Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'Melvin Ray'.

More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


  • Site Related
    • Announcements
  • Sports Forums
    • AU Football Forum
    • AU Recruiting Forum
    • AU Basketball Forum
    • AU Baseball and Softball Forum
    • Other AU Sports
    • Non-AU Sports
    • The Woodshed
  • General Forums
    • Politically Speaking
    • All Things Considered...
    • AUFAMILY Marketplace
    • AU Pictures & Graphics
    • Fun & Games
    • Classics
  • BBQ Boys's Topics
  • All Things Beer and Spirits's Beer/Spirit Discussion
  • AUF DIY's Topics
  • NFL Squad's Auburn Players in the NFL


There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start





Website URL





Found 12 results

  1. 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.
  2. During the past 2 games the Auburn offense has scored 8 TD's with 9 trips to the red zone. From 1993-2014 Auburn is 80-4 in games the Tigers make at least 4 trips to the RZ, scoring TD's at least 60% of the time. This is a revealing stat, which shows just how important RZ performance is to the success of the team. Last season Nick Marshall completed 56.5% of his passes in the RZ, compiling a QB rating of 163.7. This season Marshall has completed 68.4% of his passes for a QB rating of 243.8. Marshall is No. 8 nationally in pass-efficiency inside the RZ, among QB's with at least 10 pass attempts. The play... During this play Auburn faces a 2nd & 9 from the Rebel 17-yard line. Auburn comes out in a 4-WR set with Melvin Ray and Marcus Davis on the boundary side (Davis in the slot). At the snap Nick Marshall play-actions and will immediately read how the boundary safety is playing the two WR's. Melvin Ray will run a deep square-in to clear the boundary sideline as Marcus Davis will run an out and up. The boundary safety plays the square-in route, leaving the OLB 1 on 1 with Marcus Davis. The OLB jumps the initial out-route with Davis but he looks back into the backfield to see where Marshall is focused. As the OLB looks back into the backfield, Davis breaks up the sideline towards the end zone. Marshall floats his pass towards the end zone, allowing Davis to run under the pass for the score. The play design is going to create a 1 on 1 match up and the double-move is almost a lock to create a breakdown in the secondary. This has always been one of my favorite RZ pass-plays under Malzahn. Emory Blake scored a TD in the 2010 SECCG on this same play.
  3. 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. Outside runs... 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. Swing pass... 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.
  4. After carrying the ball 10 times during each of the first 2 games, Corey Grant's rush attempts have dropped to an average of 6 per game during Auburn's last 3 games. Though Grant was never intended to be the featured RB, I do believe it is important to have him involved in the offensive game plan. Because of his ability to go the distance from anywhere on the field, he should have at least 10 offensive touches per game. It will be interesting to see what his role will be this week against Mississippi State. It will likely be difficult to run between the tackles so Grant could be a key contributor on the edge and in the passing game. Auburn needs to get Grant out in space to increase his opportunity to generate explosive plays. The play... On this play Auburn will run a toss-sweep to Grant at the LSU 12-yard line. Auburn came out in this formation from their sugar-huddle with Nick Marshall under center. Auburn breaks the huddle and snaps the ball quickly to get Corey Grant on the edge as soon as possible. The key to the play is the blocking of Melvin Ray and Quan Bray on the edge and Brandon Fulse as the lead-blocker. Corey Grant does a great job of cutting the play back inside rather than attempting to race towards the sideline. By cutting back inside, Grant has a shorter path to the end zone. Grant darts into the LSU end zone behind Shon Coleman for a 12-yard TD run. During Grant's last 18 carries, 10 have been held to 2-yards or less, including 4 tackles for loss. During his first 20 carries of the season, Grant produced 7 runs of 10-yards or more. He has only 4 during his last 18 rushes. Blocking on the perimeter has been inconsistent this season and something Auburn needs to improve upon.
