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StatTiger last won the day on November 28 2016

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  1. Your memory is spot on. I believe he received the concussion on his long run to the 2yd line. He hit his head on the turf and did not take another snap. At least that is how I remembered his concussion.
  2. Bo Jackson is no doubt the greatest Auburn running back of all time. It opens the debate for the top-5 Auburn running backs not named Bo Jackson. Here are some numbers to consider. Each category is rated based on yards per game, yards per attempt and TD ratio. Top-4 Games during Career: This category focuses on the "career" making games of each back. Bo Jackson is in the list, making it the Top-10 at Auburn. Top-11 Games during Career: Once again the data is sorted by a rating based on yards per game, yards per attempt and TD ratio. The reason for 11 games is because that was once the number of regular season games during the course of a season. Career games of 20-carries or more: This is the combined games of at least 20 rush attempts and sorted by the same rating formula. Kamryn Pettway has booked only 9 career games, so he only appears in two of the three categories. After the 2017 season, it will be interesting to see how high he climbs on all three lists. Based on the current rankings, Brent Fullwood is the No. 1 RB at Auburn outside of Bo Jackson and James Brooks is close behind him. Personally, I would not hesitate to name Brent Fullwood as the best Auburn RB other than Bo Jackson. He combined power and speed with a relentless effort to gain yardage after contact. Though he failed to make the three lists, Kenny Irons had the same kind of drive as Fullwood but did not have the same level of speed. Who is your favorite and why?
  3. One of the key contributors from 2016 to watch for in 2017 is linebacker Deshaun Davis. After seeing limited action, primarily on special teams under Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp, Davis blossomed into a 13-game starter last season. He finished the season as Auburn's 3rd leading tackler and No. 3 in tackles for loss. Coming out of high school, Davis was known to be fundamentally sound but he missed his senior year due to an injury. Rated as a 3-star recruit, Davis has proven to be one those players who doesn't reach his full potential until college. Much like the way his position coach (Travis Williams) did it as a player, Davis has earned his right to play from his work ethic and his starting position from his desire to be the best possible player. The Play... On this play Deshaun Davis sets the defense before the snap. The key to success on this play is the D-lines ability to keep the opposing line off of the LB's. Montavious Atkinson slides outside to cover the perimeter, should the RB bounce the play outside. Carlton Davis rolls up into the box for additional run support. Deshaun Davis works past the center, attempting to block Davis out of pursuit. Atkinson makes the initial contact with the RB still in the backfield. Carlton Davis arrives second, avoiding the pulling guard. Deshaun Davis arrives last to clean up the play, assisting on the tackle for loss. Last season Auburn improved from No. 81 in run-defense to No. 27. It was Auburn's highest ranking against the run since 2010, when the Tigers were No. 9 nationally. Stopping the run will always be a major priority on defense. Size, speed and athletic ability are essential components of being able to stop the run but situational awareness and gap responsibility are just as important. Coach Kevin Steele has placed a premium on his players knowing their responsibilities and fits as well as being fundamentally sound in tackling. Deshaun Davis has become a prize pupil when it comes to the mental game of playing linebacker.
  4. 2008 SEC Football Coaches: Alabama .................. Nick Saban (205 wins) Arkansas ................. Bobby Petrino (109 wins) Auburn ................... Tommy Tuberville (159 wins) Florida .................... Urban Meyer (165 wins) Georgia .................. Mark Richt (154 wins) Kentucky ................ Rich Brooks (130 wins) LSU ........................ Les Miles (141 wins) Ole Miss ................. Houston Nutt (135 wins) Miss State .............. Sylvester Croom (21 wins) South Carolina ........ Steve Spurrier (228 wins) Tennessee .............. Phillip Fulmer (152 wins) Vanderbilt .............. Bobby Johnson (89 wins) Entering the 2017 season, the above listed coaches haves a combined 1688 victories at the collegiate level. Seven of the 12 coaches listed above won at least 1 SEC Championship. Five of the twelve coaches won a National Championship or had an undefeated season in the SEC. Ten of the twelve coaches have over 100 career victories.
  5. Based on his evaluation coming out of high school and his athletic abilities, Nate Craig-Myers has the potential to be Auburn's next "star" wide receiver. Auburn has never been a football program associated with great wide receiver play. Occasionally, there have been a few players who have risen to stardom at the wide receiver position but they have been few and far between. During the last 70 years of Auburn football, there have been eleven 50-reception seasons by an individual. There have been ten seasons with a receiver having 800+ yards in receiving during a season. There have been twelve seasons with a receiver catching at least 7 TD receptions during a season. There have been only seven wide receivers to accomplish all three goals during the same season. Once again, Nate Craig-Myers has the potential to reach all three goals during 2017. The Play... During this play the offense faces a 1st & 20 after a holding penalty. The offense comes out in a 1 back set with 3-WR's and the TE on the line. Coach Chris Lindsey calls a pass play with Nate Craig-Myers running a route towards the middle of the field. At the snap, Malik Willis has the time to work through his progressions. Nate Craig-Myers and John Franklin III run overlapping routes to confuse the secondary and to create separation. Nate Craig-Myers runs a semi-drag route over the middle of the field, over the LB''s and underneath safety support. Malik Willis resets his feet before targeting Nate Craig-Myers, placing his pass to the outside shoulder of his receiver. The location of the pass allows Nate Craig-Myers to turn up field quickly in front of the defender over top. He utilizes his athletic skills to maneuver around three possible defenders to pick up 16-yards on the play. His physical build and his skill set reminds me of former All-Pro, Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys. Irvin had decent speed but his strongest attributes were his route running, his ability to catch the ball at the highest point and his physical presence after becoming a runner with the football. Irvin had the knack of coming up with the reception during "clutch" situations, something Auburn needs for Nate Craig-Myers to become.
