For the Auburn Tigers, this was supposed to be THE year. Despite losing in the Peach Bowl to the UCF Knights, there were high hopes for a College Football Playoff bid in 2018.
The season is still young and the Tigers are 4-2, with losses to LSU and at Mississippi State, but they sure don't look like a 4-2 team. In fact, if you listen to some Auburn fans, you would think this team was 0-6 at the midway mark of the campaign.
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The major concern for the Tigers? Their offense. This was supposed to be a unit led by Heisman Trophy hopeful and quarterback Jarrett Stidham, but he has struggled mightily to start the season.
Some have placed the blame on Stidham, the 6-foot-3 junior signal caller who had SEC Offensive Player of the Year expectations. He was a dual-threat playmaker last season, leading the Tigers to an SEC West title with his accurate arm and legs, but that hasn't been the case this season.
Auburn's passing game currently ranks 12th in the SEC. In fact, Stidham and Alabama Crimson Tide backup quarterback Jalen Hurts have five touchdown passes each in 2018. That's not a good look when you are tied with the back up from your rival school.
It's not all Stidham's fault, though. Many think the fault belongs to the offensive line because it is difficult to throw touchdown passes when you don't have good protection and time to throw.
It probably doesn't help either when your once reliable running game hasn't been hitting the mark which has been Auburn's bread and butter over the past few years. It also didn't help when one of your running backs fumbles a sure touchdown that could have turned the momentum in an important game.
Needless to say, it was a hot-button topic for head coach Gus Malzahn during his weekly press conference.
Malzahn also addressed the struggles of Jarrett Stidham and how Stidham is handling things.
Malzahn better hope he is right because some Auburn fans are losing their patience with not only him, but Stidham as well.
Whatever the problem is, this Auburn offense better figure things out or this will turn from a dream season to a nightmare in a hurry, if it's not that already.
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