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Thoughts on Run Defense


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I have no doubt we will see improvement on the offensive side of the ball under Tony Franklin in 2008 but will it be enough to offset the possible decline in run defense?

With so many new faces up front on the DL lacking experience, will opposing teams expose a possible weakness?

Run Defense:

2003-2004 (26 games): 98.9 YPG / 3.01 YPC

2005-2005 (12 gmaes): 116.3 YPG / 3.52 YPC

2006-2007 (26 games): 124.4 YPG / 3.65 YPC

During Chizik’s last two seasons, Auburn allowed 11 rushing TD’s in 26 games. During the two years under Muschamp, AU allowed 21 rushing TD’s in 26 games.

Run Defense vs. Opp with winning record:

2003-2004 (13 games): 112.3 YPG / 3.42 YPC / 53.4 ATD

2005-2005 (6 games): 130.0 YPG / 3.70 YPC / 42.2 ATD

2006-2007 (14 games): 147.6 YPG / 4.02 YPC / 28.6 ATD

Chizik’s defense allowed 3 of 13 opponents to rush for 150 or more yards. AU was 2-1 in those 3 games. Under Muschamp, AU allowed 7 of 14 opponents with a winning record to rush for at least 150 yards. AU was 2-5 in those games. AU went from allowing a rushing TD every 53.4 carries under Chizik to 1 every 28.6 rushes under Muschamp.


The majority of Auburn’s “quality” opponents in 2008 will have the potential to consistently run the football. This alone could offset any advantage AU would want to establish on the offensive side of the ball unless we score early and often. The irony would be our opponents doing to us, what we have done over the past two years to our opponents. Bleed the clock, protect the football and make us play on a long field.

Auburn will beat La. Monroe this Saturday but my focus will be on the play of our run defense. Though the Warhawks must replace their star RB, they are a run-oriented offense. If La-Monroe can run the ball early on against our starters, it might be a major red flag for the remainder of the season. Auburn will field enough offense in this game to offset any possible poor showing on run-defense.

Under Tuberville, AU has faced 44 opponents that finished the season with a losing record, including 5 Non-Div 1A programs. Only 3 of the 44 opponents were able to rush for 150 or more yards. On the average, AU allowed only 88.1 yards rushing per game and 2.83 yards per carry. The same 44 teams averaged a rushing TD every 72.0 carries. 37 of the 44 opponents were held under 140 yards rushing and 26 were held under 100-yards.

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