Wesley Foster, sports writer for The Auburn Plainsman, analyzes the film from Auburn's victory over Ole Miss and offers his perspective on the 44-23 win.
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The Auburn Tigers dominated Ole Miss 44-23, making it three consecutive games of scoring 40 or more points, an Auburn record. The offense played a great game and the play calling was excellent yet again. However, this game made something very clear: a large part of the offense’s resurgence is thanks to Kerryon Johnson and his stellar running.
Johnson is not a typical power back, but he can run over defenders if need be. He isn't slow, but he is never the fastest player on the field. Instead what makes Johnson so special is his incredible
The play below is a standard power run to the right. The left guard pulls to serve as a lead blocker, and fullback Chandler Cox also seals the edge on the play. There is an added wrinkle of Eli Stove going in motion and faking the handoff as well, but Johnson is what turns this play from a potential loss to a large gain. The defense blows the play up, and pushes the line back.
Had Johnson ran off tackle to the right, he would most likely have either been tackled for a
This next play is the same exact play as the previous
The play below is
This is a screen through and through, and the center and left tackle act as the lead blockers on the play. However, if they were to immediately run to block there is a chance that the defenders read the play and stop Davis as soon as he catches the ball. To prevent this, the center and left tackle
The defenders believe it is a pass all the way and commit fully to pass rushing. When the center and tackle disengage to go block for Davis, the defensive line is already taken out of the play. The center and tackle then both have crucial blocks that enable the whole play to succeed.
The above play is another showcase of Johnson’s
He takes two slightly slowed steps after receiving the ball, then sees the hole and commits to it, accelerating very quickly. The quick decision making allows him to hit the hole at near max speed, which leads to another touchdown for Johnson.
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham completed one of his most impressive passes of the year in the first play of the second quarter. The pass below was in the back of the end zone to receiver Darius Slayton, who tip-toes the right sideline, right in front of Auburn legend Bo Jackson.
Stidham was given ample time in the face of a safety blitz, thanks to Johnson's timely blocking. The ball is placed in only a spot where only Slayton can haul it in, and Stidham never hesitated from the start of the play.
Johnson has had an incredible season, amassing over 500 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns, despite playing in only four games. Some have begun calling for Heisman consideration for Johnson, and if he keeps up this level of play, it is hard to see him not forcing his way into the conversation.
Johnson and the Tigers will look to stay hot as they travel to Baton Rouge next week to take on LSU, a team coming off an upset road victory over No. 21 Florida.