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abw0004

My Thoughts From the Stadium (Tulane)

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Thanks for the weekly posts on your thoughts. A lot of folks, me included, are not as optimistic as you in regard to play calling but I think everyone is on the same page in about the OL. I don't get the White Out when the players wore blue but whatever, tradition and all but it's not like we had a Black Out. We actually have white jerseys. Kudos to all who braved the humidity for the game. We'll know in two weeks what we have or don't have. 

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For the life of me I will never understand why people who claim to watch the games though we'd see an improvement in this OL.  It was the same players as last season that had no reason to be playing for an SEC school with the same poor coaching.

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Ditto the heat at the game! I was there and it was stifling hot! I thought the crowd and energy was great considering the heat! The tribute to Rod and Paula was very emotional and especially his children on the field!  Hoping we are saving some plays for A&M! And I loved that the biggest cheer was for Jared Harper!

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Glad to see you not overreact to how bad we were in this game. No doubt the O-line was the weak point and the pay calling was predictable and vanilla.  I could live with the vanilla but a few minor changes of when you call the plays would definitely help. First play of game we threw a quick pass picked up 6 or 7 yards after that it was pretty much Zone read on 1st down always giving to RB. It would have been nice to see Bo run on a few of those especially as game went on and Tulane was selling out to stop the Zone read to QB.  

Vanilla OK predictable NOT OK especially when O-line is not performing.

 

That said like you I don't think the season is lost as we have a game to work out the kinks coming up and I believe we have a chance to beat A&M which would change everything

 

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I added the video section to the OP.  Definitely worth mentioning.  I hope they play that tribute at every game this year.

 

Edited by abw0004
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Maybe playing vanilla so we can allow the oline to gel is something that is planned? I'm just not as close to hitting the panic button  as some. I know some here have expert opinions but until we play a SEC team I will refrain from judging too quick. We've beaten 2 quality football teams and I don't care how ugly it is, just win baby! That's all that matters! War Eagle and IGTBAAT!

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I’m not making excuses, but these group of five teams are coming on. Cinn beat UCLA and central Florida is a 7 point favorite over Stanford! I had to look twice at that.

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1 hour ago, dyehardfanAU said:

For the life of me I will never understand why people who claim to watch the games though we'd see an improvement in this OL.  It was the same players as last season that had no reason to be playing for an SEC school with the same poor coaching.

Considering where we were at last year, my thoughts on improvement was simply seeing less busted assignments and more consistency play to play, game to game. 

Not looking good 😅

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1 hour ago, bigbird said:

And if we do go vanilla, execute the basics at a high level. We should be able to run our most basic O and have a high level of success against lower tier teams. We are struggling wish basic execution of the basic plays. That's a bad sign.

Just another year of hoping we can scheme around the OL. Usually this means a huge reliance on WR screens. And as we go further into SEC play, teams will continue to compact our offense until our defense folds. 

Hope we see more Shivers this weekend with our fumbling issues we’ve had at RB1.

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2 hours ago, abw0004 said:

Good morning all,

I hope this post finds each and every one of you off to a wonderful start to your week.  I see there are some new faces around here, so welcome!  Happy to have you and look forward to your posts.  For those of you that are new to this forum, for every game I attend I write up this post to give you a feel for what was happening in the stadium.  I try to give you a fan's perspective that maybe the TV did not catch.  I feel like I will have succeeded if I can illustrate to the point where you feel like you were right there with me.  New season, so let's get started shall we?

Weather:  I was at the West Virginia game in 2009 when it poured for 2 hours straight.  So much so the field flooded.  I was at the Arkansas season opener in 2014 when it rained again and made it so humid it was like a sheet of water trying to look through to see the field.  And I of course have been to all of the noon games where the sun was inescapable.  So going to the game Saturday I did not think twice about the weather as long as it did not rain.  It was a night game anyways, right?  Wrong.  That was one of the hottest/humid games I have ever been to.  96 degrees and 1,000% humidity.  So hot that the ice in my souvenir cup was gone before the marching band hit the field in pregame and the entire drink (water) was gone before kickoff.  The weather affected me so much I did not stand at all after the first quarter.  That is the equivalency of the Waffle House barometer for how bad a hurricane is going to be.  I always stand.

