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Focus on the Auburn running game...


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South Carolina is the only opponent Auburn has faced this season, they did not attempt a pass over 20-yards against. The offensive game plan for the Auburn Tigers during the previous meeting with the Gamecocks was to run the football and to pepper the South Carolina secondary with a short passing game. Like Alabama, South Carolina has been very solid against the run but vulnerable to a vertical passing game. Alabama sold out to stop the Auburn running game, which subsequently opened up the passing lanes for the Tiger offense.

The play…


Through out the game, Alabama had at least 7-8 defenders in the box on early downs, to defend the Auburn running game. On this particular play, Alabama has tight coverage on Auburn’s 3 WR’s. At the snap, Cameron Newton play-actions with Onterio McCalebb, which freezes the Bama linebackers and secondary. Newton then sells the screen to Quindarius Carr, looking off Terrell Zachery, running a fly-pattern.

Terrell Zachery beats the corner deep and Cameron Newton delivers a deep pass to Zachery. The Alabama safety actually was in position to make a play on the ball but Zachery hauls in the pass and races to the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown play. Though Terrell Zachery only has 84 career touches (offense), the touchdown play was his 14th career play of 30-yards or more. It was also his 28th career impact play or play of 15-yards or more. Also note that Onterio McCalebb was wide open in the left flat had Newton elected to check down to a secondary receiver on the play.

South Carolina will likely sell out to slow down the Auburn running game in the rematch so look for Gus Malzahn to counter with an aggressive passing attack. With all the attention focused on the Auburn running game (No. 6 nationally), Auburn also has the 2nd most efficient pass-offense in the country and Auburn’s current rating of 184.1 is the best in school history. The Auburn offense has been extremely balanced this year when it comes to explosive plays. Of their 38 big plays this season (30-yds or more, 19 have come on the ground and 19 through the air. Of their 122 impact plays, 64 have come through the running game and 58 through the passing game.

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