Once again, Auburn took a 10-minute break during the game.
Luckily, it was the first 10 minutes this week.
Auburn was fortunate Ball State didn’t take more advantage of the weekly break.
With the exception of that hiccup, Auburn played a fundamentally sound football game.
Junior wide receiver Terrell Zachary continued to impress and improve with five receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
Zachary’s break away speed and ability to elude defenders make him an important commodity on the offense.
His best ability might be his ability to create YAC, or yards after catch.
His two touchdown receptions against Ball State measured 46 and 65 yards, respectively, and neither of them were caught in the endzone.
The offensive line continued its domination of opposing defenses by not allowing a sack for the third time this season.
Two sacks in four games is a feat of which NFL teams dream.
Senior offensive tackle Andrew McCain said the offensive line has worked hard to get to where they are right now.
“Giving up only two sacks in four games is good, but it’s also two sacks too many,” McCain said.
Senior quarterback Chris Todd entered the record books Saturday, becoming the first quarterback in Auburn history to throw for four or more touchdowns in consecutive games.
Todd also tied the Auburn single game record for touchdown passes with five.
Auburn’s defense had a good showing, holding Ball State to 260 yards of total offense.
Tackling was better Saturday than it had been the past few weeks, but the Tigers’ turnover margin wasn’t where it was from the first three games.
An area of defense that still needs improvement is stopping opponents on third downs.
Currently Auburn ranks last in the SEC in opponent third down conversions. Opponents have converted on 25 of 58 third downs in four games.
Auburn ranks tenth in the SEC in red-zone defense, with only one stop out of 15 tries.
Special teams showed improvement this week, but still need to get better if Auburn is to challenge for the West and the overall SEC.
This week the Tigers travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on the University of Tennessee Volunteers.
Auburn’s defense will need to contain the SEC’s current rushing leader, senior running back Montario Hardesty, who is averaging 121.2 yards per game with a total of 485 yards.
The Tigers’ offense will have its hands full with junior safety and All-American Eric Berry.
Berry is the definition of a “ball hawk,” with already one pick this season.
He led the NCAA in interception return yards in 2008 and was tied for first for most interceptions in the nation with seven.
ESPN will pick up the game, and kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. C.D.T.
The national recognition of being on ESPN during prime time should help our chances of cracking the top 25 polls.