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November 11, 2011

Auburn Preview

Abry Jones and Shawn Williams on the tackle (Image: Hipple)
It is all about their running game.  Yes, Auburn has run the ball well.  Yes, they have piled up the yardage.  Yes, it has been against teams in the bottom half of the conference in rushing defenseWHATWHAT!?

The narrative some would have us believe is that Georgia's defense isn't worthy of its lofty stats, due to the schedule.  In essence, the stats are lying.  I think the same argument could be made for Auburn's rushing success.  Take a look at Auburn's rushing stats (from College Football Statistics, which is the very best place in the world to spend several hours if you dig stats):

2011 Auburn Tigers Rushing Offense Game Log through 11/10/2011

09/03/11Utah St.GrassW 42-3830782.602
09/10/11Mississippi St.GrassW 41-34362356.532
09/17/11@ 9 ClemsonGrassL 24-38382376.242
09/24/11Fla. AtlanticGrassW 30-14331374.150
10/01/11@ 15 South CarolinaGrassW 16-13672463.671
10/08/11@ 8 ArkansasTurfL 14-38522915.602
10/15/11FloridaGrassW 17-6431553.601
10/22/11@ 1 LSUGrassL 10-4534872.561
10/29/11MississippiGrassW 41-23502545.081
@ : Away, + : Neutral Site

You see they did great work against Mississippi State (65th run defense nationally, 8th in conference), Clemson (96th nationally), South Carolina (44th, 5th), Arkansas (78th, 9th), and Mississippi (110th, 12th). When you look at their average per carry numbers, you have to take out the South Carolina game, as they ran the ball so many times, it was Paul Johnson's personal porn show.  However, look at the other teams they faced: Utah State (34th nationally), Florida Atlantic (71st), Florida (30th), and LSU (2nd). Now, who exactly is feasting on the carcasses of bad teams?

Hey, Auburn can run the ball.  I expect them to do so (what choice do they have?).  I'm just saying that if we stop the run, and I believe we can, and we don't get nutpunched by the wheel route four times, we are in a position to lay the wood on them.

Defensively, Auburn's passing defense is 11th in the conference.  Their run defense is 10th.  There are plays that we can run that will exploit the mismatches.  We execute those and it is a fun day in Athens.

If we don't, and we allow a bunch of special teams points, well, it won't be.  Right now, I'd take a 7 point lead into the 4th Q and seeing Bobo call plays like he did against Florida.

Did I really just type that?



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