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About WarEagleSteve

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  1. Here's the bottom line. Auburn has had top 10 recruiting classes every year that Gus has been here. Their average rivals ranking is better over that span than Clemson, Oklahoma, and Penn State. With that talent, Gus has managed a 21-15 SEC record with ZERO wins in Athens, Tuscaloosa, or Baton Rouge. He has yet to win a bowl game against a Power 5 opponent and is 4-9 combined against Alabama, Georgia, and LSU. He has one win in three tries against ranked nonconference opponents (Kansas State in 2014). He has only finished over .500 in SEC play twice. This is not the resume of a championship winning coach.
  2. WarEagleSteve

    Once again

    It's another game under Gus where Auburn shows a complete and utter lack of killer instinct and ZERO understanding of the importance of confidence and momentum in a game. I had a sinking feeling that Auburn was going to lose at halftime. We squandered all of our early momentum and LSU smelled the proverbial "blood in the water". This is the THIRD (at least) game I can think of where Auburn jumped all over a quality opponent early and then failed to put them away when it had the chance. Up 21-3 in the first half against FSU in 2013 and allowed them to get back in it with an ultra-conservative third quarter. 2014 Iron Bowl, Auburn drives inside Alabama's 10 yard line and comes away with nine points. Builds a 12 point lead in the second half and can't hang on to it. Auburn is never going to beat good teams with Gus at the controls. Period.
  3. WarEagleSteve


    I'm not entirely convinced that it's been "figured out" so much as Gus has forgotten how to run it. Think about it, during those runs in 2010 and 2013, every commentator working an Auburn game fell all over themselves talking about what a genius Gus was and raved about how special a playcaller he was. If you go back and watch games during those seasons, he really did seem to have a knack for calling the exact play at the exact time. Then go back and watch last year and 2015. When he switches up tendencies and actually calls the offense the way it's meant to be called (i.e. actually running tempo, calling more than one run play, throwing on first down occasionally, etc.) it works. When he starts calling the same dive play every first down and slipping into his run the ball, run the ball, do something wacky to convert 3rd down! pattern is when things bog down.
  4. WarEagleSteve

    Mike Bobo

  5. WarEagleSteve


    Something I noticed that hasn't been pointed out and that needs to be fixed ASAP: Stidham almost always rolls to his right when pressured regardless of what space is open on the field. I think that's a huge reason he wasn't finding open receivers on the run.
  6. WarEagleSteve

    Rate your disdain

    I'll watch the game but what I see will definitely affect my enthusiasm going forward. I'd hope that the offensive staff will use the opportunity to actually get JS comfortable in the offense and into something resembling a rhythm but I've been burned before.
  7. WarEagleSteve

    Cole Cubelic on what went wrong Saturday.

    This is true but it's much harder to get comfortable when the gameplan has set you up to fail. To use Prince Tega as an unfortunate example, Auburn called AT LEAST 35 passes against less than 30 run plays. That isn't a recipe for success for a freshman LT making his second ever start against one of the best D-Lines in the country. ESPECIALLY when most of those pass plays were long-developing deep routes.
  8. WarEagleSteve

    Bad loss for AU but...

    I like to think that Gus can right the ship. He's had enough genuine success that I still have a tiny sliver of hope that he can recapture whatever magic he harnessed at Tulsa and in 2010 and 2013. The pieces are (theoretically) there. Realistically though, it is harder and harder to maintain that sliver of hope as the games go by. It's hard not to conclude that he's regressing from a personnel management/gameplanning standpoint.
  9. WarEagleSteve

    Can the O be fixed this season?

    To quote George Patton: "A good plan executed violently today is better than a perfect plan in the future". You can't outsmart everyone. Sometimes you have to just line up and knock the snot out of the other guy. We seem to have an aversion to that line of thinking lately.
  10. WarEagleSteve

    Can the O be fixed this season?

    My opposition to the sugar huddle has less to do with the formation itself and more with how it's employed as well as its being part of a larger trend. Gus has a bad habit of being super predictable on 1st and 2nd down and then trying something wacky on 3rd down, often out of that sugar huddle. No one's fooled when Gus tries to get cute. Scrapping the sugar huddle, wildcat, and other exotic looks would force us to get better at running our base offense, whatever that's intended to be at the present time.
  11. WarEagleSteve

    Can the O be fixed this season?

