Auburn beat a division team in Arkansas yesterday by 31 points, allowed only three points on defense, and had a whale of a time on special teams with returns and blocks.
BUT WE FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. WHY.
That’s because the offense was downright atrocious. Outside of one drive in the fourth quarter, Auburn couldn’t move the ball against the Hogs. Look at the numbers, it’s... bad.
Arkansas outdid Auburn in nearly every offensive category (somehow the Tigers were 5-6 in the red zone), but lost by 31 points. Their defensive line was in the backfield at the snap on most plays, and we couldn’t get room for the tailbacks or time for Jarrett Stidham to make his reads. When Stidham did get time, he was off target in a way that we haven’t seen from him in his time at Auburn. There was miscommunication with the sideline resulting in delay of game penalties after turnovers, and nobody seemed to have any answers.
So what do we think?
“So much for a get-right game. 225 yards against a team that gave up 44 points to North Texas last week ain’t gonna cut it. The offensive line was simply atrocious. The amount of pressure they got on Stidham tonight is simply alarming. Plays took way too long to develop while receivers were open. Stidham for the most part didn’t have time to try to get it to them. Defense and return games earn high marks but those are the only positives I can take from this one. Oh, and one other thing — the student section gets a big fat F tonight. I get the team didn’t play well, but for the masses of students that left at halftime was flat out unacceptable. Support your team through the good and the bad!” - Will McLaughlin
“I’m frustrated that I’m frustrated about a 31-point win but that’s what happens when your offense looks like doo doo against a very bad Arkansas team. It was awesome to see the defense play well despite constantly rotating young guys in and I love that it’s exciting when teams kick us the football again. But none of that will matter if we can’t do something on offense. I don’t know what the solution is but they better find it fast otherwise I’m not sure my psyche can stay in tact all season long.” - AU Nerd
*Ryan Sterritt was at a wedding and accomplished radio silence during the game, so his take is from the delirious hour of 4 AM after he watched the replay.
“Alright guys, it’s 4 AM Eastern and I’M BACK. So... what did I just watch? That was like watching a freaking Sean White offense with a Herb Hand OL. The play calling wasn’t even that bad, the execution was just awful. Luckily, Kevin Steele said eff your max protect defenses, I’m blitzing errybody, so that was fun to watch. It was kind of cool seeing an opposing QB wear a green jersey even though the rest of his team was wearing white.” - Ryan Sterritt
*Crow decided to express his confusion in GIF form —
- Son of Crow
“I’ve figured out which type of team deficiency I like more — I’d much rather have a good offense and a bad/opportunistic defense rather than a bad offense and a good defense. Put me in the Big 12, maybe. I guess I’m too jaded from watching those Tuberville offenses that could barely post 20 points most of the time. Last night was painful to watch, simply because it seemed like the execution was wrong and the coaching staff got frustrated with it. Then when they got frustrated, it caused problems with the execution. It’s like an endless cycle of failure. You could tell that Gus was mad when he talked to Cole Cubelic coming off the field in the first half. Then they showed that shot of Chip Lindsey in the booth getting frustrated as well. I could think that this was one of those games where they didn’t prepare and were trying to win by being vanilla, but the outright open frustration proves that theory incorrect. There are serious offensive line problems and growing pains right now, and that’s the root of all the issues. My only silver lining is that we felt this way last year at this time too, and it got sorted out. We were bad against Clemson and frustrating against Mercer, and it firmed up after that. We’ll see.”
*And now some blind items from our group chat during the game last night —
“I don’t think Auburn Twitter is going to be much better this week.”
“Maybe Stidham is, like, into being sacked. Like a weird fetish or something.”
“The offensive line has spent a lot of this game standing up and wandering around.”
“You mean I skipped the South Park Marathon on Comedy Central for that stinkburger?”
“There’s a guy up here who has screamed ‘Throw the ball Stidham! What the hell!!’ and I wanna be his best friend.”
“We have to stop letting our guys get married in the off-season.”
“Birmingham looking... time to screw Auburn.”
“Guys I’m afraid Will Hastings and Shaun Shivers are dead.”
Alright, we’ll have more later today.