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Monday, October 22, 2018

Sometimes you can be who you are



We are U.

Wow after a big win on the road in Oxford, MS with some great stats it feels like we all can take a much-needed deep breath. At least it would appear on twitter that has happened. The incessant anti-Gus, anti-player tweets have slowed way down, thank you.



Quick run down of the key stats in my opinion; 0 turnovers, 269 yards rushing, Whitlow had 170 yards rushing, only lost the Time of Possession battle by 22 seconds. Still had some areas of concern; 8 penalties for 80 yards, 5 out of 6 of the 3rd down conversions for q (6 of 17) were 5 yards or greater.




For most of us, we know that U is much more than wins and losses, it’s about the U family. Some people like to claim they do not want mediocrity or are not ok with 8-5 seasons and the blah blah goes on and on๐Ÿ™„. All I have to say is chill. Did you see the Ohio State and Purdue game? Sometimes there is a reason or a force on how things are the way they are and supposed to be. Purdue was not being denied and I believe Tyler Trent along with the Good Lord and the spirit of a team to do something no one gave them a shot to do. Obviously, they did it and they were last night who they are, and they showed the world that.




This U team needs to be who they are and we as U fans and most importantly as U family need to accept that. So many people with so many opinions trying to control the situation. Trust in Al Greene, trust in the U coaches and players. They are the only ones that truly know who they are and what they are truly capable of. Every single “journalist,” tweeter, and opinionated blogger (myself included) only speculate. When you speculate, you invariably assume to fortify your opinions. Now for some of you more experienced folks on the planet you know that when you assume it only ends making an ass out of u and me ๐Ÿ˜Š! Oh, and we all know about opinions too, everyone’s got one like something else and like that something else they normally always stink๐Ÿ˜ฎ.

So, as we head into the bye week why don’t we all take a lot of deep breaths because the rest of our season is brutal! We all knew this stretch of the schedule was coming and now more than ever our team needs us to be positive and supportive. I mean seriously, realistically, I know we all want to win every game but how many would you be happy if we won? 1? 2? 3? The combined record of the final 4 are 23 – 6. We also know the UGA and bama game are not in our house.


I am sure some will answer it is not if we win it is how well we play which I totally get but having proper expectations on where our team is and what they are capable of is key. I do not believe this team wants to lose a single game and I do believe they believe they can win every game. For years and years when I played sports that is the attitude I had, and you must have when you are an athlete but as a fan you have the luxury of enjoying the game without risking your health or making a mistake that ends up being the talk of twitter for a week. So be a fan, enjoy the games and remember these are 18-20+ year old’s playing a game for our University and they deserve our unwavering support.
I know we all had high expectations and all I am saying is don’t let the last games pass you by without enjoying this college football season. Sure, there are going to be ups and downs but embrace the ups and forget the downs. Enjoy them while you can, embrace being around family and friends sharing the tailgating and watch party experiences for those moments are the moments to cherish for a lifetime.
 I read a quote this weekend and it reminded me that we should never waste the moments or try and be somebody that we aren’t because chances are you are who you are supposed to be, so be the best at that.


Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. 
- Marilyn Monroe



War Eagle y’all, stay positive and believe it when I say it we are stronger together and united as one!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Agony of Defeat

Saturday morning at home, Auburn football lost to an up and coming Tennessee team 30-24. 


Nobody likes losing, period. For the fans this is frustrating, and I get that. Trust me, I do. For these players however, the feeling is hallowing. Agonizing.

Among the goals set for the season, making the College Football Playoff was chief. Everything that this team wanted to accomplish is now not possible.

To make matters worse, there's the beast across the state that has been clicking on all 8 cylinders. There's Florida that has seen a resurgence. LSU waltzed into our house and won, and nothing seems to be going right for Auburn offensively. 

If Auburn can't right the ship, and soon, there will be other consequences. What was hoped to be a Playoff season is now "let's hope we make a Bowl" season. Add to those miseries recruiting will likely take a major hit if the losing streak continues. 

Where does Auburn find the way back to winning football? In the locker room and on the practice field. I for one am hoping they can get it done. For their sake. 

All the other things that happen if this team can't turn it around are on the table. 

I don't want to eat at that table.

WAR EAGLE!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Grim Reality of Auburn Football


Auburn traveled to Starkville, MS Saturday and limped away in a 23-9 losing effort. 

