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JMR

Things I Think I Saw: Auburn vs Georgia....

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Another very disappointing loss, hardly a surprise but still a disappointment. Reality is, Auburn is not a very good football team at this point. I do not think the players have “quit,” but their confidence is gone and when pride is your only motivation, losing becomes a little less painful. That’s not the way “it should be,” but that’s human nature. I guess if there’s any silver lining to this loss, it’s the fact that Georgia has considerably more good players than Auburn does, thanks to a deep pool of high school talent in that state and excellent recruiting results year after year. That said, here are some things I think I saw in the game.  Not a lot of positives, but a few scattered here and there…..
 
  • UGA’s defensive staff had scouted Auburn really well. Early in the game, they made some defensive calls that were specifically designed to disrupt the play that AU ran. On an Auburn screen, they stunted right into the play, and on an early third-and-twenty, they rushed three and blanketed the three receivers Auburn had out. Whether you credit that to their preparation or to Auburn’s predictability, it’s still good coaching.
 
  • I honestly can’t recall the last game I thought Auburn tackled well. It seems like our tackling gets worse every week. That may have been due to the quality of running backs Georgia had, as they are outstanding but I don’t really think so. Georgia had 8 plays of 20 yards or more in the first half alone. I felt like the fact that the UGA backs fell forward on every play early in the game was a tell-tale sign of bad things to come, and so it was.
 
  • The AU defense has struggled to set the edge all season long.  The “step down” technique our defensive ends play sets them up to lose contain regardless of effort. Sometimes we use the corners to set the edge and that almost always fails. That’s a schematics/tactics thing that will need to be heavily scrutinized during the off-season.
 
  • The Auburn defense was very good on the goal line, when we typically put 8 in the box.
 
  • Despite the poor rushing attack, I thought Boobee Whitlow played with a lot of effort. Coming out of a small high school, Whitlow had a ton to learn about big-time football but he has gotten better steadily through the season. He’s never going to be a home-run threat but with time and experience, he can be a quality SEC-level running back. We just need a couple more like him, along with at least one big-play guy.
 
  • Losing Big Kat Bryant to a targeting ejection was a blow to the defense, especially when we lost Nick Coe to a freak injury. Bryant did lead with the crown of his helmet. That’s an incredibly hard habit to break. I know, because I did it throughout high school and college, long before it was against the rules. With both Coe and Bryant unavailable, that left T.D. Moultry at buck. The kid has improved this season but he’s still a ways from capable as a starter in this league. He has zero pass-rush moves, has no idea how to use his hands, and is an easy block for most SEC linemen.
 
  • I was pleased to see Auburn run a lot of 4-wide throughout the game. I love Chandler Cox and have no problem with using him as a wideout on occasion but against a defense as good as Georgia’s, Auburn absolutely must spread the defense out to try to create some space to run the ball at times.
 
  • Jarrett Stidham was not “terrible” this week but he missed several critical throws badly, never seemed to go through any kind of progression of reads and bailed out of the pocket prematurely several times. Obviously, the shaky offensive line play since the season began has not had a positive effect on our quarterback or our passing game. Neither has the relative simplicity of our route combinations. I didn’t keep a count, but I would guess that two-thirds or more of Stidham’s pass attempts were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. On one key series in the second half, Stidham threw behind Seth Williams on a slant on a second-and-two, then badly missed an open Slayton on third-and-two. He also missed Schenker open for a TD in the back of the end zone.Those are throws a veteran QB has to make to compete in this league.
 
  • The AU offense used pace more frequently this week, and early in the game, it seemed to be paying off. Was frustrating watching Georgia send in a whole wave of substitutions every time Auburn slowed down to substitute on offense, including once on second and goal at the Georgia four yard line.
 
  • Lots of poor pursuit angles by the AU defense this week, particularly in the defensive secondary.  Daniel Thomas, after playing a great game last week, was frequently caught out of position this week, and usually took a poor angle from there. Christian Tutt, who had been seemingly coming on, looked more like the true freshman he is this week, and was burned badly a couple of times.
 
  • At times, Georgia’s offensive staff just out-schemed the AU defense, like forcing man coverage by Jordyn Peters on Terry Godwin. Georgia OC Jim Cheney has created a versatile offense, led by a smart quarterback. And Georgia OL coach Sam Pittman, who worked with Cheney previously on Bielema’s Arkansas staff, is one of the best OL coaches in the business. With talented players and an excellent coaching staff on the UGA offense, the AU defense had quite a challenge on its hands.
 
