchbacks, which is a Parkey trademark.

Coaching

Gus Malzahn pulled the right strings.

Plenty of people got to play, and on a day like this, that’s the most important thing. He built good will with his players, as more than a few guys recorded some highlights.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the Jay Prosch touchdown catch. Eight different players scored the nine touchdowns.

Malzahn made the right call by sitting starting quarterback Nick Marshall, instead of putting him on the field for a bit to get some work.

He’ll get plenty of work next week. Saturday was a good time to let Johnson play significant minutes.

Overall

This marked the perfect homecoming game for Auburn, which now has five wins in six games. That’s two more wins than last year’s forgettable season, and that’s significant. The more wins Auburn gets this year, the easier it is to mark down last season as a fluke.

Sure, this was a dog opponent, but the Tigers had fun, and the good feeling is real.

Next week, they’ll play Texas A&M, and Ellis Johnson’s defense will get its toughest test of the year.

The Auburn offense, however, appears ready to shred a weak Texas A&M defense.

The biggest question now: Will the national polls include Auburn when they're released Sunday?
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