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StatTiger

Upon Further Review -Tennessee Game

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  • Of Auburn's 80 offensive snaps, 46.2 percent went for 5-yards or more, a season-high for the Tigers against FBS competition. It was not enough to overcome the three turnovers by Jarrett Stidham.
  • During the first five games of the season the Auburn defense allowed 4.3 yards per play during the first half and 4.6 yards during the second half. During the last two games, it has increased to 5.4 yards per play during the first half and 6.0 yards during the second half.
  • 52.9 percent of the snaps defended by the Auburn defense went for 2-yards or less. Better consistency than the 33.8 percent against Mississippi State the week before. The impact plays allowed on third and long ruined what might have been a solid defensive performance.
  • Auburn's ten impact plays for 248-yards against the Volunteers was a season-high for the Auburn offense.
  • Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz accounted for 7 of Auburn's ten impact plays against Tennessee.
  • Of Auburn's 80 snaps, 36 were directed to Auburn's top-5 impact players coming into the game. It would have been higher had Whitlow not been injured. It was a good indicator the game plan was built to funnel the football to their established playmakers.
  • In conference play only this season, Kam Martin has 19 offensive touches for 44 yards.
  • Of Auburn's first five offensive possessions against the Volunteers, four of the drives netted at least 50-yards, the first time this season Auburn accomplished such a feat this season. Unfortunately for the Tigers, two of those drives ended with interceptions.
  • Jarrett Stidham had his best game of the season when it came to throwing the intermediate routes. He was 7 of 10 for 177-yards and two touchdowns. Strangely, his two horrific interceptions came throwing the football short.
  • Before the Tennessee game, Auburn was 32-4 in games under Gus Malzahn when scoring at least 17 points by halftime. So what happened against Tennessee? In the past Auburn was able to lean on their running game during the second half which was not the case against the Vols. After rushing for 123-yards during the first half, Auburn had just 20 yards on 11 carries during the second half.
  • Auburn went 75 percent in short-yardage running situations against Tennessee, a season-high in conference play for the Tigers.
  • Last season Auburn passed 33 percent of the time during the second half, and this season Auburn is throwing 56 percent of the time against FBS competition. The lack of a running game has prevented the offense from taking control of the game.
  • During the last four games, Auburn is completed just 61 percent of their first down passes for only 5.4 yards per attempt. With the lack of a running game, Auburn needs to sprinkle more vertical passes into the equation on first down. Auburn is throwing the football 43.4 percent of the time on first down.
  • Auburn has gone "three and out" during more than 28 percent of their possessions in four consecutive games. This is an all-time low for a Gus Malzahn offense at Auburn.
  • Auburn's pass-efficiency on third down from 1993-2018 is 126.4. During Auburn's last six games, it has been 90.1.
  • The Tigers converted 56.3 percent of their third downs against Tennessee, a season-high for the Auburn offense.
  • Auburn has fumbled the football 15 times compared to the opponent's eight fumbles.
  • Deshaun Davis has led Auburn in tackles on 13 occasions since Kevin Steele took over the defense, more than any other Auburn player.
  • Auburn's freshman players accounted for 263-yards on 25 offensive touches for two touchdowns against Tennessee.
  • Malzahn's Auburn Tigers are now 2-7 during games against Power-5 competition when they are minus-two in turnover margin or worse.
  • The Auburn offense against Tennessee succeeded in utilizing their established playmakers. The coaching staff was willing to place the football in the hands of freshman players. They attempted to manufacturing rushing yardage and threw the football on early downs. The game plan and play-calling against the Volunteers was perhaps the best of the season but in the end, it was the turnovers that killed a momentum built. The turnovers was a twenty-point swing in a game lost by six points.
  • The Auburn defense played very well except for third and long. They took away the run and were very successful on first down. They managed to force Tennessee into 19 third-down situations but allowed them to convert ten. At the end of the day, the poor play on third and long and the lack of forced turnovers turned a good performance into a losing performance.
  • On special teams, Auburn struggled in delivering a "game-changing" moment in a game decided by less than seven points.
  • There were plenty of elements of the game to build on, which could carry over to a victory against Ole Miss, the worst defense in the conference. However, there are concerns in every phase of the Auburn Tigers that could result in another "team losing" performance. Saturday's loss to Tennessee was a "snake-bitten" moment for the Auburn Tigers. Every time they made a step forward, there was a play that knocked them backward, whether it was on offense or defense. Auburn's performance against Tennessee minus the turnovers on offense and miscues on defense was good enough for a victory and a win over Ole Miss. The key moving into next week against Ole Miss will be eliminating the mistakes.

