With half the regular season in the books, Auburn is currently No. 15 in rushing and No. 4 in the conference. Hoping to add some additional spark to the offense and Auburn's 262-yards rushing per game, Gus Malzahn gave Roc Thomas his first meaningful snaps of the season against Mississippi State. Auburn suffered their first loss of the season but Thomas had 42-yards on 6 carries during his limited role in the Auburn game plan for the Bulldogs. The true freshman currently has 19 carries on the season, averaging 5.68 yards per rush. Despite his limited action, he has converted this 19 carries into 7 first downs and 5 runs of 10-yards or more.
During this play Auburn faces a 2nd & 3 from the MSU 29-yard line. Auburn will run their counter play and the key to the play will be how the MLB tracks the Auburn backfield and the block by Duke Williams on the edge. At the snap Nick Marshall will make the inside give to Roc Thomas. The MLB freezes to make sure Marshall doesn't keep and to make sure it is not an inside run by the RB.
Roc Thomas initially sells the inside run before bouncing the play outside. Duke Williams makes a crackback block on the OLB, sealing him inside of Thomas, running to the edge. Thomas sprints into the secondary, where he fakes going inside the secondary, before spinning outside towards the sideline. The play nets 18-yards and an Auburn first down.
At 5-10, 193 pounds, Thomas might not be physically ready for a full workload as the primary rusher but he can provide Auburn with a compliment to Cameron Artis-Payne. Malzahn is hoping that Thomas can provide the extra burst to give Auburn a home-run threat at the primary RB position. The bye-week will give Thomas and the Auburn coaches time to prep Thomas for extended play against South Carolina.