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Why We Shouldn't Panic... Yet


Zeek
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I think the level of worry depends on our expectations. If we think we are going to compete for a championship then the worry should be through the roof. If we are looking for 5 to 8 wins the we should not panic.

Edited by sevenlee36
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I'm not jumping off any cliffs, but we are what we are and so far I'm not seeing any indications that we're significantly different on offense than we've been the last few years:

- Mediocre/inconsistent QB play.  
- Still below average offensive line play
- Stupid penalties killing drives

And on defense, we're still stout against the run and get pretty good pressure on passing downs, but the secondary makes average QBs look like Tom Brady giving up a puzzling amount of yardage and deep completions compared to how those same QBs look against other teams.

Now, I don't necessarily think Penn State is great this year.  Their offensive line has problems in pass protection and when they aren't playing a lower tier team like Ohio, they still struggle to run the ball.  So if we can eliminate the dumb turnovers and penalties we have a shot.  But I've yet to see anything that makes me think we've taken any major steps forward in year two under Harsin.

And I think this is a make or break game for Finley.  If he can't stop making these head scratching errors in the passing game resulting in INTs, I'm about ready to just take our lumps with Ashford because at least it might give us another game breaker on the field and help the running game, which could in turn open up easier passing lanes for him.

Here's hoping we've really worked out most of our issues in these tune ups.

 

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Same script different year. Maybe it will be different from last year but as of right now I haven't seen any indication that it will be for us anyways. 

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We just need to get to red zone - I mean we are leading the nation in that area 😂😂😂 , but seriously QB play is very important from here on out. If we can’t throw, then teams will load up and eliminate the run. 

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18 minutes ago, sevenlee36 said:

I think the level of worry depends on our expectations. If we think we are going to compete for a championship then the worry should be through the roof. If we are looking for 5 to 8 wins the we should not panic.

7-9 wins is still very possible. Anyone expecting a championship this year is either mentally challenged, the world's largest homer, or dishonest.

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11 minutes ago, TitanTiger said:

I'm not jumping off any cliffs, but we are what we are and so far I'm not seeing any indications that we're significantly different on offense than we've been the last few years:

- Mediocre/inconsistent QB play.  
- Still below average offensive line play
- Stupid penalties killing drives

And on defense, we're still stout against the run and get pretty good pressure on passing downs, but the secondary makes average QBs look like Tom Brady giving up a puzzling amount of yardage and deep completions compared to how those same QBs look against other teams.

Now, I don't necessarily think Penn State is great this year.  Their offensive line has problems in pass protection and when they aren't playing a lower tier team like Ohio, they still struggle to run the ball.  So if we can eliminate the dumb turnovers and penalties we have a shot.  But I've yet to see anything that makes me think we've taken any major steps forward in year two under Harsin.

And I think this is a make or break game for Finley.  If he can't stop making these head scratching errors in the passing game resulting in INTs, I'm about ready to just take our lumps with Ashford because at least it might give us another game breaker on the field and help the running game, which could in turn open up easier passing lanes for him.

Here's hoping we've really worked out most of our issues in these tune ups.

 

Agreed with all the above. Conversations like this are great. People jumping to coaching searches not so much.

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Yeah it was a weird weekend in CFB but those teams have nothing to do with us. We didn’t look that good against Mercer either. That 2 weeks straight of mediocre football against 2 inferior opponents.
 

Im not jumping off the cliff but we don’t look good right now and now the real season is about to start and we basically have no questions answered other than our RB group being good which we already knew was the strength of the team 

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Hoping for the best but seeing some of the same problems. 

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10 minutes ago, Zeek said:

7-9 wins is still very possible. Anyone expecting a championship this year is either mentally challenged, the world's largest homer, or dishonest.

They could be all 3

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7 minutes ago, Sizzle said:

...other than our RB group being good which we already knew was the strength of the team 

Solid RB's, with a middling OL, isn't what I would call a recipe for success... :sad2:

I remain hopeful, but not overly optimistic.

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IMHO, our problems are not as fixable as the problems we saw out of teams like Alabama and Clemson on Saturday.  Their problems are not based in lack of player talent and coaching prowess.  Ours are.

Unfortunately, I think we are in for a long season.

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40 minutes ago, Zeek said:

So I've had some time to calm down and rewatch the game. There are still glaring and concerning issues. However, I think we need to pump the brakes on the panic train. Week 2 for whatever reason was absolutely chaotic at both the college and pro levels. Not to mention Auburn has routinely had one game a year against inferior competition where we look horrible. 

Let's take a look around the NCAA and see what else happened this past week. Maybe comparing will add some perspective. 

#2 Alabama only beat an unranked team by one. Texas had to use their backup quarterback for most of the game and frankly the refs weren't on their side. Does that mean Saban is washed? Is his team devoid of talent? Of course not. I'm sure we'll see a very different Alabama next week; just like I'm sure plenty of these teams will clean things up.

#5 Clemson looked terrible against Georgia Tech and rather unimpressive against Furman in week two. Yet another team with plenty of talent and a head coach many respected. Also an example of how important quarterback play is to a team looking good or not. Dabo is considered to be in the same tier as Smart and Day.

