Preview 2019: Auburn. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Auburn. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Auburn

Preview 2019: Auburn. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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2. KEYS TO THE SEASON

Biggest Key To The Auburn Offense

Auburn running game, be the Auburn running game. The world was spoiled by Gus Malzahn’s first year as the head man, creating an unstoppable juggernaut of a 2013 running game that only failed to hit 200 yards one in a 14-game season that almost finished with a national title. Fast forward to 2018, and the Tigers only ran for two bills four times.

Not only did Auburn win those four games, they won in blowouts. Okay, so those games were against Alabama State, Ole Miss, Liberty, and in the bowl domination over Purdue, but now the Tigers are 19-1 over the last three seasons when hitting 200. With a new starting quarterback, running well matters more than ever.

Biggest Key To The Auburn Defense

Get off the field. Yes, the offense struggled on third downs, and yes, the attack should be better and it should be stronger at running the ball. Start with that, and several other problems will go away, particularly getting destroyed in the time of possession battle.

The Auburn defense did its part on third downs – allowing teams to convert just 35% of their tries – but when it struggled, there were problems because the offense couldn’t pick up the slack. Early on – with a new quarterback and new starting receivers – the defense will likely have to clean up messes by getting off the field fast.

Last season, the Auburn D allowed teams to convert 40% of their third down tries five times … and went 0-5. The Tigers were 8-0 when keeping teams under 40%. Going back to late 2016, they’re 2-12 in their last 14 games when teams have been able to keep the chains moving at that clip.

Key Player To A Successful Season

WR Seth Williams, Soph.
There isn’t a whole lot of worry about the receiving corps despite the loss of volume possession guy Ryan Davis and top yardage target Darius Slayton, but it means someone else has to rise up and rock as a No. 1 target – especially with a new starting quarterback.

The 6-3, 224-pound Williams had a nice first season, averaging 20.5 yards per catch on his 26 grabs with five touchdown. The faster he’s able to grow into a possible 50-catch playmaker who can also hit the home run, the easier everything else will be for the O.

Key Game To The Auburn Season

Oregon, Aug. 31 (in Dallas)
Obviously there are bigger SEC fish to fry with nasty game after nasty game throughout the conference season, but beating Oregon will be a tone-setter for a good team that could use that early confidence boost. The Ducks will be in everyone’s preseason top ten – possibly top five – and it could be a must-win considering what’s ahead.

Yeah, last year the Tiger win over Washington didn’t mean anything as the season went on, but finishing the regular season 7-5 looked a whole lot better than 6-6. This year, Auburn will probably be the underdog in five games the rest of the way, but beat Oregon, and with Tulane and Kent State ahead, it’ll start out 3-0.
Auburn Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

2018 Auburn Fun Stats

– 1st Quarter Scoring: Auburn 131 – Opponents 39
– Sacks: Auburn 38 for 256 yards – Opponents 23 for 168 yards
– Rushing TDs: Auburn 25 – Opponents 9

NEXT: What Will Happen

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