2014 SCHEDULE Arkansas 21 Auburn 45 San Jose St XX Auburn XX 9/18 @ K-STATE 9/27 Louisiana Tech 10/4 LSU 10/11 @ Mississippi State 10/25 South Carolina 11/1 @ Ole Miss 11/8 Texas A&M 11/15 @ Georgia 11/22 Samford 11/29 @ Alabama

Arkansas 21 Auburn 45
San Jose St 13 Auburn 59
9/18 @ K-STATE
9/27 Louisiana Tech
10/4 LSU
10/11 @ Mississippi State
10/25 South Carolina
11/1 @ Ole Miss
11/8 Texas A&M
11/15 @ Georgia
11/22 Samford
11/29 @ Alabama

2-0 (0-0 SEC)

Location:  Auburn, Alabama
Enrollment:  25,469
Colors:  Burnt Orange and Navy Blue
Conference:  Southeastern Conference
Stadium:  Jordan-Hare Stadium (87,451)
2013 Overall Record:  12-2
2013 Conf. Record/Finish: 7-1/1st (West), SEC Champion
Postseason:  BCS Championship, runner up
All time series: Auburn leads 3-0
Last Meeting:  K-State 13  Auburn 23 (9/1/2007)
Twitter: @AuburnTigers; @FootballAU



Head Coach Gus Malzahn

Head Coach Gus Malzahn

Head Coach: Gus Malzahn

  • Overall Record (Yrs):  23-5 (3)
  • Record at School (Yrs):  14-2 (2)
  • Record vs. K-State:  First meeting

Gus Malzahn is arguably one of the best offensive minds in college football. Success breeds that sort of praise, and with Chip Kelly leaving a year ago to go to the NFL, and Guy Malzahn’s turn around at Auburn, he became the heir apparent to the title.

Malzahn is only in his 3rd year as a head coach. Unlike some of the current coaching trends of hiring gold boy former quarterbacks, Malzahn came through the system the old fashioned way. He was a walk on player of no note at Arkansas, and then worked his way through the high school ranks, notably asking great college coaches for advice along the way. Eventually he found himself on Gene Chizik’s Auburn staff and led the offense in Auburn’s 2010 National Championship run.

As a head coach, he spent one season at Arkansas State, and led them to a Sun Belt Conference Championship before heading back to Auburn as the head coach… and leading the worst to first turnaround.

Nick Marshall, Senior Quarterback

Nick Marshall, Senior Quarterback

Tiger Offense

  • Passing Offense: 214 yds/game; 91st overall
  • Rushing Offense:  330 yds/game; 7th overall
  • Scoring Offense:  52 point/game; 5th overall

#14 Nick Marshall – QB

It’s been a long and winding road for Nick Marshall. Recruited as an “athlete” he joined the 2011 Georgia Bulldogs as a cornerback, but was dismissed from the team with rumors of theft as the reason. He took it as an opportunity to play quarterback, and headed to Garden City Community College to give it a shot. Recruited by K-State, he ultimately chose Auburn. More trouble found him (which is really the nice way of saying he got caught with pot). He wasn’t arrested, and was punished by sitting the first half in the season opener against Arkansas.

He’s a dynamic runner,and a serviceable passer. Snyder has contradicted the idea that he’s not a good passer, but we’ve heard that sort of thing before. He does have an incredibly athletic receiving corps led by Samie Coates (who was injured for their last game, but expects to play Thursday), and D’haquille Williams. Those two, among others, can make up for a lot of his mistakes.

#44 Cameron Artis-Payne – RB

One of the questions headed into Auburn’s season was how they would replace their Heisman finalist running back, Tre Mason. Cameron Artis-Payne, who didn’t see much work a year ago has demonstrated himself to be more than capable. In his first two games as the starter he has 289 yards on 42 carries, including 4 TDs. That’s an average of 6.9 yards per carry against Arkansas and San Jose State. He’s a big, tough back that has a quick step, and is tough to bring down. No arm tackles!

Hurry Up No Huddle: An Offensive Philosophy

Click to view on Amazon

I’ve already mentioned that he’s considered a great offensive mind. Almost everyone these days is running a hurry up, no huddle offense, but Malzahn wrote the book on it. Literally.

While coaching high school football in Springdale, Arkansas, the success of Malzahn’s offense was creating copy cats throughout the state, so Malzahn figured he’d capitalize on it and publish a book.

Unlike most current offenses in this trend, Auburn is not a pass first offense. As a head coach or offensive coordinator on the collegiate level Malzahn teams have never run more passing plays than they do running plays. Last year at Auburn 72% of the plays from scrimmage were runs.

Montravious Adams, Sophomore DT

Montravious Adams, Sophomore DT

Tiger Defense

  • Points against: 17 points/game; 21st overall

Give us the yards

It’s a small sample size thus far to say that Auburn’s defense has improved from a year ago. In their first two games they’ve given up an average of 329 yards. That is down a ton from last season’s 420 yards per game. With the standard SEC narrative being one that’s all about defense, Auburn has turned that myth on its head by winning the SEC without playing solid defense.

#1 Montravious Adams – DT

Given the unimpressive defensive statistics, it’s tough to find standout players on the team. That’s not to say they’re bad. Far from it. But their standout thus far has to be defensive tackle Montravious Adams. Keep an eye on him as they battle the K-State offensive line that seems to have found its groove despite having questions headed into the season.

#8 Cassanova McKinzy – LB

There’s a lot of power in the front 7 of Auburn. McKinzy is their leading tackler through 2 games. He has the ability to drop into coverage, and he’s a ball hound. And his name is Cassanova, which is pretty awesome.

Man Up

Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson’s philosophy is to run a pure man defense. There has been talk of him breaking that trend, and may need to if he’s going to try and match his corners with Tyler Lockett’s ability to run routes and make plays. Their secondary is definitely beatable. They have speed, but they tend to gamble on interceptions. Make them miss, and our wide receivers could have a big day.

And then there’s this…

  • We all know his isn’t the sort of game Bill Snyder typically schedules. We can blame this one on Ron Prince (or thank him for the opportunity?)
  • Watch out on punt returns for #4, Quan Bray. He’s not the most targeted wide receiver on the team, but he’s all sorts of explosive returning punts. We gave up one to Iowa State and eventually recovered. Recovering from this against Auburn could be tough.
  • Has any program been more up and down to extremes than Auburn? When we last faced them in 2007 they were coming off a win in the Cotton Bowl. They were still good in 2007, but then finished the next two years without being bowl eligible. In 2010 they bought Cam Newton and a national title, and again missed bowls eligibility in 2012. And of course the next year they were BCS National Championship Runner Up.
  • It took a miracle with 13 seconds left for Florida State to beat them in last year’s title game, but don’t forget, it also took a miracles for them to beat Texas A&M, Georgia, and Alabama last season. Football is a game of inches, and all that.

About The Author

Founder & Chief Saluter

Mike is a '00 graduate of Kansas State University and holds season tickets for Football and Men's & Women's Basketball. He lives in Kansas City, but stays loyal to his Chicago sports (Bulls & Bears & Hawks & Sox). He's a social media marketer by day and dreams in purple at night.

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