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SNAP JUDGMENTS: #11 Auburn 20, Ole Miss 14

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Spicy.

Mississippi v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn beat a 3-5 Ole Miss 20-14 last night, and that included the Rebels’ last-gasp attempt at the win. They forayed into Auburn territory, and only by the grace of a 4th-and-2 stop did the Tigers secure the win.

Oh, and none of the students were there to see it.

SNAP JUDGMENTS

Offense ain’t fixed. Maybe this was Gus trying to let Bo get some confidence and timing throwing the ball. Put a ton of yards up but we have to score points. Bo threw 44 passes without a touchdown and, like, that’s hard to do. We have to figure out scoring points. Anders Carlson is too much of a vet to miss three makable kicks. We have to be better. However, we won. As bad as this was, it could have been so much worse had we lost this stupid game. We won it, which is way better than losing.

-Son of Crow

A win is a win. I refuse to give this game any further brain power. Now we have 2 weeks to properly hate Georgia. War Damn Eagle.

-AU Nerd

We won the game. We’re 7-2 going into the Georgia game and right back where we were in 2017. It’s a must win for Auburn. And we’re no longer allowed to make fun of Bama kickers, that was pitiful.

Now, I want to take this opportunity to discuss the very empty student section at the end of that game. You noticed at halftime a LOT of empty space and that only escalated as the game went on. I get the game didn’t go well but stay and support the team. Don’t quit on the team!

And yes, it was cold in Auburn tonight. But you had to have known that before you went to the game so that’s not an excuse. Auburn hadn’t had a home game in FIVE weeks! It was a SEC game at NIGHT and it was a close game. If Auburn was up 40-0 that’s another thing. The team feeds off the crowd’s energy and it wasn’t there tonight. If the students don’t want to support the team then I guarantee there are Auburn fans that aren’t able to get into the game that would gladly trade places with those students. End rant.

This was early in the fourth quarter.

-Will McLaughlin

Auburn’s going to come out of this one with an expected win probability over 90%, but I swear when that ball was snapped on 4th down, I was convinced we weren’t winning. The offense was pretty good tonight, despite being totally incapable of scoring and a case of the dropsies. Bo looked as good as he has all season, although the run blocking was pretty terrible to the point where only DJ Williams could make something happen with it. Being down two key players, I’d say the defense was really good. Special teams were hot garbage.

Something’s off, and I’m not sure if the program can recover right now. It’s no one persons fault, but it’s pretty much everyone’s fault (sans Kevin Steele and the actual players on the team). Auburn is a REALLY talented football team, and Gus Malzahn is a good football coach. But it feels like this is the point in the marriage where both sides realize they just don’t love each other anymore. *cue sad montage*

-Ryan Sterritt

1) our students suck. That was embarrassing

2) we have to manage game state better than that. It should never have come down to what it did

3) hell yeah Damn right Hotty toddy porta potty who the hell are you Piss pass biss bass ole miss sucks ass

-James Jones

There is no excuse for winning a game by 6 points when you almost double up the opposition in total offense and surrender 1 turnover that didn’t result in any points. You can’t put this frustration on the quarterback, who had arguably his best day, which would’ve been even better had it not been for drops. Can’t blame it on the running game, with the emergence of DJ Williams as the most complete running back on this football team. Can’t blame it on the defense, who only surrendered points because of what I’m about to get to and a penalty-filled drive (that’s gonna happen every once in a while).

We just couldn’t finish drives. It’s insulting that we’re kicking field goals inside the 5 yard line, but that’s who we are right now as an offensive unit that there is absolutely no confidence in being able to push it over the goal line. Even so, I’ll break my frustration down into 3 sequences:

1) The 3rd and 3 playcall before the half, which was a throw downfield to Anthony Schwartz. The throw was hurried, and stopped the clock. Ole Miss gets a massive punt return thanks to bad coverage returning for us for the first time in weeks. And the defense forfeits a shutout for little to no fault of their own. That can’t happen. Run the football.

2) You can’t have that playcall on 3rd down from the 2-yard line, throwing to the back of the end zone and having Sal have an excellent grab... with one foot out of bounds. Too many bad things can happen there. Run the football.

3) Why in the world are we kicking a low percentage field go and potentially giving a team momentum with time left on the clock to go down and score to win the game? We’ve run a pooch punt with Bo once this year. Run it again here. If it goes 20 yards then Ole Miss has to go 90 with no timeouts! If it goes through the end zone then they have to go 80! Instead, they have to go 69 (nice) _with_ momentum thanks to a kick that was at best a 50/50 chance with the day Anders was having. It was the wrong call and the worst time in the game to have that wrong call. If not for a valid holding call on TD Moultry going our way (which we’re all too aware isn’t something we’re going to be getting a lot of this year), we have a very good chance at blowing this game we had no business losing.

