I had a hard time leaving my seat Saturday. I was essentially catatonic for the entire 4th quarter. That transitioned into dinner and after. I have been witness to some utter Auburn collapses. 1996 Georgia comes to mind Auburn led 28-7 and wound up losing in 4 OT’s 56-49. Auburn’s defense was a mash unit then, burning redshirts left and right in order to find warm bodies. That one was most maddening until the 2013 National title game, when Auburn blew a 21-3 lead. In 2014 Auburn blew a 33-21 lead over Alabama in the Iron Bowl, will be remembered at the least defensive Iron Bowl in history.
Those last 2, along with the Saturday collapse, have a common denominator: The head coach.
What made what I witnessed Saturday was so shocking to an Auburn fan’s psyche is the sheer level of brilliance in the first quarter followed by the utter incompetence in the second half.
I’ve see some trainwrecks, but this was Old 97 bad.
That Auburn continued to run the football on first down time after time after time to no avail, and then to throw low percentage passes continually down the field, forsaking the intermediate throws is just unforgivable.
If Chip Lindsey was calling those plays, I’d be shocked. This was Malzahn, who is so self absorbed he cannot see that he is wasting top shelf talent on a garbage offense.
What’s that you say? This wasn’t a garbage offense in 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014. You’d be right. But this isn’t the same offense. And it isn't the same Gus Malzahn, who used to force defenses into taking timeouts or flopping for an injury, just to catch their breath.
Gus Malzahn is a shell of his former self. Maybe the defensive coordinators of the world caught up with him. Maybe he is in his own head. Maybe he can’t win with a dual threat quarterback.
Auburn has a quarterback in Jarrett Stidham who lit people up when he was a Baylor. Auburn has a running back in Kerryon Johnson who looks like one of the best backs in the SEC. Auburn has 4 and 5 star receivers everywhere on the roster.
How is it humanly possible to manage just 40 yards of offense in one half, after producing 290 in the previous half? How?
Defensively, I think Auburn has taken a step back as well. I saw poor assignment football Saturday. I saw veterans doing stupid things. I believe the defense will get it fixed.
I do not believe the offense can. Not with Malzahn and Herb Hand having any influence.
Gus Malzahn has no room for error now. He has to win over either Georgia or Alabama. A loss to Arkansas or A&M and he has to win both.
I don’t believe he can do it. He had a chance to go out and hire an OC last year that could’ve changed things and made Auburn a contender. He instead chose a lackey, and it will likely cost him his job.
The question is will the administration act on Jay Jacobs first. They almost have to. I do not trust Jacobs to hire a janitor at this point.
Auburn fans deserves better than this. Auburn players deserve better than this.