I'll be honest from the start, this is pretty much going to be a review based only what I saw from watching Twitter. I have zero desire to go back and actually watch the game. I was able to follow along on Twitter in real time for the entirety of the first half, but the cell phone reception inside Paulson Stadium in Statesboro is so horrendous that I only got fits and bursts during the second half.
The Bad: Let's go ahead and get this stuff out of the way, first.
Turnovers. Duh. Anytime you give up four turnovers, it's going to be a rough game. The turnover margin ended up being zero, but when two of your four turnovers are on your first two offensive plays and you allow touchdowns on both, then you're going to have a hard time doing anything.
Marshall's Pocket Passing. This is based purely on his first interception being a tipped ball at the line. That has happened multiple times this season that resulted in interceptions. I freely admit my lack of actual football knowledge, so this is coming purely from a fan's perspective, but it seems like Marshall would be much better served to roll out on some of these passes or drop back a bit further to get more height on the ball. I've said before I think he's a much better passer when he's on the move. The coaches know much, much, MUCH better than me, though.
This is not a call for Marshall to be benched, by the way. He's still electric in the zone read, and still does great things in the passing game. I just feel like we're not putting him in the best position to utilize his skills in throwing the ball. And it wouldn't hurt if his receivers laid out for the ball every now and then.
Red Zone Offense. What had been a major strength for Auburn this season turned into one big reason Auburn didn't win this game. Credit Mississippi State's defense on that one. They stood strong and kept the Tigers out of the endzone enough to have a big impact on the way the game was played.
Refs: I heard they were bad, yes? I haven't seen anything, so I'll defer to those of you who did.
Forcing Turnovers. The defense took four away on their own, including two very real and clean INTs rather than those on tipped balls.
Defense. Mississippi State scored ten points in the second half. They scored 17 points after the first 10 minutes. I know it seems weird to say the defense played well in a game where 38 points were scored against them, but they were put in one heck of a hole and they continued to fight hard and held their own for the rest of the game.
Fighting to the End. It was something I saw after the LSU game last year that gave me a lot of confidence, and this does the same for me this season. This team went down in a big way in the opening 10 minutes of the football game, but they fought back with chances to really make it a game in the end. There's no quit in this team. That mentality will be huge going forward, as we still face three other very real tests on the road.
I'm sure there's more, but I'm typing this from a hotel room in Statesboro, about to head back to Atlanta, so we'll get to those later.
Losing sucks, y'all. But the sun still rises, and it's still great to be an Auburn Tiger.
War Eagle, Always.