 

 

War Eagle!

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I think this continues to show that JS is a liability for this team. He has always had fumbling issues and now his duck and chuck throwing is costing us games. Change at QB has to happen. A QB that is a threat to run along with a short passing game could spark the O. Our freshman WR are so dynamic that they can take a short throw and turn in big yds as we saw. Our RB are not SEC level but the running threat at QB could give them the lanes to take a 2 us gain to a 6 or 7 yd gain. Big difference. 

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As crazy as it may sound, but I believe Cord should be given a chance to run some plays with the 1st team in practice and see how he reacts.   He may,  long may, but he may be the better qb on the team.   I thought when JS signed that he was the best qb AU had signed since Cam.   He has lost his mojo and is performing at a low level at the moment 

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15 minutes ago, StatTiger said:

If there was truly a reliable option behind Stidham, I would be all for sitting him a series or two when he struggled. The reality is there is no viable option behind him right now. This isn't a video game where you just swap a player out and hope for the best. Even with his struggles, he is the only QB prepared to run the offense as it is. Play anyone else right now and it would be a disaster and he has accounted for over 60 percent of Auburn's impact plays. Benching Stidham would not improve pass protection or make Auburn a better running team. A major reason why Stidham is struggling is the supporting cast around him is also struggling. This is not to say he has contributed to Auburn's miscues on offense but Auburn cannot run the football and cannot consistently protect the quarterback.

  Even Steve Spurrier struggled without a running game. Thirty-two times during his stint at UF, his offense was held to under 100-yards rushing. The Gators were 12-19-1 during those 32 games, averaging 357-yards and 24 PPG. During the 90 games his offense rushed for at least 125 yards, he was 86-4, averaging 507 yards and 43 ppg. Think back to the 2001 season when Auburn defeated UF. Tommy Tuberville said all week long, the key to beating Florida would be taking away the ground game and forcing UF to pass. UF was held to -36 yards rushing, finishing the game with 4 interceptions, 326 yards and 20 points.

Chip Kelly at Oregon never won a game when held under 100-yards rushing, averaging 265-yards and 13 ppg during the 5 games held under 100-yards rushing.

During the last ten years in the SEC, teams have averaged 280-yards and 17 ppg when held under 100-yards rushing, with a win pct of just 21 percent.
Pass rating among SEC teams the past ten seasons with under 100-yards rushing is 115.8
It increases to 136.4 with 150-200 yards rushing and 146.3 with 200-250 yards rushing.

Our issue is that doing the same thing over and over is not working. We have regressed 7 Games in. It is not going to change. Your stats bear that out. You have to give the impression of doing something; for the players, for the coaches and for the fans. Failure to act is a failure to lead. I’m advocating that a change at QB changes the running game for the better. This is not anti Gus. I have been his corner the whole time, but his history shows that a mobile QB is a hard requirement for his success. While JS is somewhat mobile he does not want to be hit.

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13 minutes ago, 80Tiger said:

Our issue is that doing the same thing over and over is not working. We have regressed 7 Games in. It is not going to change. Your stats bear that out. You have to give the impression of doing something; for the players, for the coaches and for the fans. Failure to act is a failure to lead. I’m advocating that a change at QB changes the running game for the better. This is not anti Gus. I have been his corner the whole time, but his history shows that a mobile QB is a hard requirement for his success. While JS is somewhat mobile he does not want to be hit.

