I saw something in the highlights, and after watching the replay early this morning. I saw a shift, a very significant shift if you are an Auburn fan. One that is fully camouflaged, if you are just looking at the stats.
First I want to say congratulations to the defensive players and coaches. What a great game plan, and execution of that plan was very well done. Eltoro Freeman may have had his best game, from a recognition stand point. Corey Lemonier was a disruptive force, and Nosa Eguae played very well for the most part. For those three to stand out, the others have to be playing their roles. Played them to near perfection they did, I now await the "hat in hand" post from a certain individual, who had been more than a little frustrated earlier in the season.The defense is now ranked higher than the offense nationally, and it happens to be because it is improving by leaps and bounds.
Now onto the shift I mentioned earlier.
Looking back at some of the problems Barrett Trotter had throwing the ball, especially over the middle, I was becoming more and more frustrated that there wasn't any improvement being shown on the field, during competition. We are not privy to practice, so we could only judge by what we have seen, and some minor irritation was developing with pass attempts across the middle at the mid-level.
Trotter, for whatever reason would throw the pass too hard, and bounce it, or throw behind his receiver. With several games to judge by, I wasn't seeing improvement there, and it must have been clearly evident to the opposing teams as well. Sometimes I thought the reason Trotter wasn't throwing to the open man underneath, was because he didn't have the confidence to do so. After three weeks, he had to be seeing them, it was blatantly obvious as a fan, and we know he saw the film each week. The lack of improvement ultimately led to Moseley starting the second half against the Gators.
Last night in the game against the Gators, Clint Moseley threw to Lutzie, a perfect strike across the middle at about 18 yards. That single play sent off a message in BOLD TYPE that the defensive backs would have to play back, therefore opening the run game. Because of the effectiveness of the passing game with Clint Moseley, we saw several things last night we haven't seen since the second quarter against Clemson. Running plays with some significant gains on second down, and Onterio McCalebb scored his first rushing TD of the season.
Yeah, I now have some optimism about the rest of the season. The toughest part, and we'll be ready.