White Out:  The white out was pretty effective.  I do not know what it looked like on TV, but in the stands it looked like most people payed attention and wore the right thing.  It was a little funny because with us wearing white, those that did not wear white stuck out like a sore thumb.  Students were given white shakers and white fans.  Never seen a white shaker in our stadium before.

Marching Band:  This deserves major shout outs.  Many take marching bands for granted and do not appreciate the hard work that goes into what they do.  Many also do not put together their uniforms make it unbearable.  Think you are hot in your shorts and Under Armor polo?  Try wearing cotton pants and a jacket zipped up in the sun for three hours.  On top of that try doing a 10 minute show running around on the field wearing that.  This year the marching band took their show up a notch and if you attended the Oregon game in Dallas it was the same show.  It was Texas themed and one of the sets involved a depiction of a horse, running, and then rearing up.  And it was done to perfection.  Again, for those never who have never been in marching band, that is incredibly hard to do.  One person not in sync will ruin it.  There are recordings of the show online.  Go watch it.  If you are in the marching bands reading this, or a parent, please know how much we appreciate you.  You are one of the best in the country and I am not surprised to see many of you compete on the DCI circuit.

Videos:  This is worth mentioning.  The tribute to Rod Bramblett and his family was very emotional.  It could not have been better.  I know it has been shared here so I won't go into any more detail but that was well deserved and each nod from the guests on the video just got to me.  The hype videos this year were definitely different.  The inspiration video this year is similar to Takeo Spikes' last year, but with Ronnie Brown.  You will be able to count on me immediately posting them on here when Auburn releases them.

Playcalling:  Let's just get this one out of the way because we all want to talk about it.  Naturally as a fan you want to see the big plays.  The trick plays.  Something to really capture your attention.  So when you see the same few plays run over and over it is frustrating.  Auburn recycled their plays from the Oregon game and did not introduce any new ones.  Why?  Well, why would you for Tulane or Kent State?  We also have a freshmen QB who still needs the game to slow down a tad.  These are teams we should beat, soundly.  All teams do this, it isn't specific to Auburn.  Go on the UGA forums and their fans are complaining of the same thing.  Actually they are even more frustrated they do not throw the ball with their NFL bound QB.  The issue is our "vanilla" plays were not working.  Sadly, my opinion is it falls on the offensive line.  More on that next.  The calls would have worked if we executed better and I think that is the issue, not the playcalling.  I would bet the Texas A&M will be a new playbook.  Hopefully we get it together by then.

Offensive Line:  I was one of the posters who genuinely thought we would be better this year with another year under Grimes.  I was disheartened to see we could not push well off of the ball against Tulane.  It is worrisome and for good reason.  I will not go into this to much because to be honest I am not that well versed in the technique and will defer to others like JMR who do have vast knowledge in this area.  We need to improve here and have another two weeks before Texas A&M to fix it.

Injuries:  I was incredibly sad to see Seth Williams go down.  From where I was sitting it did not appear anything was broken how the way the trainer was working on that arm.  On the sideline Seth was trying to fix it himself which tells me it may be dislocated of sprained.  That is good news, but a scare.  The Will Hastings injury was infuriating in why that Tulane player would even do that.  You cannot even make the excuse that he was trying to jar the ball loose because the ball was out of his reach at that point.  Glad Will is okay though.  A potential injury you may not have seen on TV was Noah Igbinoghene came up limping in the fourth quarter with an apparent hamstring injury but after a few plays seemed to be okay.  One worth watching though.

Bo Nix:  Many need to remember he is still a true freshmen.  I think he is still playing very well, but freshmen will make freshmen mistakes.  It happens.  Overthrows, not checking down, etc. will happen.  One thing I am very proud of is he does not let his mistakes affect him.  His head space is of a veteran and will pay dividends for us in the future.  One thing I wish he would work on is the check downs.  I noticed many times he predetermined who he would throw to and leave many guys who were open.  This isn't uncommon and maybe Nix is having trouble reading the defense.  Tua had the same issue last year and that is how Clemson beat Alabama.  Clemson's players said as much two weeks ago.  Please remember we will have some growing pains, but stick with him and he will be elite.

