Auburn Offense vs Kansas State: Position Grades

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Sep 18, 2014; Manhattan, KS, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Cameron Artis-Payne (44) is tackled by Kansas State Wildcats defensive back Randall Evans (15) during the Tigers

Running Backs

If we have learned one thing about the Auburn offense through two games, it is that Cameron Artis-Payne runs as hard and with as much power as any running back in the country. Artis-Payne did not have much running room Thursday night against the stingy Kansas State defense, but he gutted out 63 yards on 22 carries.

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The longest rush CAP had against the Wildcats went for only seven yards, but he was never tackled for a loss because of his hard-nosed north-south running style. Artis-Payne also caught two passes for 31 yards in the game.

Fellow senior Corey Grant was able to get loose once for 13 yards, but only had six carries for 27 yards total against K-State. The longest rush of the night belonged to Nick Marshall, who took a quarterback keeper 17 yards in the third quarter.

As a unit, the running backs ran hard, they just didn’t have much room to operate and Artis-Payne and Grant both struggled to pick up yards after contact. Artis-Payne does a great job of falling forward to pick up valuable real estate at the end of a run, but he did not pick up two or three yards while dragging a defender with him Thursday like he did against Arkansas and San Jose State in the previous two contests.

The lackluster rushing results are largely due to a stellar performance by the Kansas State front seven, coupled with forcing the passing game a little more than necessary. The running backs are not fully to blame, but the fact that they went down upon first contact all too often leads to a lower grade than usual.

Grade: B-