JMR

Things I Think I Saw: AU vs Tennessee

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1 minute ago, Linayus said:

I think that decision was just to make our offense more balanced. NM knew he wasn't going to be a QB in the NFL.

I do 100% agree here. The dual threat QBs we have recruited just haven't worked out for us and Stidham, while he has great potential and can make throws all over the field when he has time to do so, just isn't the right fit for this offense. Or maybe it's not that he doesn't fit but the coaches are still keeping plays in there that do him no favors (like the zone read when you know he's going to hand the ball to the RB 98% of the time).

I don't think NM had anything to do with it.  He was smart enough to workout as a DB to try and move to the next level.  I think he would have been happy with maintaining the winning formula.  My comments are squarely about Gus.  Yes, he was trying for more balance but based on comments from before that Season (sorry, no link, just going by memory) Gus was trying to convince people that his offense could work for NFL wanna be QB's.....and he's STILL trying to convince people of that to this day.

Exactly.  With a pocket passer the zone-read handoffs are like a screen-door on a submarine.

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2 hours ago, Auburn Kev said:

Ugh

 

 Ta'amu is no slouch.   So let's go for 4!

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3 hours ago, AUsince72 said:

I don't think NM had anything to do with it.  He was smart enough to workout as a DB to try and move to the next level.  I think he would have been happy with maintaining the winning formula.  My comments are squarely about Gus.  Yes, he was trying for more balance but based on comments from before that Season (sorry, no link, just going by memory) Gus was trying to convince people that his offense could work for NFL wanna be QB's.....and he's STILL trying to convince people of that to this day.

Exactly.  With a pocket passer the zone-read handoffs are like a screen-door on a submarine.

The "Nick Marshall experience" as I like to call it was kinda unprecedented. There have been few times in CFB history that something like that actually worked out. It also makes up the one outlier in Gus' QB history where a QB actually improves statistically from one year to the next - 2013 to 2014. I'll say this again - you stick a halfway competent defense on that 2014 team with the same special teams and offense and Auburn doesn't lose a game that year. They don't give up 40+ points to MSU, they take down South Carolina much easier, they pull away from Ole Miss by the 3rd quarter and that game never gets dicey, they beat A&M, they beat Alabama, etc. Georgia is the only game that year where things are interesting because the offense actually got shut down after the 1st quarter but who knows? The offense in 2014 wasn't as clutch as 2013 but then again, they didn't have to be - they were prolific with the points on the ground and through the air. Give us a top 30 defense that year and Auburn wins the West, beats Mizzou in Atlanta for the 2nd year in a row, wins the SEC and goes to the playoff against OSU instead of Bammer.

Malzahn thought he could replicate that experience with James Franklin III in 2016. I think the coaching staff threw in all their chips on that one. Once it became evident that JF3 was not capable of being even competent at QB, they panicked because they had a good but troubled QB in Sean White, and a talented headcase in Jeremy Johnson that they neglected to try and develop or rescue after 2015. Thus you get the 2016 Clemson game debacle where they substituted at will to see what they could do - with predictable and painful results.

Then they said, "Okay, so we probably just need to opt for a bonafide passing QB" and subsequently recruited Stidham. It worked for the most part in 2017 and is now crashing and burning as Stidham has lost whatever edge he had, even at the beginning of this year. IDK what happened with Stidham - it's just about the strangest thing I've seen from a player at Auburn to have fallen so far. I know the O-line is bad but there were plenty of plays on Saturday where the kid had plenty of time to make throws and ended up misjudging a throw, overthrowing, or panicking and taking off on a scramble. I remember one play in particular, sometime in the 3rd quarter I believe, where it was a 3rd and around 10-ish. Stidham had at least 4-5 seconds without any pressure. He stared down Seth Williams and ended up delivering a ball slightly behind him and too high - Williams tipped it in an effort to make the catch and it fell incomplete. When you have plenty of time to make the throw and actually stare down the receiver to deliver the ball, it's no longer the receiver's fault for not catching it.

QB development is just one of the issues Gus is ultimately responsible for. 6 years in, there's not an aspect of the program that hasn't been built by decisions Gus has made - including the defense - kudos to him for making the right hires there. It's just more than a little concerning that the side of the ball that's he's supposed to be a genius at just happens to be the one with all the problems for the last 4 seasons - whether it's QB, O-line, WRs, not enough healthy and elite RBs, not using TEs properly, idiotic playcalling, etc.

