Auburn Tigers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Auburn Tigers: Key To The 2022 Offense
Keep the chains moving
The Tigers ended up statistically fine on third downs – converting close to 41% of their chances – but that was front-loaded to the first part of the season.
Team moved chains, team controlled ball, team controlled games, team usually won.
Team didn’t move chains, bad things happened.
It moved the ball fine in the losses to Penn State and Mississippi State, and it wasn’t bad against South Carolina, but there wasn’t enough happening to take control in the other four losses. Those games happened to be against Georgia, Texas A&M, Alabama, and Houston – four strong teams with real defenses – and those were the four times the offense failed to hit 30% of its third down tries.
Over the last three seasons, Auburn is 0-9 against FBS teams when it doesn’t hit that 30% mark.
Auburn Tigers: Key To The 2022 Defense
More takeaways are a must
Not everyone can have 2021 Georgia’s D, and everyone who plays in the SEC West has to find a way to get through the rough days against the Bryce Youngs, the Mississippi State passers, and all the other good quarterbacks in the division and conference.
That’s fine – allowing yards isn’t that big a deal if you can come up with enough turnovers to offset the production.
Auburn forced 12 turnovers last season. Two came in the bowl loss to Houston, two came in the win over Alabama State, and the other eight were spread out over the other 11 games.
It helped that the Tiger O was good at not giving the ball away, but the 12 takeaways from the D – not really counting the shortened 2020, and even then there were 13 – were by far the fewest generated in well over a decade.
Auburn Tigers: Key Player To The 2022 Season
QB TJ Finley, Jr.
Bryce Young, KJ Jefferson, Jaxson Dart, Jayden Daniels, Will Rogers. Throw in whatever quarterback Texas A&M trots out there, and Auburn’s starting quarterback will have to pull his weight each and every week in the SEC West.
Auburn’s guy has to hang shot-for-shot with everyone else’s guy.
If it’s not Zach Calzada or Robby Ashford, the 6-7, 250-pound Finley has to settle the position, the offense has to stretch the field more, and he’s got to be great at making the Auburn O good enough to keep up on a weekly basis.
Auburn Tigers: Key Transfer
DT Jayson Jones, Soph.
The Tigers are bringing in a slew of other interesting transfers – Oregon CB DJ James is going to be a factor – but the emergence of Jones on the nose could and should mean just about everything to the defense as the season goes on.
The 6-6, 328-pounder was a huge recruit for Oregon, made 19 tackles with 1.5 sacks last season, and now he has to rise up and hold down the interior of the Auburn front four.
Auburn Key Game To The 2022 Season
LSU, Oct. 1
Auburn got off to a hot start last season, and it didn’t mean much as the wheels came off over the second half of the season. It opens up the SEC season at home against Missouri, and then a week later there’s more Tiger on Tiger action when LSU comes to town.
Auburn won last year, and this time around if everything goes well, it might be able to beat both Mizzou and Penn State to come into the showdown 4-0. Beat LSU, or else. Three of the next four games are on the road including Georgia and Ole Miss in back-to-back weeks.
Auburn Tigers: 2021 Fun Stats
– Auburn 3rd quarter scoring: 102, 4th quarter: 65
– Fumbles: Auburn 23 (lost 8) – Opponents 20 (lost 3)
– Rushing TDs: Auburn 22 – Opponents 8