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Hindsight is 20/20: The Jacksonville State Game

Rambling my ass off on a Monday morning...

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

I heard a story once from a Doc I worked under about a teenage girl whose Aunt practiced voodoo.  The girl was having mental problems so the Aunt decided to rid her of evil spirits by gouging her eyes out.

Anyone else feel like having that done after the mind-numbing fumble from Roc Thomas with three minutes to go Saturday?

We can tell ourselves that Carl Lawson was out, Trey Matthews went out, Avery Young was held out, Justin Garrett went out, and on and on and on.

But it's Jacksonville State, it shouldn't matter.

We can tell ourselves that they have a crapload of D1 transfers.

It's still freakin' Jax State, it shouldn't matter.

We can tell ourselves it's an 11 A.M. game on a look-ahead weekend.

But it's effin Jacksonville State, an FCS school from nowhere, Alabama.  A top ten 10 beats them by 40 with all those excuses listed.

Yet Auburn needs overtime to squeak out a victory, and we were lucky to get to that point.

Auburn was one power read away from losing that ballgame after the fumble.  Thanks to Gamecock head coach John Grass for losing his marbles for a split second and giving Auburn a pulse.  That plus a shanked punt set the Tigers up at the Gamecock 30.  And for about a minute and a half of the game plus the overtime, the Auburn Tigers showed up.

It was an epic escape from an epic defeat.  Think Bama losing to La-Monroe was bad?  An Auburn loss to Jax State would have made that one look like one of their many recent Sugar Bowl losses.

I am stunned by how bad this offense is.  I am floored by Jeremy Johnson's bad throws and decision making.  I am amazed at the play calling of an offensive genius.  And I am petrified of the future if things do not change.

Johnson continued to force throws into places nobody should go when there are check downs to wide open running backs.  We have heard people like Stan White saying JJ would be the best QB in Auburn history.  Prior to the season we were hearing Cam Newton comparisons.  And like Cam's laptop, that idea is now out the window.

I read several comments over the weekend about how Johnson needs an eye exam.  One person on this site even commented that he needs a top ophthalmologist.  That's a great idea.  Send him to an eye surgeon who might be able to do cataract surgery?  He's not 75.  I mean, it might appear he has macular degeneration after some of those throws but I assure you he does not. *  If anything, JJ needs a sports psychologist.

Gus's play calling has been another head scratcher.  The 8 yard throws were there the whole game on first down.  Why not throw it until they stop it?  Why pound the ball into an 8 or 9 man front and put yourself behind the sticks?  Was it Auburn being intentionally vanilla?  Is Gus just being stubborn and believing like the rest of us we should be able to run against a 9 man front of a FCS team?   Is it that this offense just doesn't work without a QB who's a threat to run?  Again, I am baffled.

On defense, it was't great, but once we get our guys back healthy I think we'll be fine.  If Lawson and Matthews can go Saturday along with Garrett, I think the defense will be fine.  I would offer that the quarterback we faced against Jax St is probably better than the one we will face with LSU.  For that matter, the Jennings is better than half of the SEC quarterbacks at this point, including our own.

Peyton Barber continues to be a bright spot.  He gets better as the game goes on.  Maybe he does't have the break-away speed of Roc Thomas, but he's reliable and he's a winner.  I'll take that for now.  Ricardo Louis has stepped up his game as well.  I would love to see Duke more involved, but we're going to need to let him run a different pass route every once in a while other than that skinny post or whatever it is he's running.

Now, Auburn has to regroup and get back to business.  They have to get  guys healthy and get Jeremy's head on straight or Saturday in Red Stick will be a long day.  Special thanks to the guys over at And the Valley Shook for letting me be on their podcast making me wait 30 minutes then canceling on me when they couldn't get it together.   Did you guys go to the  Les Miles school of time management  or something?

Anyway, that's all the rambling I got for the week.  Sorry.  Like most of you I am still in a sour, sour mood over my team's performance this past Saturday.

*If you are in need of eye surgery, go see an ophthalmologist.   Otherwise, get everything else handled by an optometrist.  Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.