The Auburn Tigers have reached the end of the nine week gauntlet. They got there playing like a championship team should on the road. Mississippi had given up an average of 125 rushing yards per game before today. Just two weeks ago they held Alabama to 100 yards rushing in Tuscaloosa.
Coming in to today’s game many were predicting Auburn to be upset. Others were calling the Tigers a one man show with no talent other than Cam Newton. Mike Dyer had 80 more yards than the entire Alabama team with their “two headed monster” today; five different Tigers scored touchdowns rushing or receiving today and Newton caught his first touchdown pass.
The 343 yards rushing in this game made the fifth SEC game in a row where Auburn rushed for 300 or more yards. Auburn has 1948 yards rushing in the first six SEC games this year. That is an average of 324.7 yards rushing per game for all conference games.
The total offense in conference games so far has been 2929 yards an average of 488 yards of offense per conference game.
The points for this season in six conference games are 229. While and average of 38 points per game is impressive, it is unheard of in SEC games. This week marked the second conference game where Auburn scored more than 50 points.
Cam Newton got a week off, rushing for only 45 yards and no touchdowns. Onterio McCalebb and Mike Dyer combined for 279 yards between them. To the best of my knowledge, this is the most yards gained by an SEC running back tandem this year.
The Mississippi Rebel Black Bears and their dual threat quarterback Jeremiah Masoli lived up to their billing. It was quite unique seeing another team run what was essentially part of Gus Malzahn’s Auburn offense. There was 979 total yards of offense in this game.
There were also some points of concern. Auburn remains susceptible to the perimeter running game; Mississippi ran for over 200 yards. While much of this occurred long after the game was out of reach for the Black Bears, it is still something that needs attention.
Also, Auburn gave up a lot of cheap points. These were mostly after the game was out of reach as well, but this is also a matter of concern.
The 2010 Auburn Tigers continue to improve every week. The freshmen are no longer freshmen in terms of experience. After watching Oregon score another touchdown on USC long after the game was over, it was impressive to see Auburn take a knee on a kick return and stall to keep from scoring in the last minutes of this game out of respect.
The Chattanooga Moccasins come to visit the plains next week. This should be a chance to get even more freshman experience for the home stretch. The players should be healthy, rested and sharp when Georgia comes to the plains in two weeks.