#8 Oklahoma State gave up 44 points to Central Michigan and struggled at times with a horrendous Arizona State team. Gundy has always been a sleeper desire for some Auburn fans.

#10 Arkansas looked good against South Carolina at the start but then watched their lead shrink. Letting an unranked team make it interesting until the end. Pittman has been praised here plenty.

#13 Miami pulled away eventually but spent a good portion of the game losing to Southern Miss. Even with Cristobal, a coach many here would love to have landed, they looked rough.

#15 Tennessee couldn't tackle a grandma in a wheelchair against Pitt but their offense bailed them out. Had they not injured two quarterbacks it might have been a different game.

#16 NCST looked good this week against a garbage team but last week barely slid by ECU winning with a 1 point margin.

#17 Baylor has solid coaching and momentum but still came up short due to field goal madness. Aranda is another popular name here at Auburn and Grimes (the OC) as well. 

#18 Florida looked absolutely HORRENDOUS against rival Kentucky in their own home. Likely that Billy Napier couldn't keep the team from crashing after such an emotional high the week before. AR15 damn near killed any Heisman hype he had previously earned. Napier is another name many here wanted and last week were bemoaning we didn't get.

#20 Ole Miss poured it on Central Arkansas thick but the week before their vaunted offense looked very middle of the pack. Only putting up 28 on Troy. Lane Kiffin is yet another name so many pine for here on the plains.

#24 Texas A&M is still ranked somehow despite losing to App State (who isn't ranked somehow). That's wild when you consider that Jimbo has had the #7, #5, #3, and #1 recruiting classes over the last four years. The Aggies had more 5* players sign last year than App State has had top 1000 players in the last 4 years. Jimbo is another name I see some crying that we never landed.

NR Notre Dame lost to Marshall despite having one of the hottest young names in coaching right now and vastly superior talent.

Hugh Freeze at Liberty needed overtime to beat Southern Miss and only beat UAB by 7. No Malik Willis has brought that program back down to Earth a little bit.

 

Let's wait and see what happens with Penn State before we look for cliffs to jump off of. Back away from the ledge. Relax. Enjoy college football in all its madness.

 

While I agree it is not time to panic, I did note that Auburn on the defensive side of the football was not fundamentally sound such as giving up the middle of the field our opponent, on fade routes our DBs never looked for the ball.   The penalties can be reduced by working on execution and keeping ones head in the game but at this point there is no reason for not being fundamentally sound.

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26 minutes ago, Sizzle said:

Yeah it was a weird weekend in CFB but those teams have nothing to do with us. We didn’t look that good against Mercer either. That 2 weeks straight of mediocre football against 2 inferior opponents.
 

Im not jumping off the cliff but we don’t look good right now and now the real season is about to start and we basically have no questions answered other than our RB group being good which we already knew was the strength of the team 

I believe offense would have looked very different (better) if not for the penalties. Of course we would have looked better without the interceptions. Something that is hidden in the data is TJ cut his interceptions in half and I thought looked better in passing game. I believe RA has same problem as Bo did (can’t calm down enough to play QB instead of park ball). I thought TJ played better than his rating this week due to:

1. Distribution of selected passes. Not sure if he is going through his progressions as he should (I’m not smart enough to know) but passes he threw were definitely to different parts of the field which is encouraging to me.

2. Great decision on goal line not to hand off and kept it himself and actually used his size as an advantage.

3. Interception wasn’t a bad pass or a bad decision, just a great play from a past USC DB. Very athletic play.

Edited by Hank2020
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17 minutes ago, MaxCohen216 said:

IMHO, our problems are not as fixable as the problems we saw out of teams like Alabama and Clemson on Saturday.  Their problems are not based in lack of player talent and coaching prowess.  Ours are.

Unfortunately, I think we are in for a long season.

Bama Pass Protection issues are systemic over the past two seasons. Can't blame recruiting either. 

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1 hour ago, Zeek said:

So I've had some time to calm down and rewatch the game. There are still glaring and concerning issues. However, I think we need to pump the brakes on the panic train. Week 2 for whatever reason was absolutely chaotic at both the college and pro levels. Not to mention Auburn has routinely had one game a year against inferior competition where we look horrible. 

Let's take a look around the NCAA and see what else happened this past week. Maybe comparing will add some perspective. 

#2 Alabama only beat an unranked team by one. Texas had to use their backup quarterback for most of the game and frankly the refs weren't on their side. Does that mean Saban is washed? Is his team devoid of talent? Of course not. I'm sure we'll see a very different Alabama next week; just like I'm sure plenty of these teams will clean things up.

#5 Clemson looked terrible against Georgia Tech and rather unimpressive against Furman in week two. Yet another team with plenty of talent and a head coach many respected. Also an example of how important quarterback play is to a team looking good or not. Dabo is considered to be in the same tier as Smart and Day.

#8 Oklahoma State gave up 44 points to Central Michigan and struggled at times with a horrendous Arizona State team. Gundy has always been a sleeper desire for some Auburn fans.

