Auburn Tigers vs Kansas State Wildcats: Keys to Victory

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Dec 1, 2012; Manhattan, KS, USA; Kansas State Wildcats fans celebrate a touchdown during a 42-24 win over the Texas Longhorns at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Take the Crowd Out of the Game Early

Whether it’s the biggest home game in Kansas State history or not, the No. 5 Auburn Tigers will be the highest ranked non-conference opponent ever to visit Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

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It’s not only the only game in town. Since kickoff is Thursday night, it’s the only game in major college football. Both teams are undefeated and ranked in the top 20, and of course, the 50,000-seat stadium will be sold out past capacity, and there may even be a new attendance record set at K-State. Plus, Auburn hasn’t played a true road game since November 9, 2013.

In short, it will be an exciting environment. And loud. The Tigers will need to get off to a quick start to quiet the crowd and take away any hopes of an upset.

One of the best ways to shut up a loud home crowd is to build an early lead behind a quick strike offense. Luckily for Auburn, that has been a staple for the Tigers since Gus Malzahn became the head coach.

Auburn has yet to trail an opponent through the first two games of the season, and holds a 28-14 combined score in the first quarter of games in 2014. That figure would have been even more impressive had quarterback Nick Marshall not fumbled the football on the game’s opening drive against San Jose State.

And that leads us to the next point. To take the crown out of the game, the Tigers must take care of the football. A fumble or interception in the first quarter would be like throwing gasoline on a fire. To keep the crowd under control, the Auburn offense must do what it does best: score and score quickly.