Last night, Auburn beat Tulane 24-6 in a game that many would say was... unsatisfying. It wasn’t particularly smooth, we put the ball on the ground a ton, and the offense never got any sort of rhythm against a team that shouldn’t have provided much trouble.
Yes, Tulane’s a good team. Willie Fritz is a good coach. But if we can’t get the push over their defensive line, then it’s going to be tough in two weeks at College Station, then Gainesville, and Baton Rouge, and at home in November. Gus doesn’t seem like he’s quite figured this team out yet, and we know it usually takes him a few games to settle in, but man.
On the other hand, we’re 2-0. It could be worse.
We could be a few hours north. Man alive, Phil Fulmer’s evil plan is coming to fruition. Anyway, here are the snap judgments from last night:
Auburn struggled for most of the night. They did just enough to win against a far inferior opponent. Can the offensive line improve going forward? Aside from a few throws, Nix was great tonight. Without much ground success in the first half, the offense relied on Nix’s arm to move the ball. Let’s hope tonight was the result of a vanilla offense and Seth Williams will be OK. Our wide receiver depth could become a serious issue.
Not at all surprised Tulane proved tough to bury but I did not expect Auburn to have that hard of a time consistently running the football. The same problem from last year exists on this offense — the interior of the OL can’t move people. Nix gives you a chance with his arm, but the injuries are piling up on offense and it’s hard not to be concerned... But this defense is elite and give Auburn a chance every week. Get healthy over the next 2 weeks, obliterate Kent State, and let’s find out what the future holds in College Station.
About what should have been expected. We have a really good front four on defense, but the secondary looks shaky. On offense, something has got to be figured out with the line. Tulane got way too much pressure and shut down the running game in the first half. You can say that we wore down both teams, but that ain’t gonna fly against the LSU’s and Georgia’s of the world. Also, we now have to try and get healthy with Seth and Wee Willie going down. Solid win overall, but a big improvement needs to be shown next week.
Definitely wasn’t pretty but Auburn got the win. That’s the most important thing. I’m pretty concerned about the offensive line going forward, but on a positive note, I want to give a shout-out to Roger McCreary who has played really well in his first two games, especially tonight once Tulane stopped throwing at Iggy. Losing Seth Williams is a huge blow and receivers are gonna need to stay healthy. Next week’s goal is to take care of business and to stay healthy!
It was ugly, but I don’t think that was ever in doubt. Bo threw the ball well — the receivers had their fair share of drops early. The only major miss off the top of my head was the overthrow to Hastings at the end of the half. Whether it’s the offensive line not getting any push or Boobee having a really bad first half, I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter how well he ran in the second half if he can’t hold on to the ball. The defense was the defense. I hate that they didn’t get home in any sacks, but it looked like Tulane used the Oregon plan of quick passes for short gains. Roger McCreary was the standout to me, he looked really good with a lot of balls thrown his way. Last thing — no, Joey shouldn’t be the starter, but we’ve GOT to utilize his running ability.
For the second straight game Auburn made better halftime adjustments than its opponents. That’s a good sign! For the second straight game Auburn could only run the ball successfully in the second half. That’s not great!
I think we found some things that worked for this team by middle of the third quarter. The left side of this offensive line is pretty good and they both pull well to the right when needed. Bo Nix threw zero picks and that’s an improvement. He also made a few really good decisions. A few times the ball seemed to slip out of his hand, which is understandable because I read somewhere that it was the most humid night in recorded history. I think football should consider switching to a November-March schedule like basketball. The defensive backfield was improved and Tulane’s QB is no slouch. He impressed me. Two and oh feels pretty good, you guys.
Oh, and we’ve never lost a whiteout.
-Son of Crow
The offensive line is showing that the last three games of last season (plus the bowl game) were an aberration. They found it impossible to get even a little push against a line that shouldn’t cause an SEC offensive line any trouble at all. Most worryingly, the defense didn’t look like they were prepared at all, especially in the first half. Auburn has a lot to work on before that trip to College Station in a couple of weeks. Things could be worse just look at Tennessee.
The offensive line is not playing at an Auburn level. Tulane is a good team. Their DL is their strength, but it’s not better than anyone we’ll play in conference other than maybe Ole Miss and Arkansas. The defense played well. McMillan picked on Roger McCreary all night, and he was prepared for the task. Derrick Brown was a monster and to be honest should only play the first quarter next week lest he kill someone. The punt coverage is downright embarrassing and will lose us a game soon if it isn’t corrected.
I really just have a ton of questions about the coaching staff. Did we even prepare for Tulane at all? I can get behind going vanilla, but we need to practice some real things against a real team, and the Green Wave are pretty stout. It appeared as if there was no offensive plan at all, and if there was a script, it was terrible. In the second half, we did start to run the ball more, but when you have to do it with Joey Gatewood on the zone read, I struggle to find where that fits consistently into the plan down the road.
Personally, it seemed as if the clock issues and really weird pauses in the action threw off our rhythm, but that shouldn’t matter. The offense went three-and-out a lot early, and it appeared as if we only really cared about getting the ball to Eli Stove when he wasn’t getting any room to run. Bo was fine, he missed a couple throws that would’ve helped, but nothing major. I love Boobee, but he may not have it. Apparently D.J. Williams was banged up a bit, but we need to get him some time. If Seth Williams can’t go for a few weeks (which, his injury didn’t look minor), the offense loses one of its main threats, and it’s a threat that we can’t afford.
Roll Kent State (one of the worst teams in the country) and pray that Gus clipped out two pages of the playbook and set the rest on his desk, to be unveiled in two weeks at Texas A&M. We need improvement on offense, and fast.