Looking forward:  The win over Tulane was not pretty in the first half but it was a win regardless.  It is much easier to go into team meetings this week to fix mistakes after a win.  All we can hope for is to see improvement this Saturday.  Many teams struggled against the same caliber teams like we did.  Alabama did in the first half against Duke, as well as UGA against Murray State.  Michigan barely survived against Army and Tennessee, well is not even in this universe at the moment they have fallen so far.  These games happen.  It happened to us in 2017 with Mercer and we went to the SEC championship that year.  We are still 2-0 with a lot of games ahead of us.  Only LSU and Texas A&M have had as difficult of a schedule so far.  So let's get ready for Kent State before the SEC slate!  :wareagle:

I think this is a very fair assessment. I also applaud the band, they have definitely worked hard to produce such a spectacular halftime show. I think we will see next week if this week was a learning game. There should be plenty of good film to watch mistakes and learn from! I don't think our win was ever in question, but sloppy play was evident. When you go back and watch the game without the real time emotion, you can see that the oline did a stout job with holding the pocket for passing. They really need to work on run protection and RBs need to be patient and find those seams, too. Bo needs to hang in that pocket and not scramble out when there's no need. That's a freshman thing. I believe they need to find plays that will utilize our talent that haven't yet been utilized fully (Gatewood, Shivers, Williams), but it is only game 2. I expect that moving forward.

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1 minute ago, 3rdgeneration said:

I think this is a very fair assessment. I also applaud the band, they have definitely worked hard to produce such a spectacular halftime show. I think we will see next week if this week was a learning game. There should be plenty of good film to watch mistakes and learn from! I don't think our win was ever in question, but sloppy play was evident. When you go back and watch the game without the real time emotion, you can see that the oline did a stout job with holding the pocket for passing. They really need to work on run protection and RBs need to be patient and find those seams, too. Bo needs to hang in that pocket and not scramble out when there's no need. That's a freshman thing. I believe they need to find plays that will utilize our talent that haven't yet been utilized fully (Gatewood, Shivers, Williams), but it is only game 2. I expect that moving forward.

Couldn’t agree more.   Stevie Wonder can see that Gatewood and Shivers need to be utilized more.   Not sure what year it was, but Arizona ran a two quarterback system a while back and was very successful.  Just from what I have seen so far, both give us the best chance to win.  Not just one.   Although, we haven’t even gotten a chance to see Joey pass in a real game situation.    From just the few plays he ran Saturday, if he can complete half of his passes, he might be the best option moving forward.  

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3 minutes ago, aubaseball said:

Couldn’t agree more.   Stevie Wonder can see that Gatewood and Shivers need to be utilized more.   Not sure what year it was, but Arizona ran a two quarterback system a while back and was very successful.  Just from what I have seen so far, both give us the best chance to win.  Not just one.   Although, we haven’t even gotten a chance to see Joey pass in a real game situation.    From just the few plays he ran Saturday, if he can complete half of his passes, he might be the best option moving forward.  

Ehhh, Gatewood also made some terrible reads. Either that or Gus has him on a tight leash and is telling him to give or keep every play. FWIW, when he took that sack he was looking to throw out to the WR but they got to him way too fast. I'm hoping we establish a good lead this weekend so he can get more play time under his belt.

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Thanks OP. Good stuff. 

Yep it is obvious that the OL is struggling. Bo needs to stand firm an see the field but I can understand why he is gun shy. Unlike Stid who just took sacks, at least Bo takes off and throws it away... which is nice. The game has not slowed down for him yet. It is going to take some time.

As far as play calling, I get what you and others are saying but to me it does not make sense to hold back for big games. I can understand holding back because we have a freshman QB, but not because we are waiting to "unleash the beast". I can't recall seeing too many times over the last few years where we held back in the first few games to unveil a fantastic offense game plan in a big game. I remember seeing it in 2013 for the national title game, but that is different. 

I think we are probably holding a few plays, but for the most part we are running our offense. It just is not working. I hope I am wrong. 

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3 hours ago, abw0004 said:

Bo Nix:    One thing I wish he would work on is the check downs.  I noticed many times he predetermined who he would throw to and leave many guys who were open.  This isn't uncommon and maybe Nix is having trouble reading the defense.

