How good is the Auburn offense? Can anyone catch besides Courtney Taylor? What’s happened to the Tigers offensive line? These are all questions that are being asked this week as Auburn prepares for Saturday’s showdown with South Carolina.
Rarely does a second-ranked team go through its first four games without establishing an offensive personality. Yet that’s exactly what Auburn has done. In the Tigers first four games, the offense has lacked imagination. That’s the politically correct way of saying it’s just plain boring.
The question is whether that’s by design or by necessity? The answer may fall somewhere in the middle. Auburn will learn a lot about itself in the next three weeks with games against South Carolina, Arkansas and Florida.
The problems that Steve Spurrier’s defense pose are unique. They have one of the worst rushing defenses in the conference and lead the SEC in passing defense. Does that mean that we’ll see another heavy dose of Kenny Irons Thursday? The answer is yes. Then again, you are going to see a heavy dose of Irons every game.
The bigger question is when are we going to see that Al Borges signature offense? What happened to the flea-flickers and reverses that have been so prevalent over the past couple of years? What about all those offensive shifts? Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville says not to worry and be patient.
“We haven’t been forced to do it,” Tuberville said.
“We’ve kept it simple and not made mistakes, but sooner or later we’re going to have to come out of our shell a little bit,” Tuberville said. “It might be this week. It might not. We’ve been working on it.”
Sooner or not later, Auburn’s offense is going to be called on to win a game. The question remains whether or not its inexperienced, but talented receiving corp will be ready. So far this season, senior wide out Courtney Taylor has accounted for a third of all the Auburn receiving yardage. That has left precious few snaps for the other receivers. With three big conference games coming up, it could will be Baptism by fire for the new guys.
Auburn is currently last in the conference in pass attempts with 85. Auburn’s running game has accounted for 65% of all it plays this season.
You can bet that Spurrier will put seven and eight men on the line each down and force Cox to throw to his young receivers. Hopefully, by late Thursday night we’ll know more about Robert Dunn, Prechae Rodriguez, Rod Smith, Lee Guess and the other receivers. Because so far, we still know very little.