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FootballPreviewsThe First Look

The First Look – Bye Week

Like I said when we started this weekly post by JackTheRabbit, I would only post if I agreed with almost all of it. Let’s just say I was one point away from not posting it. Also, not really sure what he’s talking about with Tim Hawthorne. I seem to remember many absolutely awfully thrown balls coming his way.  And no, the head coach does not need to change. That’s just stupid and down right Chicken Little.

At Least We Can’t Lose This Weekend
by JackTheRabbit

OK, so there’s no game this coming weekend, and quite frankly I’m glad.  This off week could not have come at a better time.  I was optimistic about this past weekend.  I just knew Auburn would show up and take all of their frustration out on poor little Arkansas.  I was excited to see how we would improve.  Instead I witnessed probably the worst looking Auburn team since 1998 (and yes I do remember that season).

I know that our offense is undergoing some transitioning and that there’s a lot of confusion around how it should be running, but what surprised me is how much our killer defense underachieved Saturday.  A 63-yard TD run by a tailback that can’t be taller than Nick Saban?  A large portion of the defensive struggles had to do with time of possession. Overall, Arkansas had the advantage of TOP by a margin of a little over 10 minutes, but I seem to remember looking at the scoreboard during the 3rd quarter and seeing that at that time Arkansas had the ball 50% more than Auburn.  There were still some great defensive highlights though.  Casey Dick was pretty typical with his 2 INTs.  The only difference between Auburn and most other Arkansas opponents is that Auburn wasn’t able to fully take advantage of those opportunities.  Auburn came away with 13 points instead of 21 from Arkansas’ turnovers. Wow, we really could have used those 8 points.

Another observation from Saturday is that Auburn could have Tom Brady starting at QB and it would not have made a difference.  Kodi made some plays and Kodi made some bad plays, but it became more and more obvious to me that our receivers, except Robert Dunn, aren’t holding up their end of the relationship.  All season people have been calling for the benching of Todd and for Kodi to start, but having seen plenty of Kodi this weekend, I can tell that it does not matter.  Our receivers are not going out there and laying it all on the line to make plays (I’m looking at you Tim Hawthorne).

Last observation I took away from Saturday is that these last two losses fall on coaching.  I don’t think I need to bring up the previous Vanderbilt loss, however, I think that coaching is the guilty party in this weeks loss as well.  When Chris Todd came in the game and we were on the 19 yard line with 3rd and long to go and we ran an option to the strong side and gained zero yards, I booed.  I booed loudly.  Not at Chris Todd, and not at Ben Tate.  I booed the coaching decision.  That’s the epitome of what our offense has been this season: a mismanaged, disorganized mess.  The coaching has to change offensively.  There is no doubt about that.  Nallsminger 2.0, Tubsminger, or just Steve Ensminger won’t cut it.  If we fail to get adequate personnel into the offensive coaching position then that’s when I believe it’s time to start looking at the head of the team.  It’s time to stop taking these games out of the players hands and give them a chance to win.

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jacktherabbit 10/14/2008 at 1:11 pm

“If we fail to get adequate personnel into the offensive coaching position then that’s when I believe it’s time to start looking at the head of the team.”

The head coaching needs to change if he can’t put the right offensive coaches in charge. I think that goes for any coach anywhere.

If you saw this as me coming after Tuberville then you misread what was written.

thebradnetwork 10/14/2008 at 2:09 pm

I am in a totally agree with jacktherabbit. Auburn has had 5 Offensive Coordinators in the 8 years Tubbs has been at Auburn. Either he has a bad case of ADD or they all just suck in his opinion. But quit frankly i don’t think that some of our prior OCs could have been that bad since we went undefended in 2004 and other than that i dont remember losing more than 3 games for the other years he has been around. I just don’t understand why you have a 5 star recruit that is sitting on the side lines while the guy on the field (Chris Todd) who cant cut it in Junior College and sure as the sun is bright cant cut it at a heavy contending SEC school. Todds junior college record speaks for its self… 2-6 ( The proof to back it up: ) Given Kodi is young but he needs experience and what better time than in an off year. Auburn needs to get in gear and they need to stick with what works…spread offense isn’t gonna work for us. Its like the blind leading the blind…Tubbs what it is but obviously doesn’t know how to make it work. They need to stick with one thing and prefect it…you cant reinvent the wheel every few years just to mix it up.

The WarBlogler 10/14/2008 at 2:48 pm

I don’t think Todd is in the equation anymore, that is obvious. He was put in the last game because Burns wasn’t performing well anyway.
Plus of those 5 OC’s two left and one was simply demoted back down to a position coach where he was before. Only two have been fired. It’s not simply a case of Tuberville growing tired of the OC’s. Auburn has been a running team forever. Changing to the spread, is not “reinventing the wheel every few years”.

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jacktherabbit 10/14/2008 at 4:02 pm

I think Tuberville’s decision to move to the spread was bold and right. To think that the spread doesn’t work shows a complete ignorance of the game. However, I believe if Auburn wants to run the spread it needs to be more physical than what Franklin was trying to do. I seem to remember hearing his philosophy was that he would set up the run by passing. Not here. We just need to find what works for us. I just hope Tubby keeps his promise and doesn’t force a 2nd identity crisis.

thebradnetwork 10/14/2008 at 8:40 pm

Doesn’t matter if the previous 5 OCs were fired, left, or demoted they obviously wernt right for the job. I believe that it all boils down to someone didn’t to there homework. I was chatting with someone today and asked there opinion of on Franklin and they said it was a mistake to higher him in the first place. He was an easy pick and he wasn’t able to get any other jobs other than working with troy and his “Tony Franklin Spread” wasn’t anything but a bunch of hype. Also if you have time to right a book…you obviously have a lot of extra time on your hand. Second and the most important reason why i think Franklin need to go is because of his dynamic and the energy that he brought to the team. Lets look at Auburn for a second…we graduate our players and we have classy players (the warblogler will agree with this) unlike Alabama. By just looking at that it shows you what kind of staff Tuberville has…a staff of morals and values. From what I understand Franklin was a in your face cursing coach and very critical (obviously because he had some players that wanted his neck). Now that type of behavior is uncalled for by a supposed “leader” of our team and that dynamic totally would conflict with auburn. Auburn needs to do its homework this time…we need a good solid individual who has some class and is proven to work.

The WarBlogler 10/14/2008 at 8:43 pm

There were three reasons for hiring Franklin: he ran the spread, he was local, so he knew the recruits, and he was in charge of a Troy offense that scored 30+ points against Florida and Georgia. That’s it.


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