  • Fundamentals are always evident in tough games like this one. Iggy’s fumble on a kick return is a case in point, as he only had one hand on the football when initial contact was made. Pretty much every kid from pee wee football up is taught to cover the ball with both hands when contact is imminent. I’m not faulting the kid; I’m faulting the adults responsible for teaching him to take care of the seemingly small things.
 
  • The Auburn defense continues to struggle to get off the field on third down. At one point, Georgia converted on a third-and-sixteen, making them 8 of 10 on third down conversions to that point.

None of us know what happens from here. I’m disappointed for the players, although they have to shoulder part of the responsibility for not reaching their goals. Hopefully, we will pick up win number seven against Liberty, then visit a powerful Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  My focus and concern at this point is not the two games remaining (plus a bowl of some sort) but what happens between the Iron Bowl and next year’s opening game. There is obviously a lot to be fixed during that time, and I’m already curious about just how that will happen. WAR EAGLE!!
 
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I actually felt OK about this game and how it was going. Until Stidham missed a wide-open Whitlow on the checkdown. If he hits that, we drive and score before halftime, and UGA probably doesn't. Then it's either 17-13 at half, or maybe 20-17.

It's an entirely different game if he makes that simple throw. For a team with shaky confidence, you have to be perfect. There were too many little mistakes last night, and while I won't blame the loss on Stidham, as soon as it happened I turned to someone and said "That's ballgame. That will ruin the mojo, and we will not score again." And I was right.

I honestly think that if he makes that throw, we win the game in the end. Or, at least, we're playing for the win a the end.

It's the little things. In almost everything, it's the little things. And this team does not do the little things well.

On the bright side, I think that they don't do the little things well because they're trying too hard (probably because they're desperate). There's a HUGE difference between D being out of position because they're lost, and because they're trying to do too much individually. Bad angles? same thing. It's frustrating, but at least it is a sign of not quitting.

I will also say: we lost by 17. And while I don't like losing, I certainly thought that - after the games with UT, MooState, and A&M, that we were going to lose by 40 or more. Those boys showed fight yesterday. There were lots of things to be angry about, but that wasn't a bad game, really. Take away those two long TDs and its a dogfight.

I hate that we lost, and there's blame to spread around and work to do to fix a faulty football team. But after yesterday, for some reason, I am not despondent like I was after Mississippi State or Tennessee. That was a game that we should have lost, and did, but that team fought until the end, and was a few plays away from a different outcome. We've got to do better, but better isn't as far away as some here want to be convinced it is.

Edited by Auctoritas
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Auburn stinks this year. Facts are facts. Question is: will 2019 be more of the same?

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Thanks again for your input. My frustration is that we continue to make the same mistakes. I thought Sunday was normally a film day to review with these guys about their mistakes and to work to improve them. I just don’t see that improvement. I know you probably disagree but this is coaches problem. They are responsible to correct these problems. As you stated all year on defense we have failed to set the edges. Over and over the outside guy gets taken in. We continue to get beat us the middle because guys are trying to guess rather than staying in their gap and covering their area. On offense QB continues to fail to read . I know I counted many time RD made a fast break at the snap on a slant across the middle in the first seconds of the play and JS was watching the rush and never threw the ball. So why isn’t a coach pointing this out on Sunday and getting corrected. In fact how come the guys in the box at the game are not calling down and pointing it out during the game. I’m ready to see more passing by Boobie. Don’t know why JS cannot put abtouch on a short pass like Boobie did on the TD.  Here is the truth we probably didn’t loose anymore from our team from last year than uga did. We were not even in the same park with them last night. That is purely on the coaches.

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17 minutes ago, Auctoritas said:

I actually felt OK about this game and how it was going. Until Stidham missed a wide-open Whitlow on the checkdown. If he hits that, we drive and score before halftime, and UGA probably doesn't. Then it's either 17-13 at half, or maybe 20-17.

It's an entirely different game if he makes that simple throw. For a team with shaky confidence, you have to be perfect. There were too many little mistakes last night, and while I won't blame the loss on Stidham, as soon as it happened I turned to someone and said "That's ballgame. That will ruin the mojo, and we will not score again." And I was right.

I honestly think that if he makes that throw, we win the game in the end. Or, at least, we're playing for the win a the end.

It's the little things. In almost everything, it's the little things. And this team does not do the little things well.

