The beauty of a Thursday Night Game is that these teams are the only ones playing and the entire nation can watch. It’s like the NFL and their Monday Night Football.
Auburn gets to show the world what they are made of tonight. Kansas State has an opportunity to upset Auburn and make a name for themselves as well.
Auburn is ranked #3 in my own personal poll. Depending on what happens tonight and what happens with the Florida State/Clemson game and the Alabama/Florida game, but there is a chance Auburn may move up to #1.
Neither Florida State or Alabama have been overwhelming or impressive this year so far. That could change this weekend, but there is that slight chance Auburn leap frogs both of them and becomes #1.
To me, Auburn since the arrival of Gus Malzahn, is one of the more fun teams to watch in all of college football. Their offense, at times, looks pretty much unstoppable.
Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall does not get a lot of respect even on the SEC Network, which is baffling. Marshall missed the first half of the first game due to being punished and he has only thrown for 151 yards so far this season. He has run for 122 yards. Look for both of those numbers to pick up tonight as the schedule gets tougher and he gets more playing time.
Being suspended for the first half of the season only showed that the Auburn Tigers have another Quarterback with immense potential in Jeremy Johnson. Johnson is a 6-5, 230 sophomore that is actually a better passer than Marshall.
The Tigers are set at Quarterback for this year and the next.
No disrespect meant to the Alabama Crimson Tide or the Arkansas Razorbacks, but the Tigers have a pair of Running Backs that are outstanding.
Cameron Artis-Payne from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, is a bruiser of a back and a tough inside runner. He’s totaled 289 yards and 4 Touchdowns so far this season.
Corey Grant is his running mate and this guy has myths circulating by the hundreds about his 40 yard dash times. To say Grant is quick is like saying water is wet. Grant hasn’t had as much action as Artis-Payne in his career at Auburn but he has 176 yards after 2 games and is averaging 8.8 yards per carry.
Auburn has as talented a Receiver group as anyone out there with Junior College transfer D’ahquille Williams, better known as Duke Williams, leading the way. I would bet that Duke Williams becomes a ‘one and done’ guy like college basketball players after this season. Duke is extremely talented and has 13 catches for 214 yards and 1 Touchdown.
The other receivers are not seeing the ball enough because super receiver Sammy Coates has only 1 reception for 13 yards. That’s not enough.
Auburn returned 4 out of 5 Offensive Linemen and the new starter is Shon Coleman at Left Tackle.
This is a great offense from top to bottom.
The Auburn defense took it to another level in the second half of the opening game against Arkansas. They are led by junior Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy.
The Kansas State Wildcats offense is led by Jake Waters. Waters was the top Junior College Quarterback a couple of years ago, but struggled in the first half of 2013. He seems to be better now with 462 yards passing and is also leading the team in rushing with 193 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Charles Jones is their top Running Back and he has 130 yards rushing after 2 games.
The Wildcats star on offense is Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett. Lockett only has 7 receptions so far and 1 Touchdown but look for him to explode at any given time.
The Kansas State Wildcats usually play sound defense and this year should be no exception. They are led by Linebacker Jonathan Truman and Defensive End Ryan Mueller.
But, both of those guys are a bit undersized to take on Auburn’s massive Offensive Line.
This could be an entertaining game, but I suspect Auburn might win pretty easily. The Auburn offense is a well oiled machine and Gus Malzahn is a magician on the football field.
If Auburn does blow out Kansas State at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, I might be moving Auburn up to my #1 spot.