Auburn is back. An excellent win over a superior-on-paper team Saturday laid to rest a lot of the critics of the coaching staff and the team itself......at least for a while. For the first time in 3 weeks Saturday, Auburn showed up to the game ready to play. The defense looked better than they have all year. The offense looked brilliant at times, stagnant at times. Overall though, we once again saw a glimpse of the 5-0 Tigers as opposed to the 0-3 Tigers.
Our glaring weaknesses remain the same: We have no quarterback. Chris Todd had a good game, but if you were actually watching the game, you would see that his numbers were very little of Todd's doing, and moreso of his receivers and backs making plays for him. Todd's arm is still weak and floaty. Put in Caudle you say? I don't know. There are 2 schools of thought here:
1. If the coaches are saying Todd is the best chance to win, then you believe them and are afraid because if Todd is the BEST QB AVAILABLE TO PLAY right now, then Caudle's MO is correct. He will get interception happy when pressured and make huge mistakes. If that is the case then blame Tuberville and co. for lack of recruiting. Many have said that the best QB on the team in Barrett Trotter, but he can't stay healthy. If he can manage to get through spring not hurt, he'll have a shot next year. What about Tyrik Rollison? He's redshirted, waiting his turn. Why not bring him in now? I think the coaches believe in Trotter, and want the extra year of eligibility for Rollison. Trotter will be a junior next year, if he does well we've got him for 2 years, then we've got Rollison for 2 years. Or maybe Caudle will wake up and win the job. Athletically, Caudle is there. He's got a great arm, and can run. He can't run like Rollison, but he can run. We'll have to see.
2. The other school of thought is simple SCS, otherwise known as Stubborn Coach Syndrome. It's simply the coach saying 'I know more than the fans and the media, so I'm not going to start Caudle because that would be caving to pressure!' If this is the case, then I have one thing to say to the coaching staff: DON'T BE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS. Give your team the best chance to win. Don't try to show that you're smarter than everybody else. Don't be like Sean Payton at the Saints last year. Don't sacrifice wins for your team because you want to prove to the media and the fans that you know more than them. I've seen a little bit of this in Gus Malzhan. I hate to badmouth him, but he's made some really questionable playcalls the last couple of weeks. Gus.....when it's 3rd and 5, you don't have to go down the field every time. You don't have to call a double reverse wildcat formation pass play to Kodi Burns. Just get the damn first down Run a quickout past the line and throw it. Throw a halfback screen. WR screen. Give your guys a chance. Stay on the field. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we're taking shots down the field and making some big plays. But there are times to do it, and times not to. Quite simply, there's nothing wrong with taking a shot, even on 3rd and 5. But don't do it so much that you're sacrificing a chance to just stay on the field.
Next week we have Furman, which should be a gimme win. Hooray for homecoming, and a 7 win season, which is what most of us predicted anyway. Can we beat Georgia? I think so. Can we beat Alabama? Yes we can. It all depends on which Auburn team shows up. One thing is for sure, the OL better save their best game of the year for Alabama. Otherwise, Chris 'I-hold-the-ball-too-long' Todd will get slaughtered.
Looking forward to a nice, stress-free weekend of Auburn football. Great win Saturday!!! I'm ready to get back in the Bowl fray. War Eagle!!!