Stidham began to struggle once there was no running game and poor pass protection. Swapping him out won't change that. The OL and running game has to be addressed first. Placing another QB on the field only magnifies the problems. Again, the reality is there isn't a QB on the roster PREPARED to run the offense so putting them in the game behind the existing issues won't improve the offense. How does swapping out the QB improve run blocking? Auburn's best running back is a converted QB with an injured shoulder? How does replacing the QB make Auburn better at running back? Malzahn won't allow backup QB's to throw the football downfield when leading by 30 points, so why would he start them? You have to look at the situation with all the known variables. This is not about what other coaches would do. This is about how the backup QB's have been prepared under Malzahn and whether or not they would even be given a chance. It's also about the existing passing schemes under Malzahn.

Sandberg is being redshirted along with Joey Gatewood. That leaves Willis and walkon Adams. Malik Willis is fast but nowhere the athletic runner Nick Marshall was. He attempts to run to the edge, hoping he can out-run the pursuit and rarely turns it up field. Even Alabama State tackled him for a safety. Every time he takes to the field, the opposition scheme to defend him running on the edge. The only way to counter that is to establish an inside running game, which goes to back to thew INITIAL problem. Auburn cannot run inside consistently because of a poor OL and only 1 option at RB, who is now injured.

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44 minutes ago, StatTiger said:

If there was truly a reliable option behind Stidham, I would be all for sitting him a series or two when he struggled. The reality is there is no viable option behind him right now.

You say that like Stidham is a viable option and untouchable as a player. He needs to sit and watch a few series.

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2 minutes ago, jared52 said:

You say that like Stidham is a viable option and untouchable as a player. He needs to sit and watch a few series.

Take away one dropped pass and Stidham would’ve passed for 350+ yards and three TDs. His turnovers were bad but one was on a bad play call. How is Stidham not viable?

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6 minutes ago, jared52 said:

You say that like Stidham is a viable option and untouchable as a player. He needs to sit and watch a few series.

No I am not. I am saying because the way Malzahn has prepared his quarterbacks, Stidham is the only viable option. Malzahn is the primary variable why Auburn hasn't had a backup quarterback ready for action since 2014. Where did I say Stidham is untouchable as a player? Go back and look at every blowout victory since 2014 and look at how the backup quarterbacks have been utilized. 

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20 minutes ago, StatTiger said:

No I am not. I am saying because the way Malzahn has prepared his quarterbacks, Stidham is the only viable option. Malzahn is the primary variable why Auburn hasn't had a backup quarterback ready for action since 2014. Where did I say Stidham is untouchable as a player? Go back and look at every blowout victory since 2014 and look at how the backup quarterbacks have been utilized. 

I agree it’s a praparation issue, but when your QB is making bad decision after bad decision, maybe let him take a couple of series off. No, Willis or Standburg aren’t going to come in a win any games, but you have to say enough is enough at some point. 

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I have to agree with Stat we have no other viable options at QB. Willis could play a couple of series but the results would be the same. The offensive line can not run or pass block and have not improved all year long. We really have no options at running back that would be considered an every down back.  Poor recruiting and coaching has placed us in a big deep hole and it’s going to take time to crawl out of it. 

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30 minutes ago, aujeff11 said:

Take away one dropped pass and Stidham would’ve passed for 350+ yards and three TDs. His turnovers were bad but one was on a bad play call. How is Stidham not viable?

Ok, he’s “viable” sure. He’s been given all the starter reps in practice since last Sept. But at some point you have to put him on the bench and make him fight for the job again. I can only guess why he’s been so awful this year when it mattered most, but my eyes don’t deceive me when throw after throw at critical times goes sailing away. 

Yes, the OL isn’t helping. Yes, having no run game is detrimental. But he’s not making the big plays and he’s making ones that cost his team dearly (10 points in the first half). AU’s season is spent. Why does it matter if Willis or Sandburg (or Gatewood when he’s healthy) come in for a couple of series?

