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Report card: Starters watch from bench as Auburn closes out ‘sloppy’ win over Idaho

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Offense B: Auburn went into a shell midway through the third quarter content to slowly close out a sixth win. The Tigers backups didn’t do much outside of a 56-yard touchdown run from Roc Thomas. A positive sign for Auburn was the offensive line playing well with starters Austin Golson and Shon Coleman out with injury. The group helped Jovon Robinson and Peyton Barber play well in limited action. Jeremy Johnson rebounded from last week’s struggles even hitting a long 56-yard completion to Ricardo Louis. 

Defense B-minus: Auburn’s second and third string defense allowed a bunch of meaningless yardage and two fourth quarter touchdowns to make Saturday’s win look less impressive on the stat sheet. After Idaho scored a quick touchdown on its opening possession, the Tigers’ first-string defense settled in and played well. They forced three turnovers and Rudy Ford returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown. The defensive also forced the Vandals to turn the ball over on downs twice. 

Special Teams B: Kevin Phillips wasn’t as sharp in the kicking game as he’s been this season, but a 24-yard gain on a well-executed fake punt proved to be an important play. Auburn scored on the drive to take a 14-7 lead and didn’t look back scoring on its next three possessions. Daniel Carlson had six touchbacks on nine attempts in a solid effort.

Coaching B: Auburn had a strong game plan and executed it well. The offense benefitted from more balanced play calling. Auburn was called for 11 penalties, but some of that had to do with the coaching staff going deep into the bench.

Overall B: Auburn’s 56-34 win over Idaho was an unremarkable one. The Tigers qualified for a bowl, but will still head into the Iron Bowl as heavy underdogs.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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