Game: Auburn 31, Washington State 24. The Tigers forced three turnovers, including a key interception by junior S Robenson Therezie with under six minutes to play, and the Tigers held on to give Gus Malzahn a victory in his debut as Auburn's head coach. The two teams combined for 46 points in the first half but managed only three field goals over the last two quarters, two by Auburn senior Corey Parkey. The Tigers rushed for 297 yards while holding the visitors to just 120, but gave up 344 yards through the air.
Takeaway: Though a victory, Auburn's performance gave no reason for Tigers fans to beginning dreaming of a contending role in the conference. But it was a win, and there is the potential for much more.
Junior RBs Corey Grant and Tre Mason gave the Tigers a solid running game in combining for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Grant's coming on a 75-yard dash after the Cougars had scored to go up 21-15 in the second quarter.
Therezie's two picks matched Auburn's team total for all of the 2012 season, and Mason had a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
With Arkansas State coming to town, the Tigers have the opportunity to polish up on some of their mistakes before diving into SEC play against Mississippi State on Sept. 21.
-- Junior QB Nick Marshall, a junior college transfer, completed only 10 of 20 passes for 99 yards in his Auburn debut. But he was sacked only once and ended up on the plus side in rushing with 27 net yards on nine carries. He didn't have an interception.
-- Freshman DT Montravius Adams looked as advertised. He didn't start but came into the game in the second quarter and kept constant pressure on WSU QB Connor Halliday. He was credited with one of Auburn's two sacks.
Next: Vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 7.