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JMR

Things I Think I Saw (AU vs Mercer)......

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Thanks, coach.  Hope all is well with hurricane recovery.

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7 minutes ago, AUBwins said:

Thanks, coach.  Hope all is well with hurricane recovery.

Just some major cleanup, wins. Thanks for the thought!

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Good post. Agree with everything. OL needs work, wasn't a good performance against Mercer. 

For Cox, Lindsey's offense doesn't really use a FB so he will be fairly limited from here on out.

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Thanks, Coach. The WR comment is very telling, and how anyone thinks AU is going to win 9-10 games with the problems this offense has is beyond me. The OL is bad, the WR play is bad and AU has a hurt RB the HC insists on working like a government mule despite the fact there are talented backs just waiting on a chance.
Selfishly, I enjoy college football very much, and watching AU has been pretty joyless for the past couple of years and continues to be so. Hate to see these players not get to experience the thrill of winning some big games while at AU. They deserve better.

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16 minutes ago, VAtiger12 said:

Good post. Agree with everything. OL needs work, wasn't a good performance against Mercer. 

For Cox, Lindsey's offense doesn't really use a FB so he will be fairly limited from here on out.

This is what I don't understand.  Shouldn't all offenses utilize every position???   This is a coaching nightmare if they don't have basic plays to utilize everyone.   

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1 minute ago, aubaseball said:

This is what I don't understand.  Shouldn't all offenses utilize every position???   This is a coaching nightmare if they don't have basic plays to utilize everyone.   

Not really how football offenses work I'm afraid. And if you want to make a change as Auburn did then some guys will get lost in the shuffle.

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Thanks  for the great post Coach. So many crazy questions.  As I sat in the stands the receiver related questions and Pettway observations were apparent to me as well. 

I enjoy your work on the podcast. 

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1 hour ago, VAtiger12 said:

Not really how football offenses work I'm afraid. And if you want to make a change as Auburn did then some guys will get lost in the shuffle.

I couldn't disagree more.   There are some basic plays that need to be in every offense no matter what you run.   A pass to a tight end and fullback is pretty basic 

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14 minutes ago, Beaker said:

Thanks  for the great post Coach. So many crazy questions.  As I sat in the stands the receiver related questions and Pettway observations were apparent to me as well. 

I enjoy your work on the podcast. 

Thanks for the kind words, Beak! Much appreciated!

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20 minutes ago, aubaseball said:

I couldn't disagree more.   There are some basic plays that need to be in every offense no matter what you run.   A pass to a tight end and fullback is pretty basic 

We do have tight end passes. Cannella has been dialed up a few times but he doesn't get much separation. 

As for Cox we do have a few plays to use him but just not a lot is what I was saying. Lindsey's offense doesn't use FB concepts. Also Cox is not very versatile so there isn't much else to do with him. I'm sure he's a great guy and leader so I'm guessing we'll find places to use him.

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Thanks for the observations.  

As for the running game, our running game this season is probably the worst I can recall...and I'm talking our basic offensive running game....no matter what play is called or where the play is supposed to go. 

This is one of very few years (in about 50) that I can recall where we don't have someone lined up in the backfield or split out who is capable of taking a hand-off or pitch and taking it to the house from anywhere on the field on any given play.   We don't appear to have any home run threat on the ground.   Yet....we had nearly 400 yards of passing and no TDs from a receiver.

For a good part of the game yesterday I was wondering if AU would gain more than 100 yards for the game....and of course, to resort to using KP in the Wildcat was insane...but unfortunately, it also made sense since otherwise I'm not sure our basic run offense could have scored on the ground against Mercer.

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Thanks for the analysis. The RB situation is really what puzzles me. I can't understand why we didn't get the others more game experience, and a change of pace back probably would have been a good thing.

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4 hours ago, JMR said:

I had a couple of thoughts as the game went along, and they are unfortunately only guesses. 1. I suspect that Stidham has been coached to death on not turning the ball over.

I heard you mention this on the podcast and it is more telling than you know. While Marshall was known for interceptions in JUCO, Stidham had a 12-2 TD to Int ratio at Baylor. He is anything but turnover prone. Once again, I am afraid Gus's insecurity is going to lead him to cause regression with our QB. 

