That fast and furious Gus Bus that we analyzed back in July is now officially rolling. There were a few sputters and misses in week one. There were also some pedal to the metal moments. Climb aboard and let’s take a look at what lies before and behind. HONK HONK!!!
Arkansas proved to be a worthy opponent, at least for a half. With a bit of a tune up in the garage at intermission and, filled with premium, the Gus Bus was flat out dominant in the second stanza.
Here are some particulars for your cruise through this ride:
Auburn came in third in the SEC in total yards at 595.
They were fifth in total yards on defense giving up 328.
214.6 was AU’s passing efficiency rating. That was NUMBER ONE in the conference.
The Tigers were 100% in the red zone.
.643 was the third down conversion rate for number eleven nationally and number two in the SEC.
Here’s a good one. Hope it doesn’t make your eyes pop out. Auburn AVERAGED 9.7 yards on first down, 7.3 yards on second down and 8.1 yards on third down.
After some struggles in the first half, Auburn’s defense gave up only 61 yards TOTAL in the second half. Only 2 of those were rushing yards.
Some individual numbers from the guys who make it go:
Jeremy Johnson passed for 243 yards in his one half of work and his passing efficiency rating was 243.8. That was good enough for first in the country!
He was 12 for 16. Quick, do the math… 75%.
Quan Bray was number one in the SEC in punt return average. A 15.5 yard average on two returns.
Nick Marshall gave AU a huge boost with his running the zone read as one would expect. His passing wasn’t too shabby either. He completed 66.7% of his passes.
Cameron Artis-Payne. CAP rushed for 177 net yards at 6.8 yards per carry.
Corey Grant ran for 87 yards on 10 carries. More math… 8.7 yards per carry.
Duke Williams. Duke came in at numero uno in the SEC in total receiving yards. 154 of them on nine receptions. That is 17.1 yards per catch.
Melvin “Big Play” Ray averaged WHAT per catch? 38.5 yards. He only caught two but, man, did he make them count! The ball boy did a pretty good job on chasing Melvin down the sideline also.
AND… Daniel Carlson came in first in the SEC in average yards per punt at 53.3 yards per boot.
Auburn’s 45-21 victory over the Razorbacks was THE largest margin of victory for the Tigers in the series which now stands at 13-10-1 AU. My pick was 42-20. That ain’t bad but I do have a wee bit of room for improvement.
All things considered it was a very good opening day for the home team. And if a team’s greatest improvement is from the first game to the second, then the Spartans from San Jose are in for a long, long day.
That brings us to this week’s contest.
San Jose State University is a member of the Mountain West Conference(West Division). As a point-of-reference, some of the other conference members are Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado State, San Diego State, Hawaii, Fresno State and UNLV.
The Spartans are coached by Ron Caragher who is in his second year at the helm. He was an assistant at Kentucky from 2003-2006. prior to that he served a number of years at UCLA. From 2007-2013 he was the head coach at the University of San Diego where he complied a 44-22 record.
Last week the Spartans defeated North Dakota by a 42-10 count. They were led by quarterback Blake Jurich who completed 22 of 25 passes for 250 yards and 3 TD’s. That is impressive. But they averaged only 3.8 yards per rush. Not so good.
Auburn is a 31 point favorite over the bunch from Silicon Valley. This is too low. Auburn should dominate both sets of trenches and have a comfortable lead by halftime. Look for the running game to pile up big numbers. The passing game should get some good work in as well. We should see a lot of Jeremy Johnson in the second half. Running backs Peyton Barber, and hopefully Roc Thomas, could get a good many carries.
It’s going to, once again, be hot and humid on The Plains. This should further add to the Spartans misery.
Auburn 52 San Jose State 13