Once again, just a collection of thoughts and links while time permits:
Unreal. Have you checked out the possession chart for Auburn from last Saturday? Not counting the meaningless possession at the very end of the game, Auburn had the ball 11 times. They scored touchdowns six times, field goals three times, fumbled once, and did not punt until 2:46 remained in the third quarter. Again, the ratio of scoring drives to punts: 9-to-1. Touchdowns to punts: 6-to-1.
You can’t expect that kind of production against Chattanooga this Saturday, much less on the road in the SEC. And we got it anyway, seemingly without the offense even having to break a sweat. I’m not even sure how to process an offense this lethal.
Baby steps. No, the passing attacks of Ole Miss and LSU are not what you’d call “advanced,” and the collective quarterbacking prowess of Jordan Jefferson, Jarrett Lee, and Jermiah Masoli probably didn’t keep Ted Roof up at night. (Jefferson’s and Masoli’s mobility aside.) But still: this is an Auburn secondary that without Aairon Savage or T’Sharvan Bell suddenly finds itself working a walk-on into its safety rotation and fielding a true freshman (one a year removed for playing quarterback/return specialist) as its nickelback.
And still that secondary allowed just 4.3 yards an attempt against LSU and 5.7 against Ole Miss … the same Ole Miss that had averaged 9.1 the week before. That’s not quite domination, given the difficulty levels we’re talking about here, but it’s a damn sight better than what we saw against Kentucky and Arkansas. Some of that is McNeil holding the line, Washington and Thorpe sharpening up a bit, but some of it is also Chris Davis, who has held his own every bit as much as we would hope he would. Things aren’t great (I’m already worrying about what Georgia’s array of threats might do), but they’re getting better. And now they get a week to get that much healthier.
Apologies in order. Well, gosh, I guess the problem with Auburn’s special teams last year really was the lack of scholarship players available and not Jay Boulware’s coaching, huh? Now that, I mean, the special teams have been responsible for three touchdowns in three weeks, haven’t turned the ball over since the Carr fumble in Week 2, rank in the top 50 in both kickoff and punt coverage, and are fourth in kickoff returns. Amazing what having guys like Sanders and McNeal and Goodwin around can do, I’d say. (Demond Washington helps, too. Might as well remind you that Tuberville’s staff ignored him and it was up to Chizik and Co. to swoop in and steal him away from Ole Miss.)
Happy Halloween. You don’t want to read too much football-wise into the Halloween party, of course. It’s a Halloween party.
But forgive me: those pictures are funny, but they are also the pictures of a team that’s enjoying its season and is enjoying its season together. Part of the reason they played like they weren’t under any kind of pressure Saturday might be because this staff has them in a place where they really don’t feel that pressure. Maybe the reason they hang together as a team when they fall behind is because they actually feel like a team.
Crazy, I know.
Cam and the draft. I posted what I wanted to say at CBS; yeah, he might bolt. He might not. But he’d be an idiot not to at least wait and see what he could get if he left, and what exactly he’d be leaving behind (i.e. another shot at a championship).
BlogPoll. This week’s ballot:
War Blog Eagle Ballot – Week 10
|3||TCU Horned Frogs||—|
|4||Boise St. Broncos||—|
|8||Alabama Crimson Tide||2|
|10||Michigan St. Spartans||-4|
|11||Ohio St. Buckeyes||2|
|17||South Carolina Gamecocks||—|
|19||Mississippi St. Bulldogs||2|
|20||Oklahoma St. Cowboys||5|
|22||Virginia Tech Hokies||2|
|23||N.C. State Wolfpack||—|
|24||Florida St. Seminoles||-8|
|25||Nevada Wolf Pack||—|
|Dropouts: Miami Hurricanes, USC Trojans|
SB Nation BlogPoll College Football Top 25 Rankings »
No change at the top. Mizzou and Michigan State dropped, but I didn’t think Utah and their dreadful schedule had done enough to move up; Wisconsin has two outstanding wins in vs. Ohio St. and at Iowa (the second of which is enough for me to justify ranking them ahead of the Michigan St. team that beat them) and LSU’s wins over Miss. St. and Florida both got bumps in value.
