Hindsight is 20/20 and in my case it seems to be especially true.
I have come to consider myself somewhat of an expert on Auburn Tiger Football — of course that’s what being an athlete and being a sports reporter and editor will do for you.
The reason I say my hindsight is 20-20 is that I have been involved in
athletics in some way or another since my days as a youth. Sports has always been a safe haven for me keeping out of trouble and a way from illegal activities that could give a person a criminal record, landed him in jail or even prison.
The Auburn Tigers staged a large turnaround in 2013, improvising from a 3–9 record in 2012 to a 12-1 record in 2013 Auburn is coached by Gus Malzahn , who was in his first season at Auburn. The Tigers began the season unranked and were picked to finish fifth in the SEC West in the SEC Media Poll.
The Tigers won their first three games out of the gate last season, before losing to Louisiana State University 21-35. The Tigers then won the last eight games of the regular season to move to an 11-1 record and a SEC West division title. Auburn’s regular season was capped off by two improbable victories: The Prayer at Jordan-Here and Kick Bama Kick, (Chris Davis’) 109 yard kick return to beat the Tide and win the Iron Bowl
The Tigers led the nation in rushing (335.69 yards per game). Auburn’s rushing attack led by Trre Mason, who rushed for 1,621 yards and 22 touchdowns. Wide receiver Sammie Coates had 38 catches for 841 yards and seven touchdowns, which was good enough to rank him second in the nation on yards per reception (21.3). Quarterback Nick Marshalll threw for 1,759 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Marshall also ran for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdown.
Defensively, the Tigers led by Dee Ford, who came into the game with 8.5 sacks. Auburn’s defense as a whole had allowed 24.0 points per game in the season.
The 2014 Auburn Tigers football team will debut some new, young talent this coming season and has several talented returning players who contributed to last year’s SEC Championship team.
But due to Nick Marshall Marijuana citation in July Head Coach Gus Malazhn will elevate Jeremey Johnson, rising sophomore to the starter quarterback for the Arkansas game. The Razorbacks will travel to Jordan-Here Stadium face the Tigers in their home-opener of the 2014 season. Marshall will see action later in this game.
Marshall theTigers quarterback has spent the off-season working with Auburn’s offensive coordinator working on his passing game. He will need to improve at his passing game if the team wants to repeat as SEC Champions. It’s difficult repeat as SEC champs and if they improve their arterial attack this season, they have a shot at repeating as SEC champions but they must improve their air attack this season. But It will not be Harder if Marshall’s not under center or if he does not improve his passing gameMarshall is a Heisman Trophy hopeful this season and on other award watch lists for his football talents. Look for him to improve his game and lead the squad to another great season.He is the face of the program this year and true leader on the field, who know how to manage the game.
After a 2013 miracle season and SEC Championship crown that featured the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack, Auburn is hoping to keep the momentum going on the ground, even after the departure of Heisman finalist and school record holder Mason.
With the Auburn electing to run the ball on 72 percent of their possessions last season, defenses will focuse on shutting down the read-option game between Marshall and his top running back, who will most likely be Corey Grant or Cameron Artis-Payne.
Gus Malzahn, told reporters that is when his offense is on the field, it will tip the scales.
“We led the country in rushing last year,” Malzahn said. “When you do that, defenses have to take some chances. We’ve got to do a better job this year of making them pay when they do take their chances.”
With the start of Auburn’s football season just weeks away there are five new recruits Tiger fans should keep an eye this season
Tre Williams a five-star recruit at linebacker could see action early at linebacker one of the thinnest spot on the Auburn roster,Williams is a former safty who has a lot of speed on the field and has experience making defensive calls.
At wide receiver D’Haqulle Williams is the top junior college recruit in the nation, Williams brings a physical presence to the receiving group that could use another one.
Defensive back Derrick Moncrief a Prattville alum, who has spent two the last two years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, was recruited specifically for the Star position in Ellis Johnson’s defense. With that role filled by 5-foot-9, 204 pound play-maker Robenson Therezie a year ago,the 6-3, 226 pound Moncrief gives Auburn a bigger option at the position.
With Mason early departure from the Auburn football program to enter the NFL draft the Tigers had a big hole to fill at his position. Artis-Payne and Corey Grant will return but Roc Thomas, named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the Alabama after rushing for 2,211 yards and 32 TD’s, could add some punch to that group.
Kamryn Pettway ran for 1,402 yards and 17 touchdowns at Prattville this fall, but the 230-pounder could carve himself out a role as a blocking back with the graduation of Jay Prosch.
It’s hard to imagine that the nation’s No. 1 ranked rushing offense will drop off much even though its two best players, Mason and Robinson, decided to leave early for the NFL. Coach Malzahn has a system in place that guarantees ground success and quarterback Nick Marshall knows how to work this scheme. Much of the credit has also been attributed to an outstanding offensive line. Led by center Reese Dismukes this unit should be considered the strength of the team.
The Tigers have not been well-equipped stop opposing passing attacks. Expect some improvements to take place with better experience playing a role. The BCS National Championship Game showed some great potential in improving this area. But with teams gunning for Auburn this time around this reason has to do more. No one on this entire defense made the All-SEC team. Both a new kicker er must be added this season.
As I look forward to this fall, I am already starting to make predictions about how this Tiger team will do. However, so as not to spoil it for the rest of you I will once again wait until after the season to let you know how right I was.