StatTiger

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StatTiger last won the day on November 28 2016

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  1. During the 2017 A-Day game, Coach Lindsey implemented crossing and drag routes more frequently than we have witnessed in the Auburn pass-offense. Attacking the shallow area of the middle of the field should always be part of the game plan and hopefully we will witness more of this during the upcoming season. By design, Lindsey attacked the entire field with the passing game. As he previously spoke of, his intent is to force the defense top defend the entire field. For the most part, he accomplished this goal during A-Day. The Play... On this play the Auburn offense comes out in a 4-WR set facing and 2nd & 7. Jason Smith is lined up in the slot on the wide side of the field and Kerryon Johnson is the only RB in the backfield. At the snap, Jason Smith runs a shallow crossing route as Kerryon Johnson releases out of the backfield. As Smith drags the DB across the field, Johnson will run underneath Smith in the opposite direction. The LB responsible for Johnson becomes caught up in the crossing route traffic, allowing Johnson to get create separation from the defender. Once Johnson hauls in the pass, he has plenty of space to turn up field. Jarrett Stidham delivers what is basically a 4-yard completion that turns into an 18-yard gain and a first down. Last season Auburn's RB's caught a combined 32 passes. Arizona State's RB's caught 63 passes under Chip Lindsey during 2016. Coach Lindsey's other primary goal is distributing the football to all of his skill players, which we witnessed during the scrimmage game. The FB was the only position that did not register a run or reception this past Saturday. Though Chandler Cox did not have an offensive touch, he was involved in several pass routes during the game. The concept we witnessed in this play is something Al Borges has done for decades. It would be nice to see Coach Lindsey incorporating some West Coast elements into his passing game.
  2. I think it will. There are so many screens that the fakes often leave a WR uncovered.
  3. Part of Chip Lindsey's passing game includes the receivers having option routes based on how the opposing defense is defending the pass play. This is a major part of the Air Raid offense, which allows the WR's and QB to recognize and adjust to the opposing defense. The key for this aspect being successful is the QB and WR being on the same page. Another addition this season will be the run-pass option plays. The WR's will have to adjust on a given play, whether to block or run a passing route. depending on the adjustment made just before the snap. My favorite play of the A-Day game was the 33-yard pass play between Jarrett Stidham and Will Hastings. I do not believe it was a designed play but more of Will Hastings making something out of nothing. The Play... On this play the offense comes out in a 4-WR set with the WR's stacked on both sides of the field. Before the snap, Will Hastings is stacked over Darius Slayton. At the snap, Will Hastings positions himself as if the play is a screen pass. Jarrett Stidham goes through his vertical progressions as C.J. Tolbert delays releasing out of the backfield. Once Tolbert releases out of the backfield, Will Hastings elects to ad-lib, breaking into a shallow crossing route over the middle now vacated by the defenders. Stidham catches Hastings coming across the middle, delivering a short pass to the speedy WR. Hastings hauls in the short pass and crosses over the middle before turning up field for a 33-yard gain. The play showcased Will Hastings recognition of the defense on that play and Stidham's ability to see the entire field before targeting Hastings on his "ad-lib" route. The play catches the defense flat-footed resulting in a big gain for the offense. It is this type of play that builds trust and confidence between the QB and his receivers.
  4. I think 2010, 2013 and 2014, it became more about tempo and the combination of a QB who could run and pass. The emphasis on offense became a power running game, combined with tempo. It was no longer about creating space and mismatches on the field by formation, shifts and motions. Though it worked, it made Gus get away from what was successful before with a more pocket oriented passer.
