–First: sorry for no halftime update. It may surprise you to learn that Internet connections on Indian reservations aren’t always 100 percent reliable.
— The good: starters out with a good few minutes to play left in the third quarter.
— The bad: we found out exactly why our starters have played so many snaps, what with the second string defense immediately giving up an easy touchdown drive and the backup offensive players doing things like dropping easy passes and throwing picks. (Kudos to Caudle for the TD run, though. Did you know he could run like that?)
— The ugly: injuries to Burns, McCalebb, and Clayton in this exhibition of a game. I doubt all three of them would have continued to sit if this wasn’t Ball St., but I also doubt it’s purely precautionary for all three of them.
— One step forward on special teams last week, two steps back again this week. Hope Anthony Gulley enjoyed his one week of praise and adulation. (My thought, not that I know that much about it: it’s time to pick a guy, give him every practice rep we can give him, and then give him enough shots on the field to get rid of these damned yips.)
— Why we’re faking punts up 20 points on a MAC team, I don’t know. McCalebb’s sprain was a just punishment from the football gods.
— On a positive note: 500-some-odd yards yadda yadda 50 some-odd points blah blah blah greatest two-game stretch in Auburn touchdown-passing history etc. etc. etc. Nothing the Spresd Eagle 2.0 does against a team like the Cards can really surprise me. That said: we’re seeing something legitimately special here with what Todd and Adams (Chris Todd! Darvin Adams!) have going on.
— I swear, Todd seems to save all his bad throws for Fannin. The way Fannin’s taking advantage of the few good ones he gets, Todd should still keep throwing at him.
— I’m not worried about the first-team defense’s performance. They’ve probably spent more time this week worrying about Tennessee than BSU. The bigger issue is that there really isn’t help lying in wait if any of the defensive starters get injured.
— Ryan Pugh, honestly. I’m so tired of watching play like a jackass I don’t know what to say. There’s just no call for the kind of “play” he made in the first half. You know the one.
— Overall: special teams gaffes aside, Auburn played pretty much the way they ought to play in a game like this. The real season returns next week.
It’s halftime of Miss. St. and LSU, and a good chance to hand over some links and reading material as we get ready for tonight’s action:
— A little late, I know, but TWER’s Thor Burk has your weekend viewing guide up. Highlights for yours truly: the second half of this game in Starkville (how good does Auburn’s offense look after LSU scored just 7 points on the Bulldog D following three State turnovers, and only gained around 115 yards total in that first half?), and both the ‘Bama-Arky and Va. Tech- Miami afternoon headliners.
— Elsewhere at TWER, John Magruder says Auburn is Auburn again, and as always he is very right. (Also check out the discussion in the comments, where the consensus is that the WVU game was the worst-called Auburn game ever. I agree.) John Comer’s Shug Life blows up Schmaul Schmineschmaum’s race-baiting as it deserves to be blown up.
Stan Parrish has been a successful coordinator several times in his career, but he’s not had as much luck as a head coach. He currently has a 31-game winless streak as a head coach, dropping the first four games of his Ball State tenure and going 0-26-1 in his final 27 games at Kansas State in the mid-80’s.
Well, I can see why they were so excited to hire him. (That’s not sarcasm. It means he came cheap.)
— BlAUgosphere bits I want to pass on before they get too old: J.D. points out that that “19” wasn’t everything; Joe Auburn previews Ball St., and Jonesy reflects on the WVU game and wonders how Auburn did it.
No liveblog here, but I’ll be Tweeting the occasional thought throughtout the day; even if Twitter frightens you (the way it did me for a while) and you aren’t following me, you can read those here. For those of you who enjoyed the OverThePylon Q&A yesterday, you can follow them during the game tonight here.
See you here at halftime of the Auburn game.