On the bright side, I think that they don't do the little things well because they're trying too hard (probably because they're desperate). There's a HUGE difference between D being out of position because they're lost, and because they're trying to do too much individually. Bad angles? same thing. It's frustrating, but at least it is a sign of not quitting.

I will also say: we lost by 17. And while I don't like losing, I certainly thought that - after the games with UT, MooState, and A&M, that we were going to lose by 40 or more. Those boys showed fight yesterday. There were lots of things to be angry about, but that wasn't a bad game, really. Take away those two long TDs and its a dogfight.

I hate that we lost, and there's blame to spread around and work to do to fix a faulty football team. But after yesterday, for some reason, I am not despondent like I was after Mississippi State or Tennessee. That was a game that we should have lost, and did, but that team fought until the end, and was a few plays away from a different outcome. We've got to do better, but better isn't as far away as some here want to be convinced it is.

Just the fact that we did not come out on fire in the 3rd quarter after practically giving the game away before halftime. That made it a bad game right there! One of way too many.

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It’s become painfully obvious that this year’s team is not being coached very well.  I really feel sorry for the players.  

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5 minutes ago, gctiger said:

It’s become painfully obvious that this year’s team is not being coached very well.  I really feel sorry for the players.  

So do I. But everybody involved in the program bears some responsibility. We are absolutely poorly coached, and that is on Coach Rain Man. But players have to do their job as well. 

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20 minutes ago, JMR said:

So do I. But everybody involved in the program bears some responsibility. We are absolutely poorly coached, and that is on Coach Rain Man. But players have to do their job as well. 

Coach, after watching Stidham and our receivers not get it done (Stidham missing quite a few easy throws and Seth William's dropping a touchdown catch), I just dont ever see Coach Rain Man having a passing game that win the big game throwing. I know we beat Texas A and M a few weeks back, but man, I cant remember us winning a big one passing on a non gimmick play (we did beat Bama in 2013 on a Nm pop play). I dont know about you, but I'm ready to see this clown go and bring in a coach with a legitimate passing and running game. 

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On defense, I was bothered by the Georgia runningbacks gaining 3-4 yards after contact. 

The Georgia Oline always seem to be able to get to the scond level of our defense.

Most of the time we look to be running a 4-2-5 defense. Half the time, I would to go back to replay to find the second linebacker.

With 30 seconds to go in the first half. You should never let a fast wideout run up on you. It makes what ever fake he gives you the kiss of death.

Multiple players would have penetration or be in the right position but didn't know where the ball was.

There were so many times last night that two of our DB's would both cover the same receiver. Of course leaving one wide open and all alone.

Our DB' s really need to learn out to get off blocks. I know they hear about keeping the contain but that does not mean continually 20 yards down the field.

I have never seen so many players leading a play that never get a block in my entire life. This includes special teams. I can understand throwing a block and failing. Your running. But you should still throw one. Your bigger then them!

There were several plays that would have had a totally different result with one block.

 

 

 

 

Edited by WDavE
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48 minutes ago, JMR said:

So do I. But everybody involved in the program bears some responsibility. We are absolutely poorly coached, and that is on Coach Rain Man. But players have to do their job as well. 

I agree.  I'm sure that there's plenty of blame to go around.  

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I forgot something! 

After most of the games this year. The only thing I had to look forward to on Sundays was Things I Think I Saw...

 

Thanks for doing these...

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1 hour ago, ChltteTiger said:

Auburn stinks this year. Facts are facts. Question is: will 2019 be more of the same?

Gus is more than likely going to be the head coach in 2019. What do you think?

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I was at the game yesterday as well. The two things I noticed were their defense out-scheming our offense (shocking, I know). There was one play, I believe it was when we were all the way on our own 1-yard line, a couple of their defensive players knew exactly what play we were about to run and quickly adjusted.

Another thing I noticed was Cam Newton leaving the sidelines after we had a pathetic three-and-out. I think he left then, because I didn't see him on the sidelines at all after that.

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How many times did we see our DBs pull up expecting the Georgia RB or WR to run out of bounds instead of tackling them? And when they did make contact it was either catching them and getting bowled over or diving at their feet attempting to trip them. Tackling was awful. BUT, as ive said in other posts, the defense was hanging bu a string being down 2 starting ends and kept AU in the game all the way deep into the 3rd quarter against a top 5 or 10 team, with even a little help from the offense Auburn would have been in the game to the end.  This loss is almost entirely on the offensive coaches and their play calling, with some of the blame falling on Stidham not making easy throws. One more "fun" fact, even when the game is lost our head coach wont put in Malik or anyone else to get experiance.  I would wager 99% of the other head coaches in the SEC sub in the back up in the last 2 minutes with the game lost and literally nothing to gain playing starters.  We have the one stubborn and dumb sob that wont! 

