— In the end, a 26-point victory. With our new quarterback looking about as good as it’s possible to look and the defense showing some level of improvement in the second half and our new stud running back looking as studly as expected and I think the offense racking up 608 yards while still looking fairly vanilla (and not particularly up-tempo) to my eyes, the first-half Caudle double-pass aside.
After the day Ole Miss and Florida had, I’ll take it. It’s not entirely what I wanted. But I’ll take it.
— About the defense … same ol’ same ol’. 26 points and 366 yards given up when there’s this many possessions in this game isn’t the end of the world, especially when they got handed a couple of rough draws in the second half and mostly did all right.
But it’s not the kind of improvement we need to get where we want to go. There’s still time to see it. But we’ll have to see it this Thursday, and that’s not a lot of time.
— Oh, Mario. Mario, Mario, Mario. I hate that this season, which I wanted so badly for you, began with only three carries. (At least you had those four receptions, 65 yards, 2 TDs. That’s good. Just like last year.) But if you fumble on one of those three carries, given the kind of backs you’re sharing the backfield with, you’re not going to deserve a whole lot more. I’m sorry.
— Craig Sanders is our Steve Tasker.
— Dyer: 14 carries, 95 yards, TD, no fumbles, a near-save of 3rd-and-10 on a swing. That didn’t take long.
— The defensive line has the kind of depth we’re looking for, probably. Whitaker was solid. That’s four guys at tackle. Lemonier and Ford and Egaue look like they can spell Carter and Goggans without the world ending, the way it did last year. But the back seven? Still a work in progress.
— At least we have data to work with now, as opposed to rank speculation. That’s something to be happy about, too.
— More tomorrow. War Eagle.
— Well, that … that was almost sorta what we expected, right? Crazy good offense, suspect defense. Except no, we probably didn’t really expect the offense to be quite that crazy good or the defense to be that highly suspect, of course. 379 yards gained, 231 yards allowed. WE ARE AUBURN. These days, anyways.
— I’m trying not to care too much about the defense when we have Cam Newton. 6/9 100, 2 TDs, 0 INT in the air; 9 carries, 147 yards, 2 TDs on the ground. He is officially a joke.
— But I care. I hate ragging on Ted Roof, because it’s so easy when things are going poorly, and he’s known more about defense than I’ve forgotten blah blah blah … but I don’t understand why you blitz incessantly with a pair of safeties that a) haven’t played in three years b) didn’t go full-contact until there was a week remaining in fall practice. We want those guys one-on-one down the field? Really?
Not that the safeties got a ton of help from either the pass rush or the corners. The bottom line: three A-State scoring drives, covering 82, 55, and 66 yards. While the offense was generally taking some time off the clock. Not good enough.
— At least the rush defense picked up where it left off. 19 attempts, 26 yards, 1.4 a caryy. Though the huge Fairley sack had something to do with that.
— The kickoff coverage still needs work. But at least every other aspect of special teams appears to be much improved, or intact. (Including field goal block. Nice touch, that.)
— Surprising to see Fannin only get two carries. But when the offense is rolling like that, hard to argue with the results.
— Frustrating to not get any points at the end of the half, but I’m not sure there’s anyone to blame … Newton checks down the way he’s supposed to, Fannin can’t shake the guy one-on-one, crap happens.
Though don’t ask me to feel the same way in a close game against an SEC opponent.
— Back at game’s conclusion.
— Eltoro “The Toro” Freeman will get the start in place of Craig Stevens. Huge opportunity for Freeman; it’s possible he and Bates are both auditioning for the same job going into next week. Or whenever Stevens returns.
— The HOT RUMOR in addition to the Stevens HOT RUMOR has been that Jonathan Mincy has been in HOT WATER. And sure enough, he doesn’t appear to be on the field. It’s possible Chris Davis just beat him out for a single spot, since a few other scout teamers (i.e. both backup TEs) … but, you know, that seems like such an amazing coincidence I think it’s safe to assume there’s some disciplinary action there as well.
— Trovon Reed has dressed. As promised, Seabiscuit ain’t in the trailer.
— WAR EAGLE. Will be back with initial impressions at halftime. Enjoy the game.
— Andy Bitter’s pregame post includes the info that Craig Stevens did not appear to be present at Tiger Walk or the pregame prayer. As expected.
— It’s only New Mexico, but I’d like to thank Oregon–up 59-0 at the half–for making my slotting them at No. 4 in my preseason BlogPoll ballot look smart for at least a week.
— Clemson’s defense did not look exactly threatening in the first half of their game against North Texas, giving up 234 yards to the Mean Green. Commence salivating for what Newton and Co. will do to them if they don’t improve.
