Auburn vs. Ole Miss: Scot Loeffler's Offense May Get Gene Chizik Fired
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It's safe to say that all is not well on the Plains after Auburn faltered in the second half and fell to the Ole Miss Rebels, 41-20, in Oxford, Miss.
The Tiger offense looked somewhat functional in the second quarter en route to 17 points vs. Ole Miss, but unfortunately for head coach Gene Chizik, there were three quarters to worry about.
Those three may seal his fate and send Auburn into the coaching market this offseason.
But it's not all Gene Chizik's fault, because Auburn's offense has been horrendous under first-year offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler.
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The Tigers had 152 total yards at halftime, which seemed groundbreaking at the time. The Tigers were running the ball well with sophomore Tre Mason and quarterback Clint Moseley hadn't let a pass hit the ground.
In the second half, the real Auburn offense showed back up and gained just 60 yards despite dominating the time of possession battle, 34:20-25:40, for the game.
Granted, starting Moseley at quarterback for the first time this season didn't help Auburn's offense get more creative in one week's time, but you'd think the Tigers, at the very least, would recognize what works for them.
Instead, Auburn's offense was predictable, vanilla and ineffective.
In other words, "par for the course."
Even in the first half, when Mason had things going, wildcat quarterback Jonathan Wallace would trot out and the Ole Miss defense would walk everybody up to the line of scrimmage. Save for one 11-yard run, it didn't work and never even gave off the appearance of working.
Mason had 18 carries for 81 yards and two touchdowns, but only five of his carries came in the second half.
He was the biggest reason why Auburn's offense achieved a reasonable amount of success on Saturday, but he was noticeably absent from the game plan when it mattered most.
In 2008, former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville hired Tony Franklin to fix Auburn's stagnant offense with his version of the spread. That proved to be too difficult of a transition for the Tigers. Franklin was fired in early October, and Tuberville resigned after the season.
Will Gene Chizik be the coach at Auburn in 2013?
The style of offense may be reversed, but history appears to be repeating itself.
Auburn simply doesn't have the personnel to switch from Gus Malzahn's version of the spread back to Loeffler's pro-style offense, and that has become apparent during Auburn's first six games.
Loeffler has been Auburn's biggest problem this season, but Chizik hired him, so he deserves the criticism as well. I guess that should have been expected since Chizik waited a month-and-a-half after Loeffler coached his last game at Temple before making the hire.
Chizik's job is not the only one on the line, Loeffler's is too. Loeffler needs to find a quick fix to his offense before its too late; otherwise, both will be looking for work.
If it's not too late already.
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