Back for more suggestions on how the Dawgs can subdue the Auburn Horned Eagles...
4. Score first and last and lots in between... Last year the Dawgs found themselves in a 14-0 hole before gradually working their way back to a 31-24 win. This year a 14-0 hole will equate to a 51-28 blowout. The Dawgs must start fast, finish fast and hold on like a bloody tick in between. I believe the Dawgs will need to score over 40 points to win this one. Accordingly. we need to average no less than 10 points per quarter. If the Dawgs maintain that pace... they have a chance.
5. Play downhill (or make Auburn play uphill)... the Dawgs will increase their odds if they can successfully use their fine kicking game to keep Auburn looking at a long field. We have seen significant improvement in our kickoff coverage this season and this is a game in which we must limit the hidden yardage available on kickoff returns. In addition, when we are forced to punt, we need Drew Butler to unleash his howitzers so we can make Auburn look at 80 or more yards on most possessions. And on the other side of the coin, we need Brandon Boykin to keep up his record-setting kickoff return prowess while Branden Smith gets back in the groove returning punts. If we can generate a field position advantage in the kicking/returning game, it will bode well for our chances against the #2 team in the land.
6. Take the $200,000 man out of his game early and often! No doubt about it, this will be a difficult task. But, if the Dawgs defense can make things difficult for Cam Newton in the first couple of series, they could place enough doubt to keep the big man off balance all day. In order to do this, we will have to step up at the the nose position like we haven't seen all season. I expect that we will have continuous pressure from our ends from Houston and Washington and those guys will need to stay under control to keep Newton from breaking contain and getting outside them, at which point he will eat our lunch. But, if we do not have a strong push in the middle backed up by disciplined play by our inside linebackers, then Newton will kill us by stepping up in the pocket and either running for 5 to 10 yards or buying time to find an open receiver to throw to. I understand that this is simplifying the defensive strategy, but it really is just this simple... if we do not get stellar play from our front 7, it will be a long day for the red and black. And, obviously it goes without saying that we must gang tackle this beast. We cannot shoulder bump him or arm tackle him. It is more like wrestling a steer, grab something, hold on and wait for help.
Help me out... what else do we need to do?