Auburn Football: Offensive Position Grades vs Louisiana Tech

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Sep 27, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers running back Corey Grant (20) is tackled by Louisiana Tech Bulldogs defensive back Xavier Woods (7) during the first half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Running Backs

Cameron Artis-Payne had a solid game Saturday against Louisiana Tech. The senior gained 116 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, which was good for a 5.3-yard average. Artis-Payne continues to fight for extra yardage and very rarely is stopped in the backfield for a loss. He burst through for an impressive 37-yarder in the second half of the game, which allowed the 210-pound runner to flash some speed and break the century mark for the afternoon.

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  • Running mate Corey Grant, on the other hand, struggled to find open field against the Bulldogs. Grant carried the ball eight times for a net gain of just 13 yards. He lost 11 yards over the course of the afternoon and averaged only 1.6 yards per attempt. Grant’s performance isn’t exactly troubling because we know how electric he can be with the football in his hands, but it would have been nice for the senior to put together a more impressive stat line.

    Saturday’s game allowed younger players to get some much needed reps. Freshmen Roc Thomas and Peyton Barber were able to carry some of the load for the Tigers late in the game in preparation for the upcoming meat of the SEC schedule. Barber gained 24 yards on three carries and Thomas handled the ball once for no gain. Thomas was on the field for kick returns in addition, though he did not have an opportunity to field a kick.

    An area of mild concern has been the blocking performance of H-back Brandon Fulse. The senior has been the primary replacement for Jay Prosch, who is now a member of the Houston Texans. Fulse has been adequate through four games, just not dominant.

    “Brandon has been good at the point of attack,” Lashlee said. “He made good decisions in the game (against Louisiana Tech) on some things he had to read. We’ve just got to continue to rep him on some things that he just needs to keep accumulating more reps on so he can execute the block better.”

    The Tigers coaching staff has moved freshman linebacker Cameron Toney to H-back in order to build some depth at the position, and prepare for the future departure of Fulse and fellow tight end/H-back CJ Uzomah.

    Grade: B+