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Something the SEC hasn't seen since Tebow


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Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham is leading an offense that is the first to average 43.0 PPG in SEC play since Tim Tebow's Florida did it in 2008.

Morning After: Auburn’s offense is doing something the SEC hasn’t seen since Tim Tebow


AUBURN, Ala. — Even Gus Malzahn was at a loss for words when he heard the numbers Saturday night after Auburn football’s 40-17 drubbing of No. 1 Georgia.

The Tigers scored at least 40 points for the sixth time in seven SEC games Saturday. Auburn is now averaging 43.0 points per game in SEC play, moving it just ahead of Alabama, which fell to 41.9 after scoring just 31 in a narrow win over Mississippi State.

“Yeah, wow,” Malzahn said. “When you say that, that’s really something.”

MORE: Gus Malzahn flips his big-game script with his most crucial win at Auburn

Auburn averages more than six touchdowns per game in SEC play this season, even with the 23-point meltdown against LSU in October.

The Tigers haven’t averaged more than 40 points against SEC opponents since the Cam Newton-led national champions in 2010 (40.2 points per game). The SEC hasn’t had a team average 43 or more since the Tim Tebow-led Florida national champions in 2008 (43.3). Fun fact: Newton was on that team, too.

That number most likely will come down some after the Iron Bowl in two weeks, as Alabama has only allowed that amount four times in the last five seasons. Mississippi State’s 24 points Saturday night were the most the Tide have allowed all season.

Auburn football-Auburn Tigers-Auburn-Kerryon Johnson
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson has been on fire since returning to action at the start of SEC play. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

However, Georgia hadn’t allowed more than 28 points or 312 yards at any point in its first nine games of the season. Auburn hung 40 points and 488 yards on the Bulldogs en route to a memorable upset of the College Football Playoff rankings’ No. 1 team.

“I think it’s just we’re balanced,” Malzahn said. “We can run the football. Our vertical passing, we’ve been pretty efficient with that. We’re playing with pace.”

Malzahn is right. Auburn’s balance has almost been right down the middle in SEC play under first-year offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey.

Missouri 269 219
Mississippi State 244 267
Ole Miss 326 235
LSU 189 165
Arkansas 348 284
Texas A&M 228 268
Georgia 237 251
Total 1,835 1,689
Perecnt 52.1% 47.9%

With the exception of the second half against LSU, Auburn has been firing on all cylinders offensively in SEC play. The Tigers have fully tapped into their potential with the likes of quarterback Jarrett Stidham, running back Kerryon Johnson and a veteran offensive line.

“I thought coming into this situation that we obviously have a great football team, and I knew what kind of team we could have,” Stidham said. “It’s just a matter of executing and being that team.”

That meltdown at LSU has served an important purpose, too. Auburn’s offense has cleared the 250-yard mark passing in every game since then, including ones against an elite Texas A&M pass rush and an elite Georgia all-around defense.

Instead of playing it safe after halftime, Auburn’s second halves have been better than their first halves in recent weeks.

“I think the biggest difference is that we learned to finish,” Johnson said. “The LSU game we were doing the same things to those guys that we did here in the first half.  We just didn’t finish, and we kind of took our foot off the gas.  We learned to finish and we learned what was necessary to do, and I think the proof is in the pudding.”

MORE: Gus Malzahn wants Kerryon Johnson in Heisman race after Auburn’s rout

Johnson pointed to improved execution as a key to Auburn’s offensive success since the loss to LSU. That was apparent again Saturday against Georgia, as Auburn finally found a breakthrough offensively after a slow start.

Malzahn preaches the importance of Auburn getting better each week. Even with an average of 43 points per game in SEC play, Auburn still thinks it can do that.

“I feel like we still haven’t played our best ball yet,” junior receiver Ryan Davis said. “I feel like we still have some improvements to work on with certain things.”

If that truly is the case, Auburn could be in for another one to remember in November, when Alabama brings its own high-scoring attack to the Plains.

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23 minutes ago, WFE12 said:

“I thought coming into this situation that we obviously have a great football team, and I knew what kind of team we could have,” Stidham said. “It’s just a matter of executing and being that team.”

Yep. Nuff said young man.

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