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We've Seen This Before


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First off, I cannot even begin to say how excited I am to have football back.  Eight months is a LONG time!

This season is extra special for us, as our daughter is  now a freshman and lives in the heart of everything at The Village. So happy that she's now going to be in the midst of so much excitement and craziness on The Plains.

Now to the game itself. (full disclosure, this is from a 47 year-old 7th grade social studies teacher/HS girls golf coach, so don'r expect to be wowed with in-depth analysis)

1. Oregon really made a statement on their first two drives.  They didn't punch us in the mouth, it was more like an MMA flurry of fists and kicks. Their guys looked quicker, and I don't know if it was just over pursuit (in some cases) or bad positioning, but these first 3-4 drives you just didn't get the sense that we could get a stop.

2. Game Changer #1: Missed TD pass on Oregon's 2nd drive.  At the time it reminded me of the easy TD pass Cam had to a wide open receiver (off-hand cannot remember who it was) on a 4th down play against Oregon in the BCS title game.  14-0 at that stage could have been crushing and pressed us into a desperate mode a bit early.The missed FG was icing on that cake.

3.. 6'6" vs 5' 10" is never going to turn out well.  Poor Davis...not sure where else he could have positioned himself on that TD pass.  But I certainly hoped that step-over after the catch would generate some Karma redemption later on.

4. Auburn did manage to move the ball in the first half, but getting down in -and-around the 10 and not getting in the end zone was obviously very frustrating. I felt the play-calling was a bit conservative in the red zone and not showcasing Bo's mobility, so when they rolled him left early in 2Q I was happy....until he threw behind Williams and got picked.

5. Oregon was doing a great job of utilizing the quick dump pass in the first half.  Herbert would take the snap and release within 2 seconds as the front line moved forward and his receivers had room to run. It seemed that play was there whenever they wanted it and was good for 7-10 yards every time.  Reminded me of last November's A&M game and how Mond utilized the TE on miss directions constantly.  Seemed like it was always there. ANd when he did take the snap and look downfield he had a lot more time than I ever expected.  Oregon did a really good job of protecting him.

6. Speaking of A&M, this game felt eerily similar in so many ways.  Big opponent.   High expectations.  Complete domination in all factors in the first half by them.

7. How great is it to see Cadillac Williams back on the Auburn sidelines?  I'm so excited to see what he can do with Boobee these next few seasons. (this reads unintentionally bad, but ....!)

8. The special teams was...well...abysmal.  I felt like anytime we kicked/punted something bad was going to happen.  Haven't really felt like that since watching Hardman carve us up against UGA.

9. Game Changer #2: After that massive punt return set Oregon up on the 6, the ensuing fumble and epic run by Big Kat was sensational.  Never got the feeling he'd actually get in, but when he fell agonizingly short on the 2 yard line I was certain we'd be back with one.  Ugggh.  And to not get any points when we started that last drive on the Oregon 26?

10.  First half final thoughts: Bo looked like a freshman; Oregon was having its way on both sides of the ball; our defense looked to be reacting rather than forcing the issue; feels like Texas A&M almost to the script; how in the hell was it just 14-6

11. Opening drive was statement time.  Going to set the tone...until it didn't.  That was the first time I really felt like we were in trouble.  The ensuing drive and TD by Oregon had me reeling.  There looked to be no adjustments on either side of the ball on those first possessions and at 21-6 it was officially looking dire. we HAD to get points on the next drive.  And we didn't.

12.  Game Changer #3: This is NOT me playing armchair QB here.  I said it immediately and believed it.  Oregon having the ball at 4th-1 from the 49 yard line, under 2:00 in the 3rd...you have to go for that.  Up 21-13, AU just scored to give them hope,  I could not believe they punted, still cannot believe they punted.  (I swear we had a similar scenario against LSU when we were up 20 in Baton Rough a few years back)  You step on the throat, continue the drive, go up 28-13, and the game could very well be over.  How many times have WE felt like our coaching staff made this kind of mistake that allowed an opponent to stay in the game?  How many times have we felt like our coaching staff went too conservative, too early?  If we could respond with a TD on that next drive, wow, that changes everything.

13. When that happened, I actually thought, not only are we going to score a TD but we will win this damn game.  No good reason for me to think this other than memories of last fall's A&M game (again). Total domination, but an opponent that allowed us to hang around instead of stepping on our throats. 

14. For as unsure and unsettled as Bo looked for the first 40 minutes.  He looked like a veteran QB the last 20. IMO, he scrambled well when he needed to all game, but he looked much more poised and confident on those last few drives.  

15. Gatewood over the top....loved the play-call there.  Boobee's injury the play previous was concerning, to say the least.

16. False start penalty on 2-pt conversion should not have changed the decision,  IMO.  You are still down a FG no matter if you miss that attempt or take the XP.  That was one of TWO big decisions in the 2nd half I questioned by Gus.

17. Game Changer #4: As much as I thought Oregon should have gone for it on 4th-1 in the 3rd, given this situation I'm not sure I would have gone for it here.  However, I like the play-call and would say that playing to win rather than trying not to lose is almost always the better decision.  But .... why hand the ball off 5 yards behind the line when you have a foot-and-a-half to gain?  What a terrible play call and what a stop by Auburn. Double-whammy, Oregon burning those TOs thinking they can bring Herbert back in the game.  That's an inexcusable gaffe.

18. TD drive.  Wow.  When we all thought it was a play or two to set up the FG, including Oregon.  I don't know about you, but the moment that ball was released by Nix I absolutely knew it would be a TD.  It was just meant to be.  A kid born-and-raised to achieve greatness at Auburn.  First game. National Stage.  21-6 deficit.  The script was just too perfect for that pass to end up anywhere but in the hands of Williams.  But Gus, come on...wht would you NOT go for 2???  By the way, someone needs to make a GIF of Nix with his celebration in fron of Gus and Gus' trademark "Boom" response.

19. Spiking penalty, given our terrible ST coverage, could have been an absolute disaster.  And given the result it was.  One man away from breaking it for a score, and Herbert had a chance to easily put the ball in the end zone, which he thankfully overthrew. For the record, that rule and what they viewed as a spike is ridiculous.  Teams will lose games because of that and it's outrageous.  

20. Final Thoughts - Oregon really used our speed against us with constant check-downs to the underneath receivers.  With that first wave past, those guys had 7-10 yds before the secondary could respond.  Bo looked like a freshman in the first half, and the last 20 minutes completely outplayed Herbert. Oregon OC (if he's responsible) should be held accountable for the 2nd half game-plan once Oregon went up 21-6.  Too often we've been on the other end of games like this so we all know what this feels like to seemingly dominate a game and then walk away with a loss.  

What a way to start the season.  What a way to start the Bo Nix era. I know it's an obvious statement, but 1-0 with a win against a team like Oregon, facing the schedule we have, well, it's a helluva lot better than 0-1. 

Cannot wait to be back on the plains for Kent State in two weeks!  

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  • WarTiger changed the title to We've Seen This Before

By far my favorite quote of the night was from Herbstreit.  Fowler said something (late in the game) like "They trusted him to throw it".  Kirk, and you could tell he was looking at a different kind of freshman, said "Sure did".  Just the way he said it...Bo is legit, and he's going to be very, very special.

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Oregon got push all day so I see why they thought they could make the pistol work, but I feel like there’s been plenty of times where the pistol has failed for them in such a situation (I know there’s been moments where we’ve gotten shafted due to the shotgun snaps)

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Great write up Indy.   I hear you, my son is finishing up at auburn and it is very special.

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