With 1621-yards rushing coming into the BCSNC Game, Tre Mason is obviously a key factor for the Auburn offense. There have been bigger, stronger and faster running backs to play at Auburn but Tre Mason has produced the 2nd best rushing season by an Auburn RB. What makes Mason so special is that he obtains the most of his attributes as a RB. He can run with power, quickness and has enough speed to create separation. Perhaps his best quality as a RB is his field vision and decision making. He is rarely tackled for a loss because he hits the gap as soon as it opens. Like Kenny Irons, he is one of Auburn's best "north & south" runners.
On this play against Arkansas, Auburn will run Tre Mason inside from the 8-yard line. The Razorbacks have 8 in the box but Mason's great vision and decision making leads to an Auburn score. When Mason receives the hand off from Nick Marshall, he initially targets the "A" gap on the right side of Reese Dismukes.
The Razorback MLB attacks this gap and Mason makes a cut to his left to attack the "B" gap between Alex Kozan and Greg Robinson. One lateral step to his left and Mason is quickly through a smaller gap but quick enough to exploit it for an Auburn touchdown.
From the end zone....
From this view you can see the play develop better and how Mason's vision and reaction resulted in a positive play for the Tigers. This is a play that Mason has perfected this season because he can also bounce the play outside the tackles if the defense is caught up in traffic. On this occasion, the perimeters are covered, which requires Mason to attack between the tackles.
Tre Mason wastes very little time moving east & west. He is quick to locate his point of attack and reacts to obtain the most from every carry. A 3-4 yard run on first down is better than another RB wasting time laterally to find a better space to run, resulting in a loss. This type of play by Mason will be essential against Florida State, keeping the Tigers in 3rd & short most the night.