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Found 21 results

  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. Digital Content Strategist Furman University, South Carolina http://www.journalismjob.com/nj54.html
  3. Lead Process Improvement Chemist SI Group, South Carolina http://www.chemistryjobs.com/jobseeker/job/28208799/
  4. Senior Technical Service and Developmental Manager SI Group, South Carolina http://www.chemistryjobs.com/jobseeker/job/27086646/
  5. Welders / Pipefitters Zuuk International, South Carolina http://www.weldingjobs.com/welder237.html
  6. Auburn's red zone performance this Saturday night just might be the biggest key of the game. Auburn obviously needs to be able to establish the run and protect the football but red zone offense and defense will likely dictate the outcome of the game against the Rebels. During Auburn's 5 games at home, the Tigers have scored 20 TD's from 22 red zone trips (91%). During their 2 road games, Auburn has scored 3 TD's from 9 trips to the red zone (33%). Basically the same average number of trips to the red zone playing at home and on the road but a huge difference in TD percentage. Overall Auburn is No. 9 nationally in red zone TD pct. They are No. 4 nationally playing at home and No. 119, playing on the road. The play... On this play Auburn has a 1st & goal from the Gamecock 8-yard line. Auburn shifts to a 2-back set before the snap to run their read-option with cross-buck action. At the snap Corey Grant will shoot to the left and Nick Marshall will fake the give to Cameron Artis-Payne to the right. The OLB plays the give to CAP, so Marshall keeps to sprint to his left. Once again the "spur" is faced with a 1 on 2 situation, with the slot-WR and Marshall coming to the edge. Nick Marshall fakes the pass-look to the slot-WR to keep the Spur committed to the receiver. Marshall follows behind Corey Grant, darting to the inside for an 8-yard touchdown run. Through 7 games Auburn is No. 11 nationally in yards per rush (5.96) inside the red zone. It breaks down to No. 7 nationally at home, averaging 6.6 yards per rush and No. 57 nationally on the road with a 4.09 average inside the red zone. The game likely comes down to Auburn's ability to run the football, protecting the football and red zone production. IMO, red zone production will be the biggest key because I believe Auburn will be able to run on the Rebels.
  7. Three keys for the Auburn offense vs. Ole Miss will be the ability to run inside the tackles, score touchdowns inside the red zone and to take care of the football. The Rebel defense is built on speed, which should make it challenging to run outside on Ole Miss. LSU found their primary run-success, running between their tackles. Auburn's offensive line will need to play one of their more physical games of the season to establish their running game. When the Tigers transition into the red zone, they must score touchdowns rather than settling for field goals like they did against Mississippi State. The Tigers will need Cameron Artis-Payne and Nick Marshall to be able to consistently run well inside the tackles. This will only happen if the Auburn OL is very physical against the Rebels. The play... On this play Auburn has the ball at the Gamecock 4-yard line, facing a 2nd & goal. The Tigers come out in their inverted-veer look, with the intent of running their inside read-option. It is also known as the dash-read because it involves both the QB and RB running the read-option in the same direction. At the snap Chad Slade (RG) will pull to his left and Brandon Fulse will become the lead blocker inside. Nick Marshall extends the mesh-point with Corey Grant to the left, which freezes the defense. Shon Coleman and Brandon Fulse will advance to the second-level to take out the LB's as Chad Slade kicks out the unblocked DE. In frame #4, Reese Dismukes and Avery Young wall off the DL, driving the DT and DE outside as Devonte Danzey drives the other DT down to the ground. Nick Marshall has a gaping hole to score an easy 4-yard touchdown. The Auburn OL did an exceptional job on this play and this is the type of execution that will be required to have success running the football against Ole Miss.
  8. One of the keys to offensive success against the Gamecocks was the use of 2-backs by the Auburn offense. The cross-buck action places stress on opposing defenses, especially with Nick Marshall as a third option. Defenses are forced to cover both edges as well as the middle. Gus Malzahn was able to compliment the outside runs with the inside power plays, which prevented the Gamecock defense from selling out at the point of attack. Look for Auburn to continue utilizing 2-back sets moving forward. The play... On this play Auburn has a 2nd & 4 at the South Carolina 37-yard line. The Tigers come out in a 2-back set with Roc Thomas and Corey Grant. At the snap Grant will shoot out of the backfield as Nick Marshall fakes the inside give to Thomas. The DE plays the inside run, allowing Marshall to sprint to the corner. The Spur (Star) for Gamecocks is forced to play the slot-WR and the QB. Marshall gives a pass-look, forcing the Spur to lock onto the WR. Nick Marshall turns up field and cuts back to the middle of the field. He is able to speed down field for 37-yards and a touchdown. Note how Corey Grant was not accounted for after leaving the backfield. This could turn into a pass-option later down the road.
