Through 2 games into the season, the Auburn offense is one of the best in the nation, when it comes to Redzone offense. The Tigers have scored on 11 of 11 opportunities and more importantly, 10 of the 11 possessions have been touchdowns. Auburn was very efficient inside the redzone last season, scoring on 54 of 61 opportunities. This included a touchdown in 44 of the 54 scoring drives.
During this play Auburn faces a 3rd & goal from the San Jose State 4-yard line. The Tigers
One of the question marks about the 2014 Auburn offense before the season began was the replacement of Tre Mason. Because of his experience and production, Cameron Artis-Payne was the obvious choice to become Auburn's "every down" back. So far through 2 games, CAP has made the most of his opportunity. He currently is the No. 2 rusher in the conference, averaging 144.5 yards per game. Though his style is different from Tre Mason, Artis-Payne has his own strong attributes as a running back. He has
Sometimes it only takes one player to blow a perfectly called play or alignment or for one player to make a great play to disrupt a perfectly called play. Kris Frost did not play well against Arkansas but rebounded with a very strong performance against San Jose State. His play on a San Jose State "double-screen" play, was one of the better defensive plays of the game. It was a prime example of one player disrupting a play that was designed to catch the defense out of position.
The mere fact Shon Coleman is able to play college football is an amazing story in itself, having courageously battled acute lymphoblastic leukemia to return to the gridiron. Not only did he retun to play the sport he is passionate about, he became the starting left tackle for the defending Southeastern Conference Champions. Coleman replaces All-American Greg Robinson and the Auburn offensive line continues to grind the opponent into submission. Through 2 weeks into the season, Auburn has the No
Game #2 Statistical Evaluation (San Jose State) 2014
Offensive Report Card:
1) Average 6-yards per play on 1st down: 5.36 (fail)
2) Convert at least 40 pct of 3rd downs: 71.4% pct (pass)
3) Average at least 4.5 yards per rush: 7.16 YPC (pass)
4) Score on 1/3 of your offensive possessions: 66.7% (pass)
5) Keep "3 and out" series under 33%: 8.3% (pass)
6) Average 8.0 yards per pass attempt: 5.68 (fail)
7) Score above 75% in red zone: 100.0% (pass)
8) TD Red Zone above 60%: 100.0% (pass)
The Auburn Tigers dominated the Spartans, 59-13 to move to 2-0 on the season. The Tigers were 31-point favorites over San Jose State and easily covered the spread despite having issues in their vertical passing game. The defense played very well except for 2 big plays allowed during the game as the front-7 had a solid game against the Spartans. The good news is that Auburn came out of the game without any major injuries with 12 days to prepare for their first road game of the season.
Auburn's running game was taken to a different level last season, once the decision was made to base the offense around the read-option element. During the final 10-games of the season, Auburn averaged 367-yards rushing per game. The first-half of the Arkansas game this past Saturday, revealed just how important Nick Marshall has become to the run-offense. After being held to 68-yards rushing during the first half without Marshall in the lineup, Auburn rushed for 234-yards against the Razorbacks
During the season opener, the Auburn front-7 accounted for 50 percent of the team's tackles. Last season the front-7 dropped under 53 percent only 2 times out of 14-games. For the sake of this discussion, I included the "star" position as part of the front-7 totals. The defense clearly played more to its potential during the second half, holding the Razorbacks to just 2-yards rushing compared to the 151 allowed during the first half. The following breakdown is an example of the type of needed to
One of my favorite plays from the Arkansas game was Auburn's delay draw or what I refer to as a slip-draw. Like many plays Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee call, it is designed to freeze the defense, utilizing misdirection. The exchange or hand off takes place on one side of the backfield but the play normally funnels in the opposite direction.
On this down, Auburn faces a 2nd & 3 from the Razorback 15-yard line. Auburn will execute their version of the draw play, featuring Came
D'haquille Williams clearly lived up to all the preseason hype, catching 9 passes for 154-yards against the Razorbacks. He led all offensive players with 5 impact plays or plays of 15-yards or more. He became only the 4th Auburn WR to record at least 5 impact plays during a game against a conference opponent from 1992-2014.
On this play Auburn faces a 3rd & 6 from the Razorback 18-yard line. The Tigers come out in a 4-WR set with D'haquille Williams lined up in the slot on th
On this play Auburn will show a run look, facing a second down. The Tigers come out in a 2-WR set with both TE's on the field.
Just before the snap the boundary corner will begin to edge towards the line with the intent to blitz off the edge. Jeremy Johnson will play-action with Cameron Artis-Payne, knowing he has an open receiver in Melvin Ray. Johnson delivers his pass over the blitzing corner as Ray utilizes his vertical advantage to haul in the quick pass from Johnson.
The safety comes i
The Auburn Tigers kicked off the season with a 45-21 victory that was a tale of two halves. Auburn jumped out to a 21-7 lead, only to see the Razorbacks rally to tie the game at 21 by halftime.
The Tigers played an inspired second-half, dominating the Hogs, 24-0 during the final two quarters. As well as Jeremy Johnson performed during the first half, it was the return of Nick Marshall that opened up the Tigers powerful run assault. The second-half performance of the Auburn defense marked the
Great adjustments by defense during second half...
Defense allowed 8.5 yards per play on first down during first half and only 2.2 yards during the second half.
