Auburn football: Tigers have two weeks to sort out offensive issues

Jarrett Stidham's production is down in 2018. Will that change soon? (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Jarrett Stidham's production is down in 2018. Will that change soon? (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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The Auburn offensive line has been solid, yet not spectacular this season. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Offensive line

One of the Auburn football team’s biggest questions entering the season was its offensive line.

Three weeks into the season, the verdict still isn’t completely in on how it’s performing.

Better than expected. OK. Not bad. Work in progress.

Let’s be clear: There’s been no debacle like the Clemson game of last season. But J.B. Grimes wants perfection from his group.

The offensive line has only allowed three sacks in three games. That’s good. Real good. Giving Stidham time to throw the ball hasn’t been a big issue.

Consistently creating holes for running backs to run through has, at times.

Auburn gained 130 yards against LSU (3.4 yards per carry) and 147 against Washington (3.3 per carry) in Week 1.

By comparison, Utah (Washington’s toughest opponent since Auburn) ran for 123 yards (4.2 per carry) against Washington in Week 3. In LSU’s biggest game prior to Saturday, it held Miami to 83 rushing yards (2.4 yards per carry) in its win against the Hurricanes.

So it’s not like the Auburn numbers aren’t comparable, even better, when matched up against other opponents. But that’s not the production Malzahn wants.

What we’d like to see: If the line, from left to right, of Prince Tega Wanogho, Marquel Harrell, Kaleb Kim, Mike Horton and Jack Driscoll isn’t the answer, use these next two weeks to find the right combination.

Kim has been up and down and had two holding calls against LSU. Is Nick Brahms ready to be tested at center? Is Austin Troxell ready at tackle? What about Calvin Ashley?

Look for the Auburn coaches to experiment against Arkansas and Southern Miss so they can bring their best line to Starkville on Oct. 6.