  9. Ricardo Louis has recently struggled at times in the passing game but his speed is something Gus Malzahn wants to utilize. He only caught 1 pass against the Gamecocks for 7-yards but the Tigers utilized him in the running game and he gained 102-yards on just 3 carries. Two of his 3 runs resulted in impact plays as he was 1 of 9 different players involved in an impact play against South Carolina. The Play... On this play Auburn has a 1st & 10 from their own 25-yard line. Auburn will run their speed-sweep with Ricardo Louis. During the past few games, Corey Grant has been taken away on the perimeter. This was due to failing to set the edge and the tendency for Corey Grant to be utilized in this manner. Just before the snap, Louis comes in motion into the backfield. Because Nick Marshall has already rushed for 68-yards on 8 carries for 2 TD's at this point, the Gamecock defense must respect the possible inside run by Marshall. The brief hesitation by the defense is long enough for Louis to take the inside hand off, moving quickly towards the edge. Brandon Fulse and Sammie Coates set the edge by taking out the OLB and boundary safety. Cameron Artis-Payne now becomes the lead blocker on the play and will take out the CB. Louis turns the corner and sprints down field for a 75-yard touchdown. Auburn has 9 different players that have registered at least 3 impact plays through 7 games. Last year at this time Auburn only had 6 such players. The top-3 play-makers through 3 games: Duke Williams ................... 17 Cameron Artis-Payne ........ 16 Nick Marshall ..................... 15 Last season through 7 games: Nick Marshall ........................ 12 Tre Mason ............................. 9 Sammie Coates ...................... 8 Corey Grant ........................... 8
  10. Game #7 Statistical Evaluation (South Carolina) Offensive Report Card: 01) Avg 6-yards per play on 1st down: 9.32 pass 02) Convert at least 40% of 3rd downs: 75.0% pass 03) Avg at least 4.5 yards per rush: 8.40 pass 04) Score on at least 1/3 of possessions: 75.0% pass 05) Keep 3 and out series under 33%: 0.0% pass 06) Average 8.0 yards per pass attempt: 10.40 yards pass 07) Score at least 75% inside red zone: 100.0% pass 08) TD red zone above 60%: 100.0% pass 09) Avg at least 30-yards per possession: 68.9 yards fail 10) 40% of offensive snaps part of scoring drives: 77.4% pass 11) TD / Turnover ratio above 1.6: 5 TD’s / 0 pass (Offense) 12) TD ratio of at least 1 every 17 snaps: 10.3 pass 13) At least 8 impact plays: 11 pass 14) At least 2 big plays: 3 pass 15) Pass rating of at least 125.0: 196.0 pass Score: 15 of 15 (100.0%) Pass Defensive Report Card: 01) Avg under 6-yards per play on 1st down: 4.61 pass 02) Convert below 35% of 3rd downs: 42.9% fail 03) Avg at least 4.0 yards per rush: 3.61 pass 04) Score below 1/3 of possessions: 45.4% fail 05) Keep 3 and out series above 33%: 0.0% fail 06) Average below 7.5 yards per pass attempt: 7.84 yards fail 07) Score below 75% inside red zone: 40.0% pass 08) TD red zone below 60%: 40.0% pass 09) Avg under 30-yards per possession: 48.6 yards fail 10) Less than 40% of offensive snaps part of scoring drives: 41.9% fail 11) TD / Turnover ratio above 1.6: 5 TD’s / 3 turnovers (1.67) pass 12) TD ratio of at least 1 every 30 snaps: 17.2 fail 13) Less than 8 impact plays: 11 fail 14) No more than 2 big plays allowed: 2 pass 15) Pass rating below 125.0: 142.4 fail Score: 5 of 15 (33.3%) Fail -1 point for 5 of 6 on fourth down Special Teams Report Card: 1) Punt Average (Above 41.3): 35.0 (1 of 2 inside 20) fail 2) Punt Return Defense (Below 7.8 YPR): 7.0 pass 3) Punt Return Offense (Above 9.8 YPR): 28.0 pass 4) Kick-Return Defense (Below 21.2 YPR): 23.0 fail 5) Kick-Return Offense (Above 22.3 YPR): 13.0 fail 6) PAT’s (100%): 6 of 6 pass 7) FG Pct (75% or above): N/A -1 point for (fumble KR and onside kick) Score: 2 of 6 (33.3.1%) Fail The Auburn offense clearly bailed out the team. Seven different Tigers had an impact play tonight. Don't understand rushing only 3, when the DL is struggling applying pressure with 4. War Eagle!