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Thanks for the analysis coach- 

  • I think we actually saw the "Chip Lindsey Offense" this week. Can't be sure, of course, but the numbers indicate that Lindsey was heavily involved in calling the game. For example, Auburn threw the ball on first down 16 times, and ran it 18 times. Unfortunately, of the 18 run plays, Kamryn Pettway carried the ball on 17. That seems a little overly predictable, and leads me to believe Lindsey was pretty conservative, whatever the reason.
  • I think we saw Chip calling the plays as well which was good to see (the farther we can keep Gus away from him the better); but I did see Stidham on the sideline with an assistant with headphones on who was relaying the information to Stidham.
  • Not sure what is going on with Carlton Davis, but he looks lost covering receivers this year.
  • I agree on Devan Barrett, I thought he could have broken something if we would have given him some more opportunities.

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5 hours ago, JMR said:

I did not plan on doing one of these this week. I thought Mercer might make a game of it, but honestly didn't think the game would be worth trying to write about. But, since I didn't have electrical power to do one after the Clemson game, here's an abbreviated version of things I noticed during the Mercer game.....

  • In the interest of full disclosure, I'm nowhere near a QB coach. But we are all justifiably interested in what's going on with Jarrett Stidham, and I'm no exception. Stidham throws a beautiful ball. But it's obviously taking too long much of the time. It's nearly impossible to watch the wide receivers on pass plays without access to the All 22 tape. I honestly can't tell if there are receivers open, what kind of routes are being run, etc. But yesterday, there were numerous times when an Auburn receiver was extremely wide open when Stidham threw to them. I had a couple of thoughts as the game went along, and they are unfortunately only guesses. 1. I suspect that Stidham has been coached to death on not turning the ball over. If we think back to Nick Marshall's first year at AU, he came in with a reputation for throwing interceptions in junior college. Gus Malzahn drilled that out of him, to the point Marshall was prone to pull the ball down and use his considerable running ability more often than he probably had to. 2. The receivers are not running precise routes. I base that supposition on input I got from a former Auburn WR who told me last week, "those guys wouldn't know a precise route if it hit 'em in the face". I don't know if that's true, but for whatever reason, it's often taking an inordinate amount of time for the ball to leave Stidham's hand.
  • Dropped passes continue to be a problem. Stidham has the accuracy to throw the ball into very tight windows, but sometimes that requires a little extra juice on the ball. Our wide receivers have dropped enough balls this season that it looks to me like Stidham is taking something off the ball much of the time.
  • The Stidham interception was, in my opinion, on Nate Craig-Myers. NCM gave up on the ball and allowed the defender to go around him on a slant route, which has got to be hard to actually do.
  • Auburn's offensive line was "average" in the game, which I'd translate to "poor", given the difference in talent and depth between AU and Mercer. Mercer's defensive linemen won around half the individual battles up front, and that's inexcusable for Auburn to let happen. I guess the good news is that after giving up 11 sacks to Clemson last week, we only gave up one to Mercer. That puts us at an average of 5 per game for the season.
  • I think we actually saw the "Chip Lindsey Offense" this week. Can't be sure, of course, but the numbers indicate that Lindsey was heavily involved in calling the game. For example, Auburn threw the ball on first down 16 times, and ran it 18 times. Unfortunately, of the 18 run plays, Kamryn Pettway carried the ball on 17. That seems a little overly predictable, and leads me to believe Lindsey was pretty conservative, whatever the reason.
  • I've been curious to see what Herb Hand's plan was for an injury to a starting offensive lineman. When Darius James went down, Casey Dunn came in at center, and Austin Golson moved to right tackle. No way to know if that same plan will apply if a starter at another OL position is injured, but I suspect that would be a good bet, since Golson can play pretty much any position.
  • The Auburn turnovers, led by the wide receiver group, were pretty much all about ball security. Lack of discipline, and lack of attention to detail. I didn't see a single "he put his hat on the ball" type situation where a fumble is virtually unavoidable.
  • I don't try to keep stats, but I'd be surprised if Auburn's running game on a per-play basis is not worse than last year. The offensive line, with the occasional exception of Braden Smith, is not moving defenders off the line of scrimmage, and Kamryn Pettway is slow enough to the hole that "overhang" defenders are able to collapse down and make tackles in the B gap.
  • Stephen Roberts appeared to have another very strong game at safety. I was a little disappointed in the Auburn corners, going against a freshman quarterback and "decent" receivers. We will certainly see better passing games than Mercer brought to Auburn, possibly as early as this week vs Mizzou.
  • The Auburn defensive line, the heart of our defense, was "good, not great" in this one, failing to generate a single sack.
  • Speaking of sacks, Mercer got their lone sack via a delayed blitz, with every blocker occupied and no one to pick up the extra rusher in the middle. I'm not sure what, if anything, is going on with the AU passing game and "hot receivers", but that part of the game needs work.
  • Not sure what is going on with Chandler Cox in terms of offensive utilization. Cox came out of high school with a reputation as an excellent receiver, and I may have forgotten, but I don't recall him being targeted a single time this season.
  • Speaking of "offensive utilization", I'm curious about what is going on with the Auburn running backs. I have no dog in the fight, but I thought Kam Martin did pretty well in the opening game. I thought Devan Barrett was very close to breaking a couple of big plays this week, if he'd learn to pick his feet up. I don't understand why we are running the offense as if Pettway is the only running back on the roster. Whether it's his ankle, or something else, he looks slower to the hole than last year. Regardless, a change of pace in terms of speed/quickness would seem like a good thing now and then.
  • The turnovers had a huge impact on the score in the game, but in the "hidden yardage" category, so did special teams. Roberts looked good on punt returns, but the unit as a whole is not generating explosive plays to give the offense a short field, and that has a major impact on points scored.