  5. The recent hiring of Al Borges as an offensive analyst was a great move on Gus Malzahn's part. The wealth of experience Borges possesses at the collegiate level can only help Chip Lindsey evolve as a coordinator. Borges should be an immediate help in breaking down opposing defenses to game plan for. His ability and experience in scripting plays could be extremely vital in Auburn's offensive game plans this upcoming season. Under Borges, the Auburn offense was at it's best during his scripted plays. With his experience in the West Coach offense, Borges could add some new wrinkles to the passing game in 2017. Finally, I see Borges helping the development of the Auburn quarterbacks, especially in the mental phase of the game. One of the aspects of his offense during 2004 and 2005 was the use of motion and shifts. We have seen very little shifts and motion the past two seasons, another reason why the offense became too predictable. Shifting often helps on creating mismatches and motion by the receivers often exposes the opposing coverage. By exposing the coverage, the quarterback has a better working knowledge of the opposing defense, which aids in determining where to throw the football. The Play... On this play the Auburn offense comes out in a tight formation on first down. This is normally a strong indicator of a pending run play. Before the snap, Kam Martin shifts from a slot position to the backfield. At the snap, Jarrett Stidham will fake the "speed sweep" with Ryan Davis, who sweeps to the boundary side. Auburn's Mike Horton (RG) pulls to his left, which is normally an indicator of a run play. The defense is forced to play the run option first as Kam Martin runs a wheel route out of the backfield. Nate Craig-Myers runs a slant route, which is geared towards being a "rub" route to shield off the LB attempting to cover Martin coming out of the backfield. With Martin's speed, Nate Craig-Myers needs only to slow down the LB for a split-second to create separation for Kam Martin. Stidham initially looks off his primary target (Martin) and makes the deep pass down the sideline to Martin. The pass is executed well but Martin is unable to make the reception. The play would have resulted in at least 33-yards. During the first half of the A-Day Game, 53.8% of the snaps taken by Jarrett Stidham involved a shift or motion. Auburn shifted or motioned on only 20.8% of the snaps taken by Willis and Barrett at quarterback. If Auburn motions or shifts close to 50% of the time this upcoming season, it will make for a more explosive offense. Hopefully Al Borges will help in making this happen in 2017.
  6. From 2000-2016: Here are the number of times the following teams currently in the SEC finished in the nation's top-25 of pass-efficiency: Georgia ...... 10 Florida ........ 7 Auburn ........ 6 LSU ............ 6 Alabama ..... 4 Arkansas .... 4 Ole Miss ...... 4 USC ............ 4 TAMU ......... 4 Tennessee ... 3 Kentucky ...... 2 Miss State .... 2 Missouri ....... 2 Vanderbilt .... 0
  7. Jarrett Stidham: 16-20-0-267yds-0tds (192.1 rating) Malik Willis: 11-18-0-157yds-0td (134.4 rating) Breaking down the numbers (Stidham): Took 15 first down snaps with Auburn calling 13 pass plays on first down. Two of those pass plays result in Stidham running out of the pocket. This translated to 86.6% pass plays called on first down with Stidham. Of his 20 pass attempts, 7 were intermediate to deep routes (35%). He produced four 30+ pass play and seven impact plays. The goal is to generate an impact play in the passing game with 1 under every 5 pass attempts. Stidham hit 1 every 2.9 attempts. He threw the ball 11 times on first down and only twice on 3rd down. During five of Malzahn's seven seasons at Auburn, the Tigers threw more passes on third down than first down. It was great to see the offense passing when they "wanted" more so than when they "had to". 11 of his 20 pass attempts were within 5-yards of the line of scrimmage (55%). Stidham would have passed for 300-yards if not for a dropped wheel route. Breaking down the numbers (Willis): He had a passer rating of 114.4 playing with the No. 2 offense vs. the No. 1 defense. He had a pass rating of 144.4 with the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 2 defense. He also took 15 first down snaps, with 9 of the plays being pass plays (60.0%). Chip Lindsey was more conservative with Malik early on and opened it up more during the second half. Of his 18 pass attempts he connected on one play of 30+ yards and five impact plays. He produced an impact play 1 every 3.6 pass attempts with the goal being under 5.0. He attempted 8 passes on first down compared to 3 attempts on third down. 9 of his 18 attempts were within 5-yards of the line of scrimmage (50%). 