STATE COLLEGE, Pa (WTAJ) — If Purdue’s air attack tested Penn State’s “no fly zone,” Auburn will be a fist to the face. Will Many Diaz’s new defense flinch, or fight?
In last season’s 28-20 win over Auburn, the Tigers attempted 39 passes, just five fewer than Auburn has attempted this season. With Bo Nix transferring to Oregon, Auburn has embraced a two-quarterback system that’s paved way to a physical, run-centric attack that’s dialing up a 2:1 rush-pass ratio.
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“It’s a game we have to tackle if you love tackling this is your kind of game, and I think all our safeties in our room love to tackle and we pride ourselves on tackling,” said senior safety Ji’Ayir Brown. “Going against guys like the guys we’re going against, Auburn, who loves to run the ball and get on edges and put their running backs against DBs, it’s pretty important for us to show up and make tackles.”
LSU transfer T.J. Finley starts for Auburn. He’s the Tigers throwing quarterback, while freshman Robby Ashford is a running QB. He’s averaged nearly 9-yards-per carry.
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While sophomore running back Jarquez Hunter’s four touchdowns leads the team, the center of the team’s running attack is Tank Bigsby. A season ago, Bigsby rushed for 102 yards and two TDs against Penn State. Through two games, he’s averaged 100 yards-per-game, carrying the ball about 7-yards-per-carry.
Through two games, Auburn is averaging 248-yards-per game rushing, which is among he best in college football.
“Purdue, obviously opened it up with a Big Ten game, I think prepares us for this game, maybe in a different way than if we hadn’t played them. But you know, obviously we’ll know a lot more about our team come Saturday.”