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Auburn Tigers Get Revenge in Lexington, Now the Real Test Begins

LEXINGTON, KY - OCTOBER 09:  Gene Chizik the Head Coach of the Auburn Tigers is pictured during the SEC game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
John ReevesContributor IIOctober 10, 2010

Auburn vs. Kentucky Game Review

Offense

Cameron Newton dominated the Kentucky defense. Sure we'd all seen him do it before, but this time was a little different from other attempts.

I think we can safely assume they knew Cam Newton had been the entire offense. Sure there have been solid contributions from other positions but, Kentucky had to know Cam was the engine to the offense. If they did know it, they couldn't stop it.

Defending Cam Newton is a lot like facing the Wildcat offense. Kentucky should have been as ready for Cam as any team Auburn plays.

I think it goes without saying Cam Newton just took the lead in the Heisman race. Teams are not able to just account for Cam, proving Auburn isn't one-dimensional.

 

Defense

Kentucky beat Auburn a year ago, in a very similar game. We lost the battle of attrition last season. This year Kentucky found themselves beaten and worn down in the second half.

The secondary didn't look good at all, outside of a few vicious hits. I saw nothing that indicated the pass defense was improving like the other units.

In this game against Kentucky, I didn't think our pass rush was as effective as it has been. It was there but, not nearly enough in the second half of the game. With all the holes in the secondary, Auburn needs a top-level pass rush to bail them out.

Kentucky found ways to attack the open defense all night. The next six games are going to be much tougher than the first six. The Tiger's defense must improve drastically before next week.

 

Auburn vs. Arkansas Preview

In my preseason prediction this game was the one loss I predicted for Auburn. Traditionally we just haven't played well against Arkansas.

Then when you look at the fact that they're a passing team, and our pass defense has been suspect to say the least, this game looks bad for Auburn.

Much like Kentucky, we might need to score a ton in order to win the game. Ryan Mallett is a pure passing quarterback, the defensive backfield will not improve enough in one week to stop him.

Auburn must get a steady and aggressive pass rush. For four quarters they must take it to Mallett and get constant pressure on him.

The only way he doesn't completely destroy our secondary is for the defensive line to force him to act quickly. If he has time to read the defense and find his second and third options, we'll lose badly.

The defense needs to have long, effective drives. Keep Mallett and the Razorback offense on the sidelines. Cam Newton and the Auburn offense can do it, and they'll need to for a win.

 

Preview: The Next Six Games

The next six games will decide the truth about these Tigers. The first six games were tough, hard-fought battles but, the level of skill will increase from here on out.

 

Arkansas

I see this upcoming challenge with Arkansas as the toughest, until the Alabama game. If we can get through the home game against the Razorbacks, then we have a real shot at a national championship. 

 

LSU

LSU has looked very beatable to this point. However they're improving with their two-QB system. Still the one thing you notice is they've been lucky late in games. Still, so has Auburn with several second-half wins themselves. If we can beat Arkansas, then we have the talent to get past LSU too.

 

Mississippi

Ole Miss on the road in Oxford isn't as easy as Jacksonville State made it look. This team has steadily improved since losing to Jax State. With the teams we've beat so far, I see the talent to get a win in Oxford. This should be a win for the Tigers. If not, we're no championship team.

 

Tennessee Chattanooga

Homecoming against Tenn-Chatt is another win but, we need to hammer them in the first half. Get the starters some quick reps before letting the defense do mop-up duty. The game should look similar to the LA Monroe game.

 

Georgia

Every game for Georgia is to mend their busted season. If we're unbeaten by the time we face Georgia they'll be gunning to knock us off. Georgia destroyed Tennessee in a game I figured to be close. I realize the Vols might not be as good as Vandy this season, but a win like that one opens up peoples' eyes.

 

Alabama

It might appear Alabama can be beaten, but I think they had a bad day at the wrong time. The big, physical receivers found success against the Tide corners. I still don't believe there are any glaring holes in the Tide's approach. I think it's safe to say nobody will shut down the Alabama running game like that again this season.

Regardless of records this is the toughest game left on the schedule for the Tigers. The game plan we used last year won't win the Iron Bowl this season—the trick plays were needed last season. This year I think we can beat them without having to go into that set of plays.

 

Inside the Numbers

After the game-winning field goal by Wes Byrum, his total number of game-winning field goals is five.

Consecutive wins by Auburn when scoring 30 or more points, went up to 50 after Saturday night.

This game made the fourth time in six games the Tigers had to comeback to win. 

Auburn has allowed 65 SEC points, most in the SEC West.

Twice this season Auburn has given up 17 unanswered points.

Auburn has scored 89 SEC points, second most in the West behind LSU.

Auburn leads the West in total points scored with 220, 10 more than Alabama with 210.

Wes Byrum is Auburn's all-time leader in field goals with 51, breaking John Vaughn's record.

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