Auburn football is tougher and better in 2016


If you want to know how far Auburn football has come in a year, you don’t need to hear about Rhett Lashlee’s ability as a play-caller or Kevin Steele’s defensive schemes or even the freshmen who are making an impact.

All you need to do is compare two games — two plays really.

The first took place September 19, 2015, in Baton Rouge. LSU running back Leonard Fournette was healthy and at his intimidating best. When he broke free around left end, Auburn safety Tray Matthews had an angle to make the tackle.

Instead, he made an attempt to jump onto Fournette’s back, which resulted in an embarrassing play and another LSU touchdown.

Fast forward to October 22, 2016. From the opening play, Auburn dominated visiting Arkansas.

But the most telling sign came when 240-pound running back Kamryn Pettway pounded the Razorbacks defense to the point that Arkansas defenders appeared ready to cooperate with Auburn blockers rather than have to step in front of a charging Pettway.

Of course, there’s more to football than which team is the toughest, but the game still starts there. Auburn has made a complete transition in the last year, and more wins have followed.

For Threaded Fasteners, I’m Randy Kennedy with Nuts and Bolts of the Game.