The Auburn Tigers kept their playoff hopes alive after a huge upset victory over No. 1 Georgia, thanks to the Tigers continued stellar play at home.
The victory marked Auburn’s fourth 40-point outing at home this season. The game did end the Tigers streak of four 500-yard performances in a row when they gained only 488, the most the ffith-ranked Bulldogs defense has given up all season.
Auburn has played at another level on The Plains this season. The Tiger offense is outscoring the opponents 198-64, while outgaining them by almost 254 yards a game.
On the both sides of the ball, players have performed exponentially better. At home, the ferocious defense is only allowing 266 yards a game, compared to 322 yards on the road. The offense explodes when at home, averaging 521 yards compared to 415 on the road.
One player shines the most at home, and its quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The Baylor transfer’s two worst games have come on the road this season against LSU and Clemson, when he threw for a combined 22-50 and averaged 4.9 yards per attempt, as opposed to 10.4 yards at home.
When at home, Stidham lives up to the preseason hype, throwing for an SEC-leading 73.6 completion percentage and nine touchdowns. Those numbers are compared to a 60.7 completion percentage with only five touchdowns away from Jordan-Hare.
The season of dominating home performances started when Georgia Southern came to town and Auburn bested them 41-7. Auburn outgained Georgia Southern 535-78, which set the standard for both the offense and defense for the rest of the season.
Coming off a tough road loss to Clemson, Auburn’s biggest hiccup at home came against FCS Mercer, when the Tigers committed five turnovers and escaped with a 24-10 victory. Besides the turnovers, Auburn still recorded over 500 yards, and Stidham had one of the best statistical days in SEC history, throwing 32-37 for 364 yards.
After opening SEC play at Missouri, Auburn traveled back home to face a talented Mississippi State team, a game in which the Tigers dominated the Bulldogs 49-10. The Auburn offense eclipsed 500 yards for the third-straight home game, while the defense held highly touted dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald to only 157 yards through the air.
Surging from a big victory over Mississippi State, the Tigers used the home field advantage against a reeling Ole Miss team to explode on offense and displayed their best rushing performance to date with 326 yards behind a career day for Kerryon Johnson. Auburn won the game 44-23 and once again hit the 500-yard mark for the fourth-straight home game.
Now, after the big win against Georgia, Auburn has Louisiana-Monroe as a tune-up before taking on No. 1 Alabama at home in the most highly anticipated Iron Bowl since 2013.
Auburn has shown that at home, they have what it takes to take on anyone and handle them easily. On paper, the matchup between Alabama and Auburn is close and both teams are looking for anyway to get a leg up on the other. The home field advantage might just be the x-factor that the Tigers are looking for to knock off two No. 1 teams in three weeks.