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  1. Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are now lining up to consider new legislation modeled on the bill California has signed into law that would enable college student athletes to profit from their sports activities. We can bet that, if even one of these states passes a similar law, every other SEC state will jump in to do the same. Because obviously this would affect recruiting. Article about the Florida initiative here, which also mentions Georgia and South Carolina, New York state and Minnesota.
  2. Advanced Materials Center at Georgia Souther University, Savannah, Georgia Quality Engineer Process Engineer
  4. Sales Account Manager (Chemistry/Chemical) Sorbent Technologies - Georgia
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  6. Last season only 19.6% of Nick Marshall's pass attempts were in the intermediate range. This year it slightly increased to 21.0%. Last season 26.8% of Jeremy Johnson's pass attempts were in the intermediate range, increasing to 27.3% this season. Even though Nick Marshall did improve his passing this season, Auburn continued to lack the intermediate routes in their pass-offense. When Jeremy Johnson slides into the starting role in 2015, look for the Auburn pass-offense to be more lethal in terms of stretching the secondary throughout the entire field and not just on deep vertical routes. Johnson possesses the height, smooth delivery and the accurate arm to make every throw needed to challenge opposing secondaries. The play... During this play Auburn faces a 3rd &15 from their own 20-yard line. Auburn comes out in a 4-WR set and Georgia responds with their safeties in a cover-2. Ricardo Louis and Marcus Davis will run deep vertical routes to occupy the safeties. C.J. Uzomah will run a shallow crossing route to occupy the linebackers. Melvin Ray will run an intermediate square-in route underneath the two safeties and a LB that drops deep into coverage. Jeremy Johnson makes his pass attempt just as Melvin Ray breaks inside towards the middle of the field. The timing of the pass allows Ray to catch the pass in stride, picking up an additional 10-yards for a 25-yard gain and Auburn first down. Through 10 games Auburn has faced 11 third-down situations of 15-yards or more needed to convert. Auburn has thrown the ball only 5 times in those long situations and this play was the only conversion of the 11 attempts.
  7. Through 10 games Cameron Artis-Payne has 1,276-yards rushing, averaging 5.59 yards per rush. Through the same number of games last season, Tre Mason had 1,038-yards on 5.73 yards per attempt. CAP has 22 plays of 15-yards or more this season compared to Mason's 13 through the same number of games. Against the Georgia Bulldogs Cameron Artis-Payne was held to just 86-yards rushing, though the senior RB had a 28-yard run called back on a holding penalty. CAP has been the most consistent performer on offense this season and currently leads the conference in rushing with two games remaining in the regular season. The play... During a moment of HUNH mode, Auburn runs their buck-sweep with a 1st & 10 at the Georgia 26-yard line. At the snap Devonte Danzey and Chad Slade pull to their right as Ricardo Louis crack-backs on the ILB to help seal the edge. CAP takes the inside hand off from Nick Marshall, sweeping right behind his pulling guards. CAP allows his guards to open up a hole before he accelerates down the sideline. In frame #4, CAP dips his left shoulder to make himself a smaller target before he breaks towards the sideline. The play results in a 26-yard touchdown, the tenth of the season for the senior running back.