— Still no updates from Auburn. At least, none I’ve seen yet worth sharing.
— Good heavens, Florida was terrible. The talk all offseason was that Brantley’s arm would re-open the Florida downfield passing game … and he averaged less than 5 yards an attempt, and not even that without the joke of a completion at the end of the game. If Florida can’t get the ball downfield, forget it.
— Was there anything else–anything?–worth making a note of in the first round of games? Don’t think so. I guess Murray looked OK, but it’s Lousiana. The trip to Columbia will be just a hair more challenging.
— Will update again when we hear something out of Jordan-Hare.
— Welcome to the first Gameday post of the year! If this is your first season here at TWER, we’ll be here every Saturday keeping up with any and all Auburn pregame developments and offering some commentary on the day’s stories in college football.
But at this still relatively early hour, there’s not much to report: the beat writers don’t have anything new and other than Florida’s hiccups against Miami OF OHIO, there’s not much going on in the early games. (Admittedly, these hiccups are certainly enjoyable, but we all know the dam is going to break at some point.) So, if you’re bored, you can check out this site’s Cheese Puff Preview of Arkansas St. or Andy Bitter’s enjoyable–if predictable–unit-by-unit breakdown of tonight’s game. Also, for your listening pleasure, we have Lee County radio legend Smilin’ Jack Smollon reaching across the years to get you PUMPED UP from 1971.
It’s great to be an Auburn Tiger, folks. We’ll be back later in the afternoon. Stay tuned.
Miami of Ohio has put on a really entertaining game so far. Lots of fake punts, got the Gators on downs a couple times, really good defense so far… but even as I’m writing this, Florida’s already starting to tighten up. Oh and there’s the second interception almost for another pick-six… And then MOO’s starting RB is ejected… okay, this game just got less entertaining.
So what’s up with Stevens? I take it he’s playing?
They’ve got the right attitude and the D came to play, but this QB is just murdering them. 3 picks in 17 attempts with two of them returned for TDs (moreo r less) … that’s not so good.
JD, I think we’re not going to find out for sure until gametime. Last year guys like Billings and Freeman who missed time we didn’t know until then, usually. I’m standing by our “report” for now.
What are y’all watching this afternoon? Me, UM-UConn – totally psyched to see RichRod get back to the 3-3-5. And then I had a turn of good luck and will be working 2200-0700 tonight, so I get to see at least the first half of our game.
Too bad about the Redhawks. Wish I could be in the locker room when Urban Meyer tells his offense they’ve gotten 14 net yards…
M-UConn, Purdue-ND. Are there any other options, really?
Haha, you’re not going for UCLA-KState? Guess not. Chalk it up to opening weekend jitters.
Good grief, what is the matter with Florida and the snap? I almost wish we were playing them this year.
think I’m going UK v Louisville
maybe catch some Jax st. v Ole Miss too. see masoli get some snaps
True Gator Fan says
Ok… VERY VERY sad with all that crap snap going on… intercepts were great, our fumbles were terrible… un questionably we have some serious issues… but still DID manage to pull it thru….now, about that punch.. it would give off the appearance that someone needs anger management… that was totally un called for… No gator struck out at the Ohio team for intercepting.. then there’s the kick.. yeah, MIAMI of Ohio reallllllllllllllllllllllly needs to get their act together and behave as adults not angry spoiled children.
The shirt and the sock were burnt, quite a good turnout actually. Several people showed up who did not say they were coming and a few that said they were coming didn’t make it.
In staium update: Blue Logo again this year. I never knew they changed it.
WAR EAGLE HERE WE GO
That half was awesome. Everything about it. Awesome.
Cam Newton at the half 6/9 100 yards 9 carries for 147 yards, after 5 years of at almost constant ineptitude at QB, this is beyond refreshing…
A couple things. Roof does not finish at DC. boulware does not finish at STC. Fanin stays WC.
oh, and your were dead on with Fairley.
Dyer could be #1 before this is over
Dyer could be number one before this month is over.
Also, I propose a name change. Henceforth, when KB is at QB, we shall call it the PredicatableCat Formation.
Sorry, Doug, you were talking about this game, not this season. I can’t muster much disagreement.
Craig Sanders #13 Special Teams player of da game.
Love that overhead CAM engine on this Auburn offense!
Can we expect a phone call apology from Jessie Jackson after Turner Gill’s first game as head coach?
Did anyone else notice that Whitaker is already getting double teamed?
ugh defense was disappointing
Blake W says
Is there anywhere good to see a replay online?? Espn3 is killing me….
Blake, if ESPN3 isn’t working, think you’d have to go torrenting.
AU torrents? Really?! What’s the best site for these?