The grim reality is Auburn is struggling offensively.


-->
PASSING                                                                      AU              MSU
Total (Net)21469
Comp.-Att.-Int.                 19-38-09-17-1
Avg. / Att.5.64.1
Avg. / Comp.11.37.7
TDs00


-->
TOTAL OFFENSE
Yards304418
Plays5974
Avg. / Play5.25.6
Fumbles - Lost4-2              1-0
Penalties - Yds.2-101-15

It's difficult to have an effective offense when you turn the ball over. Add to this dropped pass plays, and a few missed assignments, and the sum equals a loss. 

I haven't seen an Auburn offense struggle like this in many years. While fewer penalties were committed, the Tigers offense continues its woeful ways. only 15 first downs earned, and 3 of 14 on third down is not a recipe for success.

Up until this season Auburn averaged: (Points per game)

2013-39.5
2014-35.5
2015-27.5
2016-31.2
2017-33.9

Since Gus Malzahn became its head coach.**

The hapless defense had some difficulty getting off the field, yet held the opponent to under 24 points. An effort that would have won every game in previous seasons under Gus Malzahn. 

Just my opinion here, but if the offense had been more efficient, the defense would not have been on the field so long, leading this writer to believe, they would have played even better.

There must be better execution all around. Including the coaches.


Here's to hoping things get turned around quickly.

WAR EAGLE!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Great Expectations

I write this note to the Auburn Family, the players, and the coaches. 

We all entered this season with great expectations of what could be and what may be. Limitless opportunities in front of the fanbase, players and coaches. So many see the announcements on accolades not yet earned and talks of playoff seeding and what bowl we would be going to. And here we are heading into week 6 with all of them still achievable.

We now enter the gauntlet of our schedule and after enjoying four home games the next two out of three will be played in Mississippi against a couple of teams that pose real threats to where our team is measuring up today.

So what is the point? It is this, we all absolutely love winning but what is interesting this season is we are winning but we are not enjoying it.... On a day with a two and half hour delay that saw Penn State and Stanford. This morning we moved up in the AP Poll to #8 and the Coaches Poll to #9 so are wins more important than how you got there? I think the AP and Coaches have made their statement. They may not be pretty, but this team is fighting and finding a way to win and you could have the greatest team but if you do not win what good is it?




So, as this season continues try to enjoy the wins, the triumphs and have faith that the team is working on getting themselves more prepared based on what happened in the last game for the next game. I assure you, I know myself included I would not survive a single practice let alone a week of practices, would you? The last time I checked there was not a single Auburn Tiger to take the field and say "Geez, I think I am going to try and do really bad today." 

Here is the Gus Bus Ticket from last week! Yes, it has a nice green "W" stamp - keep them coming , no matter how we get them! 



My sincerest condolences and prayers for strength go out to the Thomas Family, friends and team in Pike County, GA where #32 Dylan Thomas a Junior Linebacker tragically suffered a fatal injury on the field. As well as I continue to pray and ask all of you also to pray for #6 Christion Abercrombie a Sophomore from Tennessee State University who suffered a severe head injury and still is in critical condition after collapsing on the sidelines after a play in the Vanderbilt game. 

Albrecht Dรผrer - Praying Hands, 1508

Enjoy the season as best you can and keep in perspective the things that truly matter in life. The tragedies in football this week should put this back in perspective for all of this and I know they did for me. In the end this is supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Embrace the sunshine and avoid the storms.

God Bless y'all, be safe and War Eagle!!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

What I Want To See

STAFF PHOTO

I have been thinking of a few things I'd really like to see from Auburn football this Saturday when it host Southern Miss at 3 pm CDST. 

I am sure many of you have given this some thought. Most probably want a win with little drama.That's a good start to this list.

Beyond a drama free victory, I would love to see solid performances along our offensive line. Few, if any missed assignments. Let's pass block in a manner that our QB doesn't have to scramble excessively. Let's run block in a fashion that our RB's can gain double digit yards per carry. Southern Miss allows 4.90 yards per carry on average. Let's take advantage of this.

ZERO penalties. 

I would like to see our receivers run perfect routes. No drifting toward the sidelines on curl routes. No short angling of the route when running a post route. 

Hopefully we can see marked improvement in those 50/50 type pass plays. Where the receiver has to battle for the ball. I want us to win a very large majority of them.