I think he knows what type of offensive line he is behind and knows he doesn't have much time. Stidham did the same thing. Unfortunately Gus's offense has the uncanny ability to turn 5 star QBs into basket cases. One thing that utterly drives me crazy (and has for years), is that so many of our passes are either screens, or behind the line of scrimmate, or bombs. I really do not know why we don't have more 10 - 20 yard out patterns like we saw in the last drive of the Oregon game.

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Thanks for mentioning the marching band. My son is a freshman in the band and it is HARD work! You have to love it or it wouldn’t be worth the time and effort. He doesn’t weigh a lot as it is but he lost a few pounds Saturday.

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On 9/9/2019 at 8:31 AM, abw0004 said:

I noticed many times he  Gus predetermined who he would throw to

there you have it

 

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My observations from my recliner...Bourbon is good, especially watching our offense. Our grounds crew does a magnificent job at Jordan-Hare...the field is immaculate. Our cheerleaders are top notch. The Eagle Flight is just the best thing in college football. Tulane’s helmets looked like they had a green smurf on them. ESPN announcers are awful just awful. Oh and the game itself...uh we won, yeah we won and stuff. 

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On 9/9/2019 at 7:31 AM, abw0004 said:

Good morning all,

I hope this post finds each and every one of you off to a wonderful start to your week.  I see there are some new faces around here, so welcome!  Happy to have you and look forward to your posts.  For those of you that are new to this forum, for every game I attend I write up this post to give you a feel for what was happening in the stadium.  I try to give you a fan's perspective that maybe the TV did not catch.  I feel like I will have succeeded if I can illustrate to the point where you feel like you were right there with me.  New season, so let's get started shall we?

Weather:  I was at the West Virginia game in 2009 when it poured for 2 hours straight.  So much so the field flooded.  I was at the Arkansas season opener in 2014 when it rained again and made it so humid it was like a sheet of water trying to look through to see the field.  And I of course have been to all of the noon games where the sun was inescapable.  So going to the game Saturday I did not think twice about the weather as long as it did not rain.  It was a night game anyways, right?  Wrong.  That was one of the hottest/humid games I have ever been to.  96 degrees and 1,000% humidity.  So hot that the ice in my souvenir cup was gone before the marching band hit the field in pregame and the entire drink (water) was gone before kickoff.  The weather affected me so much I did not stand at all after the first quarter.  That is the equivalency of the Waffle House barometer for how bad a hurricane is going to be.  I always stand.

White Out:  The white out was pretty effective.  I do not know what it looked like on TV, but in the stands it looked like most people payed attention and wore the right thing.  It was a little funny because with us wearing white, those that did not wear white stuck out like a sore thumb.  Students were given white shakers and white fans.  Never seen a white shaker in our stadium before.

Marching Band:  This deserves major shout outs.  Many take marching bands for granted and do not appreciate the hard work that goes into what they do.  Many also do not put together their uniforms make it unbearable.  Think you are hot in your shorts and Under Armor polo?  Try wearing cotton pants and a jacket zipped up in the sun for three hours.  On top of that try doing a 10 minute show running around on the field wearing that.  This year the marching band took their show up a notch and if you attended the Oregon game in Dallas it was the same show.  It was Texas themed and one of the sets involved a depiction of a horse, running, and then rearing up.  And it was done to perfection.  Again, for those never who have never been in marching band, that is incredibly hard to do.  One person not in sync will ruin it.  There are recordings of the show online.  Go watch it.  If you are in the marching bands reading this, or a parent, please know how much we appreciate you.  You are one of the best in the country and I am not surprised to see many of you compete on the DCI circuit.

Videos:  This is worth mentioning.  The tribute to Rod Bramblett and his family was very emotional.  It could not have been better.  I know it has been shared here so I won't go into any more detail but that was well deserved and each nod from the guests on the video just got to me.  The hype videos this year were definitely different.  The inspiration video this year is similar to Takeo Spikes' last year, but with Ronnie Brown.  You will be able to count on me immediately posting them on here when Auburn releases them.

