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Report card: Grading Auburn's home victory over Alabama State

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Auburn vs Alabama State

Sep 11, 2021; Auburn, AL, USA; Barton Lester (51) blocks the punt during the game between Auburn and Alabama State at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics

AUBURN — For the second game in a row, Auburn football scored 60 or more points and added to its impressive point differential: The Tigers are plus-112 to start the season.

But unlike the season-opening win against Akron, the 62-0 blowout of Alabama State wasn't always sparkling. Here are the Week 2 grades for Auburn's offense, defense, special teams and coaching, plus an overall score.

Offense: B-

Maybe it's unfair to give this low a score to a team that just scored 62 points, but it was against an FCS opponent, so this is a nitpicking space. The first-half score was on the border between a C- and D territory. The second half was up the A+ standard of the opening-week game. Bo Nix made some questionable decisions with the ball early, and the two red-zone duds to start the game were discouraging. But scoring 35 points with eight offensive snaps in the third quarter is a pretty astonishing correction.

Defense: A

Only penalties keep this from being a perfect score. The defense had 11 tackles for loss and two takeaways, including a Roger McCreary interception return for a touchdown. Alabama State only had two plays of 15 yards or more. It was a convincing enough shutout, given the opponent.

Special teams: A+

Auburn blocked a punt and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown, so what more can you say? While the offense looked lethargic in the first half, those two big plays carried the Tigers, leading to 10 of their 20 points. Receiver Demetris Robertson also had a 23-yard punt return, and Anders Carlson was perfect on field goals and extra points.

Coaching: B+

There were a couple of baffling choices in the first half, most notably the three-and-out in which Auburn didn't give the ball to either of its running backs who have been fantastic. But the most impressive aspect of the game was Harsin's ability to turn it around at halftime. The coaching hasn't been tested that much yet.

Overall: B+

It wasn't always pretty, but Auburn has dispatched both of its easy opponents as expected. The real fun begins next week at Penn State.