5 of his 18 attempts were intermediate to deep passes. Overall, Auburn's quarterbacks compiled a pass rating of 177.8 with the goal being 130 or better. Offensive observations: With the quarterbacks not being alive, it was clear there were some impact plays that could have been made by the QB's running the football. Both Stidham and Willis could apply a lot of pressure on opposing defenses, passing and running the football. I really liked the double move routes stemming from the screen packages. The screen game was multiple with quick, bubble and tunnel screens. Auburn set up some nice vertical passes off the screen look. The swing passes to the RB's should be a nice addition in 2017. I saw it at least two times, where a WR ran a shallow crossing route and a RB released up the middle, crossing over with the WR. It worked to perfection both times. The defense over the middle (LB's) committed to the WR on the cross as the RB delayed his release, crossing over in the opposite direction. This was a great addition to the passing game and an easy read for the QB. Last season, the obvious issue on first down was the 80% run plays called. Compounding the issue was the same up the middle runs frequently called. During A-Day, we saw a lot of sweeps with at least 1 pulling guard. There were two delay draw plays on 1st down that targeted the perimeter on first down. Mixing up the run plays on first down will make he offense difficult to defend. The WR stack formations opened up a lot of passing options. There were multiple shallow clearing and rub routes yesterday. Lindsey targeted the middle of the field regularly, which was GREAT to see. Not sure if it were a designed play or if Will Hastings made an adjustment on his own but his 33-yard pass play was a thing of beauty. It began as a stacked route with Hastings faking a screen. He broke off the fake screen, and ran towards the middle of the field on a shallow route. Stidham looked vertical initially and checked down to Hastings coming over the middle. The 4-yard pass turned into a 33-yard gain. It will be huge if the WR's are permitted to adjust their routes based on the opposing coverage. It was clear Stidham did a great job of moving through his progressions with viable "checkdown" passes available in the pass offense. Willis did not do it as much but did come off his primary target several times. I thought he played well for a true freshman. Stidham and Willis combined for 19 pass attempts on first down for 155-yards. Kam Martion dropped a wheel-route on 1st down that would have netted at least 33 yards. Final Observations: The A-Day game is a glorified scrimmage and the offense should look productive under these circumstances but there was plenty to like simply based on formations and schemes. I would imagine Lindsey and Gus Malzahn kept it vanilla but there were some obvious additions to the offense. Watching Nate Craig-Myers, Marquis McClain and Darius Slayton attacking the ball with their hands at the highest point was something to watch for moving forward. Three pass plays to the TE's was nice to see. Lindsey stated his primary goal as the OC is to get the ball to his playmakers. I thought he did a great job of attempting this during A-Day. Speaking of playmakers, I believe Kam Martin could be a huge playmaker in 2017 as a runner and receiver out of the backfield. It will be interesting to see how Lindsey utilizes Martin this season. With just the 4 returning RB's, I see the position being a strength in 2017, not to mention the two freshman coming in. If they can stay healthy for the most part, Auburn should be solid. It will be interesting to see what the coaches decide to do with Willis in 2017. Stidham, White and Barrett should be more then enough to work through the season as long as everyone remains healthy. I would hate to see Willis burning an entire year for minor "mop up" duty. It would be logical to red shirt Willis in 2017 but he certainly looks like an "up and comer". Though this feature was directed towards he offensive side of the football, I had to mention the play of Daniel Thomas at safety. He plays the run very well and doesn't shy away from contact. I believe he forced two fumbles during A-Day and the defense needs playmakers like that. War Eagle!
