Auburn’s 63-14 win over the Purdue in the Music City Bowl was as dominant a bowl victory as you’re going to see. What’s maybe most important is that it wasn’t just a case of Auburn being motivated to play while Purdue decidedly didn’t care about being there. It was a culmination of nearly a month of prep and hashing out the strategy “Let Gus be Gus”.
Let’s get you the intricacies of how Auburn dismantled the Boilermakers, courtesy of AU Nerd with his eagle-eyed analysis!
Here’s the first touchdown of the day, featuring an classic Gus installment. Does that little stomp fake look familiar?
First dagger of the day was a beauty— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Stidham fake draws LBs up a step or 2
Williams & Schwartz running drag routes designed to "rub" LBs. Stidham's fake brings the MIKE down a step into path of Seth which frees Boobee on the wheel
Whitlow does the work from there pic.twitter.com/lBWE8zNxNw
When Auburn got on defense (after only three plays on offense), it was readily evident that the Tiger athletes were a little better than Purdue’s...
Brohm kicks things off with something goofy— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Watch Marlon Davidson toss aside 2 Purdue blockers & force this play out wide pic.twitter.com/VhuPTqrOEO
2nd down & Steele brings Darrell Williams right up the gut— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
He destroys the tough guy RB but Blough has enough time to get rid of ball
Iggy in great position here. Early example of AU just having better athletes all over the field pic.twitter.com/wz9kdS7eqA
Purdue plays is straight on 1st down this time but it's for naught— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Javaris Davis comes on blitz from outside, blows past the LT & gets the sack
Auburn's secondary had 8.5 sacks this year. They had 3 last year pic.twitter.com/H4sMV7tnqD
Purdue tries to hit Moore on quick tunnel screen but Davidson/Russell read it all the way. They don't make the play but they force him to alter path— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Moore forgets he's not playing against a Big 10 defense & tries to reverse field
Silly man pic.twitter.com/3WWBIrxLoZ
Once Auburn got back on offense, you could see the different running strategy of Kam Martin. Don’t be Kerryon, be yourself.
Looks like Iso Zone— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Watch Horton get great movement at LOS
Martin's path sucks the MIKE into wrong gap
You can see his explosiveness once through the hole
Martin has been so much better since he stopped trying to emulate KJ's patient style & gone back to attacking the LOS pic.twitter.com/6kglUga724
Another modified triple option look here— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Great job by Harrell comboing to the LB. Martin does good job bouncing this outside quickly & then puts foot in ground & gets up field quickly
More good WR blocking pic.twitter.com/j3a1Q6VoBN
And while Jarrett Stidham missed the big play with this one, it was a foreboding omen for the Boilermakers as they allowed Darius Slayton to speed right by them.
This was a rough start to the drive for Stidham— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Looks like AU running verticals here. Slayton just runs by his man. Stidham has all the time in the world but hitches maybe one too many times
Do like him looking off safety before the throw pic.twitter.com/qxg6mA9rYT
Auburn’s receivers were just too good for the Purdue defense across the board.
This time Stidham connects— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Has all day to throw the ball & hits Williams on what looks like a double move
Stidham probably could have led him a bit here but guessing threw it back shoulder to make sure S couldn't make a play on it pic.twitter.com/50L6y2zMuS
And the offensive line had a great game against an overmatched opponent as well. Two of the first three touchdowns were just mauling.
Wildcat time— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
AU just absolutely overwhelms Purdue at the point of attack. Just physically dominated them up front pic.twitter.com/VCkI4hw77p
Defense again had a ton of success, peep it here.
Now THIS is the TD I expected to see more of this year— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Great move inside to get pressure on QB. Able to get pass away but play is dead pic.twitter.com/PidOnaZ9UL
TD in backfield again with a straight speed rush off the edge— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
AU used some really wide alignments Friday with the Buck. Allows them to use their speed against less athletic OTs pic.twitter.com/L7fcf117bw
For the long touchdown (first one) to Slayton, it looks like Auburn tested the waters on first down and then hit Purdue when they got the look they wanted.
I wonder if after seeing Purdue's response to this play if Gus knew he had a TD on 2nd down— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
As for what happens at LOS. Kim doesn't reach LB & Cox gets knocked away by end. Nowhere for Martin to go pic.twitter.com/gq4RnwHmIA
Looks familiar right?— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
AU runs the exact same action in backfield as 1st down play except this time it's PA
Purdue spins S down on Schwartz motion turning this into Cover 3
CB gives inside leverage to Slayton expecting MOF help but S too slow to get there & Slayton runs free pic.twitter.com/vdxjGHOYb6
If Derrick Brown comes back, Auburn might have the best defensive line in the country in 2019.
AU forces 3 & out— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) December 31, 2018
Brown drives the RG into QB's lap
He almost escapes for a 1st down but outstanding open field tackle forces punt pic.twitter.com/3bdiHlMe9C
This is what a possible 1st rd draft pick is supposed to do— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Derrick Brown gets his hands into the chest of the RG, drives him back, finds the ball, sheds the block & makes the big time stop pic.twitter.com/wY4YTLbSGI
Again, Slayton was just ridiculous compared to the DBs Purdue put on the field. This play would have been a nice gain, but nothing huge against any SEC team.
