For most of Tommy Tuberville’s reign, Auburn has won in spite of its offense. This offseason, Tuberville attempted to change that by bringing Tony Franklin and the spread offense to The Plains. It hasn’t worked. This year, more than ever, Auburn is leaning on its defense to carry it through the season.

Earlier in the season, the argument could be made that the players were adjusting to the system and therefore the offense might struggle. That argument doesn’t hold water now that the season is five games old. With games against creampuffs and heavyweights alike in the books, no argument can be made that the spread is working at Auburn.

Auburn’s offense is averaging 156.2 rushing yards per game, 173.2 passing yards and 19.8 points. Those numbers are good for eighth, 10th and 10th in the SEC, respectively. Last week against a struggling Tennessee team, Auburn managed 129 passing yards, 97 rushing yards and one offensive touchdown. The Tigers are 11th in pass efficiency in the conference. The primary purpose of a spread offense is to be more efficient passing the football by making use of open space and short throws. The offensive efficiency numbers are hurt by the 11 turnovers committed through five games. And Auburn converts third downs at a woeful 29.3 percent, good for dead last in the SEC.

A lot of excuses can be made for the offense’s struggles. The ongoing battle pillow fight for the quarterback job is the most common one. It seems that neither Chris Todd nor Kodi Burns wants the job or is capable of completing the job. While some of that blame goes on the players, Franklin deserves some as well. The supposed quarterback guru was brought in to install this offense and develop these quarterbacks. Neither has shown much progress; rather, each seems to have regressed since the start of the season.

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