Playcalling:  Let's just get this one out of the way because we all want to talk about it.  Naturally as a fan you want to see the big plays.  The trick plays.  Something to really capture your attention.  So when you see the same few plays run over and over it is frustrating.  Auburn recycled their plays from the Oregon game and did not introduce any new ones.  Why?  Well, why would you for Tulane or Kent State?  We also have a freshmen QB who still needs the game to slow down a tad.  These are teams we should beat, soundly.  All teams do this, it isn't specific to Auburn.  Go on the UGA forums and their fans are complaining of the same thing.  Actually they are even more frustrated they do not throw the ball with their NFL bound QB.  The issue is our "vanilla" plays were not working.  Sadly, my opinion is it falls on the offensive line.  More on that next.  The calls would have worked if we executed better and I think that is the issue, not the playcalling.  I would bet the Texas A&M will be a new playbook.  Hopefully we get it together by then.

Offensive Line:  I was one of the posters who genuinely thought we would be better this year with another year under Grimes.  I was disheartened to see we could not push well off of the ball against Tulane.  It is worrisome and for good reason.  I will not go into this to much because to be honest I am not that well versed in the technique and will defer to others like JMR who do have vast knowledge in this area.  We need to improve here and have another two weeks before Texas A&M to fix it.

Injuries:  I was incredibly sad to see Seth Williams go down.  From where I was sitting it did not appear anything was broken how the way the trainer was working on that arm.  On the sideline Seth was trying to fix it himself which tells me it may be dislocated of sprained.  That is good news, but a scare.  The Will Hastings injury was infuriating in why that Tulane player would even do that.  You cannot even make the excuse that he was trying to jar the ball loose because the ball was out of his reach at that point.  Glad Will is okay though.  A potential injury you may not have seen on TV was Noah Igbinoghene came up limping in the fourth quarter with an apparent hamstring injury but after a few plays seemed to be okay.  One worth watching though.

Bo Nix:  Many need to remember he is still a true freshmen.  I think he is still playing very well, but freshmen will make freshmen mistakes.  It happens.  Overthrows, not checking down, etc. will happen.  One thing I am very proud of is he does not let his mistakes affect him.  His head space is of a veteran and will pay dividends for us in the future.  One thing I wish he would work on is the check downs.  I noticed many times he predetermined who he would throw to and leave many guys who were open.  This isn't uncommon and maybe Nix is having trouble reading the defense.  Tua had the same issue last year and that is how Clemson beat Alabama.  Clemson's players said as much two weeks ago.  Please remember we will have some growing pains, but stick with him and he will be elite.

Looking forward:  The win over Tulane was not pretty in the first half but it was a win regardless.  It is much easier to go into team meetings this week to fix mistakes after a win.  All we can hope for is to see improvement this Saturday.  Many teams struggled against the same caliber teams like we did.  Alabama did in the first half against Duke, as well as UGA against Murray State.  Michigan barely survived against Army and Tennessee, well is not even in this universe at the moment they have fallen so far.  These games happen.  It happened to us in 2017 with Mercer and we went to the SEC championship that year.  We are still 2-0 with a lot of games ahead of us.  Only LSU and Texas A&M have had as difficult of a schedule so far.  So let's get ready for Kent State before the SEC slate!  :wareagle:

I largely agree with your assessment. Offensive line has been a weakness. Play calling has been very vanilla. Still really sick of the overreactions from a lot of our fellow fans. Offensively, we didn't look good in the first few games in 2010, 2013, or 2017. In all of those years, we won the SEC West. In 2010, we barely got passed Mississippi State and a very mediocre Clemson team. There were lots of complaints about OL play, and the coaches were even calling out the OL and the running backs publicly, saying that they needed to play better. The light didn't really come on until the 4th game against USCe. In 2013, the run game looked pretty terrible until about 1/2 way through the 4th game (against LSU). We had to score with Nick Marshall's inconsistent arm at the last second to beat Moo State. From half time against LSU (which we unfortunately still lost) on, the offensive line and run game just took over and gave us the most potent rushing attack in the country. In 2017, we were getting made fun of nationally for the number of sacks we allowed versus Clemson. We looked terrible against Mercer (a team far worse than this Tulane team was). We finished the season as SEC West champions,  and would have played for a national championship if not for the fact that we had to play UGA, Bama, UGA three weeks in a row. 

Also, LOVE the DCI comment!  And yes... Those uniforms are really hot. The marching band gets a single bottle of water and a single powerade from the moment they line up for the 4 corners pep rally to when they get back to the band room at the end of the game. Maybe, if they are lucky, they can fit in a sip of water from a single water fountain (that everyone is in line at) between the pep rally and pregame. The band members are harder than people want to give them credit for.

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