Something to build on in 2012
Posted by Staff , 18 July 2012 · 340 views
Dee Ford Michael Dyer Jay Prosch LaDarius Owens Justin Delaine Cody Parkey Steven Clark Auburn 2012 Corey Lemonier
- Despite injuries to Dee Ford, LaDarius Owens and Justin Delaine, Auburn’s defensive ends finished the season with 35 quarterback hurries. Playing 1 less game than the 2010 defense along with depleted depth, the 2011 defensive ends had more quarterback hurries than the 2010 Auburn defensive ends. Auburn is loaded with talent and experience at the defensive end position, which could translate to a very productive unit in 2012. The return of a healthy Dee Ford matched up with Corey Lemonier could be something very special. If the defensive tackles can obtain a more consistent push inside, it will open up rushing lanes for the defensive ends to the opposing quarterback.
- Last season Auburn’s defense had 22 sacks and 63 QB hurries, a major drop from the 37 sacks and 99 hurries in 2010. Despite the lack of pressure on the opposing quarterback, Auburn’s secondary broke up a pass every 10.6 plays compared to the 13.2 ratio in 2010. Auburn returns 11 scholarship players in the secondary with 196 games of combined experience. Auburn’s defensive front should be able to apply more pressure on the opposing quarterback in 2012 to go along with a more aggressive secondary under Coach Willie Martinez.
- Despite Auburn’s offensive woes during 2011, the running game was No. 2 in the conference, producing 200-yard rushing games and No. 4 in yards per game. The 2011 Auburn running game averaged a solid 5.01 yards per attempt, when not trailing on the scoreboard and 3.6 yards, when trailing. Auburn’s struggles with their pass-offense and overall defense resulted in 42.9 percent of Auburn’s offensive snaps coming when the Tigers trailed on the scoreboard. Auburn was No. 9 in the SEC when it came to playing offense, while trailing on the scoreboard. Losing Michael Dyer was a major loss in terms of proven talent and experience but Scot Loeffler will have five 4-star rated running backs to work with in 2012. The addition of All-American fullback Jay Prosch will be a huge addition to Auburn's pro-style run offense.
- As bad as the 2011 Auburn pass offense was in terms of efficiency (No. 78 nationally), the Tigers were surprisingly No. 4 in the SEC on 3rd down (146.6 rating). Auburn’s problems came on 1st down, where the Tigers were No. 11 in the conference with a dismal rating of 106.9. How is this even possible? My take is the play calling on 1st down, when it came to the passing game was extremely conservative with and excessive reliance on the perimeter passing game. On third down, Auburn was forced to pass down field, putting more pressure on the opposing defense. Auburn had a pass rating of 170.2 facing 3rd & 10 or longer. Look for an emphasis placed on the intermediate passing routes under Coach Loeffler, a common element in the West Coast pass-offense.
- Special teams were stellar last season with a passing grade in 11 of 13 games. In comparison the offense had a passing grade in 6 of 13 games and the defense finished at 5 of 13. Improvement on offense and defense should magnify the production of Auburn’s special teams.
- Auburn was No. 15 nationally in net-punting, No. 35 in punt-return defense, No. 14 in kick-return offense and No. 2 nationally in touchbacks. With the return of Cody Parkey and Steven Clark, Auburn should be in very good shape, when it comes to their kicking game.
- Cody Parkey was a major weapon on kickoffs during 2011 but finished No. 45 in FG percentage among the 82 place-kickers nationally with at least 15 FG attempts. His FG percentage of 72.2 percent (13 of 18) must improve but he was 7 of 8 inside the 40-yard range and 6 of 10 beyond 39-yards.