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8 minutes ago, jared52 said:

Why does it matter if Willis or Sandburg (or Gatewood when he’s healthy) come in for a couple of series?

I actually agree with this. No argument there. We have to get them QBs some reps. 

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My question would be how does anyone here know if there is a viable option behind Stidham? We are not in practice and you cant judge whether Willis can run the offense off of a few plays scattered here and there that are apparently always the same play call.  In sure Willis can throw the ball to some degree right? He would be a running back otherwise.  But Gus never lets him do it in a game.  The one time he did he got in trouble bc Gus didnt want to run up the score.  

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Gus has been protecting Stidham all season.  He hasnt let us see what any other qb is capable of.  And i would argue it would improve the running game. It gives the defense someone else to worry about. Right now on likely running downs they just key on our one rb and our line isnt good enough to impose their will.  Stidham rarely keeps it and when he does he doesnt have elite speed.  Willis does!

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One more comment, we all know it doesnt take a rocket scientist to run the zone read. Look how well Marshall ran it. If they havent taught Willis to at least be proficient in running that zone read concept at this point then thats just another sign of the coaches not developing players. Its either that, or Willis is not as smart as Marshall, which is almost a statistical impossibility!

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Even if Sandberg and Willis wind up absolutely looking terrible, Gus could gain just a modicum of favor amongst the fans if he put them in for a few series just to show that he's willing to try something to give the O a spark. Cord looked like a really fast and athletic guy. More so than Willis and he's bigger. I'd love to see him get a few series. Even if it ends poorly.

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Stidham had his best game throwing granted but he also had his dumbest game. There were some boneheaded decisions in the first half when I was watching...I think Auburn has had a solid game plan the past few games but last week it was felled by a terrible OLine showing and Stidham looking really horrid. This week it was more just Jarrett. Just keep this game plan and insert someone else in man 

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9 hours ago, StatTiger said:

No I am not. I am saying because the way Malzahn has prepared his quarterbacks, Stidham is the only viable option. Malzahn is the primary variable why Auburn hasn't had a backup quarterback ready for action since 2014. Where did I say Stidham is untouchable as a player? Go back and look at every blowout victory since 2014 and look at how the backup quarterbacks have been utilized. 

Lack of player development and under utilization of players, equals a nut for a head coach. This coach does some of the dumbest things I have ever witnessed in college football. I will never forget the Clemson fiasco, with multiple QBs. It was downright embarrassing. The whirly bird play is another example of the idiocy we have seen on the field. I can't help it, he is just dumb.

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19 hours ago, StatTiger said:

If there was truly a reliable option behind Stidham, I would be all for sitting him a series or two when he struggled. The reality is there is no viable option behind him right now. This isn't a video game where you just swap a player out and hope for the best. Even with his struggles, he is the only QB prepared to run the offense as it is. Play anyone else right now and it would be a disaster and he has accounted for over 60 percent of Auburn's impact plays. Benching Stidham would not improve pass protection or make Auburn a better running team. A major reason why Stidham is struggling is the supporting cast around him is also struggling. This is not to say he has contributed to Auburn's miscues on offense but Auburn cannot run the football and cannot consistently protect the quarterback.

 

 

I really feel everyone is forgetting that.  Which also  leads  to  more  questions.  How? HOW  in year six of Gus Malzahns tenure do we only  have one viable QB?  I would also like to  bring back up the "What happened to Jeremy  Johnson?"  issue.  Did Jeremy have  "mental issues?" or was it poor  coaching. Nick Marshal did not improve his second season.  Stidham has regressed.

Also, MALIK CANNOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN WITH A FOOTBALL.   SANDBERG IS A POCKET PASSER! AGAIN O-LINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIM. 
JOEY GATEWOOD" SEE WILLIS COMMENT!!!!

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The zone read offense needs at least mediocre line play and a minimal threat of a passing game to work. We have neither one if you put Willis in. Defenses would destroy the play as soon as the qb caught the snap. 

