A few parting thoughts on this brisk Friday morning.
Auburn’s offense reminds me a lot of Georgia Tech’s option offense. A lot of misdirection with receivers going in motion and what not, and the threat of the pass. Nick Marshall will give it to the sweep guy, to Cameron Artis-Payne, keep it, or throw it deep.
Very similar to the Paul Johnson’s triple option, just with better athletes and more competent coaching.
Auburn doesn’t throw it a lot-in fact, they are last in the SEC in pass attempts with 216. Florida, Georgia and LSU only have fewer pass attempts, just to give you some context. Auburn’s passing yards per game is 220; Georgia is 196.
Where Auburn gets teams in trouble is their passing game, though. It is the opposite of Georgia. Auburn will run the ball, run the ball, fake the sweep, run it some more, then BOOM! hit a big pass over the top to Sammie Coates. Auburn has 9 passing plays of 40+ yards. That is 3rd most in the SEC, behind Kentucky, Texas AM and Alabama. Coates does his damage on 2nd down, with half of his 20 receptions coming on 2nd down. Of his 10 2nd down receptions, 4 have gone for 15+ yards, and 4 have gone for 25+ yards.
So Auburn isn’t going to throw the ball much. But they can be dangerous in the passing game, with Marshall throwing it up, and are their most dangerous on 2nd down. Auburn has 796 of their 1984 passing yards-40%- on 2nd down. A good chunk of those yards are Coates’.
So the key for stopping Auburn and the explosive play will be for Georgia’s defense to win 1st down. If Auburn has success running the ball on 1st down-and they average 6.23 ypc in that situation-then it opens up the play action deep pass.
If Auburn gets into a situation where they are having to throw it when they have to, not when they want to, their offense isn’t nearly as effective.
Georgia needs to focus on Auburn’s running game and play disciplined, assignment football. Just like they do against Georgia Tech.
In the years Malzahn has been associated with Auburn-2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013-let’s take a look on how Georgia has also done against Tech.
2009-Auburn: 24 points; Tech: 24 points
2010-Auburn 49 points; Tech 34 points
2011: Auburn 7 points; Tech 17 points
2013: Auburn 43 points; Tech 34 points (2OT)
Georgia has superior athletes to Tech, and probably about even to Auburn. But the key to stopping Tech is being disciplined. The times the Georgia defense has been successful against Tech, they have been successful against Auburn, too.
One thing that can help Georgia are penalties. Auburn is dead last in the SEC in penalties, and it ain’t even close. Auburn is flagged for 68 yards per game. Seeing how this is a night game, the first time in 6 weeks the Dawgs have been at home, and the first time in 3 years Auburn has come here, the crowd should be raucous. A rowdy crowd could cause Auburn to make some mistakes and get put in unfavorable down and distance situations.
If Auburn is having their way against us on the ground on 1st down, we are going to be in for a long night.