  8. Passing on 1st down (2016): Last season Auburn was No. 121 nationally in the percentage of pass attempts made on 1st down. The national average was 38.4% and Auburn checked in at 21.1%. Auburn was No. 36 nationally when it came to pass-efficiency on 1st down. Auburn was No. 5 nationally in completion percentage on 1st down. Auburn was No. 40 nationally in yards per pass attempt on 1st down. Auburn was No. 98 nationally in yards per pass completion on 1st down. Auburn was No. 120 nationally in the average number of pass attempts on 1st down per game. The Tigers averaged 6.8 pass attempts on 1st down per game and the national average was 12.2 per game. Auburn was No. 126 nationally in TD ratio, passing on 1st down. Auburn averaged a TD pass every 88 pass attempts on 1st attempt, with the national average being 1 every 18.7 attempts. War Eagle!
  9. Passing rating of 130 or better in the SEC: From 2000-2008 (1320 games), SEC teams had a pass rating of at least 130 during 44.5 percent of the games. Teams with a pass-rating of at least 130, compiled a win percentage of .821. From 2009-2016 (1368 games), SEC teams had a pass rating of at least 130 during 53.7 percent of the games. Reaching a pass rating of at least 130 meant a win percentage of .819. During the past eight seasons (2009-2016), we have witnessed an increase of 20.7 percent in passing games with a rating of at least 130, compared to the nine seasons from 2000 to 2008. Overall, teams in the SEC averaged 212.7 yards passing per game from 2000 to 2008. SEC teams from 2009-2016 have averaged 221.5 yards passing per game, a 4.1 percent increase in passing yardage per game. Though there has been an increase in games with 130 pass ratings, the win percentage is basically the same. During the time span Malzahn has been at Auburn from 2009-2011 and 2013-2016, the Auburn pass-offense ranks No. 5 out of the 14 teams in terms of producing a 130 pass-rating. The league average is 53.2% and Auburn is No. 5 at 61.3%. Arkansas, Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia finished higher than Auburn. Looking back at the last 17 teams to win the SEC Championship (2000-2016), the average national ranking in pass-efficiency is No. 17. The average national ranking in pass-efficiency for the MNC winner during the same time period is No. 13.
  10. In this day & age of college football, coaches are looking more to efficiency and consistency than sophistication. Current NCAA rules limit the time spent with players more than ever. It has also limited the amount of time for full contact during practice. We are seeing more "system" oriented offenses to take advantage of the athletic ability at the skill positions, including the quarterback position. We are seeing more spread offenses that go no huddle. Because of the limitations by the NCAA, offensive coaches are looking for ways to keep things simplistic, placing more of an emphasis on execution. See the following feature... http://smartfootball.com/tag/passing-game#sthash.5p3fJA1Y.dpbs During the time span Malzahn has been at Auburn from 2009-2011 and 2013-2016, the Auburn pass-offense ranks No. 5 out of the 14 teams in terms of producing a 130 pass-rating. The league average is 53.2% and Auburn is No. 5 at 61.3%. Arkansas, Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia finished higher than Auburn. It is very difficult running a west coast offense in a no huddle, tempo styled offense. There would be no way to get a play called because of the verbiage involved in calling a play. It would also limit the number of freshman and sophomore QB's learning a complicated pass offense well enough to execute it as the "starter". System oriented offenses have resulted in more younger QB's starting early and having success. Like ANY other team, a more talented player at the QB position will make ANY pass offense look better. Auburn is not the only team that benefited from having an good to great quarterback. Plug in said quarterback into Malzahn's offense and the passing game is extremely efficient. I do believe Malzahn's pass-offense needed a change in an effort to give the offense some growth and to limit the predictability factor. I believe they have it in Chip Lindsey but at the end of the day, the caliber of quarterback within the system will make the MOST difference in terms of efficiency and productivity. During seasons with Todd, Newton and Marshall as the starter, Auburn reached the 130 rating 70.3% of the time. During the three seasons without them as the starting QB, AU reached the 130 rating during 48.7% of their games.
  11. From 2000-2016 teams in the SEC compiled a combined win percentage of .926, when rushing for at least 150-yards, while averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt. Establish the run and have a consistent vertical passing game will win a high percentage of games.
