Run game fuels Auburn’s amazing turnaround

Tre Mason has scored 14 touchdowns to help lead Auburn to an 8-1 record, after winning three games in 2012. (Getty)

Tre Mason has scored 14 touchdowns to help lead Auburn to an 8-1 record, after winning three games in 2012. (Getty)

Full disclosure here: I thought Auburn might win five games this year.

Five, if they managed to beat Tennessee or Mississippi State, in addition to sure wins against Washington State, Arkansas State, Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic.

I never thought the Tigers would not only beat Mississippi State, but also Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Arkansas, and should be favored at Tennessee and at home vs. Georgia.

That would give Auburn a record of 11-1 heading into the Iron Bowl against what could be an undefeated Alabama team on the hunt for its fourth national title in five years.

It’s amazing to think how far Auburn has come since last year, when the Tigers won three games, went winless in the SEC and were shut out in the final two SEC games.

Out goes Gene Chizik. In comes Gus Malzahn.

Malzahn has worked miracles with the program.

The Tigers are 8-1. They shocked Johnny Manziel and his Texas A&M buddies. They were efficient in victories over other SEC teams during their five-game win streak. And they’re poised for one of the biggest one-year turnarounds in SEC history.

“I’m just proud of the guys,” Malzahn said Saturday. “They play together, they do what the coaches ask, they play for each other. And they’re finding ways to win.”

Auburn wins with a simple formula: Run the football. A lot.

Tre Mason was selected as the SEC’s offensive player of the week after running for 168 yards and four TDs in the win over Arkansas. He’s third in the SEC with 921 yards rushing and leads non-kickers in scoring with 14 TDs.

QB Nick Marshall has 520 yards rushing and Cameron Artis-Payne has 515 to help Auburn lead the conference with 306.2 yards rushing.

“Our key is our mindset,” Mason told AL.com Saturday. “We’re going to pound it down their throat, and you got to try to stop it. And if you don’t, you got to like it.”

33 comments Add your comment

george

November 4th, 2013
6:45 pm

jim bob. you are a complete and utter idiot. I know it is tough to do but look at the FACTS and you will see how idiotic you are. Poop dawg- is that a joke? Vegas had auburn as an underdog for EVERY sec game at the start of the year.

Class of '98

November 4th, 2013
4:37 pm

This is why we love college football. in August,who would have thought Auburn would be so good? Who would have thought UGA would have beaten South Carolina, LSU and Florida and be UNRANKED?!?!

UGA and Auburn are 54-54-8 all-time. It’s time for the Dawgs to lead the series for the first time in a long time.

Sic em.

Leg Humpers

November 4th, 2013
4:23 pm

The bigger surprise was last year. Not the “turn around” this year. The team was not devoid of talent it was devoid of coaching and leadership.

Hollywould

November 4th, 2013
3:40 pm

Death penalty for LAPTOP. Idioit, that happened at Florida.

jim bob

November 4th, 2013
3:00 pm

The better story would be how much did the Auburn faithful pay for Nick Marshall and what SEC felon kicked off another a school’s team will be added to Auburn’s roster too play qb? Auburn represents everything that is wrong with college football, they need and hopefully will soon get the “death penalty” concerning the Cam “laptop” Newton incident.

ftadawgs

November 4th, 2013
2:43 pm

F**k the redneck “DAWGGGGSSS” F’ing inbreds…..

ATLTiger

November 4th, 2013
2:22 pm

Considering where the Tigers were last year this is quite a turnaround considering that it is the same nucleus of players. Their schedule is comparable to shedules of other SEC teams so I would consider 8-1 a success. Possible final record of 9-3, which is better than the 8-4 that I was hoping for!! With Chizik that record would not have been possible.

poopdawg

November 4th, 2013
1:49 pm

Auburn has won only 1 game that was surprising, Texas A&M. Big turn around but not ready to assume they will win the rest.

GTBob

November 4th, 2013
1:20 pm

They are a little better than I expected but they have been helped out by a pretty easy schedule. Either way, good for Gus on turning that thing in the right direction.

Hollywould

November 4th, 2013
1:06 pm

War Eagle!! I was with you on the 5 wins. Still a year away but nice to be competitive again.