Last season during 12 games, the Auburn offense produced 64 run-plays of 10-yards or more. This season through 11 games, the Auburn offense has totaled 112 such run-plays. The combination of an improved OL, execution and play-calling has resulted in a massive overhaul to the offense. One area Auburn must exploit against the Alabama defense is running the ball on first-down. The Auburn offense is currently No. 2 nationally averaging 6.87 yards per rush on first-down. The Alabama defense is currently No. 52 nationally, allowing 4.27 yards per rush on first-down.
On this play Auburn has a 1st & 10 from the Georgia 24-yard line. The Tigers will run an inside power play, overloading the right side of the Georgia front-7. At the snap Alex Kozan and Reese Dismukes will drive the DE and NT inside. Chad Slade and Jay Prosch will pull left, kicking out the OLB and ILB.
Nick Marshall will make the inside give to Tre Mason, who runs between the running lane created by the Auburn OL and FB. Greg Robinson and CJ Uzomah are in position to make blocks at the next level as Mason speeds to the end zone untouched for a 24-yard touchdown run.
It's this kind of physical play that will be required for Auburn to successfully run the ball against Alabama. It will be vital for Auburn to be able to run the ball consistently on first down and to be able to throw on early downs to keep the running game alive.