Things to watch for Saturday night...
Posted by Staff , 30 August 2012 · 1,420 views
Clemson SEC Scot Loeffler Brian VanGorder
Things to watch for this Saturday night…
- Some will focus on the run to pass ratio of first down plays. Don’t be alarmed if there is a heavy dose of run plays. The key will be how efficient is the pass-offense, when Loeffler dials up a pass play. Auburn was dead last in the SEC when it came to pass-efficiency on first down. Since 1992, Auburn has compiled a record of 96-24-1 (.798), when possessing a pass rating of at least 125.0 on first down. It should be noted Auburn had a record of 15-1 under Gus Malzahn, running the football at least 78 percent of the time on first down. Since 1992, Auburn is 86-19-2 (.813), when averaging at least 4.5 yards per rush on first down. The Tigers averaged 4.8 yards per rush on first down during the 2011 season, 3rd best in the conference behind Alabama and LSU.
- Last season Auburn’s opponent won the tackle for loss battle in 10 of 13 games. This was a huge swing from the success Auburn had during 2010, when the Tigers won the TFL battle in 10 of 14 games. From 1996-2011, Auburn is 61-15 (.803), when they have for tackles for loss than the opponent. Brian VanGorder’s approach to football (attacking the gaps), should increase Auburn’s productivity in this area.
- Auburn’s defense was one of the worst in the country, when it came to 3rd down defense (No. 107 nationally). Over the last 20 years of Auburn football, the defense has allowed the opponent to convert 35% of their 3rd down attempts. The 2011 Auburn defense allowed the opponent to convert 48%. During the 3 seasons prior to Ted Roof coming to Auburn, the Tiger defense held 52% of their opponents to convert less than 35% on 3rd down. Under Ted Roof, the Auburn defense held only 37% of their opponents to under 35%.
- A quick start by the Auburn offense could be a major blessing for the Tigers. Since 1981 Auburn is 104-11-0 in games they scored at least 10 points during the first period. Because Scot Loeffler scripts his offensive plays during the early stages of the game, Auburn should be very efficient during the first 4 possessions of the game. During the time frame of the scripted plays, Auburn's opponent will face a wide variety of formations, motions and shifts as Loeffler calculates how the opposing defense will counter Auburn's formations. Since 1981 Auburn is 166-22-2, when leading after the 1st period and 211-22-3, leading by halftime.
- “Explosive” plays was a concern of Brian VanGorder’s during a couple of Auburn’s fall scrimmages. Over the last 20 years of Auburn football, explosive plays (30-yards or more) have accounted for only 2 percent of the plays defended by the Auburn defense but have accounted for over 20 percent of the yardage allowed. Though I believe the Auburn defense will perform at a higher level in 2012 than 2011, a couple of big plays allowed can ruin an otherwise solid defensive performance.
- Last season the Auburn offense failed to take advantage of a short field, scoring an offensive TD on possessions starting within 50-yards of the opponent’s end zone, only 30 percent of the time. Auburn’s 20-year TD pct, playing on a short field is 45 percent. The 2010 Auburn offense scored a TD 60 percent of the time, starting the possession inside the opponent’s side of the field.
- Look for an increase in the number of intermediate passes under Scot Loeffler. Last year Auburn’s wide receivers averaged only 13.7 yards per reception, the 34th best average at Auburn since 1970. Over the past 20 seasons, Auburn has fielded 5 teams that averaged at least 16.0 yards per reception at the WR position. Those 5 teams combined for a record of 55-8-0, which included 3 undefeated teams. The 2011 Auburn pass-offense completed only 34 percent of the passes attempted between 11-20 yards of the line of scrimmage, a major drop in production from 2010, when Auburn completed 59 percent.