This Saturday for the first time in more than a year, a ranked Auburn (5-1) ventures to College Station to try and take down the beast that is Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M (5-1).
Auburn finished last in the SEC in total offence last season, so some would say that this game is laughable. The thing people need to realize is: they went from that to having the fifth ranked offence this season. They have a run-heavy strategy that Texas A&M’s defense needs to be prepared for.
Texas A&M has allowed 5.7 yards per rush this season, the most of any BCS-AQ teams. 3.3 of those yards are given before contact, also the worst in the BCS. Auburn on the other hand averages 4.2 yards before they’re even touched per rush. That means that our defenders need to take down the Tigers as soon as the ball is snapped.
Who does Texas A&M need to watch for?
Auburn uses four different rushers that all have at least 250 yards this season. Cameron Artis-Payne is the Tiger’s main runner with 389 yards this season and averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
Corey Grant runs an outside route typically. 97 percent of his rushing yards happen outside the hash marks. He has 331 yards this season and averages 10 yards per carry.
Tre Mason is Auburn’s star runner. He currently has 515 yards this season and averages 5.6 yards per carry. He leads the teams four headed assault and currently leads the team in carries and yards.
Nick Marshall is the Tiger’s most dangerous option. He is currently at 902 yards passing this season, but what makes him dangerous is when he escapes the pocket. He flew past Ole Miss defenders two weeks ago. He had 114 yards to the left and two touchdowns rushing.
Auburn flourishes on the outside, and Texas A&M struggles to make stops there. The defense will need to get it together to shut them down. The offense will have to continually score and the defense will have to shut down the run game for Texas A&M to secure their third straight SEC victory.