None of this is ok. All of this warrants why Auburn people are frustrated. As someone who supports Gus Malzahn as Auburn’s head coach, tonight is an extremely tough one, because it means we’re once again enduring a win while still reeling from excruciating losses. Does this mean it’s time for a coaching change? No. But what it does is continue to lose equity in a season that he, and Auburn, both knew they needed to get some back. Because nobody in this relationship wants to go through a firing at _any_ point, albeit for very different reasons.

The two biggest games of the season are coming up, and this team is absolutely capable of winning 9-10 games in the regular season. It’s going to take some mixture of outplaying our ability along the offensive line, getting lucky on 50/50 balls in the passing game, and seeing the opposition make uncharacteristic mistakes. And for our defense to play like…our defense. Plus they’re at home, which normally gives us a huge advantage. But if the students feel that going to see the Velcro Pigmies at the Sigma Nu house or whatever in the hell was going on tonight instead of being there for this football team, then you might as well go back to playing games like what we have coming up in Birmingham. Because at least then the folks that show up wearing orange and blue will be there to watch a damn football game and support their team for 4 quarters, because Auburn Football is where our memories are made, not the damn boom boom room at Skybar. And if you’re part of the reason the bleachers were empty ALL of the 2nd half in this game, after 5 weeks without a home football game, then you owe it to this team and to the rich history and tradition of Jordan-Hare Stadium to make damn sure it never happens again.

-Josh Black

Auburn played some really good football against Ole Miss. Everyone around me was complaining about how the offense was terrible. Auburn dominated that team! If you cover up the final score on the box score, you’d take that performance every week. And if it wasn’t for a blatant missed facemask that I could see from 17 rows up in the upper deck, Ole Miss is never in this game to begin with. The final is probably 27-7.

Here’s where I sound like an old man yelling at the youths. The crowd plays a part in the game. The crowd at LSU and Florida forced penalties on Auburn. They played a tangible part in the result. Additionally, the team feeds off the crowd. Especially the defense. Derrick Brown is out there pumping up the crowd. Derrick Brown postponed his NFL career for 7 more chances to step onto Pat Due Field and pump up the crowd. They live on that energy. And it wasn’t there! The crowd has to be there the entire game.

Tigers Unlimited is going to submit pictures of the empty student section to the athletic department with a summary of how much more money they’ll make selling season tickets in those sections. And there’s nothing you students can do about it. Not every game is going to be against a ranked team. But It was a damn SEC night game. These are so rare. Embrace them. Fuel the defense. Fuel the team. We need our players spending their post game interviews talking about how the crowd was there with them the whole time - not specifically calling the crowd out.

And for those of you who believe “they played like crap, we don’t owe them a thing, I’m not obligated to stay the entire cold game” - you’re the reason the student section is going to get smaller one day.

-Josh Dub

The stats bear out a game that was called well by Gus Malzahn, and good effort by our maligned quarterback Bo Nix. He had maybe his best game, going 30-44 in what was clearly an attempt to get him back on track. The only problem is that when he played well, hardly anyone else on offense did. Receivers dropped passes, the line still couldn’t really block, and we still rolled up more than 500 yards on offense. The plan looked like we introduced some easier throws for Bo, and he was hitting them. That’s great. Still, it looked like we had a team full of guys ready to get to the bye week and completely overlooking Ole Miss.

The Rebels clearly treated this game like it was their Super Bowl, and you could see how locked in Matt Luke was on the sideline. They had an annoyingly slippery quarterback, and we weren’t focused. A couple of uncharacteristic mistakes (the long punt return allowed was a throwback to September) and some of the defensive penalties (Derrick Brown’s late hit/hands to the face/the horse collar late) allowed the Rebels to pull within striking distance.

Yeah, the students were disappointing, and when you have players tweeting about how crappy that was after the game you know it’s a real issue. We don’t get to make fun of Alabama for their students leaving in blowouts when ours didn’t stay for a close game. If you’re disappointed in Gus Malzahn and won’t stay to support the team, then don’t buy tickets, or give yours to someone who will stay in their seats. Last night felt weird, like we were witnessing the after effects of a marital fight. Both sides are being passive aggressive in their actions. One side just leaves to go to the bar without saying anything, and the other side refuses to do any of the necessary stuff around the house to keep things above water.

Hopefully we get some counseling over the next two weeks and crush the big event on November 16th.

-Jack Condon