  5. One of the recent myths heard over and over the past two Auburn games is that Auburn is running into 8-9 men in the box the majority of the time. The majority of Auburn's offensive sets have a 3-WR look which means the most defenders the defense can place in the box before the snap is 8. In reality, Auburn is facing no more than 7 in the box the majority of the time. Go back to the 2010 season and the Iron Bowl. Gary Danielson made a comment about how Alabama elected to play Auburn's inside QB power play. He pointed out how LSU waited in their lanes, allowing Auburn to move towards them. Alabama elected to attack the gaps, taking away the comfort zones the Auburn OL had previously enjoyed. Basically we are seeing the same approach by opposing defenses. Opposing defenses are selling out to attack the gaps and are bringing defenders off the edge. They are also rolling a safety down inside the box to give them an extra defender. The common counter is to pass the ball to the spaces vacated by the defense. Another option is to slide or move to the point of attack, once again giving Auburn the advantage in numbers and creating space for the line to block. The play... On this play Auburn has a 1st & goal at the Bulldog 5-yard line. Auburn comes out in an unbalanced line and will pull their guards to move or slide the point of attack to the right side. Note the yellow triangle in frame #1. This will be 5 defenders away from the actual point of attack, once the play goes into motion. La. Tech must maintain backside containment on the possible keep by Jeremy Johnson (QB) and Nick Marshall motioning over the backfield. Melvin Ray does a great job sealing the MLB inside as Brandon Fulse kicks out the DB. Avery Young and Chad Slade create the actual point of attack on the outside, creating a running lane for Cameron Artis-Payne. CAP has 1 defender to beat, cutting back inside of the defender for an easy score. The Bulldogs basically had every defender in the box but Auburn reduced the numbers by moving the point of attack. IMO, Malzahn might take a few pages from his 2009 and 2011 playbook to assist the running game. Treat the run-offense as if the quarterback is no longer a run-option on the power plays. The Buck-sweep should be called more often to develop more consistency and confidence in the OL. No matter the play or design, it still comes down to executing their blocks. Not just the OL but the receivers and H-backs as well. For now, taking back the "numbers" game is vital too.
  6. One of the question marks about the 2014 Auburn offense before the season began was the replacement of Tre Mason. Because of his experience and production, Cameron Artis-Payne was the obvious choice to become Auburn's "every down" back. So far through 2 games, CAP has made the most of his opportunity. He currently is the No. 2 rusher in the conference, averaging 144.5 yards per game. Though his style is different from Tre Mason, Artis-Payne has his own strong attributes as a running back. He has great vision, terrific lateral movement and strength to be a consistent performer and one of Auburn's impact players on offense. The play... His 31-yard run against San Jose State was a great example of his abilities to be a major play-maker for the Auburn offense. During this play Auburn faces a 2nd &10 from the Spartan 32-yard line. Auburn will run a draw play with Cameron Artis-Payne. After taking the delayed hand off from Nick Marshall, CAP steps in towards the "B" gap. The step inside draws the OLB into the inside running lane. CAP bounces the play outside towards the side line and up the field. At the 20-yard line, CAP is met by the safety but he makes another hard cut, avoiding solid contact from the defender. He continues down the sideline, where he powers through 2 defenders inside the 5-yard line to make it to the 1-yard line. CAP scores on the touchdown on the very next snap. CAP has averaged 6.88 yards per rush during his first 2 games compared to the 5.93 averaged by Tre Mason during the first 2 games of the 2013 season.
  7. On this play Auburn will show a run look, facing a second down. The Tigers come out in a 2-WR set with both TE's on the field. Just before the snap the boundary corner will begin to edge towards the line with the intent to blitz off the edge. Jeremy Johnson will play-action with Cameron Artis-Payne, knowing he has an open receiver in Melvin Ray. Johnson delivers his pass over the blitzing corner as Ray utilizes his vertical advantage to haul in the quick pass from Johnson. The safety comes in late and Ray is able to break the 1 on 1 tackle attempt. After breaking the tackle, Melvin Ray speeds down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown and the first Auburn score of the season.