War Eagle!

All good points and I saw the same things, can someone please send this to Gus. And JMR would you be interested in a coaching job at Auburn if Gus were to get fired(I mean when he gets fired)? I hear it pays really well.

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Couldn't agree more about the OL and the receivers.  I have to wonder are they being horribly coached, do they have a bad attitude about what the coaches are trying to run,  or are they just that bad?  They certainly were highly ranked recruits to be playing the way they are playing.  When the OL can't even push Mercer and GA Southern around what chance do they have against Bammer and UGA?

Edited by weagl1
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The receivers are not running precise routes. I base that supposition on input I got from a former Auburn WR who told me last week, "those guys wouldn't know a precise route if it hit 'em in the face". I don't know if that's true, but for whatever reason, it's often taking an inordinate amount of time for the ball to leave Stidham's hand.

Definitely true except for Hastings and to some extent Ryan Davis. Hastings, especially, sells his fakes and gets separation on his cuts. His routes are fairly crisp and he is getting open. The other WRs just have to go to school on him.

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Receivers caught just about every pass thrown in their direction...just that JS wants them to be wide open before he makes the pass...helps his accuracy but takes too long against a good defense.

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All great points. 

One thing I saw on replay was Barrett should have had a TD on that first swing pass, and would have if not for an intentional trip by the defender that had been taken to the ground. It was clear as day and an absolute  crapshow by the refs for missing that call. :dunno:

Edited by SCTimbo

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1. Pettway IS slower - whatever the reason - and apparently thinks he can run over anyone and everyone even though the defenses have been smart enough to take him on at his knees. Why we have singled him out to be our only ball carrier at the position is beyond my reasoning.

2. Receivers have been running poor routes (with the exception of Hastings). They seem to think their talent alone is enough to win match ups. I've even seen them run into defenders, like run square into them not shouldering past to get open. At other times I've seen defenders full on grab our receivers 10-15 yards downfield which is apparently not going to be called this year.

3. Stidham is still too slow on making decisions but a lot of times this is due to these longer routes we're asking our receivers to run which I think is ridiculous considering the issues we're having with our o-line. He has a beautiful arm though when he does commit to the throw. Just needs to work on seeing more of the field and getting rid of the ball faster. The interception was more on NCM, I agree. I'm not sure he even realized the defender was closing in on the ball.

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Thanks Coach, always enjoy your analysis. Hope all is well at home. I'm glad to know I'm not crazy in seeing the deficiencies in play, and coaching I'm seeing. Some of the sunshine pumpers on here have actually got me wondering if I'm the one who's nuts. All this talk from some in other threads about going 11-1, and being a top ten team is causing me to shake my head like my dog does when he comes out of the lake.

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