Here are some quick thoughts on Auburn’s landslide 51-14 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

What it means: The Tigers needed this win for more than just the number in the “W’ column. They needed to know they could finish the game. They also needed to prove that their performance against Clemson wasn’t a fluke. Unfortunately, they may not have succeeded in the latter, doing an about face on both offense (good) and defense (not so good).

What I liked:

  • Head coach Gus Malzahn finally stopped playing quarterback roulette. Sure, it was only one week of shuffling through his passers like a deck of cards, but it was a painful week. Tonight’s game was much better for him resisting the urge to keep Arkansas State (and his own team) guessing.
  • Speaking of which, QB Sean White really stepped up on Saturday as the starter and offensive leader. White went 17-of-23 for 244 yards and 3 TDs. He also racked up 10 rushes for 60 yards. And he looked good doing all of it.
  • RB Kerryon Johnson and RB Kamryn Pettway went to work. Johnson carried the ball 18 times for 124 yards and 2 TDs. He started heating up against Clemson last week, but he really emerged against the Red Wolves. Pettway carried the ball 15 times for 152 yards.
  • The Tigers got creative with their kicking game. In the second quarter, PK Daniel Carlson ran it in for a 20-yard touchdown on the fake field goal. In Auburn’s next possession, White threw a 29-yard fireball to former PK-turned-WR Will Hastings for 6 points.
  • WR Kyle Davis made a heck of a one-handed catch. See for yourself, because there’s not much else we can say.

What I didn’t like:

  • The Auburn defense took a step backwards. Last week, this defense was the star against Clemson, holding the No. 2 team in the country to fewer than 400 yards. But tonight against Arkansas State, the Tigers couldn’t seem to keep up the consistency. Sure, there have been some moments of brilliance, but overall, the defense fell flat.

Who’s the man:

White settled into his starting position, and he rocked it on Saturday night. If he keeps throwing up those monster numbers against stiffer competition, Auburn will be a force in the SEC this season.

Key play:

It was tough to choose between Davis’ one-handed catch and the White-Johnson miracle play. Check out how White and Johnson turned nothing into something huge, and you can decide for yourself.

What’s next:

The Tigers look to keep up momentum in Week 3 when they face No. 20 Texas A&M (2-0) at home. Auburn needs a win next weekend to start SEC play off right, but it won’t be easy because the Aggies are hot right now.