  8. Game #10 Statistical Evaluation (Georgia Game) Offensive Report Card: 01) Avg 6-yards per play on 1st down: [4.71] fail 02) Convert at least 40% of 3rd downs: [57.1%] pass 03) Avg at least 4.5 yards per rush: [4.29] fail 04) Score on at least 1/3 of possessions: [11.1%] fail 05) Keep 3 and out series under 33%: [11.1%] pass 06) Average 8.0 yards per pass attempt: [5.07 yds] fail 07) Score at least 75% inside red zone: [0.0%] fail 08) TD red zone above 60%: [0.0%] fail 09) Avg at least 30-yards per possession: [32.4 yds] pass 10) 40% of offensive snaps part of scoring drives: [15.9%] fail 11) TD / Turnover ratio above 1.6: [1 TD’s / 2] fail 12) TD ratio of at least 1 every 17 snaps: [63.0] fail 13) At least 8 impact plays: [6] fail 14) At least 2 big plays: [0] fail 15) Pass rating of at least 125.0: [89.0] fail Score: 3 of 15 (20.0%) Fail Defensive Report Card: 01) Avg under 6-yards per play on 1st down: [5.75] pass 02) Convert below 35% of 3rd downs: [38.5%] fail 03) Avg at least 4.0 yards per rush: [5.56] fail 04) Score below 1/3 of possessions: [50.0%] fail 05) Keep 3 and out series above 33%: [10.0%] fail 06) Average below 7.5 yards per pass attempt: [6.47 yds] pass 07) Score below 75% inside red zone: [100.0 %] fail 08) TD red zone below 60%: [66.6%] fail 09) Avg under 30-yards per possession: [41.2 yds] fail 10) Less than 40% of offensive snaps part of scoring drives: [76.0%] fail 11) TD / Turnover ratio below 1.6: [4 TD’s / 0 turnovers] fail 12) TD ratio of at least 1 every 30 snaps: [17.8] fail 13) Less than 8 impact plays: [6] pass 14) No more than 2 big plays allowed: [1] pass 15) Pass rating below 125.0: [124.4] pass Score: 5 of 15 (33.3%) Fail Special Teams Report Card: 1) Punt Average (Above 41.3): [39.0] 2 of 4 inside 20 pass 2) Punt Return Defense (Below 7.8 YPR): [0.0] pass 3) Punt Return Offense (Above 9.8 YPR): [-4.0] fail 4) Kick-Return Defense (Below 21.2 YPR): [32.0] fail 5) Kick-Return Offense (Above 22.3 YPR): [20.6] fail 6) PAT’s (100%): [1 of 1] pass 7) FG Pct (75% or above): [0-0] N/A -1 point for fumbled PR. Score: 2 of 6 (33.3%) Fail Complete team breakdown this week. This has to go down as the first "egg" performance under Gus Malzahn. War Eagle!
  9. Reflecting back to the Tuberville era, I was always concerned with teams that were physical. Basically it was teams that could run the football and play well on run-defense. The following numbers support this theory... From 2000-2008, Auburn compiled a record of 13-10 vs. FBS teams with a combination of a top-40 run-offense and top-40 run-defense. When Auburn faced teams that were not top-40 run-offense and top-40 run-defense, the Tigers went 42-5. Looking at the years Gus Malzahn has coached the Auburn offense, the concern becomes teams that can pass the ball and play solid run-defense. Look at the data from 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014... When Auburn has faced teams with a top-40 pass-efficiency offense and top-40 run-defense combined, the Tigers are 6-6. When they have faced FBS opponents that were ranked below top-40 pass-offense and top-40 run-defense, Auburn is 22-4. During this same time frame, Auburn is 10-7 vs. top-25 pass-efficiency offenses, allowing an average of 37 PPG. The Tigers are 32-5 vs. FBS opponents with a run-defense ranked below top-40, averaging 46 PPG. Alabama is the only remaining opponent on this year's schedule that falls under top-40 pass-efficiency offense and top-40 run-defense. Alabama is currently No. 3 in PE-Offense and No. 2 vs. the run. Georgia is close to it, ranked No. 28 in PE-Offense and No. 49 vs. the run. Thoughts?
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  11. Last season placed Auburn back into the national picture but only continued success at this highest level will create the "perception" of being an elite program. Consider the percentage of seasons Auburn had with a win percentage of .750 or better... 1950-1959: 30.0% - 1 SEC Title 1960-1969: 20.0% 1970-1979: 40.0% 1980-1989: 60.0% - 4 SEC Ttiles 1990-1999: 30.0% 2000-2009: 30.0% - 1 SEC Title 2010-2013: 50.0% - 2 SEC Titles It is easy to see why the 1980's under Pat Dye is considered the most successful decade of Auburn football. This current decade has the potential to be as good as the 80's. The Big Six in the SEC: ( Pct of seasons of .750 or better 1990-2013) Florida ................. 62.5% *8 SEC Titles Alabama .............. 54.2% *4 LSU ..................... 50.0% *4 Tennessee ........... 50.0% *3 Georgia ............... 45.8% *2 Auburn ................ 33.3% *3 The Big Six in the SEC (2000-2013): LSU ..................... 71.4% * 4 SEC Titles Alabama .............. 57.1% *2 Florida ................ 50.0% *3 Georgia .............. 50.0% *2 Auburn ................ 35.7% *3 Tennessee ........... 21.4% *0 Though Florida had a horrible season last year, a 10-win season in 2014 gets them back in the media spotlight immediately because of their history over the past 24 seasons. Alabama is basking in the spotlight under Nick Saban, who has won 4 MNC's since arriving in the SEC. Alabama is currently on a six-year run of 10-wins or more, which is why they are so highly ranked entering the 2014 season. Voters will give Alabama and Nick Saban the benefit of the doubt based on their recent success. Keep in mind it is much easier for reporters and members of the media to write and report on teams that are successful than researching the teams that are about to make their runs of success. Even LSU without Nick Saban has maintained their national presence in the world of college football because of their success under Les Miles. Les Miles has led LSU to a MNC and two conference titles since taking over the program. Despite not winning a MNC, Mark Richt and Georgia tend to receive positive media attention. The Bulldogs went 8-5 last season (finished unranked) and lost their most productive QB but are ranked No. 12 in the preseason Coaches Poll (2014). This is likely built upon their ability to post .750 seasons at a 50% clip over the past 14 seasons. Over the past 5 seasons UGA has compiled a 4-13 record against teams that won 75% of their games and are 2-3 in bowl games. Their last conference championship was in 2005.
