Auburn Offense vs Kansas State: Position Grades

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Sep 18, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as the Auburn Tigers defeated the Kansas State Wildcats, 20-14 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive Line

As was previously mentioned, the rushing total against Kansas State fell far below the 2014 average of 330 yards per game through the first two weeks of the season, as well as the 328.3 rushing yards per game the Tigers tallied last season.

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  • Part of the issue was the offensive line and an inability to stop penetration from smaller and quicker Kansas State defenders. Against San Jose State, the big and athletic offensive line was able to impose their will all game against a front seven that was small and less athletic per man.

    However, the Wildcats featured an All-American at defensive end in Ryan Mueller and defensive tackle Travis Britz is a solid performer that made life very difficult for quarterback Nick Marshall and the Auburn offense. Plus, the K-State linebackers stepped up and filled their gaps very well and did not miss many tackles.

    On the bright side, as Auburn turned to the passing game, the O-Line responded well and did not allow a sack. In fact, the Wildcats did not even record a quarterback hurry. Nick Marshall threw the ball 31 times Thursday, which is eight times more than the Tigers had against SJSU and nine more than in the season opener against Arkansas. So, the Tigers did an admirable job of keeping pressure off of Marshall.

    Of course, Britz did knock down two passes at the line of scrimmage – one of which resulted in an interception. It is hard to place the blame for those plays fully on the offensive line, however.

    Overall, it wasn’t the best performance we have seen from an Auburn offensive line, and the unit struggled to open holes for the running game. But, Reese Dismukes, Shon Coleman, Chad Slade and company did a very good job protecting the passer, which will help their position grade.

    Grade: C+