Chalk Talk: Auburn vs San Jose State Upon Further Review

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Sep 6, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn reacts to a play during the second half against the San Jose State Spartans at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers beat the Spartans 59-13. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

4th Quarter

As the fourth quarter begins, the announcers make note that Nick Marshall has thrown for a touchdown and added a touchdown run, giving him seven consecutive games with a rushing TD. They also mention that Marshall had six games in 2013 in which he scored on the ground and through the air.

After the Auburn touchdown, the Spartans cannot advance the football and must punt. As they have several times in the game, San Jose State gives Auburn the gift of excellent field position, this time by shanking the punt out of bounds near the SJSU 35-yard line. That is a problem they need to fix before conference play for there to be any chance the Spartans make a bowl game. You simply cannot give away free yardage and easy points to any opponent.

As the game is well in hand for the home team, the announcers attention turns to a debate of whether or not Jeremy Johnson is the second best quarterback in the SEC. Brian Griese is emphatic that he is.

After a quick drive, Jeremy Johnson scores on a 1-yard touchdown run. The call is actually a pass play, but when Johnson rolls out there is nothing in front of him but the painted A-U-B-U-R-N in the end zone, so he takes it himself.

In the fourth quarter, Auburn really slows down the tempo with the big lead. Don’t expect to hear many accusations of Gus Malzahn running up the score by anyone that watches him coach often.

oSep 6, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Jeremy Johnson (6) hands off the ball to running back Roc Thomas (9) during the fourth quarter against the San Jose State Spartans at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Spartans 59-13. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

SJSU quarterback Black Jurich was injured in the fourth quarter when he was hit by Angelo Blackson. Interestingly enough, the play was one of the few in which Blackson did not get great penetration. Instead, he used a spin move to free himself from his blocker and stepped into Jurich’s path just as Jurich was stepping up into the pocket to throw. Blackson caught him as he released the ball and drove him into the ground, injuring the senior quarterback’s shoulder. Fortunately, it did not appear to be a serious malady.

Auburn gets unbelievable field position with a 1st-and-goal after the SJSU punter drops the snap, then tries to lateral the ball through the back of the end zone for a safety.

Instead, the play is dead and Roc Thomas scores on the very next snap – the first of his career. The Tigers run a buck sweep into the boundary and Thomas uses a nice move to elude a potential tackler then lowers his shoulder and drives through a defender into the end zone.

On the following Spartan drive, new quarterback Joe Gray completed a pass to Jabari Carr, who made a terrific leaping grab. It was also a nice example of heads-up play by Rudy Ford, who tried to push Carr out of the field of play before he could come down in bounds with the football. Carr stayed in, but Ford showed a nice football IQ with his effort.

Trovon Reed utilized his skills as a former wide receiver to to intercept Gray in the end zone. The ball was under thrown, but it was a nice example of the ball skills Reed has. He certainly has deficiencies as a cover corner at this point in the season, but he is athletic and experienced enough to improve over the course of the season. Don’t be surprised to see Reed starting opposite Mincy at the end of the year.

The announcers spend a few minutes discussing Tucker Tuberville and his chance to get into the game with his dad, former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, in attendance. The elder Tuberville is in town because his 2004 Tigers’ team was recognized as halftime in the tenth anniversary of their undefeated season. As for the young Tuberville, he and Jonathan Wallace seem like locks to go into coaching after their playing days are over. I wonder how many other future coaches are on the Auburn roster.

More from Auburn Football

Roc Thomas was forced out of bounds with 2:49 left in the game. When trying to run out the clock at the end of the game, you hate to see your running back be forced out of bounds. Thomas showed some nice moves on the play to break a tackle, and the recent rules changes mean the clock kept running, but it’s still good practice to stay in bounds late in the fourth quarter when your team is attempting to salt away a victory.

And on the final offensive play of the night for Auburn, Thomas fumbles. It was a nice play by the Spartan defender to take the ball away from the young freshman running back, but it’s not how you want you night to end. Hold onto the football, young man.

And San Jose State runs out the clock to end the ball game. Your Auburn Tigers are 2-0 and will take Saturday off before traveling to Kansas State for a September 18 matchup.