Checking in on the early-season temperatures in Auburn, Ala., …


The Auburn offense. The 41 points the Tigers put up against LSU on Saturday night was the most in that series, and Nick Marshall played his best game in an Auburn uniform. Auburn had its most balanced offensive attack thus far in the Malzahn era, amassing 566 total yards. 268 of those yards were through the air, with 298 coming on the ground. Both Marshall and Cameron Artis-Payne both eclipsed 100 yards rushing. It was the perfect time for the Tigers to start clicking; Auburn now faces No. 3 Mississippi State on Saturday in Starkville.


Ellis Johnson’s defensive unit was lights out in the win over LSU. The Tigers allowed just 280 total yards and the run defense continues to be a strength. Auburn again allowed under 4 yards per carry to LSU and was able to get off the field on third down, forcing LSU to go 0-13 on third downs. Montravius Adams continues to anchor the defensive front with 17 total tackles, five tackles for loss and a sack. The task gets significantly harder this weekend with Dak Prescott and company waiting in Starkville.


The Tigers’ chances in the SEC West. The path to claiming the best division in college football got a bit easier this week with Texas A&M and Alabama both suffering road losses. Auburn now has to be considered the favorite to win its second straight Western Division title, but still has road games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama.


The effort of Gus Malzahn’s coaching staff. Auburn was coming off two consecutive subpar efforts at Kansas State and against Louisiana Tech, and without a bye week, Malzahn got the best performance of the season out of his team. The Tigers have cemented themselves as a legitimate top three team and the comfort level in its offensive and defensive schemes is noticeable on the field.