  8. Nick Marshall's Performance 13-22-0-236-4 (209.2 rating) Very good overall rating. Had a few deliveries that involved going through his progressions to make the completion. One good scramble to buy additional time to make a key completion on 3rd down (great vision down field, while on the move in the pocket). By downs: 1st: 236.0 rating 2nd: 158.1 rating 3rd: 195.9 rating (converted 4 of 5 third-downs passing) Started the game 3 of 8 but finished 10 of 14. 15 of his 22 pass attempts (68%) were beyond 10-yards of the line of scrimmage yet he still completed nearly 60% of his passes. Keep in mind that 61% of his pass attempts during 2013 were within 10-yards of the line of scrimmage. Marshall completed only 39.8% of his intermediate to deep passes during 2013. He was 53.3% during A-Day. Lots of outs, screens and sideline routes. Only 2 of his pass attempts were targeted over the middle, excluding the deep post to Quan Bray for a TD. 11 pass attempts to the left side of the field. 2 over the middle (intermediate) 9 to the right side (Includes deep post to Bray for TD) The 2 pass attempts over the middle were both completed. The first was a crossing route to D-Williams and the second was a seam-route to Uzomah. No slants for Marshall, though Jeremy Johnson had a nice one to Melvin Ray. I realize the #1 offense faced backups on defense but thought the offense still managed very well despite not having the "true" threat of Marshall running the football. I believe we saw enough of Williams and Coates to see the great potential in the pass-offense. I felt bad for Jeremy Johnson as he appeared frustrated at times. I do believe had Barber not gone down with an injury, he would have kept the starting defense more honest, opening up the #2 offense for Johnson.
  9. One of the primary goals during spring practice was improving Auburn's pass-offense, especially when it comes to attacking vertically. Sammie Coates proved to be a dangerous weapon last season but Auburn coaches expect for others to step up this season to complete the wide-receiver corp. Top-5 receivers from A-Day: Melvin Ray: 6-91-0 "Duke" Williams: 5-88-1 Quan Bray: 3-89-2 Tony Stevens: 3-64-2 Sammie Coates: 2-29-1 Taking the top-5 WR performances from A-Day, Auburn's top receivers caught 19 passes for 361-yards and 6 TD's. The top-5 receivers averaged 19.0 yards per reception compared to the 14.1 average during the 2013 season. The top-5 receivers generated 10 plays of 15-yards or more for a ratio of 1 for every 1.9 receptions made. Last season Auburn's WR's averaged an impact play every 3.1 receptions. The top-5 receivers averaged a TD every 3.2 receptions compared to the 2013 ratio of 1 every 9.1 receptions. JUCO transfer D'haquille Williams lived up to the hype, catching 5 passes for 88-yards. He caught 1 TD pass, which is broken down in the above clipbit. Facing a 1st & goal from the 3-yard line, Nick Marshall will throw a fade-route to the corner of the end zone. Duke Williams utilizes his physical attributes to create separation between himself and the CB covering 1 on 1. Williams goes vertical to snag the football at it's highest point. He turns his upper body to shield the ball, while securing it with both hands. Needing only 1 foot down to complete the reception, Williams manages to get both feet in bounds. Coach Rhett Lashlee has stressed to his quarterbacks for them to allow the WR's to make plays. Auburn was 39th nationally in terms of pass-efficiency inside the red zone during the 2013 season. The above play and Sammie Coates 1-handed TD reception are the type of plays Lashlee wants from his passing game. Yards per reception: Auburn's WR's averaged 14.1 yards per reception, which was 17th best among Auburn receivers over the past 30 years. If you took the top-5 WR corps in terms of yards per reception, they combined for a 57-7-0 record. Look for Auburn to make a major improvement in their vertical passing game, which will means a better impact ratio in the passing game and a better yards per reception.
