So much was riding on the Arkansas-Auburn game. Getting a division win in the first game of the season is a great thing for Auburn. Now, moving forward to game two, the last thing head coach Gus Malzahn wants the Tigers to do is exhale and relax, and he warns against a letdown.

“We need to be extremely motivated, ready to practice and ready to move onto the next week,” Malzahn said. “That is going to be a big key. We have got to find a way to do that each week. That is hard to do (but)…we did it last year.”

Much of what Malzahn is saying is coach speak, and every coach warns their team of a letdown against a lesser power. Auburn’s a good football team, but they can’t just show up and beat opponents. Nobody can.

“All that we had talked about (last week) was Arkansas. That is over now,” said Malzahn. “We looked at game film, got our corrections down. Now we have San jose State. That is the only thing on our mind.”

Teams often improve the most from week one to week two, and that would be excellent news for an Auburn team that looked so explosive against Arkansas. Perhaps the biggest focus this week will be correcting defensive mistakes and making sure the Tigers’ run defense has improved.

But Malzahn isn’t exactly sure what to expect this year from the Spartans, a 6-6 team last year that hammered No. 16 Fresno State and crushed their BCS hopes. Last year, with quarterback David Fales directing the offense, the Spartans were balanced on offense with 496 pass plays to 432 run plays. It was through the air, though, where they did most of their damage. Of the Spartans 46 touchdowns, 34 came from the air attack. Fales is now in the NFL, and his replacement is 6-4, 235 pound graduate student Blake Jurich, who got just six snaps last year. Last week against North Dakota,  Jurich was 22-of-25 for 250 yards, threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third. The Spartans ran the ball 40 times and threw it 26.

“They threw the ball well and they ran the ball quite a bit,” Malzahn said in a surprised tone about the running.”I think they scored 44 points. They played a I-AA team so we don’t know if they showed everything or not. It will be a balanced attack.”

Non-conference games against offenses that can move the football are nice tests for a defense that’s still gelling together and identifying playmakers.