Auburn, struggling to score, is trying to be patient with first-year offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. Building an offense that contributes to a successful team often takes a few games, or in Vanderbilt’s case, seven years.
Coming off another poor game on offense, the 13th-ranked Tigers face the surprising 19th-ranked Commodores in a Southeastern Conference matchup Saturday night.
Auburn’s hired Franklin — the former offensive coordinator at Troy — in the offseason to install his successful spread offense, but the Tigers (4-1, 2-1 SEC) rank in the bottom half of the conference in all the major statistical categories.
Vanderbilt (4-0, 2-0), meanwhile, has had Ted Cain running its offense for the past seven years under coach Bobby Johnson, posting a few productive seasons. But now that offense has led the Commodores to their first national ranking since 1984.
Averaging 29.8 points and 202.0 rushing yards, Vanderbilt has a chance to go 5-0 for the first time since 1943, when it played only five games due to World War II.