  10. Finding a second receiver to step up in 2014 to team up with Sammie Coates will be one of the primary goals for the Auburn offense. The Tigers fielded one of the top offenses in the nation during their BCS Championship run but a consistent tandem at WR could take the offense to a higher level of performance. With Nick Marshall returning at quarterback, the Auburn offense already has dynamic potential but adding another play maker at WR would truly stretch opposing defenses to the max. From 1970-2013, there has only been 5 occasions, where Auburn had a tandem of WR's or a TE to total at least 40 receptions each during one season. 1971: Terry Beasley (55-846-12) & Dick Schmalz (44-647-7) 1994: Frank Sanders (58-910-7) & Thomas Bailey (41-550-2) 1997: Karsten Bailey (53-840-7) & Tyrone Goodson (48-906-5) 1998: Karsten Bailey (43-651-7) & Clifton Robinson (42-672-0) 2010: Darvin Adams (52-963-7) & Terrell Zachery (43-605-4) From 1970-2013, the current 14 members of the SEC were able to field a "tandem" of 40-reception WR's or TE's during a season on 107 occasions. This means it occurred only 17.3 percent of the time during that 44-year period. Here is the total number of times for each program... Missouri ................... 14 (2 times in the SEC) Florida ..................... 12 Georgia .................... 11 LSU ......................... 11 Tennessee ................ 9 Texas A&M ............... 9 (2 times in the SEC) Vanderbilt ................. 8 Kentucky .................. 7 Ole Miss ................... 7 Arkansas .................. 5 (All while in the SEC) Auburn ..................... 5 South Carolina .......... 5 (4 times in the SEC) Alabama .................. 2 Miss State ................ 2 Though tandems only occurred 17.3% of the time from 1970-2013, it has happened 53.6% of the time during the past 2 seasons. Offenses are obviously more balanced and wide open during the past decade than any other period of the Southeastern Conference. This is another reason why it has become imperative for Auburn to field their own reliable tandem to compete in the SEC. Producing such level of play will only open the doors for recruiting quality receivers. The talent is present for Auburn to field another consistent performer at WR to match up with Sammie Coates. Ricardo Louis is the most likely candidate among the returning WR's but D'haquille Williams is already drawing praise from his early production this spring. Jaylon Denson, Marcus Davis, Tony Stevens and Melvin Ray saw plenty of action last season along with Quan Bray. Dominic Walker is another big target to watch for after red shirting the 2013 season. Through 8 collegiate seasons, Gus Malzahn has fielded a "tandem" on 4 occasions but only once, while at Auburn. I expect Auburn to throw the football 25 times per game, up from their 20 attempts per game during 2013. Sammie Coates was targeted 78 times last season, followed by Ricardo Louis (48). Marcus Davis and Quan Bray were tied for No. 3, targeted 31 times each.
  11. During the couple of weeks leading up to the BCS National Championship Game, I pondered what would hurt the most; losing in a blowout or losing in the final minutes of the game. After the loss to Florida State, there is no doubt either option would have stung like the dickens but losing this heart breaker vanished any thoughts by the national media, Auburn did not belong in the championship game. Though it won't make the loss any less difficult to tolerate, I do believe it's important to remember this notion moving forward. Over the past 20 years of Auburn football, we have witnessed championship caliber teams but not a championship caliber program. The closest Auburn has been recently to a championship caliber program was 2004-2006, when Auburn compiled a record of 33-5. As much as this defeat stings right now, the future Auburn teams still have an opportunity to build a championship program. Auburn fell short of winning the national championship this season but they remain conference champions. Auburn hasn't compiled back-to-back 10-win seasons since 1988 and 1989. The 2014 Auburn Tigers have a great opportunity to equal this feat. Before this season began, there were two primary goals I wanted to see happen. I wanted Auburn to be a better team at the end of the season than they were at the beginning. Secondly, I wanted the coaches to obtain the most of their players and I firmly believe Malzahn's staff accomplished this as well. The fall is always greater, when the level of success is high, which in the end is what the 2013 Auburn Tigers experienced. I rarely believe in moral victories but I believe Coach Malzahn's ultimate goal is to build a championship caliber program and not just a championship team. Inside the Numbers... For those pointing out the faults of Nick Marshall as Auburn's starting quarterback, I believe "perspective" is needed. Over the past 30 seasons, Auburn has faced 75 opponents ranked in the nation's top-10 at the time of the game. Nick Marshall holds 4 of the top-16 performances based on quarterback-efficiency rating. Of the 35 top-5 teams faced during the same time period, Nick Marshall holds 3 of the top-6 performances. This includes the 6th best performance with his game against Florida State. I'm not advocating Nick Marshall is an All-American or even All-conference but he's clearly better than some have given him credit for. Nick Marshall's season rating of 143.2 is the 5th best passing rating by an Auburn quarterback with at least 160 pass attempts from 1947-2013. Not too bad for a first-year starter without the benefit of a spring camp. Auburn's 449-yards against Florida State is the 2nd most yardage gained by an Auburn offense from 1981-2013 against a defense that finished the season ranked in the top-10 of total defense. The 2013 Alabama game is the 6th best performance during the same time period. Tre Mason's 1816-yards rushing