In preparation for Saturday’s season-opener between San Jose State and Auburn, Saturday Down South is taking a look at the key matchups that may decide the showdown between the Spartans and Tigers.

San Jose State passing game vs. Auburn secondary

San Jose State utilizes a spread offense and will look to hit quick passes against the Auburn secondary rather than relying on the big play. The Spartans will present a different set of challenges that the Tigers didn’t plan for last week against Arkansas’ power running attack.

“They’re a talented team,” safety Jermaine Whitehead told the media Wednesday. “A great quarterback, he’s an accurate guy, moves the ball around a lot to a lot of different receivers.”

Blake Jurich will be under center for San Jose State. The senior’s in his first year as a starter. Jurich completed 22 of 25 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans’ week 1 win against FCS foe North Dakota. Ron Caragher’s offense also relies on three talented running backs and impressive receivers.

“They don’t drop any footballs,” defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said Wednesday.

The Tigers will need to make defensive adjustments again this week. San Jose State will line up in formations and run plays Auburn won’t have seen yet.

“They look a little different than last year, but you can get fooled on the first game,” Johnson said.

A good performance for the Auburn secondary will go a long way for the Tigers as they schedule begins to strengthen. Last week against Arkansas, the secondary was caught out of alignment a few times due to some new wrinkles the Razorbacks threw at them. This week’s game provides an opportunity for reps and growth as a 31-point favorite. Expect to see an much improved Auburn defensive backfield this week.