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Young DL is growing up

The primary reason for the recent improvement of the Auburn defense is the play of Auburn's front-four. Losing Dee Ford was a step back but Corey Lemonier and Nosa Eguae have been solid in run defense as well as rushing the passer. Even LaDarius Owens has shown great potential for the future, especially as he adds more weight to his frame. The combination of Kenneth Carter and Jeffrey Whitaker at defensive tackle is beginning to shape up to be an imposing interior threat. They are playing with

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Yikes and Away...

* Through 7 games, Auburn's offense has faced 58 third down situations of 6-yards or more. They have converted only 6 of them (10.3 percent). * 65.2 percent of Auburn's third down situations on offense have been by 6-yards or more this season. * Last season Auburn's defense struggled on 3rd & long. This season Auburn's opponent has converted only 3 of 26 third down situations of 10-yards or more and 1 of the conversions was a penalty (pass interference). * During the 2010 season Auburn's

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Who steps up with Emory Blake in 2012?

Last season the Auburn pass-offense was No. 8 in the Southeastern Conference, generating impact plays or plays of 15-yards or more. There were multiple reasons why the Auburn passing game struggled in 2011 and one of them was the overall performance of the wide receiver position. Entering spring practice in 2012, the wide receiver position was a concern and remains a concern with the conclusion of spring practice. Though the primary objective this spring was to install Scot Loeffler’s offense, c

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When experience counts the most

How those “gut check” games will define a season… From 1992-2010, Auburn has competed in 233 games of which 88 were decided by 7-pts or less (38 percent). Of those 88 “close” games, Auburn has won 63 percent of them. Bottom line, Auburn will normally have 4-5 games per season decided by 7-pts or less. In 2009, Auburn was 2-3 in games decided by 7-pts or less and 6-0 in 2010. Over the past 5 seasons, 29 of Auburn’s 65 games were decided by 7-pts or less (45 percent). Auburn won 19 of the 29 “

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When experience counts the most

How those “gut check” games will define a season… From 1992-2010, Auburn has competed in 233 games of which 88 were decided by 7-pts or less (38 percent). Of those 88 “close” games, Auburn has won 63 percent of them. Bottom line, Auburn will normally have 4-5 games per season decided by 7-pts or less. In 2009, Auburn was 2-3 in games decided by 7-pts or less and 6-0 in 2010. Over the past 5 seasons, 29 of Auburn’s 65 games were decided by 7-pts or less (45 percent). Auburn won 19 of the 29 “

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What would be your favorite playoff format?

A favorite topic among college football fans every year is the need for a “playoff” system. I’ve read some good concepts over the years but when you take each concept and apply real situations, they all have some type of flaw. Bottom line, you’re not going to satisfy everyone but clearly there is a better method than the current BCS system. The match up of Auburn and Oregon this past season did not draw much controversy unless you were a TCU fan. For the most part, the majority of college footba

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What the 'numbers' project for the SEC bowl season

The following scores are based on scoring averages and scoring margins against BCS opponents only. I take the scoring averages of both teams and compare to the opponent’s scoring margins, which gives me two possible scores to the game. 01) Arkansas over Kansas State, 39-31 (Arkansas, 33-30 and Arkansas, 45-32) Kansas State faced the 16th most difficult schedule and Arkansas faced the 31st. Both scores favor Arkansas by 3-13 points. 02) Alabama over LSU, 14-13 (Alabama, 13-12 and Alabama,

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What a difference pressure makes

Trotter will be as good as his pass protection... First 3 games, he was sacked 3 times and hurried 7 times 45-71-2-605yds-6tds (157.2 rating) - Would be 21st nationally Last 2 games, he was sacked 7 time and hurried 17 times 28-51-3-290yds-3tds (110.3 rating) - Would be 100th nationally The same would likely hold true for Kiehl Frazier or Clint Moseley. Frazier would likely have better success than Trotter under extreme pressure but Frazier doesn't reach his full potential until the OL do

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Wallace to Fulse (A-Day)