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  17. Dee Ford closes out his Auburn career, leading Auburn in tackles for loss, sacks, quarterback hurries and forced-fumbles this season. Hobbled by an early season injury, Ford had a late start to his senior campaign but he has certainly made the most of it. Ford is 1 of only 11 Auburn seniors that came to Auburn on scholarship. He has been a driving force on defense, exhibiting great senior leadership to inspire perhaps the greatest 1-season turnaround in NCAA history. With only one game remaining as an Auburn Tiger, Dee Ford will be needed to play one of his best games of his career to lead Auburn to their 2nd national championship in 4 seasons. On this play against the Georgia Bulldogs, Dee Ford will utilize his explosive quickness off the edge to record a sack on the opposing quarterback. This is the kind of speed and quickness that can make Ford a disruptive force in the FSU backfield. It will be important for Auburn's defensive tackles to make a consistent push inside to allow Ford and the other DE's to swing over top. Florida State will utilize the backs in pass-protection to allow Jameis Winston time to locate his WR's running vertical routes. If Winston is allowed to stand in the pocket for extensive periods of time, he will certainly slice up the Auburn secondary. Dee Ford is one of only a few Auburn Tigers to play during the 2010 season and during the 2011 BCSNC Game. His Auburn career has been peppered with nagging injuries but he has always made the most of his playing time, dedicating himself physically and mentally to return to the field. Hopefully his strong work-ethic will rub off on returning Auburn players in 2014.
  18. During the last 2 games, Auburn has expanded the offensive roles of Ricardo Louis and Corey Grant, which I believe to be preparation for the showdown with Alabama. The majority of the explosive plays made this season have been through Nick Marshall, Tre Mason and Sammie Coates. By expanding the roles of Grant and Louis, the offense becomes even more difficult to defend. The two have combined for 97 offensive touches, averaging 10.5 yards per play. They have combined for 31 explosive plays and 42 first downs. On this play the Auburn offense faces a 2nd & 8 from the UGA 48-yard line. Auburn will run the speed-sweep option with Ricardo Louis. The key to success is the outstanding block by Jay Prosch on the OLB, which allows Louis to take the edge and head up field. Tre Mason does a solid job as a lead blocker, extending the distance of the play. The play picks up 32-yards and a first down to the UGA 16-yard line. Back in 2009 Terrell Zachery scored on a 67-yard end-around play against Alabama. Ricardo Louis has the same kind of potential to create big plays in this offense. Alabama will likely scheme to take Sammie Coates out of the picture, which means Ricardo Louis will have opportunities to make plays. The magic number on offense is 8 "impact" or explosive plays during a game. During the last 5 meetings against Alabama, Auburn has totaled only 18 such plays, with 14 coming under Gus Malzahn. If Auburn can generate 4 such plays from Grant and Louis and 4-5 from Marshall, Mason and Coates, they should be in good shape on offense.
  19. As stellar as Alabama's defense appears, they are No. 62 nationally in allowing explosive plays on pass-defense. They scheme to take away the run, making their defense vulnerable to the pass. The challenge comes in actually taking advantage of Alabama's risky-play in their secondary. Very few teams have been able to do this but it doesn't change the fact there is a window of opportunity. On this play the Auburn offense has a 2nd & 7 from the Georgia 35-yard line. For some teams, this is an obvious passing situation but not Auburn. The Bulldogs must respect the Auburn running attack, which opens up the opportunity to hit them with an impact play on offense. Before the snap Corey Grant motions into the backfield for the speed-sweep look. Nick Marshall will end up running a play-action off Grant, which freezes the Bulldogs LB's and safety. The safety has cheated up in run support, creating an opportunity for Sammie Coates on a slant route. The CB on Coates gives up ground before the snap, which opens up the inside of the field with the safety rolling up in run-support. Nick Marshall fires his pass to Sammie Coates, who gains 14-yards and an Auburn first down. Auburn's ability to make plays in space vacated by the Alabama defense will be one of the "keys" for success next Saturday.