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4 hours ago, Linayus said:

What the coaching staff cannot do - is make every throw. They can't make Stidham throw the ball away or just take a sack instead of trying to make something from nothing and throw pick after pick that kills all of our momentum. They can't block the guy Horton/Troxell/Tega/Cox/Whitlow misses. They can't catch the damn near perfect deep ball that Stidham throws to Slayton.

You just listed problems in every single position group on offense except TE and RB. We already had a tight end leave the program after a few games and you could definitely add crucial mistakes from the RBs to the list.

You get to blame individual mistakes on individual players when it is only some individual players making individual mistakes. We have a collective, almost complete failure on offense. Lack of effort, lack of execution, penalties, you name it. We have numerous players who have gotten worse since last year. How many teams in the league do you think we're capable of beating? One? Two, tops? Do you think we could beat Arkansas again? There is no way the head coach of the Auburn damned Tigers doesn't deserve significant criticism for that. 

Also, regarding Gus specifically, remember that he didn't get this kind of hate when his offense was succeeding in 2013 and 2014 but the defense was atrocious. The hate was centered on the defensive coordinator because it was understood that Gus was in charge of the offense and kept his hands off the defense. So now, Kevin Steele and his staff get the credit from me for the performance of our defense, who are the only reason we've been in these games. And are there cracks forming on that side of the ball? Of course there are. There's no way they can be asked to sustain their performance when the offense can't even get first downs, much less points. 

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Not pulling Horton and Harrell for anybody willing to stick a hand out against the opposing line ought to get someone fired. First Grimes, then Lindsey, then Gus. In no way in 🔥 can our backups be so atrocious that having those two killing grass gives us our BEST chance to win. I could suit up and give us a better shot, all 5'9" 196 lbs of me...

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When Cox was on the field Auburn ran or had a screen pass on 35 of 47 snaps.  Auburn passed 30/33 times when he was off the field.

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20 minutes ago, auburnphan said:

When Cox was on the field Auburn ran or had a screen pass on 35 of 47 snaps.  Auburn passed 30/33 times when he was off the field.

No trend there I see:cool:

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On 10/14/2018 at 2:53 PM, JMR said:
 
  • Auburn’s secondary was abused by the UT wide receivers and even running backs. Javaris Davis might have had his worst game as a Tiger. I shudder to think about Ole Miss next week with their big, skilled wide receivers.

 

This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In Malzahn's post-game press conference, he made excuses for this, claiming (over and over) that the Tennessee QB threw perfect passes that only his intended receiver could catch.  Made me sick listening to it.

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9 hours ago, Linayus said:

What the coaching staff cannot do - is make every throw. They can't make Stidham throw the ball away or just take a sack instead of trying to make something from nothing and throw pick after pick that kills all of our momentum. They can't block the guy Horton/Troxell/Tega/Cox/Whitlow misses. They can't catch the damn near perfect deep ball that Stidham throws to Slayton.

But what they can do is coach the players to do those things and if they can not be coached to do these things, then the coaches can sit their butt on the bench until they can do them. It all comes back to coaching no matter how you cut it.

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4 hours ago, McLoofus said:

You get to blame individual mistakes on individual players when it is only some individual players making individual mistakes. We have a collective, almost complete failure on offense. Lack of effort, lack of execution, penalties, you name it. We have numerous players who have gotten worse since last year. How many teams in the league do you think we're capable of beating? One? Two, tops? Do you think we could beat Arkansas again? There is no way the head coach of the Auburn damned Tigers doesn't deserve significant criticism for that.

I'm pretty sure I said he deserves criticism for various aspects of our offensive failures (staff, recruiting, possibly some play calling), but what I'm specifically annoyed with is when you know the mistakes are on the players (i.e. Stidham's horrible interceptions against TN) and we get a "Fire Gus!" Gus didn't kill that drive. He didn't throw that ball. I'm pretty sure we've all seen him get frustrated and say things like "Just throw it away!" instead of taking an unnecessary sack or forcing a bad throw that's picked off. Our offense was moving steadily down the field several times in recent weeks when suddenly there's a turnover or we have a wide open (for days) WR who is either vastly overthrown or is probably in so much shock the ball is right there that he actually drops it but all we hear is "Fire Gus" again.

Auburn has gotten some pretty crappy breaks lately. We haven't been the offensive power we hoped to be and that's frustrating, but we have been in position (yes, thank you defense) and have had the plays dialed up to actually win these games (the exception maybe being LSU). But then Stidham overthrows the wide open receiver for a sure TD. Or Whitlow fumbles trying to dive into the end zone. Or Slayton drops what is probably a TD. The coaches call the plays but the players have to execute and you can't just blame Gus every time someone else f-cks up.

