Auburn Football: Five Tigers Key to an Iron Bowl Victory Over Alabama

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Nov 1, 2014; Oxford, MS, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver Sammie Coates (18) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the Ole Miss Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Sammie Coates

After leading the team with 42 catches, 902 receiving yards and seven touchdown grabs, and ranking among the nation’s leaders with a 21.5 yards per carry average in 2013, Sammie Coates emerged as one of the best receivers in the nation.

In 2014, he’s been a disappointment.

Coates is a physical freak and he has a definite NFL future (and may leave early for the draft following the season). However, he’s been very inconsistent this season and drops have plagued him at times.

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The junior is still a weapon as a deep threat and has averaged 20.5 yards per catch this year, but he’s too often been a feast-or-famine player.

Coates set a career high with 144 receiving yards against LSU this year and had 122 in the win against Ole Miss. He had a 52-yard reception against Texas A&M and a 49-yarder Saturday against Samford, but he’s also posted receiving yard totals of 13, 24, 19, 22, 14, and 31 in games this year.

Part of that can be attributed to an early season injury, but coaches have indicated tat Coates is now as healthy as he’s been all season and should be at full speed.

Duke Williams emerged as the team’s leading receiver this season, and Quan Bray has provided an excellent option as well. But, for Auburn to beat Alabama, Coates needs to make a couple of big plays.

Next: Jonathon Mincy