Scouting Report: Auburn

Vanderbilt gets a visit from an Auburn team (1-5, 0-4) desperate for a win after Ole Miss last week. With that loss and a Rebel win, the Tigers now hold the longest active SEC losing streak at 6 straight losses. The last time the Tigers came to Nashville was in 2008 when College Game Day came to town to witness a thrilling 14-13 Commodore win.

Vanderbilt gets a visit from an Auburn team (1-5, 0-4) desperate for a win after Ole Miss last week. With that loss and a Rebel win, the Tigers now hold the longest active SEC losing streak at 6 straight losses. The last time the Tigers came to Nashville was in 2008 when College Game Day came to town to witness a thrilling 14-13 Commodore win.

The Auburn game marks the start of the second half of the season for the 'Dores. Vandy has six remaining games to try to come up with four more wins in a very top heavy schedule.

The Tigers took a trip to Oxford, Miss., last week and Ole Miss jumped out to an early 14-0 first quarter lead. Auburn stormed back with a pair of running back Tre Mason touchdown runs and went into the half dominating time of possession, and tying the game at 17. The Tigers did not have an answer for Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott who rushed for 137 yards on 21 touches. Quarterback Bo Wallace was fantastic for the Rebels completing 17 for 22 pass for 226 yards and a score. The Tigers hurt themselves with penalties throughout the night. With Ole Miss leading by 7 in the second half, a false start penalty would turn a Tiger third-and-inches into a third-and-6. Auburn would be forced to punt after a pass to Trovon Reed winded up 2 yards short of the first down.

On the Rebel's ensuing drive it looked as though Auburn might force a punt after a 6-yard sack by linebacker Ashton Richardson forced a third-and-16 for the Tigers. After an Ole Miss time out, Wallace hit Jeff Scott for a 55-yard touchdown pass to bring the Rebel lead back to 14.

Moseley's first pass after the kickoff was intercepted and returned 38 yards to give Ole Miss excellent field position. Scott broke a 23-yard run down the sideline to move the Rebels inside the 10-yard line. Two plays later Wallace found his way into the end zone to give Ole Miss the 21-point they would end the game with.

Ole Miss was able to rack up 200 yards of rushing and 2 touchdown while averaging 4.8 yards per carry. Junior quarterback Clint Moseley started his first game of the year against Ole Miss and completed 11 for 18 passes for 112 yards and an interception.

This season Auburn's offense switched from Malzahn's spread offense to incoming offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler's pro style of offense. The results have been atrocious as the Tigers average 16.2 points per game, good for last in the SEC. The Tigers are also tied for last in the conference in sacks against (19) with Ole Miss. Sophomore quarterback Kiehl Frazier has completed 54.4 percent of pass attempts for 664 yards and 2 scores and has a net rushing total of -9 yards. Auburn is converting on just 30 percent of its third down conversions and has been outscored 62-3 in the fourth quarter this season.

The Tigers are led by sophomore running back Tre Mason who has 389 yards rushing and 3 scores on 77 carries. Following closely behind Mason is Onterio McCalebb who has tallied 57 carries for 293 yards and 2 scores. The senior running back 10 catches for 38 yards. Redshirt freshman Mike Blakely is third on the team in rushing yards (114) but leads the Tigers with 5.2 yards per rush.

While leading Auburn's receiving corps, senior receiver Emory Blake is tenth in the SEC with 26 catches for 378 yards and 2 scores. Second on the team in catches (15) is tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen while adding 139 yards receiving. Sophomore receiver Quan Bray adds 11 receptions for 82 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Frazier in the Tigers 31-28 overtime win over Louisiana-Monroe.

Auburn's scoring defense currently ranks 10th in the conference allowing opponents 26.5 points per game. Defensive end Corey Lemonier leads the defensive line 21 tackles, including 5 for a loss, 5 sacks, 8 quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. The junior had 5 tackles, 4 hurries, and blocked a field goal attempt in the Tigers win over ULM.

Though Auburn allows opposing offenses to gain 191.5 yards per game on the ground defensive line group might be one of the strongest. Opposite Lemonier is junior Dee Ford who adds 18 tackles, 2 1/2 for a loss, and 5 pass break ups. The defensive end had a career high 7 tackles and 2 sacks for 14 yards against Clemson.

Sophomore Angelo Blackson is a threat to block kicks with two blocked field goals already this season. The defensive tackle adds 12 tackles including 2 for a loss and a forced fumble. Veteran defensive tackle Jeffrey Whitaker has 19 starts under his belt and has totaled 8 tackles, 2 quarterback hurries, and a fumble recovery.

Middle linebacker Jake Holland has totaled 10 tackles or more three times this season. The junior has tallied 48 tackles, 1 1/2 for a loss, and 4 quarterback hurries. Weak-side linebacker Daren Bates tops the SEC and is sixth in the country with 11.7 tackles a game, 5 1/2 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, and Auburn's only interception this season.

Strong side linebacker Jonathan Evans has started three games for the Tigers this season in place of defensive backs T'Sharvan Bell and Jonathan Jones. The senior linebacker has 6 total tackles this season. Sophomore backup Justin Garrett has been impressive with 10 tackles and a forced fumble.

Auburn's secondary has held opponents to 225.2 passing yards per game. Two Tiger true freshman cornerbacks, Joshua Holsey and Jones started against Ole Miss. Both had career highs in tackles against the Rebels.

This week sophomore Jonathon Mincy who has been outstanding with 32 tackles, 2 for a loss, with a sack, and a forced fumble. Trailing shortly behind Mincy is opposite cornerback Chris Davis, who has 25 tackles on the season.

After a poor special teams performance against Florida, the Tigers are a team that can also punish you for miscues. Auburn ranks second in the conference averaging 28.1 yards per kick return.

Receivers Quan Bray and Trovon Reed have been great returning punts with long returns of 18 and 15 yards. McCalebb returned a kickoff 100 yards for a score against Mississippi State and has been excellent averaging 30.6 yards per kick return. Auburn punter Steven Clark averages 41.3 yards per punt return and has pinned opposing teams inside their 20-yard line 10 times in 35 punts.

Cody Parkey has been excellent place kicking for the Tigers. The junior is 9 for 10 from field goal range with a long kick of 46 yards in the opener against Clemson and his miss from 49 yards out against Arkansas.

Auburn's final three conference games are against Texas A&M and Georgia, before a trip to Alabama. The Tigers will scratch, claw, and empty out their bag of tricks for a Vandy team that might be their best chance at a conference win before the end of the season.








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