Edit: Maybe this will help clarify what I'm saying - If Whitlow doesn't fumble that ball and Slayton catches that TD and Stidham connects on these wide open throws (all big IFs, I know) - we are possibly looking at a 6-1 record with a loss to a suddenly really hot LSU team and we wouldn't have a dozen different threads talking about firing Gus because we'd still be a top 10 team. Instead those things did not go our way, we're 4-3 and out of the Top 25, and everything is Gus' fault because Gus controls everything and everyone associated with Auburn football, his coaches can't work with him, his players hate him, and Gus doesn't give a damn because he's already paid.

Edited by Linayus

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2 hours ago, Linayus said:

I'm pretty sure I said he deserves criticism for various aspects of our offensive failures (staff, recruiting, possibly some play calling), but what I'm specifically annoyed with is when you know the mistakes are on the players (i.e. Stidham's horrible interceptions against TN) and we get a "Fire Gus!" Gus didn't kill that drive. He didn't throw that ball. I'm pretty sure we've all seen him get frustrated and say things like "Just throw it away!" instead of taking an unnecessary sack or forcing a bad throw that's picked off. Our offense was moving steadily down the field several times in recent weeks when suddenly there's a turnover or we have a wide open (for days) WR who is either vastly overthrown or is probably in so much shock the ball is right there that he actually drops it but all we hear is "Fire Gus" again.

Auburn has gotten some pretty crappy breaks lately. We haven't been the offensive power we hoped to be and that's frustrating, but we have been in position (yes, thank you defense) and have had the plays dialed up to actually win these games (the exception maybe being LSU). But then Stidham overthrows the wide open receiver for a sure TD. Or Whitlow fumbles trying to dive into the end zone. Or Slayton drops what is probably a TD. The coaches call the plays but the players have to execute and you can't just blame Gus every time someone else f-cks up.

Edit: Maybe this will help clarify what I'm saying - If Whitlow doesn't fumble that ball and Slayton catches that TD and Stidham connects on these wide open throws (all big IFs, I know) - we are possibly looking at a 6-1 record with a loss to a suddenly really hot LSU team and we wouldn't have a dozen different threads talking about firing Gus because we'd still be a top 10 team. Instead those things did not go our way, we're 4-3 and out of the Top 25, and everything is Gus' fault because Gus controls everything and everyone associated with Auburn football, his coaches can't work with him, his players hate him, and Gus doesn't give a damn because he's already paid.

'Woulda/coulda/shoulda...'  Good teams with good coaching don't lose games to mediocre teams this way.  Unfortunately, Gus will likely have 2 more seasons to make you rethink this post.

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On 10/14/2018 at 3:12 PM, AUDevil said:

Arkansas is the worst team in the SEC...not debatable.

Arkansas is getting better each week.  We're... not. 

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11 hours ago, Linayus said:

Edit: Maybe this will help clarify what I'm saying - If Whitlow doesn't fumble that ball and Slayton catches that TD and Stidham connects on these wide open throws (all big IFs, I know) - we are possibly looking at a 6-1 record with a loss to a suddenly really hot LSU team and we wouldn't have a dozen different threads talking about firing Gus because we'd still be a top 10 team. Instead those things did not go our way, we're 4-3 and out of the Top 25, and everything is Gus' fault because Gus controls everything and everyone associated with Auburn football, his coaches can't work with him, his players hate him, and Gus doesn't give a damn because he's already paid.

I am of the opinion that we shouldn't be even a couple plays away from losing to UT and MSU.

Or let's take the W-L record out of it. Auburn is 93rd in total offense after 7 games. There are all of 3 SEC teams below us, and one of them just beat us. I don't feel like we're just a few bad breaks away from being remotely as good as we should be in year 6 of Gus's tenure. 

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1 hour ago, McLoofus said:

I am of the opinion that we shouldn't be even a couple plays away from losing to UT and MSU.

Or let's take the W-L record out of it. Auburn is 93rd in total offense after 7 games. There are all of 3 SEC teams below us, and one of them just beat us. I don't feel like we're just a few bad breaks away from being remotely as good as we should be in year 6 of Gus's tenure. 

If we had an offensive line that was even average - we'd not be struggling so bad. It all starts up front and that's a total disaster for us this year. THAT I can see us putting blame on the coaches. We're not the team we were hoping to be but the coaches have at least gotten us in position to win those games despite the struggles.

