2012 SEC Football Previews: Auburn Tigers
Head coach Gene Chizik and his Auburn Tigers prepare for another season looking to improve their record after going 8-5 and 4-4 in the SEC. The tigers did put an exclamation mark on their 2011 campaign by going to the Chik-fil-A bowl and defeating Virginia 43-24. Tigers were pretty good rushing the ball 82 plays for 10 yards or more, ranking them 2nd in the SEC and 21st in the Nation. On the other hand, defensively, Auburn gave up 197 plays for 10 or more yards and only held opponents to 48.39 % on third down conversions ranking them last in the SEC in both stat columns.
The tigers return 17 starters in 2012 6 on offense, 9 on defense, and 2 on special teams.
Key returnees on defense include defensive end Corey Lemonier, and linebacker Daren Bates. Together they combined for 151 tackles, and 12 sacks.
Key players returning on offense include running back Onterio McCalebb, tight end Phillip Lutzenkirchen, and wide receiver Emory Blake. Altogether, they combined for 641 rushing yards, 92 receptions, and 19 touchdowns.
The tigers make improvements to their offense and defense recruiting offensive tackles Avery Young, and Jordan Diamond. Also, making additions with tight end Ricky Parks and wide receiver Jaquay Williams. On defense, the tigers add, middle linebackers Cassnova McKinzy, defensive tackle Tyler Nero, and cornerback Josh Holsey.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
@ Ole Miss Rebels
@ Vanderbilt Commodores
Texas A&M Aggies
New Mexico State Aggies
@ Alabama Crimson Tide