Last season the Mississippi State defense held Tre Mason and Cameron Artis-Payne to 47-yards on 16 combined carries. The strength of the MSU defense is found in their front-7 this season and it will be interesting to see how Auburn matches up with Bulldogs this Saturday. CAP enters the game averaging over 118-yards rushing per game and it will be a major challenge for Auburn to maintain this average against the No. 11 run-defense in the nation. Of the 24 combined carries by CAP, Mason and Grant last season, 14 were held to 3-yards or less against MSU. Corey Grant had the most success against MSU, rushing for 44-yards on 8 carries.
During this play against LSU, Auburn faces a 2nd & 4 from their own 30-yard line. The Tigers come out in a 4-WR look with Brandon Fulse lined up wide. Just before the snap Fulse will shift into the backfield inside of Melvin Ray in the slot. Auburn's intent is to run a sweep with Cameron Artis-Payne towards the boundary side.
At the snap Chad Slade (RG) will pull to his left, becoming a lead blocker for CAP, who takes the hand off from Nick Marshall. Brandon Fulse is responsible for sealing the DE as Melvin Ray is responsible for the OLB. This leaves Chad Slade with the boundary corner. CAP is able to turn the corner for a positive gain before being tackled by the OLB and CB. The play nets 10-yards and an Auburn first down.
On this play Auburn audibles into a swing-pass with Cameron Artis-Payne. CAP was initially lined up to the right of Nick Marshall with Auburn in a 4-WR set (trips to the wide side). CAP shifts to Marshall's left just before the snap with the intent of clearing space for CAP behind the trio of WR's. At the snap Nick Marshall looks off his intended target in CAP as the WR's on top clear the flat.
Marshall dumps a short pass off to CAP, leaving the RB with a 1 on 1 with a LB in open space. This is a huge advantage for Auburn as CAP is able to use his speed to get around the LB. Swinging wide with the pass, CAP avoids the initial tackle and motors up the field, picking up 15-yards and an Auburn first down.
Should Auburn struggle running between the tackles (very likely), look for more sweeps involving pulling guards, when CAP is the featured back. Look for more perimeter runs with Corey Grant and the use of both backs in the passing game.