"This team can play with anybody."
Gus actually said that in the post game presser. Am I supposed to take solace in that?
In the last 5 years I have watched Auburn win a national title and play for another. So it is pretty much a given Auburn is supposed to be able to play with anybody, and beat most anybody on any given Saturday.
So why is it that our head coach is talking about our team like they are a Sunbelt team that just put a scare into a Big 5 conference juggernaut?
8 games into the 2015 Auburn and its head coach has a crisis of character. Auburn relied so much on Nick Marshall to make the offense go the last 2 seasons, they are having a hard time adjusting to life after him. Which begs the question: Why do we not have a dual threat quarterback on the roster?
Don't get me wrong. I love Sean White. His performances in the last 2 weeks have been flat out heroic. He is tough as nails and is doing all he can. Half a dozen teams in this conference would love to have him (just ask Mark Richt).
The thing is, Sean is a very different quarterback from Nick Marshall. He's not going to break a 60 yard run on a zone read. And the offense still hasn't found its personality post Nick. I don't fault Sean at all for that.
The blame for that falls squarely on Gus and Rhett Lashlee. Part of the problem is Jeremy Johnson hasn't panned out. But I will say this again: after 3 years in the program, they should have known. He doesn't run the ball even as well as Sean White. And, unfortunately, he doesn't throw the ball even as well as Betty White.
Yet he still gets stuck into the game at odd times and throws off the entire rhythm of everything. And the end result is that Auburn's offense is a mess.
We got to see the return of Carl Lawson Saturday and for a half, he was a difference maker. Lawson abused an NFL bound left tackle several times in the first half. In the second half, as fatigue played a role, he became less effective. But as he continues to get his legs under him, he will be a difference maker for the Auburn defense.
All in all, I really saw improvement for the second week in a row in the Auburn defense. Yes, they gave up a lot of yards, but considering the offense they faced, they really were ok. Not great, just ok.
Jovon Robinson stepped in and did a fantastic job at running back. He needs to carry the ball more down the stretch if Auburn has any shot of making a bowl game. The fact he was MIA down on the goal line on 2 series is mind blowing to me. Not as mind blowing as Jeremy Johnson running a QB draw from the 4 yard line, but mind blowing all the same.
I still have faith that Auburn can win 3 out of the last 4 games and get a decent bowl. The kids still play their guts out, but our offensive coaches need to get back to basics with their philosophy. We have a young, accurate quarterback who can make the throws. We have four very reliable running backs who can get the job done. My advice is to use that. We have enough talent on the field right now that the gimmicky stuff just is not needed. Run the ball and play action off of that. It's football 101.
I don't want to hear that this team "can play with anyone" garbage ever again. I've been an Auburn fan for a while now. I know that.