Auburn Football: 5 Things Learned in Victory over Utah State
Auburn may have kicked off their season with a 1-0 start with their win over Utah State on Saturday, but that doesn't mean the reigning National Champions are set to bring home their second ring in a row.
Without Cam Newton, the Tigers are going to have to find a new strength to power them through the fall and into the postseason.
Barrett Trotter Is Not Cam Newton
When Cam Newton couldn't find a receiver he would simply run the ball himself, something that worked very well for the Tigers last season. Barrett Trotter, on the other hand, is not a runner. This was one of the biggest changes for Auburn's offense Saturday.
Head coach Gene Chizik told reporters after the game that that was an area where they needed improvement.
"We're going to have to do a better job up front. We've got to get the running game going. That's the glaring issue from Saturday. No question about it. It's going to start with what we do up front."
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Nick Fairley Left Big Shoes to Fill
Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley killed it for the Tigers last season with 60 tackles and 11.5 sacks. He was the defense's ringleader.
Saturday, Auburn's defense only managed just one sack and zero interceptions against Utah State's true freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton.
Emory Blake Is on Point
Barrett Trotter connected with Emory Blake in the first 5 minutes of the game.
Blake scored the touchdown after maneuvering down the field 56 yards. With a little practice, Trotter and Blake could be a great combination for Auburn.
The Team Is Very Young
Auburn lost many of their key players after last year's National Championship. They started 13 freshmen (8 of them redshirts) against Utah State, and it definitely showed. While they still pulled out the win, it should have been much easier for them.
They Still Have What It Takes
While Coach Chizik was not impressed with the team Saturday, they still managed to pull through and win. Chizik is clearly capable of getting his team the motivation they need to succeed.
Its going to be a rebuilding year for the Tigers, but with Chizik behind them it will still be a successful one.