- Cullman, Alabama

October 6, 2012

AUBURN NOTEBOOK: Offensive struggles glaring 5 games in

By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times

AUBURN — Auburn’s offense had been stagnant in the past four games after what looked to be a promising start, albeit with some mistakes, in the season's first game.

The Tigers were unable to run the ball effectively against Arkansas on Saturday, gaining just 40 net yards on 32 attempts in a 24-7 home loss.

For those doing the math, that's only a 1.2 yard average per rush. What’s worse is that paltry total came against a team that had been gashed all year long on defense.

"We didn't play up to our expectations," sophomore running back Tre Mason said. "Our expectations for us are really high and we didn't meet those expectations as you can see.

Mason finished the game with 33 yards on six carries.

% Fourth-quarter struggles: After Saturday's loss, Auburn has  now been outscored 45-3 by their opponents in the final frame this season, including 14-0 in its loss to Arkansas. The Tigers have now been outscored 118-77 for the year.

% First time for everything: Senior wideout Emory Blake lost his first fumble as a Tiger in Saturday's game, coughing up the pigskin deep inside Auburn’s own territory. That mistake resulted in an Arkansas field goal.

Blake, who has played in 32 games since 2009, has 99 catches for 1,545 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career.

% Turnover trouble: The Tigers added five turnovers to their ledger Saturday, bringing their total to 17 for the season. Auburn is well on its way to passing last year's mark of 21 turnovers.

For the year, the Tigers have a -5.25 turnover ratio. For their record to improve, that stat will have to as well.

% Sack, sack, sack: Auburn’s offensive line allowed eight sacks in Saturday's game. Kiehl Frazier and Clint Moseley were both sacked four time.

The Tigers had only allowed nine sacks prior to their bout with the Razorbacks.

% Defensive leaders: Auburn was led by sophomore Jonathon Mincy, who recorded eight tackles in the loss. Jermaine Whitehead, Joshua Holsey and Darren Bates each recorded seven tackles.

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at