  12. 200-yard rushing games by teams in the SEC: From 2000-2008 (1320 games), there was a 200-yard rushing game during 26.1 percent of the games. Teams that rushed for at least 200-yards compiled a win percentage of .843. From 2009-2016 (1368 games), there was a 200-yard rushing game during 39.6 percent of the games. Teams rushing for at least 200-yards during a game, won .862 percent of their games. During the past eight seasons (2009-2016), we have witnessed an increase of 51.7 percent in 200-yard rushing games, compared to the nine seasons from 2000 to 2008. Overall, teams in the SEC averaged 153.6 yards rushing per game from 2000 to 2008. SEC teams from 2009-2016 have averaged 180.8 yards rushing per game, a 17.7 percent increase in rushing yardage per game. Average number of 200-yard rushing games by teams in the SEC: 1989: 4.2 (Year before Steve Spurrier arrives at UF.) 1992: 3.7 1999: 1.4 2000: 2.1 2001: 2.6 2002: 4.0 (Year after Steve Spurrier left UF.) 2003: 3.2 2004: 4.1 2005: 2.1 2006: 2.7 2007: 4.1 2008: 3.5 2009: 4.7 2010: 4.8 2011: 4.3 2012: 4.4 2013: 6.4 2014: 5.4 2015: 5.0 2016: 5.8 200-Yard rushing games from 2012-2016: Alabama ............ 42 Auburn .............. 40 LSU ................... 35 Georgia .............. 32 Miss State .......... 31 Arkansas ............ 25 Tennessee .......... 25 Ole Miss ............. 24 Florida ............... 20 Kentucky ........... 20 S. Carolina ......... 19 Texas A&M ........ 15 Vanderbilt ......... 13 Missouri ............ 13 Note the high number of SEC-West teams at the top of the list.
  13. Perhaps the most important aspect to watch for in 2017 regarding the Auburn offense, is Chip Lindsey's play-calling on first down. How often will Auburn throw the football on first down and what will the play selections be? Running the football too frequently was an issue but it was also compounded by the lack of variety in the run plays called on first down. Numbers and Notes on 1st down plays: During the past decade, teams at the FBS level averaged 5.87 yards per play on first down. Auburn has averaged 5.79 yards per play on first down. Gus Malzahn's collegiate offense (2006-2016) averaged 6.44 yards per play on first down, including 6.20 yards while at Auburn. Teams have thrown the ball 38.9 percent on first down. Auburn has thrown the football 24 percent on first down. Teams averaged 4.66 yards per run on first down and 7.78 yards per pass attempt. Auburn averaged 5.18 yards per run and 7.74 yards per pass. If you were to examine the teams that finished in the nation's top-20 of yards per play on first down, those teams threw the ball 32.5 percent of the time on first down during the past decade. The top-20 teams averaged 7.09 yards per play on first down, with 5.63 yards rushing and 9.43 yards per pass attempt. Auburn finished in the top-20 on two occasions from 2007-2016. (2010 and 2013) Teams finishing in the nation's top-20 of first down offense combined for a win percentage of .706. The top-20 teams averaging at least 9-yards per pass attempt on first down, won .725 of their games. When Malzahn's offense averages at least 6-yards per play on first down, his offense has won .847 of their games, while averaging 525-yards and 42 PPG. At Auburn Malzahn has won .868 of his games with at least 6-yards per play on first down, averaging 510-yards and 41.8 PPG. The issue for Malzahn at Auburn is the offense has reached 6-yards per play on first down in only 40.8 percent of their games, including 28 percent over the past two seasons. Malzahn's run percentage of 75.1 percent on first down from 2006-2016 has made his offense extremely predictable, especially at Auburn. During the past four seasons, Auburn has run the ball 78.8 percent of the time on first down. During his inaugural season at Auburn (2009), the Tigers threw 10 TD passes on first down. During the last three seasons combined (2014-2016), Auburn threw for 8 TD passes on first down. During his seven seasons at Auburn, Malzahn's offense averaged over 9-yards per pass on first down, one time (2010). When held under 6-yards per play on first down, Malzahn's "Auburn" offense combined for a 32-22 record, averaging 390-yards and 28 PPG. War Eagle!