    Can it be fixed? Honestly, yeah I think it can be. The main issues as I see it are bad o-line play, a QB who isn't comfortable in the offense, and predictable/ineffective playcalling. Fixing the playcalling would help the QB issue and mitigate the O-line issue to a degree (provided Herb pulls his head out of his butt and coaches them). The playcalling is bad right now because Gus/Chip seem to be operating off a "throw crap at the wall and see what sticks" play selection philosophy. We use the first scripted series to establish a few things and then completely abandon them as the game progresses. Will it be fixed? Probably not, if past seasons are any indication. Which is a shame, because I think a Top 50 offense (not a high bar to clear) gets you to 10 wins or more with this defense. I don't even think it would take much to fix either. Ditching the sugar huddle and the wildcat, using the first few series to settle JS into a rhythm with easy throws (bootlegs, screens, quick hitches/slants), and getting back to actually using the base run plays the offense is supposed to be built around (Inside Zone, Inside Power, Buck Sweep, etc.) would go a long way I think.
  12. WarEagleSteve

    QB Question

    Honestly, most college QBs don't call audibles or make anything more than basic checks at the LOS. NFL offenses/defenses are MUCH more complex than college ones (practice time limits and all) so those skills are essential in the pros but not emphasized as much in college. Auburn's issues at QB over the last several years are (IMO) less about audibles and pre-snap reads than it is the fact that Gus has run possibly the LEAST "QB friendly" offense in the SEC over the last three years. Auburn's passing game under Gus has been almost completely devoid of things like slants, screens (other than WR bubble/tunnel screens), shallow crossing routes, spacing concepts, checkdowns, or anything that would give his QB consistently easy throws/reads. Auburn's passing game the last two years has consisted almost entirely (at least from what I've seen) of tunnel screens, intermediate outs/digs, wheel routes, and slow developing PA deep throws run mostly out of max protect packages (meaning there are one, maybe two viable targets on essentially a seven step drop play). Really hard to field a successful passing game with that kind of built-in schematic disadvantage.
  13. WarEagleSteve


    I think this is more spot on than we realize. I don't think Gus has been "figured out" so much as he's forgotten how his own stinkin' offense is supposed to work. "Gus's offense" is supposed to be an uptempo spread that emphasizes power running and a strong vertical passing game. More specifically, it's intended to establish a set of base plays (inside zone, buck sweep, etc.) out of multiple formations with lots of moving pieces to both confuse the defense and enable counters based on how the defense reacts to those base plays. The play action/vertical passing game then builds from there. That is a coherent offensive philosophy/identity and I would argue that we haven't seen that since midway through 2014. The last three years, Gus has basically been like a kid playing Madden, just calling plays at random from his playsheet, hoping something breaks open because it worked before.
  14. WarEagleSteve

    unfair to criticize Gus for not developing HS QBs

    Bama's QBs have done a great job from a wins and losses standpoint but if we're holding Nick Saban to the same standard of quarterback evaluation that we are Gus then Nick Saban's staff might have a worse track record than Gus from a pure hit/miss standpoint. This is Saban's 11th season in T-Town. During that time he's signed 15 quarterbacks (14 if you want to consider Blake Sims was signed as an "athlete"): Six 3 stars, six 4 stars, and three 5 stars. Here's how they've turned out: -Of the 15 quarterbacks signed, only 4 have actually started a game (5 if you count Blake Barnett's "start" against USC last year) -None of those 4 was a 5 star recruit. In fact, two of the three 5 star quarterbacks Saban has signed have transferred (Philip Sims and Blake Barnett). Jury's still out on number 3 (Tua Tagovailoa) -9 of the 15 quarterbacks Nick Saban has signed have transferred to other schools. None of them have been especially good for their new teams.
  15. WarEagleSteve

    unfair to criticize Gus for not developing HS QBs

    2014 UGA can be blamed almost entirely on the A&M loss the week before. That was a hangover game if ever I've seen one.