Oklahoma and Iowa should maybe be higher … but unlike Wisky and Sparty (and Nevada and Hawaii at the end of the ballot), I don’t think there’s enough separation in the resume to justify screwing up the head-to-head.
STFU. Srsly. Nick Saban says it’s “not fair” that Auburn has a open date the week before the Friday Iron Bowl. Even though, you know, each team got to choose their open dates before the season and Alabama picked a different one. I guess what would be fair would be for Alabama to have two open dates. Or to get to pick when Auburn has their open date. That would work.
What’s funniest about this is that if Gene Chizik said anything similar, the other side would howl itself hoarse calling him a coward.
Photo by Van Emst.
The other thing about the open date is that the SEC mandated that
AU and Bama move their game to Thanksgiving weekend….
If not for that, there would not be an AU open date that weekend…
and historically that weekend has been the AU open date until the game
was moved back a week….
But being 2 faced and a hypocrite is part of the Crimson Tahd tradishun…
I enjoy your CBS blog…
Thanks for remembering the little people now that you are Big Time!!!
That’s just fear talking. If we were 4-5, I bet he would be ok with it
Our traditional open date (I though) since the Iron Bowl has been the weekend BEFORE Thanksgiving was the weekend before the UGA game. We would rest before that gauntlet. And if CryBaby really wants me to believe that their game against Georgia State has him even the slightest bit worried, then he needs a new brain. From what I remember reading, it appears he’s had his scout team preparing his team for Auburn already; even with LSU and a now (tragically) highly motivated MSU squad still ahead of him. I think this is just a set-up for an excuse once we wax his team’s @$$. And while I’m not guaranteeing that’ll happen by a long shot, I do think he realizes that NO ONE has been able to shut down our offense, and his offense plays perfectly into what our D stops best: relying on power runners to set up the short routes. Sure, they’ll score some points. But I can actually seeing the Irown Bowl being a lot like the LSU game. Only we hopefully don’t attempt to beat ourselves with penalties and fumbles.
Auburn Elvis says
I’m not quite ready to apologize to Jay Boulware. Remember, there were some very un-good fair-catch punt return decisions made against LSU that kept the Corndogs in the game.
Ga State lost this weekend to an upstart South Alabama Program. They lost to Lambuth. They lost to Old Dominion.
That IS an open date.
This was one of the more enjoyable games I’ve watched in a while.
I even got in my car and left where I was watching it KNOWING it was done.
(of course, I still listened on the radio and immediately turned my TV on when I got home)
Breath of fresh air knowing we’ve made it this far and are playing more solid than ever. Let’s have the D step it up a little more, just to spite the injuries, and we can get even better.
Saban is just….I won’t even type words that nasty.
What a punk.
I hate Alabama.
Saban also says there should be legislation against six teams having a bye week before they play bama. So now he wants to tell other teams when they can have their byes? He is SUCH a Napoleon.
I went to Auburn in the Pat Dye era. Pat Dye’s view on bad calls, schedules, bye dates, etc. was….if you prepare your team and your team is the best team on the field that day, then none of that other stuff matters. Well said, Coach!
AE, I’ve re-watched the game, and Carr only screwed that up once. The LSU punter was just incredible. And besides–surely Boulware has coached Carr plenty on what to do in that situation, AND frankly I’m not that bothered by that decision in the first place. Yeah, you want him to catch it, but if he’s at all uncomfortable with the traffic in front of him, better we get it at the 2 than LSU getting it on the 12.
Mario Fannin didn’t have a carry against Ole Miss until the last drive of the game. I hate it for him, but it’s clear that we can run the ball well without him. We didn’t have a drive killed by a fumble. We had much better rhythm on offense. I hope he gets 50 carries against Chattanooga, but if he gets anything other than garbage time carries the rest of the season (and it’s highly doubtful that we’ll see “garbage time” against UGA, Bama, SC/Fla (maybe) and whomever we play in the bowl game) it will be a coaching mistake. He’s too unreliable with the ball.
Before the season started I challenged your assertion that Auburn’s offense would be greatly improved this year. I was dead wrong, and you were exactly right. At this point I’m just hoping we can keep up our end of the bargain so that the Iron Bowl will be a repeat of 1971 (of course I’m sure you’d prefer a different final score…but at least for the highly ranked status of both teams).
Anybody got a good recipe for crow?