Of the 43 passes attempted during the 2013 A-Day Game, more than half were screen passes. Gus Malzahn believes in peppering the opposing defense with WR-screens to stretch the defense sideline to sideline. It also sets up his vertical passing game, especially with delayed routes run off of a "screen" look. The Auburn offense cashed this play into two TD passes, both thrown by quarterback Jonathan Wallace. The play... The above play was initially set up with a series of WR-screen passes execu

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Virginia Game Report Card

Game #13 Statistical Evaluation (Virginia Game) Offensive Report Card 1) Average 6-yards per play on 1st down: 5.30 (failed) 2) Convert at least 40 pct of 3rd downs: 36.4 pct (failed) 3) Average at least 4.5 yards per rush: 6.20 (check) 4) Score on 1/3 of your offensive possessions: 58.3% (check) 5) Keep "3 and out" series under 33%: 16.7% (check) 6) Average 8.0 yards per pass attempt: 7.87 (failed) 7) Score above 75% in red zone: 83.3% (check) 8) Average 30-yards per possession: 37.8 Y

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Virginia Game Postgame Thoughts

Once again, Coach Gene Chizik’s staff did a solid job of preparing their team for bowl game competition. There were many distractions leading up to this season’s game but the coaching staff and players were able to overcome the obstacles to defeat their opponent by 19-points. The Auburn offense and special teams were clearly the difference in the game as Coach Gus Malzahn leaves on a high note, directing a unit without it’s best player in 2011. With Clint Moseley going down with an ankle injur

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Veteran Competition

There should be no doubt the 2010 Auburn Tigers were a talented team or they never would have worked their way to Glendale, Arizona for the BCS National Title Game. Added to Auburn’s talent level was their backbone of experience, especially at the critical positions. This more than any other attribute was the heart of the 2010 Auburn Tigers, which carried them through 6 games decided by 7-points or less. Before Auburn played their opening game of the 2010 season, they already possessed 27 play

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Vanderbilt Postgame

For the seventh game in a row Auburn could not get out of it's own way taking two steps backwards for every positive step gained. Whether it is a missed tackle, penalty or turnover, Auburn has found a way to self-destruct, which points to a poorly prepared and coached team. Though the game was competitive and went down to the wire, one should not lose sight of the level of competition faced this Saturday. This Auburn team lost to a 2-4 Vanderbilt team that did everything it could to give away th

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Value of Turnovers

Over the past 20 seasons, an Auburn turnover has been worth 2.3 points for the opponent. Last season, an Auburn turnover was worth 3.2 points, the highest point value over the past 20 years. During the past 20 seasons, a turnover by the opponent has been worth 3.3 points to Auburn. Last season a turnover by the opponent was worth only 2.5 points, the third lowest point value over the past 20 seasons. The “difference in point value” of turnovers during the 2011 season was tied with the

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Value of Impact Plays

During the last 260 plays with Barrett Trotter as QB, the Auburn offense averaged an impact play (15-yds or more) every 12.4 offensive snaps. With Clint Moseley as the QB, the offense has averaged an impact play every 8.1 snaps, which translated to a 35% improvement. What does this mean? Auburn has averaged 65.4 snaps per game, which would equate to 5.27 impact plays per game during Trotter's last 4 starts based on the ratio of 1 every 12.4 snaps. It would translate to 8.07 impact plays under

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Utah State Postgame Numbers & Thoughts

As disappointing as the game felt, winning 42-38 against Utah State at home, imagine how difficult it would have been to overcome it had Auburn lost. For such a youthful team, the coaches can remind the players the importance of playing the entire game. If you quit, you have no chance but if you continue to plug away, there is an opportunity for success. This is no excuse for how poorly the defense played today but a positive reminder for the team to know the importance of playing through tough

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Utah State Game Report Card

Game #1 Statistical Evaluation (Utah State) Offensive Report Card 1) Average 6-yards per play on 1st down: 4.67 (failed) 2) Convert at least 40 pct of 3rd downs: 33.3 pct (failed) 3) Average at least 4.5 yards per rush: 2.60 (failed) 4) Score on 1/3 of your offensive possessions: 50.0% (check) 5) Keep "3 and out" series under 33%: 40.0% (failed) 6) Average 8.0 yards per pass attempt: 11.9 (check) 7) Score above 75% in red zone: 100.0% (check) 8) Average 30-yards per possession: 36.4 YPP