  11. I expected the game might be close at halftime with Auburn pulling away during the second-half, via their run-offense. With basically 3 weeks to prepare for the Auburn defense, I thought we would see some new wrinkles by the Gamecock offense but I did not expect Steve Spurrier to give his team every possible chance to make it a ball game. He took some major risks, when it came to the six fourth-down calls and onside-kick but it almost paid off for what he himself, stated would have been his biggest victory of coaching career. When South Carolina gambled on their first fourth-down play at their own 33-yard line, he made it clear his offense was going to let it all hang out. Auburn was expected to be able to run on the Gamecock defense, which is why they were nearly a 3-touchdown favorite to win the game. Spurrier minus a defense, basically gave his team every chance to win tonight, which is all can you ask of any great football coach. If not for their struggles inside the red zone and three turnovers, the Gamecocks would have been victorious in carrying out Spurrier's plan of attack against Auburn. Steve Spurrier deserves every word of praise he has received during his coaching career but has been far more likeable during his tenure at South Carolina than Florida. His teams have always been competitive but he was won more with coaching at South Carolina than he did at Florida. The Auburn offense carried the team tonight, which had the same kind of feel we witnessed during the 2013 season. The run-offense looked unstoppable against the Gamecocks and the defense made critical plays in situational play. This was the formula for success last season, especially during the big games. Not sure what Ellis Johnson can do at this point to establish a better pass-rush but rushing only three certainly is not the answering. There were times Johnson dialed up a late defender (4th rusher) just before the snap but their were 5-6 times during the game, Auburn only came with 3 pass-rushers period. This cannot be the case moving forward, especially against Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Alabama. Inside the Numbers: Cameron Artis-Payne had perhaps his best game of the season. He was quick to the hole and extremely physical, when it was needed the most. He now increases his rushing totals to 831-yards on the season, which could translate to a 1500-yard season in 13-games. Nick Marshall did a great job checking down to his shorter routes this week, taking what the defense was willing to give. He finished the night, 12 of 14 for 139-yards to go along with his 89-yards rushing and 4 touchdowns combined. Ricardo Louis is a big and fast, north and south offensive player. He has been inconsistent as a pass-catcher but I thought Malzahn did a great job of making his presence known this week. If not for the speed-sweeps this week, Louis would have been an afterthought on offense with 1 reception for 7-yards. By utilizing him in the perimeter run-offense, Louis finished with 102-yards rushing 3 carries, making a major impact in the outcome of the game. Opposing teams have taken away the Grant speed-sweeps so Malzahn brought it back with a change in personnel groupings. Kris Frost had a huge game against South Carolina. He finished the game with 14 stops of which 11 were solo tackles. The last time an Auburn LB had at least 11 solo tackles in a game was Travis Williams (2004) vs. Ole Miss. Eight different Auburn Tigers were involved in an impact play against the Gamecocks. This is amazing considering Auburn had only 8 offensive possessions during the game. The 8 offensive possessions was the fewest number of possessions by an Auburn offense during their last 278 games (1992-2014). Auburn has now extended their streak of 200-yard rushing games in conference play to 12 consecutive games (school record, previously 8-games). During Auburn's current school record of 12 consecutive 200-yard rushing games in the SEC, the Tigers have averaged 328.5 yards per game. What has possessing a mobile QB meant to the Auburn run-offense under Gus Malzahn? The 2010, 2013 and 2014 Auburn run offense has now averaged 317.7 yards rushing in 21 SEC games. Coming into tonight's game, South Carolina had allow their FBS opponents to rush for 6.3% more yardage than their opponent's season average. The Auburn run-offense rushed for 133.5% more than what the Gamecocks had allowed on an average this season. South Carolina averaged 7.63 yards per play during the first-half and 5.25 yards during the second-half. It was the sixth time out of 7 games the Auburn defense allowed fewer yards per play during the second-half, compared to the first-half. Of the 35 snaps defended by the Auburn defense during the first-half, 48.6% went for 2-yards or less. During the second-half, it was 54.9% of the 51 snaps defended. It was the 6th time out of 7 games, the Auburn defense held their opponent to higher percentage of 2-yard plays or less during the second-half. Auburn had 10 QB hurries, while allowing 3 and 7 tackles for loss to the 4 allowed. Last season Auburn had 13 interceptions from 493 passes defended (37.9). This season they have equaled their interception total in just 7 games, with 13 picks from 250 passes defended (1 every 19.2 attempts). I can only image what it might be with a better pass-rush. Last season through 7 games the Auburn offense generated 66 impact plays. This season they have 75. Brandon Fulse came into the Gamecock game with 4 career receptions for 25-yards and 0 TD's. Fulse recorded his first TD of his career and his fist impact-play of his career. Against