"Thunder" out of Gus's "Spread" formation— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Marquel Harrell throws the key block here on the corner while Cox does a good slowing the WILL long enough for Slayton break free
From there it's just Slayton's speed pic.twitter.com/cxRxtsMXaA
Maybe Derrick Brown’s play earlier in the game indirectly kick-started Auburn’s next score, as Purdue gave him way too much attention and forgot about the other good defensive linemen.
Purdue elects to triple team Derrick Brown which you kinda can't blame em— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
But that leaves Truesdell free to dominate his man & he perfectly times getting his hand up to deflect the pass
Impressive reflexes from Big Kat to make the snag
FWIW I'm a huge fan of DL pick 6s... pic.twitter.com/tEGhgZEdXF
There were a ton of good days from the defenders, including Javaris Davis, who had 4 tackles and an interception, but he did much more than that throughout the game.
Turns into the Javaris Davis show again for the next 2 downs— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Here again 21 personnel he's lined up like a SAM backer. Jibunor does a good job taking on the puller. That keeps Davis free to flow downhill & make the stop pic.twitter.com/gYD5E8ZR5B
Again against 21 personnel Davis is basically in the box. Purdue runs a toss to the near side— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Davis does an outstanding job getting up field & forcing ball carrier back into teeth of defense where Russell then eats him pic.twitter.com/Ekp4VUrK31
Also, after getting the key block on Slayton’s second touchdown, Marquel Harrell had already established himself. Now, he does it in the run game. If we get the line back next year intact, it could be a very pleasant surprise from what we saw this season.
Marquel Harrell had himself a day Friday— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Here he takes his man for a ride pic.twitter.com/vqMWVBSEhy
Oh, also, we’re going to see a bunch more of this next season.
Speed sweep results in 6— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Great crack block by Sal & good job by Cox sealing CB inside & letting Schwartz race to the endzone pic.twitter.com/Wd89pnqtcR
MORE DERRICK BROWN.
After the offsetting personal foul penalties & then a false start— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
Derrick Brown proceeded to let his play do the talking pic.twitter.com/qZMjsijIlb
I thought watching live that this might have been Stidham’s best play of the day. He gets pressure, steps up, and makes an accurate throw for the first down.
Another blitz results in pressure— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 1, 2019
This time AU picked up the blitzer but fail to account for the looping end
Stidham does a great job sliding up into the pocket & finding Seth Williams for 1st down pic.twitter.com/JRTzHWwAyC
Oh, and in case you wanted some of the senior that’s been making huge plays for three years now, here’s some Deshaun Davis.
AU brings pressure from the field. RT fails to pickup Deshaun Davis. Javaris Davis gets around the pulling OG & forces QB back into the other Davis for a sack— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Deshaun's final #'s this year
112 total tackles
3.5 sacks#stud pic.twitter.com/Yvqos2fFW7
As Nerd says in the explanation, there’s a huge difference when the QB trusts his offensive line. I hope that whichever quarterback we have next season gets that luxury with a line that brings back some guys who’ve seasoned a bit.
Stidham great here again— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Schwartz runs a 10 yard out & with CB bailing Stidham knows he has him
Despite pressure in his face, gets ball out on time & on target for 1st down
HUGE difference when he trusts his OL pic.twitter.com/5n9b3Nwmf2
Also, we ran buck sweep with some success this year when other run plays weren’t quite working. Everyone can agree that the Shaun Shivers version is fun to watch.
I look forward to plenty more Shaun Shivers Buck Sweeps in our future— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Here if Sal can hold that block just a tad longer & Horton reaches the S this might go all the way pic.twitter.com/s9IeUDGvjD
And despite losing Dean, I feel pretty good about what we have coming back in the secondary.
Again this is why AU keps Buck so wide— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Moultry able to quickly get up field & force this back inside
No one reaches Tutt who makes a hell of an open field tackle on a big time athlete pic.twitter.com/KsGIXyQDPm
And now we get a little look at the backup quarterbacks. First it’s #VoteMalik.
Willis correctly executing read option here— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
DE sinks down so Willis pulls it pic.twitter.com/6DJ32j8jEk
Inside Zone but watch nearside LB chase Willis— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Harrell does a great job washing nose down & springing this play pic.twitter.com/fJZNTG3Zer
Another great read here from Willis— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
Again DE pinches so he pulls it
Looks like Willis then hits DE with a quick hesitation before blowing by him for big gain
Good job by whomever is in at RT reaching the LB to help this play go for a bigger chunk of yards pic.twitter.com/Ii9ta4swn6
But, Team #Greatwood gets a boost here as the game ends and Auburn comes inches shy of hanging a 70-burger on Purdue.
Final play of the night— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) January 5, 2019
It's Joey Gatewood running the play Cam Newton used to murder opponents with - inverted veer
Get a taste of this dude's athleticism. Spring practice is gonna be a battle at QB pic.twitter.com/Z8Djgk0dX1