Kneauxing the Enemy
Record 5-1, 3-0 in SEC
The Auburn Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles come to Tiger stadium Saturday with a four game winning streak. Auburn is the best team the Purple and Gold have played this year. It looks like Auburn, for the first time in three years, found a quarterback who can run its read option offense.
Jarrett Stidham, a sophomore transfer from Baylor, is the starting quarterback for the Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles. As a freshman at Baylor in 2015, in a backup role, Stidham threw for 1,265 yards and twelve touchdowns. In Auburn’s last three SEC wins against Missouri, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss, Stidham has completed 74 percent of his passes. He was 13-18 for 218 yards against Missouri, 13-16 for 264 yards against Mississippi State, and 14-21 for 235 yards against Ole Miss. He is fourth in the SEC in passing yards. Stidham has thrown for seven touchdowns, but has been sacked 18 times.
Auburn has three receivers with 210 yards or more in receptions this season. Junior Will Hastings has 270 yards in receptions on 13 catches with two touchdowns. He averages 20 yards per catch. Junior Ryan Davis has 31 catches for 251 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Kyle Davis has seven receptions for 210 yards. There are three other receivers with over 100 yards in receptions for the campaign. They are sophomore Eli Stove with 162 yards, sophomore Nate Craig-Myers with 158 yards, and sophomore Darius Slayton with 131 yards. Slayton averages 21.8 yards per catch with six receptions. Craig-Myers averages 19.8 yards per grab with eight receptions.
The Auburn running back corps is lead by junior Kerryon Johnson. So far, this season, Johnson has rushed for 504 yards and 12 touchdowns, including a five touchdown game against Missouri. He averages 5.9 yards per carry, and is the fourth leading rusher in the conference. The Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles also have junior Kamryn Pettway lurking in the backfield. Pettway rushed for over 1200 yards last season, but has been hampered with an injured foot this season. Sophomore Kam Martin rushed for 136 yards against Georgia Southern in the first game of the season.
The Auburn offensive line is anchored by three seniors who are returning starters. They are center Austin Golson, right guard Braden Smith, and right tackle Darius James, who has also played at left tackle this season.
The Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles are 12 of 12 in scoring in the red zone this year.
The Auburn defense lost a lot of starters from last season. However, they have three solid linebackers. Junior Deshaun Davis is the co-leader in tackles on the team with 29 stops, 15 solos. Senior linebacker Tre Williams also has 29 tackles for the season, 13 unassisted. Junior outside linebacker Jeff Holland leads the team with 4.5 sacks.
Sophomore defensive lineman Derrick Brown has five tackles for losses (tfls) for the season. Auburn, like last year, plays a lot of defensive linemen.
Auburn allows 176 yards per game through the air.
Auburn held the second ranked Clemson Tigers to 14 points in the Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles’ only defeat. That has been Clemson’s lowest offensive output this season.
The Tigers/Plainsmen/War Eagles average 228 yards per game rushing and 224 yards per contest throwing the ball. They are balanced.
The one thing Auburn and LSU have in common is Mississippi State. The Purple and Gold loss to
MSU 37-7, and Auburn beat Mississippi State 49-10 this season. Hopefully that is a useless stat.