Mississippi State, Auburn was 11 of 20 passing within 10-yards of the line of scrimmage for 102-yards. Against the Gamecocks, Auburn went 10 of 10 for 105-yards. Since 1992 Auburn is now 139-10-1, when scoring on at least 33% of their offensive possessions. This includes a record of 41-3 under Gus Malzahn. Auburn has now scored 75-points from their forced-turnovers, while allowing 28 from their own miscues. During the first 2 conference games of the season, Auburn was 4 of 8 in situations of 2-yards or less needed to convert. During the last 2 conference games, Auburn is 10 of 13. Final Thoughts... It would be easy to be concerned about Auburn's remaining games based on the Tigers defensive performance against the Gamecocks. Before going into a full blown panic attack, consider the outcome of games through 8 weeks into the season. We saw South Carolina demolished by Texas A&M, yet the Gamecocks gave Georgia their only loss thus far. Alabama came close to losing to Arkansas but defeated Texas A&M by 59-points the following week. Auburn crushed LSU, 41-7 yet the Bengal-Tigers defeated Ole Miss, Auburn's next opponent. Auburn defeated Arkansas by 24, who lost in overtime to A&M. Though the Aggies blew out the Gamecocks, Auburn held on for dear-life to get past South Carolina. There is no way to accurately predict the outcome of any conference game based on the outcome of previous games. Despite their poor defensive performance against the Gamecocks, Auburn remains in position to reach all their preseason team-goals. The defense will certainly need to play much better next Saturday against Ole Miss but every team in the Southeastern Conference has shown some form of weakness this season, including undefeated Mississippi State. I do believe Ellis Johnson has explored every possible option to improve the DL, which means Auburn will need to make plays inside the red zone, while continuing their trend to forcing turnovers. The run-defense and secondary appear to be the strength of the defense but the lack of pass-rush is likely to catch up with the Tigers again. Hopefully the Auburn defense can continue to perform better as the game progresses. Regardless of Auburn's deficiencies this season, Auburn can still run their remaining schedule by making plays at critical moments of the game. What Auburn can not afford is the self-inflicted wounds we have seen, regarding turnovers. The match ups between Auburn and Ole Miss projects a close game, likely to be low-scoring. Turnovers and miscues can turn any close game into a blowout. Auburn's offense appears to have taken a step-forward from the bye-week but the same cannot be said about the defense. Though I suspect Auburn's defense is better than how they performed against the Gamecocks, they simply cannot afford to allow Bo Wallace to throw the football without any pressure. Auburn faced a South Carolina team, willing to let it all hang out because the Gamecocks had their backs to the wall. Ole Miss losing to LSU has forced the Rebels into a must-win situation and they are a much more physical and talented team on defense. Auburn and Ole Miss can not afford another conference loss or face possible elimination in the conference race to Atlanta. The time has come for the Auburn coaches and players to take a page out of the Steve Spurrier book and play like there is no tomorrow, with minimum wiggle room to win a championship. War Eagle!
  12. Perhaps the biggest key for the Auburn defense this Saturday night will be defending the Gamecock running game. The Gamecocks are currently averaging 220-yards rushing during their last 4 games. Steve Spurrier will lean heavily on Mike Davis to control the tempo of the game and to keep his porous defense off the field. Auburn has drastically improved their run-defense from last season, which was ranked No. 63 nationally, allowing 163-yards per game. This season Auburn is allowing 120-yards per game, ranked 24th nationally. Though it appears Auburn has improved upon their run-defense, they have surrendered 171-yards per game to conference opponents. If South Carolina can rush for 140-170 yards Saturday night, it will keep Auburn honest on defense and open up the Gamecock passing game. South Carolina's run-offense could dictate if Auburn has 10-12 possessions or 13-15 possessions, which could decide whether Auburn scores into the low 30's or into the 40's. The play... On this play MSU faces a 3rd & 3 from their own 32-yard line. The Bulldogs come out in a 4-WR set to spread out the Auburn defense. At the snap Auburn must play the play-action pass option first. (Note McKizy staying put until the hand off is made) DaVonte Lambert does a great job of taking away the edge, forcing the RB to stay inside. Gabe Wright knifes through the line despite being held. Cassanova McKinzy tracks the RB, avoiding the second level block by the MSU center. McKinzy is able to shoot through for the hit on the RB, dropping the RB for a loss in the backfield. Note how Kris Frost had backside containment had the QB kept on the play. Don't be surprised if the Gamecocks have early success running the football. Auburn has allowed all three prior SEC opponents to run for over 100-yards during the first-half. The Tigers in their 3 SEC games have allowed an average of 132-yards rushing on 6.1 yards per rush during the first-half and 39-yards on 2.7 yards per carry during the second-half. During the Gus Malzahn era at Auburn, the Tigers are 6-6 in games the opponent had at least 40 rush attempts. During those 12 games, Malzahn's offense averaged 373-yards and 27 PPG. The opponent averaged 216-yards rushing.
