Auburn report card: Defense doing ‘A’ work, but offense not so much

Kam Martin ran for 90 yards against Southern Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Kam Martin ran for 90 yards against Southern Miss. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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auburn football
auburn football /

Coaching: C+

Perception is this: Auburn is winning, but struggling to put away opponents most of us felt they’d easily beat. So maybe Auburn is just an average team. Maybe it’s overachieving. Or maybe it’s underachieving.

Whatever the case, two things are obvious:

  • Kevin Steele is doing a lot of things right with the defense. Do they give up a big play here and there? Yes. But they keep opponents out of the end zone. Eventually when your offense can’t stay on the field, the defense is going to show cracks. “We were out there for a long time, but we held our ground,” Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene said after the game. “We weren’t perfect, so we have some stuff to improve on. I just think we’ll get better every week. That’s our goal.”
  • Chip Lindsey and the Auburn offense are struggling. The run plays too often are slow to develop and the offensive line isn’t opening up enough holes. Will the injuries to Wanogho and Driscoll force OL coach J.B. Grimes to make adjustments this week? If so, will the offensive line be worse or better?

I do think Auburn came out of the gates being aggressive.

On its first play after stopping Southern Miss, Stidham heaved a deep throw to freshman Seth Williams. It looked like Williams could have caught it. Instead, the pass fell incomplete. On second down, Auburn ran the jet sweep to Anthony Schwartz who was strung out wide and couldn’t get the corner. A third-down incompletion forced a punt, but if that first-down pass had connected, the feel of the game drastically could have changed.