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USC Postgame Stats & Comments

Through 3 games, Auburn had averaged 2.6 yards per rush on 40 carries between the tackles. Against FAU, Auburn ran the ball 17 times between the tackles for 92-yards, despite having averaged over 10-yards per rush, running to the right, outside the tackle. I questioned the strategy after the FAU game but it’s now obvious why I am here, commenting about the games and Auburn’s coaches are actually doing the planning. The coaches knew the strength of the Gamecock defensive line was their DE’s along

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Upon Further Review (Ole Miss Game)

* Through the first half of the season, Auburn's opponent has converted 42.2% of their 3rd downs during the first half and 29.5% during the second half. * Auburn's offense has converted only 19.0% of their 3rd downs during the 4th quarter, which explains why they have been outscored 62-3 during the same period this season. * 52.3% of the Rebel's offensive snaps resulted in a 5-yard gain or better, the highest percentage allowed through 6 games. * Auburn's defense has allowed over 200-yards in

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Upon Further Review (Arkansas Game)

Through 5 games into the season the Auburn defense has allowed their opponent to convert 40.0 percent of their 3rd downs during the first half and 29.7 percent during the second half. Auburn’s average distance required to convert on 3rd down against Arkansas was 11.5 yards. This was due to the sacks and penalties taken on 1st and 2nd down because the offense actually averaged 6.5 yards per play on first down. Third down defense was good against Arkansas and Auburn has only allowed 2 of

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Upon Further Review -USU

Utah State became the first team to register 4 touchdown drives of double-digit plays during one game against an Auburn defense over the past 20 years. Auburn is now 9-3 in games decided by 7-pts or less under Gene Chizik. The Tigers were previously 6-6 prior to his arrival in close ball games. Special teams play was responsible for Utah State starting 8 of their 11 possessions from at least 76-yards away from the Auburn goal line. Barrett Trotter had a pass rating of 130.7 on

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Upon Further Review - Ole Miss

I previously noted Clint Moseley’s amazing 3rd down pass rating of 412.2 against Ole Miss. I failed to note it was the best 3rd down passing performance by any Auburn quarterback over the past 20 years. For the season, Moseley has compiled a pass rating of 205.2 on 3rd down. Over the past 20-years, Auburn has compiled a record of 67-8-0, when the Tigers have a pass rating of 150 or better on 3rd down, averaging 36.1 PPG. Auburn managed to score in every quarter against the Rebel

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Upon Further Review - Florida

During the first 5 games of the game, the Auburn offense faced an average of 7.2 situations involving 2-yards to convert a first down or touchdown. In the last 2 games, they’ve had only 3 against Arkansas and 3 against Florida. Facing fewer short yardage situations is a strong indicator of poor production on first down. A forced-turnover by the Auburn defense has been worth 2.85 points. An Auburn offensive turnover has been worth 2.7 points for the opponent. Only 5 players were targe

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Upon Further Review - Clemson Game

One of the reasons for Auburn’s low completion percentage last night was the target area. Last season 33.9 percent of the passes attempted by the Auburn offense was intermediate and long range passes. Last night Loeffler and Frazier attacked this area 62.9 percent of the time. Though the pass completion pct was low, Auburn did have 5 impact pass plays. This might be a positive note that despite Frazier making his first start, Loeffler reframed from throwing a bunch of garbage passes, which would

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Upon Further Review - Arkansas

-Auburn is currently averaging 257. 3 yards rushing vs. SEC teams, which is the 7th best average for Auburn since 1970. -Auburn is the only team at the FBS level that has not lost a fumble this season. -48.1 percent of Auburn’s 77 offensive snaps resulted in at least 5-yards against the Razorbacks. It was better than the Razorbacks 40.3 percent and was a season high for the Auburn offense. -During the first 3 games of the season, the Auburn defense had allowed 299.0 yards per g

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