  13. I found the following data interesting... 1980-1989: During the decade before Steve Spurrier arrived at Florida, SEC teams averaged 183.6 yards rushing per game with 38% of the teams averaging over 200-yards rushing for the season. 1990-1992: During the first 3 years with Spurrier at Florida, rushing averages dipped to 175.6 yards per game with 34.3% of the SEC teams averaging over 200-yards rushing per game during the season. 1993-1995: Six years into the Spurrier era at UF and SEC teams are averaging 162.9 yards rushing per game with only 13.9% of the teams averaging over 200-yards rushing per game. 1996-2000: During the final 5 years with Spurrier at UF, rushing averages dropped to 139.2 yards per game with only 5% of the teams averaging over 200-yards rushing per game. The offensive game had evolved on it's own but Spurrier clearly made a major impact on the conference in not only style of play but recruiting. Teams quickly went from 3-yards and a cloud of dust to opening up their offenses. His high scoring offenses forced opponents out of their run-offenses. Speedy and athletic back 7's on defense became more important to compete with Spurrier's offense and others who elected to pass more often. 2001-2003: During the first 3 years with Spurrier gone from the SEC, rushing averages increased to 158.8 yards per game with 13.9% of the teams averaging over 200-yards rushing per game. 2007-2009: SEC teams averaged 163.8 yards rushing per game with 22.2% averaging more than 200-yards rushing per game. How much of an impact has Gus Malzahn had on the league? IMO, he has made a slight impact but not to the degree of Spurrier at this point. From 2009-2013, SEC teams are now averaging 175.9 yards rushing per game with 25% averaging over 200-yards rushing per game. Even Coach Spurrier has adjusted his style of offense since returning to the league at South Carolina. He wanted to throw the ball his first couple of years at USCe but quickly adjusted his offense to a more ball-control styled offense. The Ole Ball Coach is winning with a running game and defense. Spurrier's teams at UF averaged 142.0 yards rushing per game on 34 attempts per game. During his first 5 years at USCe, Spurrier's teams averaged 114.0 yards rushing on 32 attempts per game. During his last 4 seasons at USCe, his run-offense has averaged 170.5 yards per game on 40 attempts per game. Last season was the Year of the Quarterback in the SEC, which could change to the Year of the Running back in 2014. Six of the top SEC quarterbacks are gone from last season, which could open up the running lanes this upcoming year. Teams will likely be more dependent upon their running games, while breaking in a new starter at QB. The game has evolved too much for the SEC to start running the ball 45 times per game as they did during the decade of the 80's. We are seeing great quarterback play and development in the conference, like we've never seen before. For this reason teams will keep their offenses wide open or balanced but I do believe coaches are seeing the value of the running game again as well as the need to defend it. It will be interesting to see how much Malzahn will influence the style of play as the years pass on. Edit Note: Spuirrier was at UF from 1990-2001, but it doesn't change the above data by much.
  14. From 2003-2011, here is the average number of tackles for loss from the front-7: DE: 28.4 DT: 25.1 LB: 19.9 Here is a breakdown from 2012: DE: 19.5 DT: 14.0 LB: 11.5 From 2002-2011, Auburn's front-7 averaged 73.9 TFL per season. The 2012 front-7 had 45. During Ellis Johnson's last 2 seasons as DC of South Carolina: DE: 23.7 DT: 28.2 LB: 21.7
  15. * Of the 120 teams at the FBS level, 49.4 percent of the passes attempted during a game occurred when trailing on the scoreboard during 2012. * The Auburn pass-offense finished No. 107 nationally with 71.6 percent of their pass attempts occurring when trailing on the scoreboard, No. 13 in the conference. * The combined win percentage of the nation's top-25 teams that threw the ball the least, when trailing was .802. Six teams from the SEC, finished in the nation's top-25. This included Texas A&M, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss and South Carolina. Those 6 SEC teams combined for a record of 64-16. * During the 2012 season, 16 teams attempted more than 70 percent of their passes, when trailing on the scoreboard. The combined record for those 16 teams was 38-154. * Of the 38 teams that attempted more than 60 percent of their passes, when trailing, only 4 finished the season with a winning record. Last year was not a good year for Auburn to start 2 young quarterbacks. They were both forced to constantly play "uphill".
  16. Our trip over to South Carolina was largely uneventful save a few run ins with various localities’ locals. The initial plan called for us to get out of Birmingham sometime in the early afternoon on Friday. It didn’t happen. Instead, we left Birmingham shortly before 7 P.M. after gassing our girl up and stopping at a choke and puke to get dinner. The drive itself was largely absent of traffic and distractions. Our problems seemed to occur when we pulled the van off the interstate. Mistake number one occurred in scenic Villa Rica, Georgia. We stopped sometime around 10 p.m. at the local Wally World to get supplies. The two cop cars searching two different vehicles should have been a warning sign, but it wasn’t heeded. As usual, the locals were unsure what to make of our van. However, the van was not the problem. All three of us (Jason, Michael, and JP) walked into Wally World sporting Auburn gear. This did not sit well with the locals. We were immediate outcasts catching offhand comments and gazes from all directions. My personal favorite came from a guy with a mullet carrying thirty stones of Keystone Light. He was either dressed up to go to a party or he always dressed like Keith Stone. Either way, he made sure to let us know that, “Auburn sucks!” T-Pain and Cartoon Network’s Squid Billies would like to commend you on your originality. Healthy competition, or is it? The second person of interest was our cashier. This individual was an older male, probably in his late fifties who looked like he had a hard life. He started making jokes about Alabama to the young lady in front of us about the use of double names and such. You could tell he was trying to get a rise out of us or just be insulting. He kept looking over his shoulder glancing at us