  14. The recent struggles of the Auburn offense during the past two seasons brought about the departure of Rhett Lashlee and the hiring of Chip Lindsey to revamp the Tigers offense. The miscues on offense have also tightened the pressure around Gus Malzahn as he prepares to enter his fifth season as Auburn's head coach. The 2017 season will be a focal one as Malzahn might not be able to survive another five-loss season, especially if the quandary on offense continues. Coach Malzahn believes Chip Lindsey is the answer to making the Auburn offense potent again, particularly when it comes to the passing game. Watching Auburn's offense average 268-yards and 15 points per game during the last four Power-5 games of the season, made it easy to toss the baby out with the bathwater. Though some recognized Auburn's key injuries, many considered the final numbers as the final death-blow to a once dangerous Malzahn offense. On the surface, it appeared his offense had become predictable, conservative and the deficiencies in the passing game were undeniable. In reality, the lack of quality play at the quarterback position can bring most offenses to its knees. Something to consider... Sean White has been the most consistent performer at the quarterback position the last two years, but his inability to remain healthy has prevented the offense from maximizing its full potential. When White and his cohorts were healthy, the offense produced quality numbers. Here is a breakdown of the two years worth of "healthy" competition. This stretch of 12-games with a healthy Sean White included the Mississippi State game through the Ole Miss game of 2015 and the Arkansas State through Ole Miss period of 2016. I left out the Clemson game because of the irrational game plan subjected against the eventual National Champions. During the 12 games with a healthy Sean White Auburn... Averaged 482-yards and 35 points per game. Averaged 268-yards rushing, primarily with a pocket passer. Converted 49 percent of their third-downs. Averaged 6.21 yards per play on first down. Scored on 50 percent of their offensive possessions with the goal being at least 1/3. Went "3 & out" only 19 percent of the time with the goal of keeping it under 25 percent. Averaged 39.6 yards gained per possession with the statistical goal of at least 30-yards per possession. Scored a touchdown every 19.6 plays with the goal being one every 17 plays. Scored touchdowns inside the red zone during 55.9 percent of their possessions, with the goal being at least 60 percent. Passer rating of 149.1 with the goal being at least 130, completing 64 percent of their passes for an impressive 8.4 yards per pass attempt. Averaged 8.4 impact plays per game with the goal being at least 8 per game. Averaged an impact play every 9.3 plays, with the goal being one every eight plays. The above numbers showed the potential of the offense with a consistent performer at the quarterback position, but there remained a few concerns. Concerns: Though the 482-yards were impressive, Auburn should have averaged closer to 40 points per game with that kind of yardage production than the 35 per game they did average. Part of the problem with the scoring output was the lack of production inside the red zone. The TD percentage of only 55.9 percent inside the red zone was horrible, preventing the Tigers from maximizing their scoring drives. During the 12 games with a healthy Sean White, Auburn ran the ball over 80 percent of the time on first down. Becoming run-heavy on first down was the origin of Auburn's predictability and an example of a lack of confidence in the passing game. Despite Auburn putting up efficient numbers in the passing game, Malzahn elected to be conservative when it came to first down. Auburn's lack of impact plays is a direct result of the passing game rarely being featured. Keep in mind that over 67 percent of the plays of 20-yards or more at the FBS level were pass plays during the 2016 season. The level of Competition: Some will point to the offensive success under a healthy Sean White coming against inferior competition. Though there is validity in this statement, it doesn't change the fact that Auburn was more productive on offense with a healthy Sean White. Some of Auburn's lack of success with a healthy White had more to do with player personnel and play-calling. During the 2015 season with a healthy Sean White, Auburn averaged 3.1 percent more yardage than their opponent generally allowed and scored 8.6 percent more than the opponent