Auburn’s 56-3 whooping of Arkansas on Saturday was so convincing, it inspired shades of past Tigers teams — say, the one that reached the National Championship Game in 2013?
That team, in Gus Malzahn’s first season at the helm, relied heavily on the zone-read to move the ball. It’s been a staple of every successful Auburn offense in recent memory. That’s why their success doing so these last three games led SEC Network analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy to say they’re “getting back to their bread and butter.”
After averaging only 4.5 yards per carry on the zone-read in their first three games against Power 5 teams, as McElroy notes, they’ve averaged 7.9 in their last three games — including a whopping 543 total on the ground against the Razorbacks.
“That’s who Auburn is,” McElroy said.
Sitting next to him on the set, Marcus Spears agreed with McElroy, that the past few games have seen Auburn return to what has given it success in the past.
“I think, look, this is Auburn’s football team and this is how they like to play football,” Spears said. “Physical at the point of attack, meaning in their offensive line and they have big, bruising running backs. But they’ve gotten back to their identity and what they like to do as a football team. …
“At the core of everything Auburn does, they’re a running football team. When they have success running the football, coupled with that defense they have, they can have success.”
Malzahn and the Tigers will look to continue their success on the ground on Saturday when they visit Ole Miss at 7:15 p.m. ET, televised on SEC Network.