For Auburn fans, this was a week of disappointment. This disappointment was not so much from a loss to a good football team, but more from watching the third straight weekend where a poor Auburn defense failed to improve.
The Auburn defense is currently ranked in a group with UAB, Memphis, Kansas and North Texas at the very bottom of the FBS rankings. They are the 117 defense out of a total of 120. This 2011 defense has started the season as statistically the worst Auburn defense in school history.
Currently Auburn averages allowing just over 534 total yards per game. They are also allowing over 35 points scored per game. Possibly the most troublesome statistic is that they are allowing opponent offenses to control the football more than 36 minutes per game.
In essence, the Auburn defense has allowed opponent offenses to dictate the terms which every game this season has been played. The Auburn offense has only been allowed just over 23 minutes average to attempt to outscore opponents.
It does appear that, after only ineffective tweaks were tried after the first two abysmal performances this season, Coach Chizik is now ready to look deeper for a solution. He seems to have the attention of Coach Roof at this point. There is no excuse for any defense with as much talent as is at Auburn to ever be in the bottom half of the 120 FBS teams.
Utah State was idle this weekend after shellacking Webber State last weekend. They play Colorado State this week.
Mississippi State was soundly beaten by LSU in a very good game, 19-6. This was the same team that put up 34 points on Auburn after amassing 531 yards of total offense. They managed 193 yards of total offense against LSU.
Florida Atlantic is a member of the nine team Sun Belt conference. They rank ninth in the conference in most major statistical categories. They only rank in the top five in the conference in turnover margin and pass efficiency defense.
They are currently gaining only 92 yards per game on offense. This is the worst of all FBS teams currently. They have only scored three points so far this season. Their defense is allowing 451 yards per game, almost 100 yards better than Auburn.
Florida Atlantic is one of the worst teams in college football this season. They rank at or near the bottom of the FBS in most major statistical categories. A huge victory for Auburn would not be any indicator of improvement.
If this team scores more than token points, it will be a very harsh indicator of lack of improvement by the Auburn defense. The Auburn offense should have a tune-up day this Saturday and this should be a week to work on improvement by the Auburn defense.
Auburn will find the going easy this week. Auburn fans can look to see if there actually are substantive changes for the better on defense. In essence this is a two week tune-up to prepare to face South Carolina in Columbia the following week.