The Auburn Tigers currently sit at 4-2, and have made great strides since the start of the season. When the Tigers played their last game on October 31st, they defeated the LSU Tigers 48-11. The Auburn faithful were hopeful to see the Tigers continue that high level play this week against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. With that game being pushed to December 12th (like many other SEC games), it will be a little bit longer before the Tigers are able to take the field again. Here is our Auburn Tigers mid-season review:
Auburn Tigers Mid-Season Review
Offense Finding Their Identity
After the blowout win over LSU on Halloween it seemed that maybe this Tigers team had turned a corner. Quarterback Bo Nix was back to playing smart football and not putting the Auburn defense in a bad situation. The South Carolina loss remains as a big example of what happens when Nix gets careless. Speaking of South Carolina, Auburn must be shaking their heads at that loss after seeing the Gamecocks getting blown out by LSU and Texas A&M in their last two outings.
The fact that Auburn has re-established their identify of a run first team has translated into the solid play for Nix. Auburn has always been at their best when they run the ball to set up the pass. Having a stud at running back in Tank Bigsby has been a much-needed jolt for this team. Bigsby might be the best running back Auburn has had since Carnell “Cadillac” Williams was in the backfield. Williams is the current running backs coach for the Tigers.
Of course, star receiver Seth Williams has been a constant threat when on the field. In the early part of the season though, it did seem that Nix was too reliant and would throw to Williams when the play broke down. In the previous week’s speedster, Anthony Schwartz has proven to be a reliable second option. Against LSU, Schwartz totaled four receptions for 123 yards and one touchdown.
The defense had a lot of questions coming into the season with the departures of so many talented players from last season’s squad. On the defensive line Auburn lost stars and leaders in Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson. In the secondary, the Tigers lost Daniel Thomas, Noah Igbinoghene, Jeremiah Dinson, and Javaris Davis. While that is an exodus of talent, there has shown to be talent there this season. It just did not come together until they played LSU.
Against Bayou Bengals, Auburn held LSU to just 32 yards on the ground. Coming into the game Auburn had been giving up 180.4 rushing yards per game. They made LSU one-dimensional, and doing that moving forward with the competition remaining will be pivotal. Another thing Auburn did in their last game that should carry over is getting pressure on the quarterback. Auburn hurried the LSU signal callers seven times and totaled four sacks on the afternoon.
With talents like Owen Pappoe, Roger McCreary, Big Kat Bryant, and others this defense should only get better in these final four games of the season. It helps that the defense is coordinated by Kevin Steele who had done nothing but put out stout defenses while on the plains. If these trends on offense and defense continue when the Tigers are able to get back on the field, it should be a fun final four games of the season.