Game #1 Statistical Evaluation (Arkansas) 2014
Offensive Report Card
1) Average 6-yards per play on 1st down: 9.79 (pass)
2) Convert at least 40 pct of 3rd downs: 64.2% pct (pass)
3) Average at least 4.5 yards per rush: 6.29 YPC (pass)
4) Score on 1/3 of your offensive possessions: 58.3% (pass)
5) Keep "3 and out" series under 33
Basically the Auburn-Arkansas game will come down to the Razorbacks ability to defend space and Auburn's ability to defend mass.
We witnessed South Carolina struggle dearly last night. Defending 60 pass attempts, the Gameocks mustered up only 1 sack, 2 QB hurries and had only 2 passes defended.
In contrast, A&M defended 40 pass attempts but came up with 3 sacks, 6 QB hurries, 4 passes broken up and 1 pick.
Go back and watch A&M's QB and he rarely had to go through any progressions. Hi
The following is a breakdown of the 2013 Auburn defense by quarter.
1st Qt: 4.93 YPC (110th nationally)
2nd Qt: 4.04 YPC (89th nationally)
3rd Qt: 5.63 YPC (82nd nationally)
4th Qt: 3.88 YPC (36th nationally)
Run-defense has been a major issue for the Auburn Tigers over the past 5 seasons, except for the 2010 season. The 2013 Auburn defense did manage to improve from No. 100 during 2012 to No. 62 in 2013. Except for a major slip during the third quarter, the nu
A primary area to watch for in 2014, when it comes to the Auburn offense will be their ability to run inside and throw over the top (over the LB's).
Late in the 2013 season, opposing teams began to defend the edge to defend the running game to limit the damage caused by the Auburn running game.The following numbers will explain why...
Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne accounted for 408 carries last season. Nick Marshall, Corey Grant and Ricardo Louis accounted for 257carries.
Mason and CAP ac
Will Auburn improve upon run-defense in 2014? It needs to for Auburn to make another championship run. Last season was the Year of the Quarterback in the SEC. I believe this season could be the Year of the Running Back in the conference.
During the 125 games under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn's defense allowed over 200-yards rushing on 11 occasions or 1 every 11.4 games.
During the 66 games since Tuberville left Auburn, the defense has allowed over 200-yards rushing, 23 times or 1 every 2.9 games.
Last season placed Auburn back into the national picture but only continued success at this highest level will create the "perception" of being an elite program.
Consider the percentage of seasons Auburn had with a win percentage of .750 or better...
1950-1959: 30.0% - 1 SEC Title
1980-1989: 60.0% - 4 SEC Ttiles
2000-2009: 30.0% - 1 SEC Title
2010-2013: 50.0% - 2 SEC Titles
It is easy to see why the 1980's under Pat Dye is considered t
Coach Ellis Johnson previously described the 2013 Auburn defense as being average overall but very good in "situational play". Auburn’s national rankings of No. 87 in total defense and No. 47 in scoring defense supports the “average” comment made by Auburn’s defensive coordinator.
Auburn finished No. 13 in third-down defense and No. 10 in Red zone defense, which supports Johnson’s comment of being very good in situational play. Auburn was No. 10 in third-down defense against ranked opponents a
Keys to a championship season...
Talent: Auburn might not be the most talented team in the SEC but they have recruited well enough to be in the nation's top-15, if not top-10. The key in this category will be player development, which is too early to tell under Malzahn's staff. It appears they are off to a good start. Auburn is in good shape entering the 2014 season.
Depth: In this day & age of college football, very few teams are stocked with depth across the board. Each team tend
During the Gus Malzahn era at Auburn (54 games), 20 games have been settled by 7-points or less (37 percent). Auburn is 16-4 in those close ball games.
During the two SEC Championship seasons, 12 of Auburn's 28 games were settled by 7-points or less (43 percent). Auburn compiled an 11-1 record in those close games.
Of all the plays executed on the field during the Malzahn era, 18.5 percent have been on special teams. Special teams have accounted for 31.6 snaps per game. These plays o
For the first time during his collegiate coaching career, Gus Malzahn will have the luxury of a returning starting quarterback. Nick Marshall played well last season, improving as the season progressed. Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee have high expectations for the senior quarterback to be. “He’s more comfortable. He’s more reactive," Malzahn said. "He doesn’t have to think through everything, he just reacts." During spring practice, Nick Marshall picked up from where he left off after the 2013 se
Last season Corey Grant had a limited role in the Auburn offense when it came to actual touches. Grant carried the ball just 66 times during the 2013 season and caught 4 passes. He played in all 14 games during the past season but was limited to 5 carries or less during 9 games. With the departure of Tre Mason, look for Grant's role in the offense to likely expand in 2014.
Though he had less than 70 carries during 2013, Grant made the most of his opportunities. He averaged nearly 10-yards per r
We often judge quarterbacks based on their completion percentage but it doesn't always tell the true story of just how accurate a quarterback is. When Rhett Lashlee speaks of improving Marshall's accuracy, he is primarily speaking of Nick's accuracy throwing down field. Is it true they would like to see him with a 65-70 pct completion percentage overall? Yes they would but even Lashlee pointed out that you don't complete 65-70 percent of your vertical passes.
During A-Day, we witnessed Nick Mar
Auburn might not lead the nation in rushing in 2014 as they did during 2013 but the components are in place for a top-10 rushing attack. The offensive line will be very good, Nick Marshall returns and there are plenty of options at the RB position. Brandon Fulse might not be Jay Prosch but Fulse is a special player in his own right. Checking in at 6-4, 272, Fulse is like having an extra pulling guard in the backfield. He certainly showed his worth during A-Day in the running game as well as pass