Auburn faces Florida on Saturday in Gainesville. Here are your three keys to an Auburn win over Florida.
By Steve Wright
No. 7 Auburn has a huge test this week as the Tigers try to prove they belong in the conversation as one of the best teams in college football this season. Their opponent, on homecoming no less, is No. 10 Florida, a fellow unbeaten team with a point to prove.
Key 1 – Stop the Florida run
Florida has reached this point unbeaten without really beating anyone with the possible exception of Miami. Wins against Towson and Tennessee mean nothing in the grand scheme of things, so it is important to see how Florida has been winning games as opposed to who they are beating.
What they are NOT doing well is running the ball. Florida ranks 88th in the country in rushing offense and their backs are only churning out 3.5 yards per attempt. The offensive line is not playing well and Lamical Perine and Dameon Pierce simply have no room to run. Auburn ranks 20th nationally in rushing defense and is on the right side of this mismatch.
Key 2 – Win on third down
Auburn is known for its outstanding line play on both sides of the ball. One area where the Tigers have been especially efficient is on third down, especially on defense. The Tigers sit at 21 st in the country in stopping their opponent on third down, allowing a conversion just 32% of the time. Florida, on the other hand, ranks 77th in this category with the offense making the yardage needed to keep the chains moving 38% of the time.
That is a subtle difference, but it is a difference that could be huge in a tight game.
Key 3 – No havoc plays
Havoc plays are plays that result in forced fumbles, tackles for a loss, and passes defended. Auburn, for everything they are doing well, have an issue with giving up too many havoc plays a game. The Tigers are 88th in the nation in this stat, with a lot of that due to the number of tackles for a loss that Auburn has given up, while the Florida defense ranks No. 3 in the nation in causing a havoc play on almost a quarter of their defensive snaps.
Auburn wins if havoc is kept to a minimum here.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 2:30 PM CT (3:30 PM ET). Watch on the CBS Network.
This Week’s SEC Football News and Analysis
|Game||First Looks||3 Keys|
|Auburn vs. Florida||Florida / Auburn||Florida / Auburn||Preview||Florida 24, Auburn 14||Stats|
|Utah State vs. LSU||Utah St.||LSU||Preview||LSU 42, Utah St. 6||Stats|
|Vanderbilt vs. Ole Miss||Ole Miss / Vandy||Ole Miss / Vandy||Preview||Ole Miss 31, Vandy 6||Stats|
|Troy vs. Missouri||Troy>||Mizzou||Preview||Mizzou 42, Troy 10||Stats|
|Georgia vs. Tennessee||Georgia / Tennessee||Tennessee / Georgia||Preview||Georgia 43, Tennessee 14||Stats|