NCF Nation: Jonthan Wallace

After a very slow start in the first half, Auburn scored a season-high 42 points in a crucial 42-7 win over New Mexico State.

The Tigers (2-7, 0-6 SEC) finally found big plays from both sides of the field. Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace, who made his first-career start, was shaky at times, but finished with 164 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception. He really didn't have to do a ton for the Tigers with the running game moving so well.

Auburn racked up a season-high 311 rushing yards, with Tre Mason leading all rushers with 152 yards and Onterio McCalebb notching 113 yards on the ground. Mason ran for one touchdown and McCalebb had two.

The defense even showed some progress. The Tigers limited New Mexico State to just 305 yards of offense and 83 yards on the ground. Linebacker Daren Bates really helped spark Auburn's big second half when he recovered a New Mexico State fumble and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown to give Auburn a 21-0 lead.

In what has been a disaster of a season for the Tigers, this was about as big of a must-win as you could find. Coach Gene Chizik was feeling monster heat coming into the weekend, and while this win won't propel Auburn onto a road to a bowl game, it adds a "W" in the win column and it was one that Chizik desperately needed when it comes to his job security.

Will it keep Chizik's job? That's yet to be seen, but a loss might have made pressure from Auburn supports unbearable. Auburn still has a few tough decisions to make when it comes to the future of this program, but right now, everyone at Auburn should be happy to finally see another win come back to the Plains.

SPONSORED HEADLINES