Welcome to the 2009 version of the 2008 Auburn Tigers.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. The much hyped Auburn offense slides backwards for the third straight week with no real reason to believe things are going to improve anytime soon.
Quarterback Chris Todd looks to have no confidence in neither his line nor his receivers. Now I'm starting to wonder if that mindset is coming full circle.
I watched a game last night where Auburn, who apparently runs a balanced spread offense throw for 47 yards. Let me repeat that...47 yards! That puts Todd's numbers at a blistering 128 yards passing over the last two games.
Sure the line could do a better job blocking and I know for a fact that the receivers have dropped a few balls, but 47 yards? The line isn't THAT bad and the receivers aren't dropping THAT many balls.
I wrote an article last week stating that I thought Todd still had what it would take to lead this offense. I was wrong. He doesn't.
Auburn losing this game has nothing to do with my opinion. LSU has a better team, no doubt about it. Chris Todd didn't lose this game. It was a total team effort in which Auburn was beat soundly in all aspects of the game. The score probably should have been much, much worse.
The story of this game could be painted with depicting one miserable drive by the Tigers. Auburn got the ball back late in the second quarter down by two touchdowns. After a short punt Auburn started somewhere around the 50 yard line.
On first down Ontario McCalebb runs to the right and is "forced" out of bounds without a defender within 3 or 4 yards of him. He gains 2 yards on the play.
It's now 2nd and 3 after an off-sides penalty by LSU. Kodi is arm tackled after barely making the first down.
1st and 10 and McCalebb throws a “whiff” block and Todd is stripped of the ball. Auburn recovers.
2nd and Long. A very poorly executed screen pass results in a 2 yard loss.
3rd and Longer. Chris Todd to Emory Blake....who drops the pass.
Good teams take advantage of opportunities. Auburn didn't.
The silver lining in the game came as Neil Caudle marched the team down the field (against several clean LSU jersey's) and managed to punch in the Tiger's only touchdown. Oh, and by the way, had Caudle thrown one more 14 yard pass he would have been the leading passer for Auburn. He was 3-5 for 34 yards on his one and only drive under center.
According to Coach Gene Chizik, "We'll look at everything on offense" I would say that Todd has a pretty short leash at this point.