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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

ULM Highlights & Iron Bowl Thoughts


It was a rough start to the game ost Auburn fans thought to be a breeze.

Auburn woke up in the second half and turned a close game into a blowout as they handled ULM by the score of  42-14

Team TotalsULMAU
First Downs1625
Net Yards Rushing116317
Net Yards Passing217235
Total Offense Yards333552
Fumbles: Number-Lost2 - 13 - 1
Penalties: Number-Yards3 - 145 - 41
Punts - Yards7 - 2934 - 134
Possession Time31:3928:21
Third-Down Conversions8 of 20 (0.400)5 of 10 (0.500)
Fourth-Down Conversions1 of 2 (0.500)1 of 1 (1.000)
Sacks By: Number-Yards0-02-13
Field Goals0-0 (0)0-0 (0)

With that game behind us we can now turn our full attention to the Iron Bowl. As if we hadn't already been focused fully on Alabama visiting the Loveliest Village. 

Several things to point out about Alabama this season. They haven't looked exceptionally dominant on defense, and now it seems they have injury problems  to boot.  It only looks that way. 

A quick look into reveals Alabama has the number one scoring defense in all the land. They also have the number two rushing defense. On top of all that, the pachyderms from T-Town Men's Wear have the number three ranked passing defense. All of this means Alabama has the number one defense in the country, and can't be scored upon. Yet.........

Auburn's defense is ranked two spots higher than Alabama in games played against (AP poll only) ranked opponents. The Tigers offense is also neck and neck with Alabama in games against ranked opponents. 

In November, when the heat gets turned up, Auburn is 12th in total offense vs 'Bama being ranked 48th. Alabama's defense has only allowed 3.85 yards per play in November. Auburn's offense has averaged 6.92 yards per play. When Auburn has the ball, and how well they perform, is where the game will be decided.

Auburn enters this game the healthiest they have been in three seasons on both sides of the ball. I like our chances if Auburn can do these key things:
Run the ball well. 
Cover punt returns and kickoffs with some modest improvements.
Do not allow Jalen Hurts to beat them with his legs.
Keep a lid on Calvin Ridley.  

Don't do those things, and Katy bar the door. I think Gus Malzahn and his staff will have the kinks ironed out. 

Auburn should win this game 31-17. If the kick return teams allow a few big returns, then it may be closer. Say, 28-24. Either way, 


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