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 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

tide roll

November 5th, 2013
9:52 am

Defenses having to deal with the threat of Nick Marshall at Quarterback is the reason Auburn’s running game goes. Marshall is the catalyst for that, and Auburn’s amazing turnaround.

When is the AJC going to address what UGA, Richt and Bobo truly represent?

Cam Newton’s a tight end. Because Marshall wants to play basketball, he can’t play Quarterback.

The best high school quarterback in AMERICA, Deshaun Watson, from Gainesville, Ga. is headed to Clemson.

LSU’s soon to be starter at Quarterback, Anthony Jennings, whose ‘father played at UGA, and whose mother attended here as well, is from Marietta,

Tennessee’s future at quarterback, Josh Dobbs, starred at Alpharetta High,

Vanderbilt, the team the kicked UGA’s butt, will start Creekside’s Jonathan McCrary, whose father Greg, played for the Falcons, and whose uncle is the Director of Athletics for DeKalb County high schools.

And URBAN Meyer, who kicked UGA’s butt while at Florida, will sign only one Quarterback this year for Ohio
State, and it happens to be Stephen Collier, from of all places Lee County, GEORGIA!

Notice a pattern here? UGA should be ashamed and brought to task for this embarrassing pattern.

But until the media, such as the AJC, exposes Richt, Bobo, and the athletic board for what’s truly going on here, nothing will change.

You think that little yes man AD, McGarity, is going to take steps to rectify things? Yeah right. Hell, he’s all for it.

What a football program. What is

it now, 35 years since a National title?

With the attitude that prevails at UGA. they deserve every one of them.


November 5th, 2013
8:22 am

Some good comments in here (Leg Humpers, Class of ‘98), but also sooooooo much stupid… lol. Oh, and Andy? No problem underestimating Auburn. We all understand that such an attitude is programmed into the sports journalists at the AJC.

Bo over the top

November 5th, 2013
7:29 am

GTBob……pretty easy sch. AU is not in the ACC. You might want to count the rank teams we play. dufus

jim bob

November 5th, 2013
6:38 am

If Autisticburn is winning you know there cheating again down there on the “lovely ghetto on the plains” Just need one slip up to connect Rev Newton’s remodel to Autisticburn’s slush fund and it will be death penalty!!!!
It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch!!!


November 4th, 2013
11:44 pm

Auburn 45, leghumpers 24

A glorious day for the men from the loveliest village.


November 4th, 2013
10:14 pm

leghumpers would lose to almost every team in the West btw



November 4th, 2013
10:11 pm

fecaldawg, it sounds like it’s you who needs to get over it. You can’t stand that Auburn is having another of it’s underdog cinderella seasons, while Ga has yet another of it’s many cinderella seasons.. You know, the part of the story where she has sold herself as this beautiful woman in the preseason, The clock strikes midnight and she turns into her scrubby self again while the rest of the party-goers are nearing the climax of the party. Don’t worry, we’ll enjoy the end of the party while Ga fights for a December bowl.


November 4th, 2013
8:00 pm

George , no that was not a joke . Auburn should be no worst than a 2 loss team. Congrats on A&M but the rest the tigers should have won. Miss st should have beaten AU and did except the last drive by auburn. Get over it !


November 4th, 2013
6:49 pm

Hollywood- you are exactly right with almost all skill positions returning auburn should be very stout next year. However, the schedule is BRUTAL. Think next years team will be considerably better but may have a worse record than this year.


November 4th, 2013
6:47 pm

gt bob. look at your own schedule then we can talk about easy.