Scouting Report: Auburn Offense

What can LSU expect from an Auburn offense looking to escape its funk?

Auburn's offense comes to LSU struggling to start the 2015 season.

The other Tigers gave LSU fits a year ago in Auburn's dominant 41-7 victory. Auburn racked up 566 yards of total offense, including 298 on the ground with a 6.1 yards-per-carry average.

It's been a different season on the plains though. Auburn's averaging just 177.5 rushing yards-per-game and 186.5 passing. That's well below last season's averages in both categories. 

Gus Malzahn will hope this week marks a turnaround for his team. Let's take a look at what the Auburn offense brings into this matchup, including a look at the projected starters on that side of the ball


QB: Jeremy Johnson (Jr., 6-5, 240)

RB: Peyton Barber (So., 5-11, 225)

HB: Kamryn Pettway (R-Fr., 6-0, 242) —OR— Chandler Cox (Fr., 6-1, 232)

WR: Ricardo Louis (Sr., 6-2, 215)

WR: Melvin Ray (Sr., 6-3, 215)

WR: D'haquille Williams (Sr., 6-2, 224)

WR: Marcus Davis (Jr., 5-9, 180)

TE: Jalen Harris (Fr., 6-4, 250)

LT: Shon Coleman (Jr., 6-6, 313)

LG: Alex Kozan (Jr., 6-4, 300) —OR— Devonte Danzy (Sr., 6-2, 305)

C: Austin Golson (So., 6-5, 304)

RG: Braden Smith (So., 6-6, 286)

RT: Avery Young (Jr., 6-6, 305)

Notable Backups: RB Roc Thomas (So., 5-10, 203), RB Jovon Robinson (Jr., 6-0, 230), WR Jason Smith (So., 6-1, 180), RB Kerryon Johnson (Fr., 6-1, 205)


Quarterback Jeremy Johnson has been the scapegoat for most of Auburn's troubles this season. Despite shining in the brief glimpses we got of him last year, Johnson has struggled out the gates in 2015. Johnson leads the nation in interceptions thrown per pass attempt and has already racked up five in two games.

Johnson, more of a pocket passer than Auburn has had in recent years, has made some bad decisions when throwing this year, forcing it into double-triple coverage or failing to see linebackers drop back and depositing it directly into their stomachs.

Aside from the interceptions though, Johnson's numbers aren't terrible. He's completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns. 

That's helped the Auburn coaches remain confident Johnson can turn things around. If he can revert back to his form in 2014, Johnson can still be dangerous. It'll just be a matter of finding out which version of Johnson shows up in Tiger Stadium on Saturday.

Auburn should at least be able to lean on Peyton Barber and the run game. Barber has surpassed the 100-yard mark in both games this season and should get the bulk of the load against LSU.

Roc Thomas actually opened the season as Auburn's No. 1 back, but both he and Jovon Robinson got knicked up against Louisville, opening the door for Barber to emerge as the leader. Auburn held Robinson out against Jacksonville State last week, but he should be back in the rotation this weekend. Look for Thomas and Robinson to get carries behind Barber, and Auburn will also turn to freshman Kerryon Johnson in certain situations.

Auburn will often have that H-Back in there. Both Chandler Cox and Kamryn Pettway will get time and should split reps pretty evently.

The tight end is not a major part of Auburn's offense this year. No player at that position has a catch this season.

Auburn does have a deep receiving corps, and will regularly go three-wide, sometimes even stretching it out with four.

Ricardo Louis and Melvin Ray are the primary outside receivers. Louis has been a reliable target for Johnson, hauling in a team-best 13 catches for 130 yards. No other receiver on the roster has more than 5 receptions this season.

Auburn will move Louisiana native D'haquille "Duke" Williams around in the offense. He can play both inside and outside and was the team's leading receiver a year ago with 730 receiving yards. He's got 5 grabs for 62 yards in 2015.

Auburn will use Marcus Davis and Jason Smith in the slot. Those two have only combined for 3 catches and 20 yards this season though.

Up front, Auburn's offensive line is young, but very talented.

Auburn had to shake things up a bit last week agianst Jacksonville State because Avery Young was held out with an injury. Auburn moved Braden Smith to RT, Devonte Danzy to RG and had Alex Kozan at LG. Young's expected to return though which will solidify the right side of the line.

Who starts at left guard is still to be determined. Both Kozan and Danzy have starting experience. Kozan started the first game of the season, but Danzy eventually came in and finished it off. Expect both to play against LSU.

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