allowed. During the 2016 season with a healthy Sean White, the offense gained 28.9 percent more yardage and scored 40.6 percent more than the opponent usually allowed. The offense was much more efficient with a healthy White in 2016 than 2015. Moving Forward: So what will Chip Lindsey bring to the table, Rhett Lashlee could not bring? In all fairness to Coach Lashlee, he was only behind the steering wheel of the offense for about 5-6 games during the 2016 season. Though Gus Malzahn publicly stated he was turning the play-calling duties over to Lashlee, Malzahn became more involved once the injuries mounted later in the season. Once again, Gus Malzahn has publicly committed to turning the reigns of the offense over to Chip Lindsey. Only time will tell how committed Gus Malzahn will be to this concept. Lindsey does appear to have a stronger history in quarterback development than Rhett Lashlee. Coach Lindsey's pass-offense is heavily influenced by the Air-Raid concept, rather than Gus Malzahn's passing schemes. The logical plan is to incorporate Malzahn's running schemes with Lindsey's passing schemes to bring about a new evolution to the Auburn offense. Neither passing system has featured the tight end position in the passing game, but Lindsey does feature the running backs more frequently. Under Malzahn, the Auburn offense has averaged 39 receptions at the RB position per season. Under Lindsey, the running backs averaged 78 receptions per season. The Auburn pass-offense is in dire need of a vertical punch, and it remains to be seen whether or not Lindsey can bring this to the offense in 2017. Malzahn's offense has generated plays of 15-yards or more in the passing game 19.8 percent of the time, while Lindsey's pass-offense is currently hitting at 18.8 percent. During this past season, Auburn checked in at 17.6 percent, and the Sun Devils of Arizona State was slightly better at 17.8 percent. In terms of "quantity", Arizona State appeared to be better but not so when it came to "quality". Regarding efficiency, Auburn was No. 54 nationally during 2016, while Arizona State was No. 73 as both teams struggled with injuries at the quarterback position. Despite the injuries, Auburn's 2016 offense did improve overall compared to 2015, which means the offense was not utterly incompetent. Stabilization at the quarterback position should make a significant difference in 2017 regardless of the changes made schematically. If Auburn can remain healthy, I expect the offense to continue to improve and to perform more consistently. Improvement could take place simply because of better quarterback play. Just as the inconsistencies in offense during 2016 was primarily related to injuries, recovery in 2017 doesn't mean all the right moves were made. Even during the record-breaking years on offense witnessed in 2010, 2013 and 2014, Auburn struggled inside the red zone and was extremely predictable on first down. During the past two seasons, Auburn has run the football 79% of the time inside the red zone. During the past two seasons, Chip Lindsey has run the football 63% of the time inside the red zone. Two statistical categories to watch for in 2017 is the percentage of pass plays called on first down and the percentage of pass attempts on third down. During the seven seasons of Malzahn offense at Auburn, the Tigers have passed the ball only 21 percent of the time on first down and 31 percent of their pass attempts have occurred on third down. During Chip Lindsey's three seasons as a collegiate OC, his offense has passed the ball 40 percent of the time on first down and only 25 percent of their overall passes have come on third down. Lindsey's offense passes the ball when they want to more so than when they have to. This is the exact opposite of Malzahn's offense, where the quarterback is placed into way too many obvious passing situations. During the past two seasons, over 33 percent of Auburn's pass attempts have come on third down. With the array of returning talent, the addition of a highly-touted quarterback and the accumulation of some new tweaks in the passing game under Chip Lindsey should make the offense dynamic again. A more productive offense will be cause for celebration, but Coach Malzahn must be willing to adjust his offensive schemes for the offense to reach its full potential. Scoring 35 points per game would be great but not if the potential was there to average 40. The opportunity is there for Auburn to reach its offensive ceiling but only if the man in charge permits it to happen.