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#StatTiger: Defensive Notes




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 numbers reveal Auburn played better run-defense as the game wore on last season. Hopefully this trend will continue in 2014 but with a better start during the first quarter.


  • 1st Qt: 120.4 efficiency rating (32nd nationally)
  • 2nd Qt: 130.3 rating (61st nationally)
  • 3rd Qt: 127.3 rating (60th nationally)
  • 4th Qt: 128.8 rating (86th nationally)

Last season we witnessed a gradual decline in pass-defense as the game progressed. This was one of the primary reasons why Auburn squandered significant leads in several games during 2013. This was an obvious concern last season and an issue that could resurface again in 2014. With the loss of key performers at DE, the Tigers could struggle applying pressure on the opposing quarterback, especially during critical junctures of the game.

It should be noted Auburn did improve in pass-efficiency defense on third-down. The Tigers were 96th nationally during 2012, improving to No. 8 during 2013. As Ellis Johnson pointed out, the Tigers were great in situational play but average overall.


If a defense struggles in yardage and points allowed, it must make up for these issues with turnovers. Unless more injuries surface, I believe the Auburn defense will continue to improve in 2014 but won't be a dominating or even a consistent defense. Once again, they will need to be very good in "situational" play. Improving the run-defense would be a major step in the right direction.

  • From 1992-2103, Auburn's defense has forced a turnover every 32.3 plays defended. Last season the ratio was 1 every 52.1 plays defended, which was 21st best over the past 22 years. This is an area the Tigers must improve upon.
  • "Turn-around" defense or sudden change of possession is also an area the Auburn defense must improve on. From 1992-2013, an Auburn turnover has been worth 2.3 points for the opponent. Last season it equated to 2.5 points per turnover, 15th best over the last 22 seasons.

From 1992-2013, Auburn has compiled a record of 95-16, when the Tigers win the turnover battle. Gus Malzahn's offense has done it's fair share of winning the turnover battle. During the past 22 seasons, Auburn has averaged a turnover every 36.6 plays. Malzahn's four Auburn offenses has averaged a turnover every 46.3 plays. Malzahn's 2010 and 2013 offenses were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in terms of turnover ratio among the past 22 Auburn offenses.

In order for the Tigers to win the turnover battle on a frequent basis, the defense will need to step up to match the offensive output. During the past 5 seasons, Auburn has turned the ball over 105 times, while the defense has forced only 103 turnovers. During this 5-year time frame, Auburn has won or tied the turnover battle 59.1 percent of the time. During the previous 5-years (2004-2008), it was 65.1 percent.



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