Monday, February 27, 2017

Farewell to 2016: Auburn Tigers

The SEC had a down year compared to other years, as Alabama was the lone team to win 10 games or more in 2016. That is an unusual turn of events for the self proclaimed best conference in college football. The East was still down, as Florida and Tennessee continued to struggle despite having high expectations. Georgia is still trying to find themselves under Kirby Smart. LSU made a mess of the Les Miles situation. Ole Miss was clouded over by off-field issues. Here is a look back at the 2016 SEC season, on a team by team basis.

Auburn Tigers
8-5 (5-3)

2016 Schedule
Lost to Clemson 19-13
Beat Arkansas State 51-14
Lost to Texas A&M 29-16
Beat LSU 18-13
Beat UL-Monroe 58-7
Beat Mississippi State 38-14
Beat Arkansas 56-3
Beat Ole Miss 40-29
Beat Vanderbilt 23-16
Lost to Georgia 13-7
Beat Alabama A&M 55-0
Lost to Alabama 30-12
Lost to Oklahoma 35-19 (Sugar Bowl)

MVP Offense: RB Kamryn Pettway, RB Kerryon Johnson
Being that Auburn has not had a legitimate QB since Cam Newton left, they had to depend on the run heavily once again. Pettway rushed for 1224 yards and scored seven times. He averaged 20.9 carries per game, and averaged 122.4 yards per game. He did not carry against Clemson, and missed three other games. He ran for 3 scores against Mississippi State, and ran for a season high 236 yards against Ole Miss on the road.
Johnson added to the run game totals, as he rushed for 885 yards and 11 scores. He averaged 15.17 carries per game, and 74.58 carries per game.
In all, Auburn rushed for 271.31 yards per game.
MVP Defense: DL Carl Lawson, DL Montravius Adams
Lawson may have only finished with 30 tackles, but 13.5 were for loss. He finished with 9 sacks on the season, and was a dominating force with 24 QB hurries.
Adams ended up with 44 tackles across the way from Lawson. He recorded 8.5 TFLs, 4.5 sacks, and he recorded 15 QB hurries.
Others of Note
Auburn finished with just 169 yards passing per game. Sean White passed for 1679 yards in 11 games, with 9 TDs and 3 picks.
No Auburn receiver caught more than 31 passes.
Auburn won the tackle efficiency battle by a solid margin.They averaged 65.15 tackles per game, while their opponents were forced to make 75.46 tackles per game.
Carlton Davis and Joshua Holsey both finished with 10 PBUs.
Auburn finished with 86 PBUs.
Auburn was penalized just 4.7 times per game. Auburn allowed just 132 yards rushing per game.
Junior PK Daniel Carlson will be one of the best returing kickers in the nation in 2017 after hitting 28/32 FGs.
Kevin Phillips averaged 42.27 yards per punt.
Best Win: LSU 18-13
This will forever go down as the game that got Les Miles fired at LSU and likely saved the job of Gus Malzahn, for now. Despite winning 8 games, Malzahn is very much on the hot seat in 2017.
Worst Loss: Georgia 13-7
Nothing went well in this loss, as the offense fell off the grid in a battle of inept offenses.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 Georgia Southern, 9/9 at Clemson, 9/16 Mercer, 11/18 UL-Monroe
Auburn cruises in games against Georgia Southern, Mercer, and UL-Monroe, but the Clemson game is a toss up heading in. Auburn may even have the edge due to returning talent. Worst case here in non con play is 3-1.

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