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Monday, November 3, 2008

War Damn Eagle

Didn't see the Ole Miss game. Didn't really have to. From reading the numbers, I can clearly picture what transpired.

Welcome to Waffle House! How would you like your 2008 Auburn Tigers?
I'll have mine, spread, Hatted, Johnsoned, Petrinoed, Stewarted and Nutted... but not Croomed.

Going Through the Progression
as bright spots go, this is clearly a checkdown

I was happy to see that wacky pass-run ratio for two reasons. The first is that Kodi is still an excitable little fella, and he needs as much throwing time as possible to take the green out of the greenhorn. The second is that Ensminger showed he'll attempt to adjust to the weakness of opposing defenses. Ole Miss's back four were there to be thrown on, and throw we did. Maybe the plan still failed miserably, but hey, at least we correctly identified the soft spot and we sold out trying to stab at it.

We'll take what we can get. Sort of we will.

Better men than me

By any estimation, you initially arrived at this blog via the Joe Cribbs Car Wash or some other such outstanding blog written by an actual sportswriter. So perhaps it's unnecessary to link these things - but credit where it's due. Here are a couple of intriguing factoids:

Our defensive injury report, courtesy of Jay G. Tate:
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: ankle (day to day)
DT Tez Doolittle: groin (day to day)
DE Michael Goggans: ankle (day to day)
DE Antonio Coleman: both ankles (day to day)
DT Mike Blanc: left hand (to be determined)
SLB Craig Stevens: left hamstring, turf toe (playing through it)
MLB Tray Blackmon: broken right wrist (out for season)
MLB Josh Bynes: "deep thigh bruise" (day to day)
WLB Merrill Johnson: hamstring (day to day)
CB Aairon Savage: right knee (out for season)
CB Walt McFadden: left knee and ankle (day to day)
CB Jerraud Powers: hamstring (out for at least one more week)
CB Neiko Thorpe: ankle (out for at least one more week)
On most every other defense in the country, this is would be a starting lineup.

Over at From the Bleachers, we're reminded of this startling fact:
It's also clear that every defense the Tigers play knows exactly what Auburn is going to do before they do it, especially in the running game. AU can't run inside, can't run to the outside, and can't even run a screen without having three defenders around the ball at all times. This is not a surprise, or at least it shouldn't be. The last time Steve Ensminger was in charge of the offense, the same thing happened; Georgia Tech's defenders in 2003 were calling out the plays from the line of scrimmage. I wouldn't be surprised if Ole Miss was doing the same thing over five years later.
Ouch. Just... ouch. The mysterious1 ascendency of Kodi Burns to the throne of starterdom aside, there are some times when I wish we still had a certain offensive coordinator. Or, to be fair, an offensive coordinator. At all.

Also from that FTB article,
Saturday was easily Burns' most productive game as a Tiger, but those three awful interceptions doomed any chance of getting a win. But then again, Burns is now being "coached" by a guy who took an eventual first-round NFL starter and wrecked him so badly that people wondered whether the guy would ever play again.
Burns will do fine once he has a coach again.

Track 'Em Tigers has an unusually apt name for their latest article:
Auburn Braces For Tough Stretch Run
Apt because this is a stretch run2:
You may recognize this play by its east-by-northeast trajectory as the stretch run that Ben Tate and Co. have been bracing for, all season long.

1 Ok, yeah, not really that mysterious.
2 Courtesy of the NCAA 2009 pdf of Texas Tech's playbook, ace H pro set.

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