So as I took a day and a half to decompress from this awful loss (awful because it's a home loss to a rebuilding State) and for some strange reason I find myself encouraged by a home loss where we entered the red zone 4 times and came away with 6 freakin' points.
Maybe it's because last week's performance against LSU was such a football abortion anything might look better. Maybe because we saw a young quarterback emerge as a guy without a deer-in-the-headlights look about him. Maybe it's because Will Muschchamp's D actually resembled a Muschchamp D.
For whatever reason, I'm going to be ok with it. This team could've packed it up after going down 14, but they kept fighting. Going forward, we as fans have to deal with the harsh reality that this team was just not as good as advertised. And we all know as front runners, Auburn is historically bad.
If people point fingers about who is to blame for a 2-2 start and a potential train wreck of a season, people will point right to the head man himself. Gus has done a poor job getting this team prepared to play. We have fewer playmakers than we thought to give us that big play, quick scoring strike.
Gus and Rhett Lashlee have done a poor job adjusting to defenses forcing Auburn to drive the ball down the field. Some of that is on Jeremy Johnson, but Auburn's routes are not creative and they seem to be pretty predictable. Duke Williams is constantly bracketed, leaving other players to pick up the slack. Peyton Barber is a work horse of a running back, but he doesn't have that second level burst we have seen from Auburn running backs. Kerryon and Roc have that burst, but Roc hasn't been able to stay healthy and Kerryon is still learning.
Auburn was ultra conservative (Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin's love child conservative) in play calling against State. Lots of run plays and very few first down throws until desperation time sealed Auburn's fate. Gus must be more creative in order to give Auburn any shot in these next 3 games. And yes, Auburn could still lose to SJSU and Al Borges, who would love nothing more than to stick it to his old employer.
More first down throws and more zone reads need to happen earlier in drives to give us a chance.
Defensively there is no pass rush. Zero, zilch, nada. Other than that huge gaping deficiency our D is playing better. Get well soon, Mr Lawson.
I say all these things yet I'm still optimistic. I have no other way to be. I'm an Auburn fan. Careful kid, she'll break your heart.