every time he made a joke. I’ve got a newsflash for you buddy: you are working as a cashier at Wally World on a Friday night in a place originally named Hixtown. We escaped Villa Rica and made it less than ten miles before stopping again. The original Tiger Tail Team had a knack for knowing where EVERY Cracker Barrel was on any given route. Apparently Michael has the same God given gift. Unfortunately for me (JP), it involves Dunkin Donuts. I’m not a fan. This particular Dunkin Donuts in Douglasville, GA had a special un-sentimental value for Michael because he once saw an old lady urinate on the floor right next to the drink machine. This happened during a stop while on the way to Disney World with his family. Nice. That being said, Michael bought a dozen donuts. Jason still refused to make good on his bet from the Utah State game to buy said donuts. Jason opted for some doughnut holes. As for me… I chose my waistline over the sugary goodness. Without further delay, we hopped back on the road and made haste! The view we had as we opened the door to our motel room We arrived in Columbia, South Carolina, shortly after 2 A.M. After allowing Jason to make our disastrous hotel reservations at a Red Roof Inn on our last trip to the Palmetto State, Michael insisted on selecting the hotel in Columbia. He chose the more expensive Courtyard by Marriott north of town. His efforts were futile. We opened the door to our hotel room to find the TV still on, change on the dresser, and both beds already used. The room reeked of cheap perfume and broken dreams. We didn’t check the bathroom afraid of what we might find. We were promptly given another room. Unfortunately, I think we still paid for it. That’s just bad business. Looks like next time we will be giving Tom Bodett a try. I know he leaves the lights on… I just hope someone isn’t in the room. The game plan called for us to wake up around 9:15 A.M. and make our way to breakfast before 10:00 A.M. We woke up early and were out of our room by 9:15 A.M. on the search for breakfast. Usually, it’s Michael complaining about food. This time it was Jason and I who were hungry. Michael was still busy working through his Dunkin Donuts. We decided that we’d find a Waffle House on our way to the stadium. So we headed south towards the world famous Columbia State Fair Grounds. One small problem, we didn’t pass a Waffle House on the way down to the stadium. After driving around for over half an hour we backtracked and drove up I-26 and found a Waffle House almost immediately. The Waffle House was fairly crowded, but we got a booth as soon as we walked through the door. After spending the last several weeks on the road with Jason, I’m starting to think he was a Waffle House cook in another life. He knows their language almost better then he speaks American. The restaurant was full of South Carolina fans sans one other table of Auburn folks. They all stared at us. I’m not sure if it was because of our good looks or because of our van. I would like to think it was because of our good looks. The beds in our glorious room at the Courtyard By Marriott The South Carolina fans that talked to us at Waffle House were all polite, but most made some sort of back handed comment about Auburn. I’ve found this to be true of almost any SEC rival. As we were leaving the Waffle House, a man who was on up in his sixties informed us very “matter of factly” that we had driven a long way to lose. This seemed to be the common theme of the rest of the morning into early afternoon. South Carolina fans seemed to be pretty cocky about this game. I mean, who wouldn’t be? Auburn’s defense has been terrible and your team has Alshon Jeffreys and Marcus Lattimore. Unfortunately, your team has Stephen Garcia as well. Shortly before 11 A.M., we began making our way back down to campus. Traffic had begun to pick up and it was slow going for awhile. At this point, in a sea of Red and Black, we began cranking the radio. We started with Columbia’s very own T-WILL. After awhile we switched over to our generic AU CD which features the Auburn Marching Band mixed with tiger growls. For roughly the next hour and a half we drove up, down, and all around the Columbia State Fair Grounds area blasting Auburn themed music. We blanketed the whole area. Auburn fans usually yelled “War Eagle!” South Carolina fans, not so much… We finally chose to park in a Shriner lot next to some Auburn brethren on the Northwest side of the stadium. We had the opportunity to meet some Auburn folks from Richmond, Virginia, who don’t often get to attend games. They were definitely making up for it with a great tailgate and food on the grill. One of the best things about this gig is getting to meet Auburn people from all over the place. I hate that we didn’t get to spend more time with them as we were trying to make Tiger Walk. This Tiger Walk had less energy then some of the others I have been to. We got close enough to see all the action including Auburn’s very own kissing bandit. I don’t know what the story is on her, but she kissed half the team. I’m wondering if Auburn Everyday will feature that footage in their next episode because they definitely caught it on tape. After Tiger Walk, I decided to try and sell my two tickets in the upper deck so that I could buy one in the lower Auburn section. It wasn’t hard to get rid of my two tickets. Jason has a knack for finding people in need or people who have tickets. Jason ended up selling both of my tickets to Auburn fans for face value. