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#StatTiger: Note on Special Teams


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  • 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 obviously become magnified during games settled by 7-points or less.

  • During the past 3 seasons, Cody Parkey was 36 of 45 in FG's under 50-yards and 22 of 25 in FG's under 40-yards.

  • During the past 3 seasons, 66 percent of Auburn's kickoffs resulted in a touch back (140 of 212). Auburn finished no lower than No. 3 in touch back percentage during that time period.

  • During the 2012 season, 55.8 percent of the opponent's possessions began at their own 25 yard line or worse. During the 2013 season, that percentage increased to 72.4 percent.

  • During Steven Clark's Auburn career, 76 of his 207 punts (36.7%) were downed inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

  • Forcing the opponent into playing a longer field is vital. During the past 4 seasons, Auburn's opponent has scored on 25.7 percent of their possessions beginning at their own 20-yard line or worse. Scoring increased to 39.2 percent on the remaining possessions defended.

  • From 1987-2008 (22 seasons), Auburn had a combined 1421 kick and punt returns. Of those 1421 returns, 9 resulted in touchdowns. From 2009-2013 (5 seasons), Auburn had a combined 366 kick and punt returns. Of those 366 returns, 9 resulted in touchdowns.

The losses of Cody Parkey, Steven Clark, Tre Mason and Chris Davis on special teams could become an issue in 2014, especially early on in the season. Hopefully Auburn's explosive offense and improvement on defense will minimize the number of close games this upcoming season. On an average, 4-5 games per season have been settled by 7-points or less from 2000-2013. The 2004 season was an exception to the rule with only 2 close games during the season. This was the result of fielding a quality offense and defense that season.

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