Let's take the Lear Jet home, Casey.
This week has been two wishes come true for a good number of Auburn fans, Tony Franklin and the spread he rode in on got run out of town mid-week and Kodi Burns got the start on Saturday to work his miracles on turf. The lingering effects of the former will take a while to judge, but the results from the latter were on display for immediate review.
Whatever the kind of offense we're going to be, we better decide real quick and get on with it. If we're going to run a true spread, it's NOT going to be this year. We're going to have to wait for the next guru to come along and teach us. Are we going to go back to conventional power football or stay with the what I call the Spackle (a real slow moving spread that sticks in place, especially between down markers) Let me tell you--I'm done with the Spackle. It looks abysmal. What good is a hurry-up type offense if half the time you're getting set, then all getting back up to cluelessly look over to the sideline en masse to get the play from the guys doing the YMCA? How many times Saturday did I see where their defense was caught off guard, trying to shuffle people in and out after a play, but we didn't do a quick snap? WE HAVEN'T DONE THAT ALL YEAR. That's one of the many problems of this offense--predictability.
I was looking forward to some more power football similar to that we layed on Vandy in the first quarter of last week--you know, the one that worked so well that we abandoned it? See, although Arkansas had the worst defense in the SEC, they were going to stack up eight in the box and force us to throw, so we DIDN'T EVEN TRY TO RUN. Come on! That's complete defeatism. You gotta at least try! Line up in the I-formation with a tight end or two and at least see if we could knock them in the dirt. Do you think they were going to be fooled by the one back with the QB in the shotgun? Half the times we saw that set, you knew Burns was going to take off running. My mom knew that, and she was at home watching Law & Order reruns...
We need to stop this finesse crap where the QB gingerly hands the back next to him the ball or does some sort of half-ass option and start pounding people. THAT will open up the pass. Heck, it'll open it up for Burns. If there's three guys in the backfield, it's a little easier to sell the QB keeper. Other than that, every play is going to be a QB draw or a pass. And maybe Burns can settle down in the pocket if he doesn't have to constantly run for his life.
You got to see what Burns could do for almost the entire first half, and although I wasn't really impressed, I don't blame it all on him. I'm convinced that Todd is a better thrower, but Burns has the running threat was was totally un-utilized Saturday night because of this Spackle offense we keep lining up in. Granted, Burns needs to learn to try staying in the pocket a little longer before he takes off, and learn to look other places besides the home run ball. I saw next to no passes out into the flats or any screens. That's totally inexcusable to not try those. Everything was across the middle or an intermediate range slant to the outside.
And poor Chris Todd. The guy feels like that when he does make it into the game, he has to do something miraculous quickly and he ends up trying to force something. You know how you give a guy like that some confidence? Let him establish a drive through a few rushing plays. The longer he stays out on the field, the quicker his confidence grows. All the boos for him were pathetic. For a minute, I thought I was in the Vet in Philly. Sure, even I was upset with some of his forced throws, but give me a break on booing him. We Auburn folk have our fair share of loser fans.
And what use is a good defense is we're going to leave them out there the whole game? They didn't have a chance. At one point in the third quarter, I noticed that the time of possession had Arkansas up by about 13 minutes. They ended up with a 35-25 advantage. That's pathetic. That's also what you get when you don't attempt to run the ball. Those guys couldn't keep chasing down that little guy Smith for Arkansas all night. He looked about five foot nothing, but he had some wheels. When you're pulling overtime on the defensive side, you have to collapse at some point, and we kept giving up the big plays--at least 5 plays over 40 yards, I think...
On the lighter side, your humble contributors, Jay, Acid Reign and myself met for lunch before the game to talk about all you behind your backs. Actually, we had a good time and discussed a lot about how the site is evolving. We had a big week last week in hits, probably owing to the Franklin firing, so I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all of you for your patronage. We regulars don't always agree, but it's starting to become a nice little community we have here.
One thing I will say, and I think I can speak for the three of us, is that we really don't endorse all the calls for Tuberville's head after every poor showing. Like Acid Reign commented yesterday, it would take government backing at this point to raise Tubs' buyout, so it's highly likely that he's going to be our coach for the foreseeable future and I'm perfectly fine with that. The man is deserving of our respect and you fair-weather fans that call for his ouster after every loss can go tell it on another site. Perhaps try Roll Bama Roll. You might find a sympathetic ear there. Either that, or I'm going to start putting up a Fire Tuberville thread every week where you can confine your vitriol there--kinda like the smoker's aquarium at Hartsfield airport in Atlanta. I guess it's best that we do that instead of some yay-hoo going out and starting a Fire Tubs website...