Monday, October 20, 2014
No Time Like the Present
Auburn's offense has been tooling along nicely for the most part. This season however, it seems to be moving at a slower pace. Let's take a look at some numbers and try to figure out if Auburn's offense is working faster or slower than last season.
**all stats courtesy of cfbstats.com
The average rushing yards per attempt equal 6.30 in 2013 versus 5.55 this season thus far. One needs to remember these 2013 stats are padded by a woeful Western Carolina team that allowed every Auburn RB except Chandler Shakespeare and Patrick Lyman to average over 15 yards per carry.
Halfway thru the season, the total number of plays is below 50% by almost an entire game. For Auburn to reach the lofty numbers of 2013, three things must happen.
First Penalties must be reduced. Drive altering penalties have cost the Tigers dearly so far this season. Most have come from the offensive line that has seen different personnel in almost every game.
Second, Auburn's offense must improve in running the football. The average per carry is down, and the defenses we still face on the schedule are only going to be better, with the exception being Samford. Sometimes inefficient down field blocking have all led to fewer 1st downs per game.
Lastly, Auburn's passing game has to improve. Dropped passes, poorly thrown passes all must be improved.
Coach Malzahn offense depends on that initial 1st down of every drive to start the fast pace process. Elimination of three and outs must be an emphasis going forward.
The pace at which Auburn goes, also depends on the offense converting 3rd downs into 1st downs. While the percentage is up slightly over last season, the missed opportunities will cost you in close games as seen in Starkville, MS. For the last two games the Tigers are running below the 2013 average at 44.44%.
With all of the talent and Senior leadership on this team, Auburn has the ability to surpass the achievements of the 2013 squad. They can play for the National Championship if all the pieces to the puzzle were to fall into place.
This can be the most explosive Auburn offense in history if the corrections can be made. I believe they will. The schedule is no piece of cake, and no team in America has a tougher road ahead of it, so if Auburn is to make these improvements and play for championships, there's no time like the present.