Through 3 games Auburn has yet to reach its full potential in the passing game. D'haquille Williams has already recorded 9 impact plays from his 21 receptions but Ricardo Louis and Sammie Coates have combined for just 1 impact play. Ricardo Louis registered his first impact play against Kansas State, which ended up being an explosive play. Kansas State came into the game with a plan of taking away Auburn's run-offense, challenging the Tigers to beat them through the air. To Auburn's credit, they did make some critical passes in the game, which made part of the difference in the outcome of the game. In reality, Auburn could have won more comfortably had they connected on several other passing opportunities. This situation will arise again down the road and Auburn will need a more consistent response from their pass-offense.
On this play Auburn has the ball at the Kansas State 40-yard line on a 1st &10. K-State has 7 in the box with a high probability of a run play on first down. Auburn comes out in a 3-WR set with the intent of running a play-action pass.
At the snap, Nick Marshall play-actions with CAP and sets up deep into the pocket. Marshall looks deep but the deep route to Sammie Coates is covered. Marshall goes through his progression and resets his feet with Louis breaking on a deep out. Marshall delivers a high pass, which Louis makes a great effort to snag. This was a great play on the part of Marshall, who did not force the deep ball, checking down to a better option. He also made his delivery with pressure in his face.
Louis comes down with the reception at the 24-yard line, spinning away from safety. Ricardo Louis cuts the play back inside avoiding two other defenders to the end zone for the score. Louis made a great play on the ball and utilized his football instincts to gain 24 more yards after the catch. These are the type of plays Auburn's receivers need to make. If Coates and Louis begin making plays, Auburn will be able to maintain their threat in running the football, while achieving offensive balance.