Auburn started a bit slow when he beat Kent State on Saturday, but Gus Malzahn held on to his bottom game and bludgeoned the visitors to 464 rushing yards.
Against This Background There are five pieces that tell the story of the 55-16 Tiger victory …
Auburn has clearly decided to withdraw their offensive linemen to create blocking matchups in space. We've seen some cases in the Oregon game, more during the Tulane victory and even more against the Golden Flashes on Saturday.
This game is a GT counter ̵
That happens here. Watch the linebackers flow to the other side, giving Kam Martin the space it needs to break off a long touchdown run as the first quarter comes to an end.
This piece provided additional intrigue at the beginning of the second quarter. Kent State used a stumbling block to isolate STAR (Nickel) Christian Tutt in a single report. The route? Easy. A thin post without safety assistance – and a litter that was good enough. Tutt is a valuable player as he can block receivers and beat like a linebacker, but he is not obliged to hang with fast receivers in the downfield. Good reputation, good execution.
Auburn led at half-time with only 14 points ahead, but set the tone with his first drive in the second half. The biggest game was this run here – another GT run-in, this time on the left with RG Mike Horton and RT Jack Driscoll as pullers. The blockade is proceeding according to plan, while two unaccountable defenders have been completely disabled. A perfect storm. A great way for Auburn to open the second half.
Another play by Kent State? Type of. This was the third Golden Flashes goal, which was notable as the defensive duel against Derrick Brown was over. He did not return. This could be a significant development – Brown is the undisputed star of this (generally) outstanding defense – although the senior was spotted in the second half without any obvious signs of physical problems on Auburn's sideline. Damn, it's hard to say what happened here.
Nevertheless, Auburn was on the sidelines in this play. Life moves pretty fast.
This piece ended all hopes for Kent State. It's a brilliant call as the visitors got tired of stopping the counter and using the electricity. With Auburn in a heavy, unbalanced set and LG Marquel Harrell as a (dummy) pull, KSU allocated all resources for the Run Defense.
But this was a pass from Bo Nix to Eli Stove – and the coup de gras that night.
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