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is time for your road ticket etiquette lesson. Except for the Alabama game, none of us have ever paid more then face value for an away game ticket. We often pay less for it. There is kind of an unspoken code that you never sell your away tickets to a fellow Auburn fan for profit. It is uncouth. Auburn fans on the road are some of the loudest that there are. You want as many of them in the stadium as possible. If you are worried about making an extra ten to fifteen bucks off another Auburn man or woman then you have bigger issues to address. Enough of my soap box. After selling my tickets, we had a problem locating a single Auburn lower section ticket. Despite Jason’s best efforts, we had to settle for buying a single ticket in the South Carolina faculty section. The lady who sold us the ticket was gracious enough to sell it to me at face value and for that I am thankful. I never made it to that seat as I followed Jason and Michael to their seats. Once inside the stadium, I made my visits around the Auburn section to various friends. One of the best things about going on the road is that you will always run into people that you know. The Auburn Family on the road tends to be a close one. Many people have asked me how were the South Carolina fans. For the most part, South Carolina fans are some of the classiest people you will meet home or away. They are a very proud fan base and who is not as rich in football winning as some other schools in the conference. That doesn’t take away from their traditions. They are very loyal fans, regardless of how good their team may be at times. We definitely attracted some of their worst fans, but I blame that on the van. It tends to bring the best and worst out of people. The game itself was on up there on the strange meter due to lack of scoring and offense. The Auburn fans were great. We stood up for almost the whole game, except for the many CBS commercial breaks. The only difference between a televised game by CBS and a Kevin Costner movie is that you can’t walk away from watching the game. After four long hours, Auburn achieved a desirable, and unthinkable result: they won. South Carolina fans remained in shock. We stuck around for a little while and celebrated with the Auburn Family before deciding it would be wise to get back to our van in case any pranksters were afoot. On our way back to the van, I was able to make contact with my uncle Randy, who lives in South Carolina. I hadn’t seen Randy or his wife, Debbie, in almost two years. They followed us back to our van and got the grand tour. It’s always great to get to see family on the road. We attempted to do some post game tailgating, but no one was sticking around. We cranked up the music and hung around. We got to greet a ton of Auburn fans as they passed by either on foot or passed us by car. After about thirty minutes and a couple of colorful conversations with disgruntled South Carolina fans, we decided it was time to leave. We were closing up shop when three lovely Auburn ladies stopped by half way joking about needing a ride. Two minutes later, the Tiger Tail Van had nine passengers bound for a local hotel. The story that we got from this Craft/Gibson family that just hitched a ride was very simple. The son in the family had apparently convinced all of them to take a cab to the game and had no luck finding one back. It would have been a LONG walk back for them to their hotel. We spent the next thirty or so minutes navigating traffic and telling the story of the Tiger Tail Team to these nice folks. All the while, we continued pounding out T-WILL to the masses and getting dirty looks in return from South Carolina fans. We were able to deliver this family back to their hotel without incident. For their troubles, they kindly donated $20 to the “Tiger needs some food and a new piece of tail” campaign. In a matter of minutes, we were back on the road headed home. I could write a whole other story about the trip back home, but you’d never believe it even if I told it. We arrived back in the Birmingham area just before 3:00 A.M. Less then a quarter of a mile from Michael’s house, our beautiful van crossed her 300,000th mile. We’ve only put 3,000 on her and already have so many unbelievable stories about our time with her. Imagine the untold ones from the first 297,000 miles… But for now, it’s onward to Arkansas and another adventure.
  17. Ratio of run plays of 10-yards on offense (Top-5): Alabama: 1 every 6.39 attempts LSU: 6.80 Ole Miss: 6.88 Auburn: 6.93 Vanderbilt: 6.98 Ratio of run plays of 20-yards on offense (Top-5): Alabama: 1 every 15.26 attempts Florida: 23.94 Vanderbilt: 24.26 Georgia: 26.85 LSU: 26.86 (Auburn was No. 9 at 41.00) Ratio of pass plays of 15-yards or more on offense (Top-5): Arkansas: 1 every 4.68 attempts Alabama: 4.89 Georgia: 5.66 Auburn: 5.85 Florida: 5.96 Ratio of pass plays of 25-yards or more on offense (Top-5): Vanderbilt: 1 every 11.14 attempts Auburn: 12.81 Arkansas: 13.75 LSU: 13.79 Georgia: 13.86 Ratio of run plays of 10-yards or more on defense (Top-5): Alabama: 1 every 17.10 attempts Florida: 9.22 LSU: 9.04 South Carolina: 8.86 Miss State: 8.16 (Auburn was No. 10 at 6.86) Ratio of run plays of 20-yards or more on defense (Top-5): Alabama: 1 every 71.80 attempts South Carolina: 63.29 LSU: 60.71 Vanderbilt: 47.67 Georgia: 45.67 (Auburn was No. 8 at 33.40) Ratio of pass plays of 15-yards or more on defense (Top-5): Alabama: 1 every 12.19 attempts South Carolina: 8.68 LSU: 8.40 Arkansas: 8.38 Miss State: 7.57 (Auburn was No. 9 at 6.68) Ratio of pass plays of 25-yards or more on defense (Top-5): Miss State: 1 every 35.09 attempts LSU: 33.58 South Carolina: 30.00 Alabama: 26.42 Georgia: 23.69 (Auburn was No. 9 at 17.70)
  18. In one of his featured columns, Coach Pat Dye wrote how execution is more important than schemes and play calling. A team can have the perfect play called at the perfect time but it only takes 1 of the 11 players to blow his assignment to squash the play. This was the case this past Saturday against South Carolina, when Auburn called a play-action pass from a run formation but poor execution voided out the play. The play... On this play, Auburn comes out in a bunch set with Barrett Trotter under center. The play will be a play-action pass with Travante Stallworth being the primary target. At the snap, Trotter will play-action with Michael Dyer as Emory Blake will run a deep vertical route and Travante Stallworth will run a deep crossing route underneath Blake. John Sullen will pull to his left as Philip Lutzenkirchen will step up from his FB position to pass-block. Dyer will remain in the backfield for pass-protection as Onterio McCalebb orbit motions over the top of the backfield. AJ Greene initially engages the DE but for some reason releases him. The DE darts into the backfield, sacking Trotter, going between Greene and John Sullen to get to Trotter. Auburn called for max-protection because the play was a longer developing play with only only 2 pass options down field. Blake drew double coverage but cleared the field for Stallworth's underneath route. If you recall, Auburn ran a similar play against Utah State, resulting in a long TD pass to Stallworth, running a deep crossing route. Though Auburn had 7 to block 4, the play resulted in a sack because of a breakdown in pass protection. It was a nicely designed play with Stallworth being covered by a LB.