  20. Last Saturday against the Georgia Bulldogs, Auburn had an opportunity to put the game away during the first-half but red zone issues kept the Bulldogs in the ball game. Had the Tigers maxed out their RZ opportunities, the score could have been 42-10 at halftime rather than 27-10. When the Tigers square-off with Alabama next Saturday, they will face the No. 2 defense in allowing red zone opportunities. The Crimson Tide basically allow 2 RZ trips per game, which is why they have maintained a great scoring defense. During the last 4 meetings against Alabama, Auburn has a total of 5 red zone trips to Alabama's 19. On this play Auburn faces a 2nd & goal from the UGA 5-yard line. The Tigers elect to go read-option with a full house backfield. At the snap, the Georgia defense bites on the inside give to Corey Grant with the OLB playing inside. Nick Marshall decides to keep and take the perimeter option. Brandon Fulse and Jay Prosch execute kick-out blocks and Marshall makes a terrific cut inside to score on the play. Nick Marshall's fake inside give to Grant freezes the OLB, who ends up taking a poor angle. After carrying out the fake and heading outside, his cut inside prevents the CB from making a play. Against Alabama, Auburn's perimeter plays will need to make quick and decisive movements towards the goal line. Slow developing plays and attempts to run lateral to the line of scrimmage will not work very often against their defense. When Auburn cracks the Alabama 20, it will be vital to come away with touchdowns because the trips there will likely be limited.
  21. Last season during 12 games, the Auburn offense produced 64 run-plays of 10-yards or more. This season through 11 games, the Auburn offense has totaled 112 such run-plays. The combination of an improved OL, execution and play-calling has resulted in a massive overhaul to the offense. One area Auburn must exploit against the Alabama defense is running the ball on first-down. The Auburn offense is currently No. 2 nationally averaging 6.87 yards per rush on first-down. The Alabama defense is currently No. 52 nationally, allowing 4.27 yards per rush on first-down. On this play Auburn has a 1st & 10 from the Georgia 24-yard line. The Tigers will run an inside power play, overloading the right side of the Georgia front-7. At the snap Alex Kozan and Reese Dismukes will drive the DE and NT inside. Chad Slade and Jay Prosch will pull left, kicking out the OLB and ILB. Nick Marshall will make the inside give to Tre Mason, who runs between the running lane created by the Auburn OL and FB. Greg Robinson and CJ Uzomah are in position to make blocks at the next level as Mason speeds to the end zone untouched for a 24-yard touchdown run. It's this kind of physical play that will be required for Auburn to successfully run the ball against Alabama. It will be vital for Auburn to be able to run the ball consistently on first down and to be able to throw on early downs to keep the running game alive.
  22. Against the Georgia Bulldogs, Nick Marshall attempted 7 passes beyond 20-yards of the line of scrimmage. He was able to complete 2 of those passes, missing out on grand opportunities to make the Bulldogs pay for risky man coverage. Through 11 games Marshall is 11 of 35, throwing the ball deep (31.4%). During the third-period, Marshall missed on two deep side line routes to Quan Bray and Sammie Coates. With Georgia selling out to defend the run, there were opportunities for Auburn to put the game away in the third-period but Auburn failed to take advantage of some of these opportunities. You can bank these opportunities will be there again against Alabama. On this play Auburn faces a 3rd & 6 from their own 48-yard line. Just before the snap, the CB covering Sammie Coates tips off that he is coming on a corner blitz. This will leave 1 on 1 coverage on Sammie Coates by the safety. At the snap Nick Marshall looks off his primary target. The OL does a good job of allowing Marshall to step up in the pocket to make his deep throw to Coates running a deep sideline route. Coates has the safety beat but Marshall over throws the ball, which sails out of bounds. Had Marshall connected on 3 to 4 of these deep pass attempts, Auburn would not have needed the miracle pass in the end. Alabama is currently No. 2 nationally in allowing explosive run-plays but is No. 62 in allowing explosive pass-plays. Nick Marshall appears to be more accurate throwing the deep post routes than the deep sideline routes. This could be another big game for Ricardo Louis.
