It is hard to believe the Auburn Tigers were National Champions just a few short years ago. The way they played last season resembled a team that had never tasted victory, one that had never known success. They went 3-9 overall and did not win a single game within the SEC. Needless to say, the program opted for a change in leadership and are now looking at 2013 as a chance for redemption.
One area the Tigers are in desperate need of improved production is at the wide receiver position. The numbers from last season tell the story. Emory Blake was the only receiver who caught more than 20 receptions all season long. It wasn’t even close, with Blake hauling the ball in 50 times and Onterio McCalebb the next closest man with 18. The disparity in the yardage followed suit. Blake racked up nearly 800 receiving yards while the rest of the receiving corps failed to break 140. Five players caught for 100 or better, but the difference between them and Blake is outrageous.
Another reason the slanted statistics are a problem? Blake was a senior last season and is hoping to be playing in the NFL this fall. He will not be there to catch all of the passes and carry the rest of the receivers on his back.
This means the rest of the young guys are going to need to step up and take advantage of the situation. Auburn has a proud football tradition, and to get back to being more than an afterthought in the SEC, they will need players like Trovon Reed and Sammie Coates to rise to the challenge.
The rushing attack for the Tigers is good enough for the rest of the offense to lean on, but not good enough to be the only option. The receivers need to do their part and make plays for their quarterback. If they fail to handle their responsibilities, Auburn can expect another season of football insignificance.