Auburn has managed to keep all their goals in tact through three games. The win against Arkansas seems to look more impressive by the week, and while the trip to Kansas State didn't earn many style points, it did earn Auburn's first victory against a ranked team on the road...hopefully we will have many of those to celebrate in the next couple months.
Typically, it's at this point in the season when Gus Malzahn really starts to customize his offense to his current set of players. Last year, the zone read concept with Nick Marshall took off after our fourth game against LSU. I'll be very curious to see what kind of direction the offense goes after being challenged by a fundamentally sound, prepared Kansas State defense.
This is a game that Auburn should be able to handle at home, but La Tech has proved troublesome over the years. 2001 comes to mind for me, as Auburn was forced to go to overtime with the Bulldogs the week after defeating #1 Florida in Jordan Hare Stadium.
I'm hoping the Kansas State game got everyone's attention. There is plenty to work on in all phases of the game. This game is the last real "breather" before the schedule gets straight nasty with ranked conference opponents. Here's what I'm looking for from the Tigers this week:
- Continued Impressive Scoring Defense: Auburn is only giving up 16 points per game currently. In modern day football, that's really good. I hope Auburn can keep La Tech under that number and limiting big plays while tackling well in space.
- Crisp Special Teams: For the first time in quite a while, Auburn looked a bit vulnerable on special teams in Manhattan. From the near disaster on the first punt to losing the field position battle consistently by giving up big returns, Auburn simply was outplayed for most of the night - except for the battle of field goal kickers of course...
- Focus and Running Game Early: Like everyone else, I want to see Auburn take care of this game early. I hope the running game returns to form and takes control of the game. I'd rather have our starters out at some point in the third quarter and get some rest before this murderer's row of games begins.