I would really appreciate seeing a lot of our younger players and see how much they have progressed. That would be a huge indicator that all I've stated previously, has come to fruition.

Bring on the young guys!

WAR EAGLE!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Transitioning From Arkansas to Southern Miss



Saturday night Auburn took down Arkansas 34-3 at home, and improved to 3-1 on the season. 

Some people want to gaze into the negative, and pick apart the team along with the coaches to find something wrong.

Let's look at things from this perspective: Auburn beat an SEC West opponent by 31 points and have the best scoring defense in the conference. 

Was the performance by the Tigers perfect? No. Have you ever seen a complete team win where every single play was perfect? I'll go ahead and answer this one for you. No. 

It's the fourth game of the season. I am shaking my head at some of our fans. 

Next on the agenda is Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles are a pesky bunch with some really good WR's. 

Averaging over 38 points per game and 6.54 yards per play, the key to stopping this offense may be stopping the pass, to make them one dimensional in the run game. 

I know that sounds unusual, but the Golden Eagles only average 3.62 yards per rushing attempt. 

The Southern Miss defense is only allowing 30% of their opponents 3rd down plays to be converted. While allowing just over 25 minutes of possession time the Golden Eagle defense already has 5 INT's this season. 

The keys to success for Auburn offensively, will be taking advantage of the 4.90 yards per carry that Southern Miss allows opponents rushing, while extending drives by converting 3rd downs, and of course finishing drives when in the Red Zone. 

Auburn's defense needs to play a great game, especially in the defensive backfield, and not allow the Golden Eagles extra plays by committing penalties.  

Auburn "should" win this game. If our Tigers can improve some more this week, and put together a solid performance, the game should not be in doubt by the middle of the 3rd quarter. 

I see an Auburn win by more than 30 points.

War Eagle!

Editors note: All statistics provided courtesy of cfbstats.com

Friday, September 21, 2018

Catches Yards and Departures: A Closer Look

A lot is being made, rightly so, about the departures of players from the Auburn football team. Some concern is warranted, although a closer look is needed to get to the details.

Lets first take a look at the number of catches being made so far this season. A great big THANK YOU to @AURobUSA for the graphics.

As we see from this graphic, only 7 players have received multiple receptions. The interesting thing, at least to me, is Nate Craig-Meyers only having two receptions.

There are a couple of reasons as to why Meyers had been targeted five times, yet only had two receptions. One is a decided effort by Chip Lindsey to increase the use of the H-Back and the Running Backs in the passing game. 

Meyers, along with his brother Jayvaughn have both decided to leave the program.

Another valid reason is the use of true freshmen Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz in each of the first 3 games. 

The offensive line struggling to protect Jarrett Stidham, the Auburn quarterback, is likely a factor here as well.

Let's now take a look at the total reception yards for each of these players.

Clearly, Meyers totals being near the same as the RB's is an indication he either hasn't been open during his routes, or targeted enough. 

One other factor is this coaching staff has repeatedly stated most of the younger players would get a chance to "show what they got" early in the season. 

The new Redshirt rules allow each player to play in a minimum of four games and still be able to Redshirt. The new rules also allows for players to declare they will transfer.

My guess is that we have just seen the tip of the iceberg concerning this matter. Next season we will more than likely see a much larger number of teams dealing with this issue. 

This is life in the world of college football now. Get used to it.

War Eagle!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Transitioning From LSU to Arkansas

photo courtesy of Sandos Hotels & sandos.com

All the warning signs were put there to see, and I refused to head their message. The offensive line needs time to gel. The Running Back approach will be by committee. 

Auburn lost at home to LSU 22-21 while at times being explosive, and at other times inept.

Auburn had the opportunity a couple of times to drive the ball down the throat of the LSU defense, and chose to do otherwise. Were those play calls because of the inexperience of our Offensive line? Could it be LSU's defensive front was that good? 

While there were enough Yellow laundry flying to signal the Gulf of Mexico was dangerous to do more than wade into, our Tigers failed to do what they accomplished against Washington in the first game. That was to put together a drive to win.

Couple this statement with the fact that the game NEVER should have been close enough for the officials to make game deciding penalty calls, and you have climbed onto my frustration level.

Moving On

Let's put the RB question to bed now. Jatarvious Whitlow is the man. 