  19. South Carolina Clipbit - Def Gap Exchange or Scrape Exchange The success of a zone-read play is normally based on the quarterback's read of the strong side DE's reaction to the play. The DE normally attacks the the "C" gap (between the tackle and TE position). If the DE plays wide, the QB will give to the RB. If the DE plays the RB, the QB will keep. Opposing defenses have countered by changing up "gap" responsibility in what is commonly referred to as "gap exchange" or "scrape exchange" in order to confuse the quarterback's read. The play... During this play, South Carolina will attempt to run their zone-read play. Stephen Garcia's decision to keep or to hand off will be based on how Corey Lemonier attacks from the "C" gap. Rather than attacking from the "C" gap, Lemioner exchanges gap containment with Jonathan Evans. Lemonier takes the "B" gap and Evans takes the "C" gap. In image #1, you will see the opposite gap control at the end of the line. You can see the traditional gap containment of the DE taking the "C" gap the OLB taking the "B" gap. The gap exchange by Lemonier and Evans confuses the RT, who takes on Evans, allowing Lemonier the inside track to the football. Garcia hands off to Lattimore but Kenneth Carter and Jeffrey Whitaker make a strong push inside, leaving Lattimore no running lane. Lemonier easily runs down Lattimore from behind, who is now bottled up behind the line because of the strong inside push by the DT's. This is a great example of great scheming and terrific line play by Auburn's front-four.
  20. Of Michael Dyer's 41 carries, 34 came between the tackles as Auburn attacked the heart of the Gamecock's defense, neutralizing their speed. Auburn's offensive line remains a work in progress but when they are on, it can be a thing of beauty. On this play, Auburn must counter a run-blitz by South Carolina, which they were able to accomplish. The play... On this play, Ladarious Phillips must engage the OLB coming off the edge to the top of the formation. Jared Cooper pulls to his right, picking up the safety attacking through the "C" gap. Brandon Mosley engages the DE and John Sullen engages the ILB, driving both defenders to the right. This entire action walls off a running lane for Dyer noted during image #3. Reese Dismukes goes 1 on 1 with the NT, walling him to the left side. AJ Greene has to seal off the backside, taking on the DE and preventing him from running down the play from the rear. Dyer explodes through the hole but is tripped up by a safety causing Dyer to stumble but not before he picks up 18-yards and an Auburn first down. The play was Dyer's longest run of the day, which came close to going all the way. The offensive line is still working to become more consistent but on this play, it brought back memories of Auburn's 2010 veteran offensive line.
  21. As of late, Auburn's opponents have sniffed out Auburn's screen game, especially involving the WR's. Last week, Auburn scored on a RB screen with Onterio McCalebb, so Gus Malzahn called another RB screen against South Carolina with a different twist. The play... On this play, Auburn faces a 3rd & 6 during their first possession of the game. Because the Gamecocks have an active defensive front, Coach Malzahn has the OL freeze at the snap as Barrett Trotter rolls to his right. The play initially looked like the play Auburn runs, when the defensive is off sides at the snap. Normally on the "off sides" play, Trotter rolls to his right and throws deep down the right side. On this play, Trotter rolls right as McCalebb releases out to the boundary flat. The USC DL rushes Barrett Trotter, oblivious to the screen being set up to the boundary side of the field. As Trotter throws the pass, the Auburn OL releases to the left to set up a wall for McCalebb. The play goes for 23-yards and an Auburn first down. By simply having the OL freeze in their 3-pt stance, it did not tip off the RB screen until it was too late. It was basically the same play from last week with a slight twist. It was a nicely designed and executed play, which set up a scoring drive for the Tigers.
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