Also, think back to 2010 and even 2013 - we were certainly not the most complete teams then and needed some lucky plays to be great and get where we were at the end of the season. Yes, those offenses were definitely better, but they weren't exactly dominant either. They did however have a pretty good o-line. lol

I think we are all wishing we'd have just given Gus a year or two extension. He might have us on a roller coaster as a program but he's done a good job regarding any NCAA and off the field issues and recruiting has been solid with him (except for o-line and QB unfortunately). The players love him too. Unfortunately, all that really matters to the majority of the fan base is the W-L column and that's certainly not where we wanted it to be at this point in the season.

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8 minutes ago, Linayus said:

The players love him too. Unfortunately, all that really matters to the majority of the fan base is the W-L column

Agreed with the first part until this season, and the 2nd part isn't true of me. I just want the team to look prepared for and competent in every game, and to get better as the season goes on. Gus regularly fails to do the former, even with offenses that are very talented and capable, and he's doing the exact opposite of the latter this season. 

Btw, let me give you an example of something that is 100% on Gus and has nothing to do with our offensive line. We have a freshman kicker who is 1 for 8 on FG attempts over 50 yards. With one of the top defenses in the country. Just let that sink in. Our coach is not fit for this job. 

 

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4 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Agreed with the first part until this season, and the 2nd part isn't true of me. I just want the team to look prepared for and competent in every game, and to get better as the season goes on. Gus regularly fails to do the former, even with offenses that are very talented and capable, and he's doing the exact opposite of the latter this season. 

Btw, let me give you an example of something that is 100% on Gus and has nothing to do with our offensive line. We have a freshman kicker who is 1 for 8 on FG attempts over 50 yards. With one of the top defenses in the country. Just let that sink in. Our coach is not fit for this job. 

 

I think they still stand with Gus. But I don't have a direct locker room connection this year (though I could ask).

As for Anders.. he has never been accurate from beyond 45 as much as I've seen him warm up but Gus always asked Daniel where he felt comfortable that day. I can't believe he'd not do the same for Anders so I don't know whether to blame Gus or just feel bad for Anders wanting to prove he can make those kicks and continually missing. I do believe though at some point Gus has to say "I know you have the leg but let's give you a break from beyond 45 for now."

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13 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Btw, let me give you an example of something that is 100% on Gus and has nothing to do with our offensive line. We have a freshman kicker who is 1 for 8 on FG attempts over 50 yards. With one of the top defenses in the country. Just let that sink in. Our coach is not fit for this job. 

In no way am I taking up for Gustav but I think he is taking a chance on the long FG's because he knows he can't score TD's.

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4 minutes ago, Linayus said:

I think they still stand with Gus. But I don't have a direct locker room connection this year (though I could ask).

I should amend my previous comment. I think we're seeing a significantly less unified locker room than in previous seasons. Easy to say given the way the season is playing out, for sure.

Quote

I do believe though at some point Gus has to say "I know you have the leg but let's give you a break from beyond 45 for now."

Yeah. I was all for it early, but he's 0 for 6 since the first game. Not sure when the cutoff should've been, but it was at least a couple games ago. 

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2 minutes ago, kd4au said:

In no way am I taking up for Gustav but I think he is taking a chance on the long FG's because he knows he can't score TD's.

There's at least logic in that. 

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I believe Daniel was in town this weekend. Hopefully he was able to help Anders out some. It could be mental, but like I said, he's never been as accurate as Daniel though I think he has a far stronger leg.

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Carlson's 9/10 inside of 50. That is SICK. He's currently at 55.6% made with 8 kicks beyond 50 to 10 inside of 50. For comparison, Wes Byrum finished at 57.9% as a sophomore. 

The only help Anders needs is to quit having too much asked of him. Recurring theme with the head coach. Play Sean White hurt. Play KJ hurt. Keep trotting a freshman out to miss crucial 50+ yard kicks in games where he- the freshman- knows the offense can't score any other way. 

Sorry to keep harping on it but this isn't an Anders Carlson problem. 

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11 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Carlson's 9/10 inside of 50. That is SICK. He's currently at 55.6% made with 8 kicks beyond 50 to 10 inside of 50. For comparison, Wes Byrum finished at 57.9% as a sophomore. 

The only help Anders needs is to quit having too much asked of him. Recurring theme with the head coach. Play Sean White hurt. Play KJ hurt. Keep trotting a freshman out to miss crucial 50+ yard kicks in games where he- the freshman- knows the offense can't score any other way. 

Sorry to keep harping on it but this isn't an Anders Carlson problem. 

I meant accurate beyond 45 - he's definitely nailing anything shorter. But we both agree he doesn't need to keep attempting 50+ yard FGs, no matter what the issue is.

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Auburn is 4/10 on fourth down conversions.  Better odds to just go for it than to kick a long field goal.

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