While many of us fans are still licking our wounds, the team and our coaches are busy getting ready for the Razorbacks of the University of Arkansas. The 'Hawgs will invade Jordan Hare Saturday with a sour disposition after a dismal performance at home versus North Texas losing 34-17. 

You read that correctly, Arkansas lost to North Texas. The Mean Green of North Texas are a very good football team, and I mean no disrespect. 

The Hawgs are undergoing a radical change from the "Real American Football" of Bret Bielema  to the Chad Morris philosophy of football, and it will take a lot of time. 

Arkansas is 1-2 thus far, and may be primed for an upset of Auburn at home. The home standing Tigers need to stop the run game of Arkansas and make the Razorbacks one dimensional. 

The Hags threw 6 INT's last week, and this may be the weakness Auburn can exploit.

I have every confidence the Auburn defense will show up strong once again for this game. The question is as it was for the first game. How will the Auburn offense perform? 

When our Tigers decide to play a complete game offensively, they will be very difficult to stop. Can they improve against the Hawgs? Time will tell. I believe improvement will be seen. 

Arkansas will not be the team that stops Auburn.

Auburn 38 Arkansas 13

WAR EAGLE!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Groundhog Day 2018 except in our house!

Wow. I am not sure where to start up 21-10 feeling pretty good and then we just lose focus. We just do not lose focus but it is like someone ripped off our glasses, stomped on them and then we were Mr. Magooing all over the field and on the sidelines.

Magoo is copyrighted by whomever owns Magoo - I do not

Now there were some standout performances by a select few players but this is a TEAM sport and you win as a team and you lose as a team. No matter what that was one of the more poorly played games in the last couple years almost as poorly as....oh yeah this time last year in Baton Rouge. 

Is it the end? Hell no! Get back up, dust off, this includes everyone in the Auburn Family and now make a run at this thing.... Of course we have to win out but hey we did it last year through the regular season! So we know we can do it. Bashing the coaches = no good, constructively criticizing through observations and data = maybe helpful. Being a Monday morning QB, doesn't show you are brilliant at all. Love Auburn, love our staff and players and be thankful. There are plenty of people this week with way bigger problems than losing a football game. trust me, this stings, even ticks me off and I will probably be salty until next week but in the end it needs to be put in perspective. Yes, this did sting.

๐Ÿ

Well here is how our ticket is looking. Do I think LSU is that good? no, do I think we played bad? Yes, and I will be doing some data analysis to prove it later on in the week. 


God Bless Y'all, War Eagle and we'll get'em next week!

Have a safe, peaceful week and please try not to assault any dumbA#$ bammers that are trying to be funny even though we know they are not. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

LSU invading Jordan-Hare SMART Goal recap from ASU too!

I was absolutely overjoyed to see our Tigers bounce back in the first quarter after two drives that would have bogged them down last year. They took care of business plain and simple. The only dig is these darn penalties! I know, I know 4 - 30 is not bad but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Penalties in my opinion equal rust and discipline and starting this week we have to ensure neither of these play a role in the games as the tolerance of mistakes is low with the rest of our schedule.

A look back at the ASU SMART Goal and the Tigers nailed it.

Next up LSU! This team is not as easy as the ASU defense last week and in this rivalry anything can happen. In the past 2 years we have seen games that we thought were going one way and shifted in the final minutes. This week, the good non-drunk looking Tigers need to not carry this game into the final minutes. This Auburn Team has the ability to score fast and control the ball with the stable of running backs and receivers we have. Our defense is also going to have to limit red zone trips as well as not get gashed the way they did against the Huskies in game one. 

If all goes well the Tigers should put this one away with 7 minutes to go in the fourth. Time of possession is going to be critical. Believe it or not last week ASU had more time with the ball than our Tigers....that may be OK against a bug but not another Tiger. Also what needs to improve from last week is our 3rd down efficiency, we were 2 of 10!!!! Against UW we were 9 of 18 and we need to get that mojo back which plays into extending drives and keeping them off the field.



Let me know what you think. LSU can win this if we do not execute the plan and stay focused on achieving the goals of the game plan. This LSU team wants to prove they deserved last year's Christmas gift. The good Tigers need to show them it was nothing more than a fluke. Auburn needs to protect this house and send a statement with a huge win against another top 12 team!

Look forward to your comments and feedback!


War Eagle y'all!