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3 minutes ago, ToomersStreet said:

I really feel everyone is forgetting that.  Which also  leads  to  more  questions.  How? HOW  in year six of Gus Malzahns tenure do we only  have one viable QB?  I would also like to  bring back up the "What happened to Jeremy  Johnson?"  issue.  Did Jeremy have  "mental issues?" or was it poor  coaching. Nick Marshal did not improve his second season.  Stidham has regressed.

Also, MALIK CANNOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN WITH A FOOTBALL.   SANDBERG IS A POCKET PASSER! AGAIN O-LINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIM. 
JOEY GATEWOOD" SEE WILLIS COMMENT!!!!

Why are we yelling!!!

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2 hours ago, ToomersStreet said:

I really feel everyone is forgetting that.  Which also  leads  to  more  questions.  How? HOW  in year six of Gus Malzahns tenure do we only  have one viable QB?  I would also like to  bring back up the "What happened to Jeremy  Johnson?"  issue.  Did Jeremy have  "mental issues?" or was it poor  coaching. Nick Marshal did not improve his second season.  Stidham has regressed.

Also, MALIK CANNOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN WITH A FOOTBALL.   SANDBERG IS A POCKET PASSER! AGAIN O-LINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIM. 
JOEY GATEWOOD" SEE WILLIS COMMENT!!!!

Gus has always done this in his tenure at Auburn after the 2014 season.  Stat mentioned in a response below.

21 hours ago, StatTiger said:

No I am not. I am saying because the way Malzahn has prepared his quarterbacks, Stidham is the only viable option. Malzahn is the primary variable why Auburn hasn't had a backup quarterback ready for action since 2014. Where did I say Stidham is untouchable as a player? Go back and look at every blowout victory since 2014 and look at how the backup quarterbacks have been utilized. 

To your last paragraph, we as fans, don’t really know what we have as backups because we haven’t seen these players in the full offense.  Save MW, we haven’t seen any of them except the Alabama State game.

Our only hope that we could see a change in the QB position as a change of pace or as a viable option is the A&M game as Auburn will be coming off of a bye week.  Gus, IMO, will not change the QB in a game unless there is an injury.  He just can’t adjust during a game.  Gus hasn’t been able to adjust to the flow of a game in the last few seasons.  He is who he is.

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3 hours ago, ToomersStreet said:

I really feel everyone is forgetting that.  Which also  leads  to  more  questions.  How? HOW  in year six of Gus Malzahns tenure do we only  have one viable QB?  I would also like to  bring back up the "What happened to Jeremy  Johnson?"  issue.  Did Jeremy have  "mental issues?" or was it poor  coaching. Nick Marshal did not improve his second season.  Stidham has regressed.

Also, MALIK CANNOT HIT THE BROAD SIDE OF A BARN WITH A FOOTBALL.   SANDBERG IS A POCKET PASSER! AGAIN O-LINE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIM. 
JOEY GATEWOOD" SEE WILLIS COMMENT!!!!

Cord actually looked pretty damn quick while in the game, and of course, all he was allowed to do was run the ball....lol. The point is, what do we realistically have to lose. Give him a few series of the actual offense. Some easy pitch and catch. Maybe it will humble JS some, maybe not, but at the very least it'll give SOMEBODY a chance to see what he can or can't do. Also....why have we abandoned the TE AGAIN? The few times we've gone to it, it was successful. 

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20 hours ago, BHDAU1 said:

One more comment, we all know it doesnt take a rocket scientist to run the zone read. Look how well Marshall ran it. If they havent taught Willis to at least be proficient in running that zone read concept at this point then thats just another sign of the coaches not developing players. Its either that, or Willis is not as smart as Marshall, which is almost a statistical impossibility!

More like we got spoiled with Nick Marshall's ability to run it (and defenses lack of discipline to stop it). He was very good. And we actually had a pretty balanced offense back then so teams couldn't just put 7-8 in the box like they would do now if Malik Willis were to come in.

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