  6. Last season Auburn was No. 6 nationally in rushing yardage gained on first down and No. 18 in yards per rush on first down. The downfall came with Auburn being No. 4 nationally in rushing attempts on first down per game, which often made the Tigers predictable on first down. Compounding the issue was the high frequency of runs between the tackles, which resulted in opponents crashing off the edge to blow up the play from behind. During the A-Day game, Coach Chip Lindsey called a high number of pass attempts on first down and when the Tigers did run, we saw more perimeter runs. If Lindsey can make the offense productive on first down, the 2017 Auburn offense should be difficult to defend. During the past 25 seasons, Auburn offenses that averaged at least 6-yards per play on first down during a season, gained 25 percent more yardage than the Auburn offenses that did not. The Play... On this play the offense comes out in their base set on first down. Chip Lindsey calls a draw play designed to bounce outside the congestion between the tackles. In the past, Auburn under Gus Malzahn had several variation of draw plays but the majority of them normally came on 3rd and long situations. Rarely did we see a draw play on first down. The wide receivers on the wide side of the field (Eli Stove and Sal Cannella) will run out routes stacked over one another. This creates space in the flat and a wide running lane for Kam Martin, while forcing the DB's to respect actual pass routes rather than being blocked right off the line (tipping the run). At the snap, Kam Martin freezes in his 2-point stance as Malik Willis drops towards Martin before handing off the football. Kam Martin is able to bounce outside for an 11-yard gain. To his credit, Michael Sherwood is playing the "Buck" position on the play. His quickness draws a holding penalty on Jalen Harris. Kam Martin will not be an every down back in 2017 but he certainly needs to be a major component of the offense. Coach Chip Lindsey recognizes Martin's potential for being explosive. During A-Day, Coach Lindsey called multiple plays in attempt to place Martin in open space. There were perimeter runs, swing passes and wheel routes to the speedster. Last season Kamryn Pettway averaged a 15-yard gain or better every 12.4 touches. Kerryon Johnson averaged 1 every 18.1 touches. Kam Martin was No. 1 among the Auburn running backs with 1 every 7.6 touches. Martin could transform into Auburn's specialty back, especially on third down.
  7. Based on the lack of use of the TE position in the passing game the past two seasons, seeing the TE's targeted 4 times during A-Day was refreshing for many Auburn fans. Though the TE position will likely be targeted more frequently in 2017, I don't expect to see a massive increase in passes thrown to the TE. This is based on Chip Lindsey's history of utilizing the TE in his passing game. Sal Cannella is more like a big bodied WR than an actual TE. Formation wise, he played more like a WR during A-Day, where as Jalen Harris lined up in the backfield and on the line next to the tackle. Lindsey's commitment on offense is utilizing all of his skill player, which will include the tightend. The Play... During this offensive snap, the offense comes out in a 3-WR set, with Jalen Harris (TE) on the line adjacent to the left tackle. At the snap, Malik Willis scans his 2 WR's on the wide side of the field. The slot WR runs a short out, underneath the other WR which was the first targeted pass-play during the first snap by the No. 1 offense. As Willis looks off his intended target, Jalen Harris releases off the line to run a short curl route underneath the LB dropping into coverage. In frame #2, Malik Miller (RB) runs a swing route into the flat to pull one of the 2 LB's away from the middle of the field. Jalen Harris curls inside but will spin back out towards the sideline as the ball is being thrown. Malik Willis delivers the pass to the outside shoulder of Harris, allowing the TE to spin outside and underneath the LB coming in for the tackle. Though the pass is only 2-yards, Harris is able to turn up field for a gain of 18-yards and a first down for the offense. In frame #6, the two WR's on the wide side, run outside routes to clear the middle of the field for the TE. I can see this play turning into a vertical route (perhaps a double-move) by the TE after a few short completions early on during the game.
  8. Wide Receiver screens of various kinds are a trademark of the Air Raid offense. The primary philosophy of the Air Raid offense is to force the opposing defense to defend the entire field. The screens stretch the defense horizontally, setting up the vertical passing game to stretch the defenses vertically. The screens also slow opposing defenses from crashing to defend the run. During the A-Day game, we witnessed first hand how Chip Lindsey sets up some of his vertical pass plays with screen passes. The Play... During this play the offense has a 1st down at the 20-yard line, coming out in a 3-WR set. The defense has only 6 in the box but a safety will roll up just before the snap to provide a seventh defender to stop the run. At the snap, Jarrett Stidham play-actions with his RB and then fakes the screen pass to Eli Stove. Jason Smith and Eli Stove are stacked on the wide side, having run multiple screen passes from this formation. Jason Smith initially fakes a slant route inside the CB. The corner sets up to defend the screen to Eli Stove, leaving the safety to guard Jason Smith 1 on 1 on the wide side of the field. After faking the slant, Jason Smith cuts back to run a corner route to the end zone. Jason Stidham throws a corner-fade towards the end zone but overthrows his target. Though the execution of the pass failed to finish the play, the play remains a good example of how the play sets up a great situation for the WR, 1 on 1 with a safety covering too much real estate. The play was also refreshing to see a rare pass inside the red zone, which have been seldom the past few seasons. Auburn's average national ranking in pass attempts inside the red zone is No. 96 over the past four seasons.
  9. 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.
  10. I think it will. There are so many screens that the fakes often leave a WR uncovered.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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