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Auburn still leads SEC rushing even with more passing
Nov. 19, 2014

Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall looks to pass against Georgia

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  After leading the nation in rushing last year, Auburn was determined to pass more this season to try to even things out.

The Tigers have done that.

"One of goals was to be a little more balanced and I think, for the most part, we've achieved that," coach Gus Malzahn said on the SEC teleconference Wednesday.

Auburn has passed for almost 400 more yards in the first 10 games this season than over the same number of games last season. The total offense is about the same. Auburn has scored 31 fewer points.

"I think there's more similarities than differences," Malzahn said.

Auburn leads the SEC in rushing again and has the league's leading rusher in Cameron Artis-Payne, who was named a semifinalist Wednesday for the Doak Walker Award, which goes to the nation's top running back. The Tigers are eighth in passing.

"I don't think it's been difficult finding the right balance. We had a few injuries up front. We've had to mix and match the offensive line a few times. That's probably been the only thing that has kept us from being really consistent."

Malzahn was reminded during the teleconference that no team has repeated as SEC champions in a while. Officially, it's been since Tennessee did it in 1997-98.

"It's extremely challenging," Malzahn said. "That was one of our goals. We were committed to that. Down the stretch, we just didn't get it done. There are a lot of great teams in our league."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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