and 23 rushing TD's are new Auburn single season records. His 317 carries for the season is the second most carries by an Auburn running back. The 2013 Auburn offense established a new school record, averaging 501.4 yards per game over the course of an entire season. The Auburn defense held Florida State to nearly 26 percent below their season average for yards gained per game. The last time Auburn held a team that averaged at least 400-yards per game with 10-wins or more to less than 25 percent below their season average was Alabama in 2009. The Auburn offense converted 10 of 15 third-downs during the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters but went 0 for 3 during the third-period. Auburn was 7 of 11 during third-downs of 6-yards or less but 3 of 7 during 7-yards or more needed to convert. The majority of Nick Marshall's 27 pass attempts came on third-down against FSU (12). Marshall did manage to convert 5 third-downs passing and 2 more, running the football. Auburn averaged a respectful 5.44 yards per play on first down against the Seminoles but if you subtract the 50-yard TD pass to Melvin Ray, the Tigers averaged only 4.09 yards per play on first down. This was why Auburn ended up passing on third-down so often (12 times). Auburn out gained FSU 232 to 156-yards during the first half and the Seminoles out gained the Tigers 229 to 217-yards during the second half. For the fourth time this season, Cassanova McKinzy led Auburn in tackles. He really played well during the championship game. Final Thoughts... If someone told me before the game, Auburn would finish the game with Tre Mason rushing for 195-yards, Nick Marshall having a higher pass-rating than Jameis Winston and Auburn's defense holding FSU to under 400-yards and 3 offensive touchdowns, I would have assumed it was a winning effort. Though these goals were met against the Seminoles, Auburn came up short on the scoreboard. The final outcome revealed just how important special teams can be, especially in a tight ball game. At this level of competition, the room for error narrows tremendously. In the end Auburn played like it had in so many victories this season. The offense generated nearly 450-yards, 25 first downs and 31 points against one of the top defenses in the country. The Auburn defense made critical stops and Auburn's punting game was superb. Like most other games, teams will make mistakes but against top-level competition, Auburn made enough mistakes to cost them an opportunity to win a second BCS National Title. A couple of weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on appreciating this team for all of their wonderful accomplishments this season. I mentioned how this particular team was truly special and how I would miss watching them play after January 6th. Those words I posted ring louder today as I reflect back on this season. Yes, this loss hurts really bad for the Auburn family but I am deeply saddened I won't ever see this group of young men play again as a "team". I do look forward to future Auburn teams but this is a bitter pill to swallow because there is not another day for this particular team to redeem itself. Losing the national championship game will hurt for a while but this team will always be the 2013 SEC Champions. Like Georgia did in 2012, the 2013 Auburn Tigers finished 12-2 on the season. The primary difference is that Auburn finished the season as conference champions and Georgia won their bowl game. This season was still the greatest 1-year turnaround and many Auburn fans will fondly remember this season as one of those special seasons. Though the 2013 Auburn Tigers won't have another an opportunity for redemption, the 2014 team can still carry on their legacy. The foundation is now in place to build upon the accomplishments of 2013. The potential for the follow up season to 2013 is far better than it was after the 2010 season. The 2011 team lost over 25 seniors and major contributors from a BCS Championship season. The reality is the 2014 team will likely be a better team than the 2013 but like the 2013 team, they will have to work hard to reach for the stars. The 2013 Auburn team laid out the blue print for success for the 2014 Auburn team. It's not a matter of whether or not Auburn will win another national championship but when. Winning consistently is the key to gaining an advantage in preseason rankings, recruiting and media perception. The media will remember how Auburn closed out the 2013 season against 3 consecutive top-5 teams, winning 2 of them and losing one with only seconds remaining in the game. Gus Malzahn and his staff pushed the 2013 Auburn Tigers into the history books, nearly winning a national championship. They fell short this season but created a grand opportunity for future Auburn teams to reach the summit. It all begins during winter workouts and I look forward to seeing the next addition. War Eagle! (Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
  12. One of the keys to success in the Gus Malzahn offense are the blocks carried out on the perimeter. With the various screen packages and speed-sweeps called, the personnel responsible for blocking in space become essential for productivity. The loss of Jaylon Denson for the season was a major loss because of his ability to seal the edge on perimeter plays. On this play Auburn will run a speed-sweep with Corey Grant. In order for the play to be successful, Auburn must be able to block in space to create a running lane for Grant. Jay Prosch lays the groundwork by taking out the OLB. Brandon Fulse follows up by taking out the safety. The final piece in the puzzle is Melvin Ray, who is responsible for the corner. This play nets only 6-yards but it's a positive gain for the Auburn offense. It only takes one blown assignment to blow this play up for a loss. The right sequence of blocks can open up the sideline for a speedster like Corey Grant.