Auburn runners got cranked up
(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
War Eagle everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign Report on a winning Auburn day at the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. The offensive line had its best outing of the season, and the offense avoided turning the ball over. There were a number of balls dropped on the ground, but Auburn recovered each time. A much maligned, short-handed secondary improved dramatically in a week’s time. Ole Miss roared up and down the field with underneath throws, but things dried up dramatically for the Rebels in the red zone.
Auburn did a solid job up front on defense, limiting the Rebels to 123 rushing yards on 39 carries for just 3.2 yards per carry. Star Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu diced up the Auburn defense for 324 yards, mostly in the middle of the field. When it counted on 3rd down or in the Auburn red zone, the Rebels did not manage a touchdown till there was only 2:24 left in the ball game. Auburn was able to get pressure on the quarterback, and Ole Miss converted just 6 of 17 3rd down conversions. The ability to just heave up sideline fade routes on Auburn disappeared this week.
This was an improved week on offense for the Auburn Tigers, but it is important to remember that this was against likely the worst defense in the SEC. Ole Miss got pushed around up front at times and missed a lot of tackles. Once Auburn really got the offense rolling in the 3rd quarter, the Ole Miss players were back on their heels. On particular play I remember was the 1 yard Malik Miller touchdown run to start the second half scoring. On that give, every Auburn offensive lineman pushed his man well back into the end zone. In fact, every Auburn lineman was also in the end zone on that run. That’s what will make this offense go!
Probably the most negative aspect of this game offensively was dropped passes and a couple of fumbles. There were at least 5 dropped passes, including a couple of “unassisted” drops where the receiver was just unable to hold onto the ball. Auburn runners fumbled twice, but both were recovered by a teammate. Auburn still needs to work on not sticking the ball out and losing control near the goal line.
Special teams had a decent day, overall, and punt fielding was shored up. Where Auburn had a near-disaster this week was fielding a pooch/sky kickoff. Two Auburn guys tried to field the ball at the same time, there was a collision, and the ball rolled toward the Auburn goal line. Auburn recovered at the 4-yard line, thankfully. That could have been a devastating blow if the Tigers had given up an easy touchdown to Ole Miss just before the half! Long field goal woes continue to plague kicker Anders Carlson. Brilliant in every other aspect of his game, Carlson continues to miss the long ones. The coaching staff keeps saying that they aren’t going to call for those anymore and still end up trying. The decision to try the 47-yard miss this week was on 4th and 2 at the Ole Miss 29-yard line. Auburn has a quarterback hitting well over 50 percent of his passes and a running back that averaged 8.9 yards per carry in the game. Instead, Auburn elected to try a field goal with a kicker that had only hit 1 of 8 field goals from that distance.
Unit grades after the jump!
Read Full Story →
Coach Nelson talks with Jay about what Auburn has to do this Saturday against Ole Miss to get back on track after Tennessee upset the Tigers (click on story link to watch this week's TV show).Read Full Story
The Sun is Orange and the Sky is Blue—no matter what...Read Full Story
See what Coach Nelson and I have to say in this week's Episode 6 on the state of Auburn football's season at the halfway point.Read Full Story