Oklahoma was successful running the ball against Auburn’s defense in the Sugar Bowl win, yet one Tigers player says it wasn’t the best rushing game they have faced this season.
By the end of Monday night, Auburn’s defense looked like a beat up unit, having given up 35 points and a surprising 228 yards on the ground to Oklahoma Sooners – 96 more yards than the Tigers’ season average.
Tigers safety Tray Matthews still believes that the Sooners rushing duo of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine were not the best Auburn faced all season long, as proven by his response when asked point blank.
“Do you think that?” Matthews asked.
Mixon and Perine accounted for 177 of their team’s rushing yards, along with the three rushing touchdowns against an Auburn defense that had given up just five scores on the ground all season long.
Still, Matthews thinks that the LSU backfield that featured Leonard Fournette and Derrius Guice was better.
“Even though we stopped them, those two are monsters: Fournette and Guice,” Matthew said.
The Tigers had better luck against the Bayou Bengals duo, holding them to 163 yards and no touchdowns as Auburn held on for a 18-13 win. Texas A&M, who defeated Auburn 29-16, had the most success on the ground against Kevin Steele’s defense, gaining 231 yards.
Mathews did compliment the Sooners on the success they had in the Sugar Bowl, albeit reluctantly.
“They ran pretty well, too,” Matthews said. “ I was surprised at that because we’re pretty stout (against) the run, but they found some gaps and there were some holes that were real big. We’ve just got to fit the run better.”