As I was dropped off and entered my garage last night, I still had questions about the rest of the season. So I will share them with you, and my opinions on each as well.
(1) Is Auburn that good? Yes they are. I know we had a terrible night, but the speed, O-Line, and weapons they’ve got-are next to only UF, in the SEC. You disagree? Ok let me ask you this- what other SEC team besides UF, has an alternate QB who can come in an be as elusive and versatile as Burns, and what other SEC team has the back field with as much talent and as many options as Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, and the unbelievable Freshman talent of Onterio McCalebb. No one. The Tigers may lack a true passing game, but somehow Auburn has always won with ugly QB play. I look for these Tigers to battle not Ole Miss, not LSU, but Bama for West and a trip to Atlanta.
2. Is it too early to consider throwing away Tyler Russell’s redshirt? In my humble opinion…no. Why? We can go on and on about how difficult the spread is to learn and execute, but let’s stop kidding ourselves- because we have not done one thing, that Tyler Russell couldn’t have done as the QB of this team. Plain and simple. And to aid the Freshman-if he sees the field, is the fact that many audibles are made from the sideline, as far as most spread offenses go. What do we know about Tyler? (1) He can see over the line of scrimmage. As we have mentioned before-this weekend being the PERFECT example, Lee scampers for the sideline “full speed”- when WR’s don’t appear open, and the play is given up on-way too early. Russell’s height would increase field vision, allowing the opportunity for our plays to develop more on the field and run their course. Imagine how many plays this year, have died early-due to Lee scrambling for the sideline because he couldn’t see the play even developing? (2) Russell has a better arm than Relf and Lee. Many of us have seen Tyler play in high school, and we know he can throw the slant routes like bullets, and throws the deep ball extremely well. Ever notice that we have no deep game at all? That’s because neither Relf or Lee throw it well. And having no deep threat, means you don’t have the chance to open up the underneath passes-and your run game “even more”. Defenses will be licking their chops for the rest of the year, especially if they know they don’t have to protect any more than 15 yds. One things for sure, Russell wouldn’t have thrown any of those INT’s that were thrown Saturday night.
(3) Is it Up or Down from here? I’d have to say UP. Let’s face it, even with all the excitement, we knew reality was bound to set in, and the Mullen honey moon couldn’t last forever. Hello!-have you seen our schedule? But, in all seriousness, I think at the end of the season, we’ll look back on this game as being more beneficial than devastating. Giving up a few yards short of 600, allowing a familiar conference foe to stomp you in the ground, and not making the necessary adjustments for 3 quarters…should be enough. Enough motivation to not let it happen again, and enough of a reality check-to let our Dawgs know how they ‘must’ and ‘must not’ perform. Our coaches and team , have to make the decision to improve, and hold themselves to a higher standard…and I hope that decision was made before anyone even got into the shower after the game. If I had to distribute the blame, I’d say Coaches-%75 to Players-%25. Our Defensive game plan-put simply, SUCKED. Our adjustments…well, were non-existent. And when players happened to be in position to make a play- we were dreadful. And if the game was any indication, Zach Smith better have a great week of practice, otherwise we might be seeing more of Wade Bonner. With all that said, I’m optimistic about the possibilities that still exist this year. We’re down, but this team knows how to get up and respond.
Thumbs Up To: RB Anthony Dixon, great start to the 2009 season, 20 touches 92 yards. WR/KR Leon Berry, this kid REFUSES to go down, and everyone who touches a ball on our team, should have his mentality. Special Team- a blocked punt for a TD, great protection, and the kicking game has been excellent.
So, what’s your answer to these 3 questions…