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I had mentioned earlier on this site that for us to have a chance there were several things we had to do...1. when we reached the 'red zone' we must score TD's. 2. No dropped passes 3. Rush for at least 75 yards 4. No to only a few missed tackles 5. no turnovers....Number 1, 2, 3, and 4 were big fat No's....for us to beat 'Bama, we must be able to accomplish the 5 points.

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3 hours ago, ChltteTiger said:

It's an entirely different game if he makes that simple throw. For a team with shaky confidence, you have to be perfect. There were too many little mistakes last night, and while I won't blame the loss on Stidham, as soon as it happened I turned to someone and said "That's ballgame. That will ruin the mojo, and we will not score again." And I was right.

My son said to me just before this possession started that if Auburn didn't score we would likely lose the game. When I saw the over throw to Whitlow I couldn't believe such poor execution at such at critical point in the game.  I noticed Whitlow expressing his on displeasure / frustration / disappointment  after that play. That one play certainly seemed to be the turning point in the game. 

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48 minutes ago, CodeRocket said:

My son said to me just before this possession started that if Auburn didn't score we would likely lose the game. When I saw the over throw to Whitlow I couldn't believe such poor execution at such at critical point in the game.  I noticed Whitlow expressing his on displeasure / frustration / disappointment  after that play. That one play certainly seemed to be the turning point in the game. 

Yep - it’s almost as frustrating watching Stidham continue to play as it is to watch Gus “coach”

 

if willis can’t throw, run the wishbone til the other defense pukes.  I guarandamntee we’d get more than a couple of hundred yards of offense.  This crap is ridiculous

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2 hours ago, milehighfan said:

Gus is more than likely going to be the head coach in 2019. What do you think?

A number of positive developments would have to occur including foremost pulling in experienced OL talent from JC or the transfer market. Have no idea if that will happen.

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@JMR, of the many to choose from, the one thing I saw that frustrated me the most was watching UGA mass substitute based on our personnel and us not taking advantage of it. I get that our O is so basic and predictable that the D knows what we're gonna run based on personnel. Every team we've played the last few years and my wife and kids seem to, so that's not new. What bothererd me is why(and to be fair I saw it once) didn't we use that to our advantage. Let them sub in their heavy package, and then shift to a 4 or 5 wide set and force the action or shift into a run against their dime package. Instead, we would see a wave of UGA players platooning on to the field and run exactly what they expected us to. Maddening.

Oh yeah, add the decision to quit feeding Shivers the ball to my biggest gripes.  The kid is electric and shows it every time he is in there. To me, he is clearly the best back on our roster that we have seen this year. He could be so dynamic/dangerous if we used him correctly just half of the time. Seriously, Could you imagine what he would do if we snuck him out of the backfield as a check down the way UGA did with Swift?  Or ran stretch, OF counter, split zone, or Dart with him. His 30 yard run was even more impressive than it looked when you realize their unblocked LB had the perfect angle to blow it up for a 5 yard loss. Shivers speed allowed him to break the angle and explode up field. He had one run of 1 yard, two for about 6 yards each, and the 30 yarder, then...nothing. Really? How does that make a lick of sense? 

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Ever since LSU it seems Shivers doesn't seem to get many touches yet despite injury Whitlow gets his carries and Martin doesn’t play at all. I don't understand it. :dunno:

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1 hour ago, milehighfan said:

Ever since LSU it seems Shivers doesn't seem to get many touches yet despite injury Whitlow gets his carries and Martin doesn’t play at all. I don't understand it. :dunno:

In Malzahn's offensive design certain player packages are set to run certain plays from certain formations. Always has been this way and I suppose it always will. 

People like to scoff at the 2016 Clemson game (the 3 QB rotational attack plan) as the dumbest thing in the history of ever but that plan was built on the above principle. Almost worked, too. Imagine what the season would have looked like if it had!

Malzahn got negative reinforcement with the win over Washington that this plan for this season was good. It clearly wasn't. And, as we all know by now, there is no backup plan.

Edited by The Six

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