How Auburn's defense can regain its footing against Mike Leach's Air Raid
Kevin Steele's Tigers have had an up-and-down 2020 and are coming into the regular-season finale looking to finish well against a unique attack.
LB Owen Pappoe (Shanna Lockwood/Auburn Athletics)
In 2013, Gus Malzahn’s first game as Auburn’s head coach was a matchup against Mike Leach’s Washington State.
Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday — who would later criticize Auburn’s Nick Marshall after the game — threw 65 passes. He would only complete 53.8 percent of them, though, for an average of 5.3 yards per attempt and toss three interceptions in a 31-24 loss to the Tigers.
In 2020, Mike Leach’s first game as Mississippi State’s head coach was a matchup against Ed Orgeron’s LSU.
Bulldogs quarterback K.J. Costello — a transfer from Leach’s old stomping grounds in the Pac-12 — threw 60 passes. He completed 60 percent of them for an SEC record-smashing 623 yards in a 44-34 upset over the defending national champion Tigers.
On Saturday, Malzahn will take his Auburn team to Starkville to face a Leach team for the first time since his first game as the head coach on the Plains. The Tigers desperately need the win over the 2-6 Bulldogs, wh…