#10 Arkansas looked good against South Carolina at the start but then watched their lead shrink. Letting an unranked team make it interesting until the end. Pittman has been praised here plenty.

#13 Miami pulled away eventually but spent a good portion of the game losing to Southern Miss. Even with Cristobal, a coach many here would love to have landed, they looked rough.

#15 Tennessee couldn't tackle a grandma in a wheelchair against Pitt but their offense bailed them out. Had they not injured two quarterbacks it might have been a different game.

#16 NCST looked good this week against a garbage team but last week barely slid by ECU winning with a 1 point margin.

#17 Baylor has solid coaching and momentum but still came up short due to field goal madness. Aranda is another popular name here at Auburn and Grimes (the OC) as well. 

#18 Florida looked absolutely HORRENDOUS against rival Kentucky in their own home. Likely that Billy Napier couldn't keep the team from crashing after such an emotional high the week before. AR15 damn near killed any Heisman hype he had previously earned. Napier is another name many here wanted and last week were bemoaning we didn't get.

#20 Ole Miss poured it on Central Arkansas thick but the week before their vaunted offense looked very middle of the pack. Only putting up 28 on Troy. Lane Kiffin is yet another name so many pine for here on the plains.

#24 Texas A&M is still ranked somehow despite losing to App State (who isn't ranked somehow). That's wild when you consider that Jimbo has had the #7, #5, #3, and #1 recruiting classes over the last four years. The Aggies had more 5* players sign last year than App State has had top 1000 players in the last 4 years. Jimbo is another name I see some crying that we never landed.

NR Notre Dame lost to Marshall despite having one of the hottest young names in coaching right now and vastly superior talent.

Hugh Freeze at Liberty needed overtime to beat Southern Miss and only beat UAB by 7. No Malik Willis has brought that program back down to Earth a little bit.

 

Let's wait and see what happens with Penn State before we look for cliffs to jump off of. Back away from the ledge. Relax. Enjoy college football in all its madness.

 

When my teenager does something wrong he often tries to compare his transgression with his friends and his friends' parents' rules, as if that's suddenly going to make us lower our standards for his life.

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It all comes down to "If Harsin can recruit" and rebuild the program after the C-USA talent Malzahn left us with.

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3 minutes ago, ToomersStreet said:

It all comes down to "If Harsin can recruit" and rebuild the program after the C-USA talent Malzahn left us with.

Respectfully, the guys name that u hear most are all Gus recruits. Next year u will see the difference when those guys are gone. Not sure about the C-USA talent. There is a matrix floating around regarding talent on a team and Auburn is either 16 or 17.

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Dreadful first quarter made the game seem worse than it actually was, imo. They can't come out that bad again this season or they will lose every game even Mizzou. Glaring issue for me:

  • No playmaker at QB. Huge red flag. They're either not letting Ashford throw or he can't. That's not good. That QB run play is not going to work that much longer unless he's a threat to pass. Calzada must have been hurt all this time. I find it very hard to believe he is that much worse than TJ and Ashford. Really wish they would've given Zach and Holden snaps in the past two games. Someone has to grab this team by the collar and will them to victory every Saturday. That's just the reality of the situation.

If we have mediocre QB play this will be 2015 all over again. If they somehow win this Saturday, it will be JHS magic and scraping by the skin of their teeth. I do not see how the team from two days ago beats an upper echelon B1G team. There is just no way.

Whoever is the HC coach next year better eat, sleep, breathe recruiting and transfer portal. 

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Going 3 Portal Seasons and unable to convince 0 OL to transfer in, then convincing countless below average OL to return for a 6th year, one so hurt so often he couldn't even make it through spring.

2 Portal Seasons and being able to evaluate a QB good enough to compete in the SEC

1 Portal Season and only able to find WRs off the scrap heap.

That's going to sink Harsin this year if things don't change.  I hope TJ can keep improving.  I think he's looked worlds better, but probably need another year to sit and learn and get better.

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My concerns were that:

- Our starting QB still has trouble reading defenses and the resulting interceptions against the worst opponents we'll face. 

-Our secondary looks significantly less effective than last year

-Our running game has been decent against two bad teams, but will our offensive line be able to hold up against better defenses

-We still look too soft and confused

The SEC west doesn't look as strong as I'm used to seeing, which would be more encouraging if I felt we had the depth some of these other programs do. Last year, that was a big factor in our decline and this year's schedule is not easier by any measure. Next week will give a much better picture of where we are, but I did expect to see this team father along than it has appeared so far. 

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2 hours ago, sevenlee36 said:

I think the level of worry depends on our expectations. If we think we are going to compete for a championship then the worry should be through the roof. If we are looking for 5 to 8 wins the we should not panic.

Right now we are exactly where I expected us to be, 2-0. Since my overall prediction for the season was 5-7 I'm not in panic mode. I can still hope I'm wrong and AU finishes 15-0 but that doesn't seem likely and 9-3, which was a popular pick, doesn't seem likely either.

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