Auburn, Ala.--When you look at the numbers, the Auburn Tigers offense has played well this season, averaging 31.2 points and 488.6 yards per game through the first five weeks. But when you start to peel back the layers for the Tigers you see a group that is struggling against top competition so far in 2016.
Averaging just under 16 points per game and 349 yards of total offense against Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU, quarterback Sean White said the goal this week is to go out and do it against top competition like Mississippi State on the road.
“The challenge in itself is to find that consistency,” White said of playing well on offense. “We have to do that every week. You can’t one week put up a bunch of points and then the next week you don’t finish drives in the red zone, or whatever the case may be. We need to bring it every week, where we have a successful game and put our team in a position to win.”
While some of the issues have been because of the play calling and others because of a lack of protection, White has done his share of struggling against better teams as well this season. It hasn’t been in competing passes, but making plays that the sophomore has been limited.
In those three games he has completed 47-74 passes (63.5 percent) but only for a total of 500 yards without a touchdown. Some of that has been because he hasn’t been asked to make plays down the field or throw the ball more on first down (74.3 percent on those throws), but when that opportunity comes he said they’ve got to take advantage of those chances.
““I think I’ve done some good things,” White said. “I think there are some things I could do better and work on. So that’s going to be the focus this week in practice to try to keep getting better.
“I think one thing-I didn’t hit a couple deep balls I wanted to this weekend,” he said. “So that’s something I’ll be working on this weekend. And then from all season long, just some red zone stuff. We’ll always be working on red zone opportunities. Really everything as a whole, but of course you want to focus on some certain things that you could do better.”
White and the Auburn offense will have an opportunity to make plays against a Mississippi State defense that has allowed its share of plays against the pass this season. Doing some good things in his two road starts last year at Kentucky and Arkansas, White said he’s excited about the challenge of facing the Bulldogs this week and everything that goes into it.
“Playing on the road is, I wouldn’t say fun, but I like the challenge of playing on the road,” White said. “You go into another team’s environment, it’s a hostile environment, every environment is in the SEC, and it’s a challenge to go in there and play good, play well and steal a win in another team’s territory, and that’s a fun challenge for me.”