  23. If Auburn is going to defeat Alabama in two weeks, the Auburn running game will need to be hitting on all 8 cylinders. Corey Grant could play a major role in the Iron Bowl just as he and Ricardo Louis did against Georgia's speedy defense. With the primary focus being on Nick Marshall and Tre Mason, it should create opportunities for Grant. In order for Grant to be successful against the Crimson Tide defense, he will need to be decisive in his decision making. Any hesitation or doubt will likely result in a negative play on perimeter runs. On this play, the key to it's success was Corey Grant's decision to cut up field at the first moment of opportunity. Auburn will operate out of their inverted-veer look with the speed-sweep action. The defense will likely focus on Nick Marshall, allowing Grant to break to the edge. Jay Prosch will seal the edge as Brandon Fulse will kick-out the safety dropping down in run support. Alex Kozan will pull to his right to engage the OLB as Avery Young releases the DE and targets the ILB. Grant makes a quick cut up field behind Jay Prosch as Quan Bray makes the final block to spring Grant into the secondary. Corey Grant makes 2 great cuts on the play, which allows him to maximize his quickness and speed to the end zone for a 21-yard TD play. This is the type of instinct Grant needs to display against Alabama to create explosive plays in the running game. Though Grant has only 56 carries on the season, he is averaging 9.9 yards per rush with 22 runs for first downs and 19 runs of 10-yards or more.
  24. During the last couple of games, Sammie Coates is beginning to receive a lot more attention in coverage, which means Auburn needs other receivers to step up to make plays. Ricardo Louis was heavily involved in the offensive game plan against Georgia and he responded with an All-SEC caliber effort. With 9 offensive touches Louis totaled nearly 200-yards in offense, while scoring the game-winning touchdown. Louis has worked himself into a similar role previously held by Terrell Zachery during the 2009 & 2010 seasons. Through 11 games, Louis has 38 combined offensive touches but he has turned half of those plays (19) into first downs or touchdowns. The Alabama game could be another stage for the junior wide-receiver to shine again. On this play Auburn faces a 3rd & 4 situation. Because Auburn has often run from this distance, the Georgia defense is still forced to respect the run. Just before the snap Corey Grant will shift into an orbit-motion into the backfield as the safety on the boundary side will cheat up in run-support (frame #2). At the snap Nick Marshall will play-action with Tre Mason on the the inside run and then with Corey Grant on the orbit-motion. The safety on the boundary side freezes on the run fakes as Ricardo Louis breaks into a deep-post route inside of the CB playing off the ball. The pass-protection is solid allowing Marshall to make his deep pass to Louis. The ball is slightly under thrown with Louis having to adjust to the flight of the ball. He makes the adjustment and catches the pass for a 44-yard gain. The timing of the play was crucial as Georgia had just scored to pull within 10-points and this play allowed Auburn to respond with a touchdown drive of their own.
  25. During the second-half of the Georgia game, the Bulldogs became more aggressive in their attempts to control the Auburn running game. After allowing Auburn to rush for 246-yards during the first-half, Georgia held Auburn to 77-yards rushing during the second-half. When Auburn hosts Alabama next Saturday, expect for Alabama to be aggressive in run-defense from the start of the game. It will be up to Nick Marshall to make plays in the passing game to keep the ground-game alive for the Auburn offense. On this play Auburn faces a 2nd & 10 from their own 23-yard line. Gus Malzahn recognizes the boundary safety is cheating up in run-support, which means the CB over Sammie Coates will likely back out just before the snap. The Tigers check into a pass, sending Sammie Coates on a square-in route underneath the CB. Just before the snap the safety on the boundary side will cheat up as Nick Marshall play-actions with Tre Mason to sell the run. The Auburn OL does an exceptional job setting up a pocket for Marshall to throw the football. Sammie Coates runs a square-in route underneath the CB and Marshall delivers the pass. Coates hauls in the pass and spins away from the CB, picking up 20-yards on the play. These are the types of plays the Auburn offense must make against Alabama to keep their defense honest. The Auburn pass-offense must find ways of completing passes into spaces left vacant by the Alabama LB's and safeties selling out to defend the run. Take away Nick Marshall's miracle pass to Ricardo Louis and he had a QB rating of just 103.4 during the second-half. He will need to be more efficient against the Alabama defense.