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Auburn Grabs a Win in Oxford! (Grading Auburn’s 35-28 victory at Ole Miss.)

By on October 25th, 2020 in Football 3 Comments »

A fabulous catch and run by Seth Williams!
(Photo: Rogelio V. Solis, AP.)

     War Eagle everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign Report on Auburn’s wild 35-28 win over the Ole Miss Rebels. A grinding ground game shootout nearly got away when a tiring Auburn defense gave up a go-ahead touchdown and extra point in the late going, then Auburn nearly muffed away a controversial kickoff. The Tigers put together a last ditch offensive drive for a score and a two-pointer, then the defense held off the Rebels for the win.

     While Auburn did win the game, there was a lot to worry about in the coaching department. After a slow start by both teams, it had begun to look like the last team with the ball would win the game by the time Auburn got the ball back with 3:35 left in the half. Even better, Auburn was set to receive the second half kickoff. It was a great opportunity to possibly go up by 2 scores. Instead, for the second week in a row, Auburn piddled away the 2nd quarter clock without producing anything, and 2 timeouts still in their pocket.

     Ole Miss can complain about the officiating all they want, but Auburn was robbed of a second half kick return touchdown by a phantom holding call. Backed up to the 20, Auburn could only make it to midfield before trying to punt back to Ole Miss, and having a muffed punt snap and giving Ole Miss the ball at the Auburn 24 yard line. This was just a collosal waste of potential on 2 consecutive drives.

     Much has been made of the kickoff in the 4th quarter that may or may not have been touched by Auburn’s Shaun Shivers. This is one of my pet peeves on kickoffs for a long time. We routinely see balls kicked into the endzone and lie on the turf, and everyone walks away. By rule, that is still supposed to be a live ball till someone downs it or the kicking team recovers. Instead, both players and referees have gotten lazy, and have been just letting the ball lie. I would like to see Auburn shore this up, and make sure the ball is secure. Don’t walk away till it is marked down! Ole Miss lost out on a touchdown because the refs had blown the play dead, on what should have still been a live ball. On a side note, Auburn muffed 2 kickoffs deep, and lived to tell the tale. That is certainly the sort of thing that can lose a game.

     I was stunned that Ole Miss did not try to throw more against the Auburn secondary. Perhaps it was the wet conditions, or maybe Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin wanted to protect his suspect defense via ball-control. Running the ball worked well for the Rebels, as they were able to keep Auburn off balance on defense and kept the Auburn offense on the sidelines for long stretches. As much as I’ve complained about Auburn strategy, some of Kiffin’s plan blew up during the game, as well. There was a forced pass picked off in the end zone early, where Ole Miss could have just thrown the ball away and taken an easy 3 points. Then after failing to convert Auburn’s muffed punt snap, Ole Miss tried a fake field goal and didn’t make it. If Ole Miss had just taken the points on those 2 opportunities, it might have been a whole different ball game.

     The Auburn offense continues to improve, but was not without issues once again. Line play is a lot better, and Auburn did damage on the ground. For the most part, Bo Nix was much better throwing the ball this week, and with one exception, did not force the ball into tight coverage. I can still quibble about some of his hand-it-or-give-it decisions on the ground game. When Ole Miss got a free defender in the backfield, that defender was taking the running back EVERY time. One thing I did like was Auburn’s use of the triple wide receiver look this game against the Ole Miss zone coverage. Auburn would have 2 receivers run the coverage off deep, while Seth Williams would stop at the stake and get an easy toss for a first down. Auburn will have to eventually show willingness to throw to the deeper guys, especially facing a mostly man-to-man defense like LSU will likely show Saturday.

     Defensively Auburn is still having trouble covering tight ends and backs out of the backfield. Fortunately, Ole Miss didn’t even throw much to their backs. Tight end Kenny Yeboah was a big issue, and Auburn was fortunate that Yeboah dropped the next to last Ole Miss pass, or he might have scored. Auburn failed to cover him on a hail-Mary situation. It is also highly concerning to give up 283 rushing yards in a game. Auburn did bite the bullet and played some of the younger back-seven players, who really need the experience. The defense has had to play a lot of long stretches this year, and if the defense can’t get off the field, depth is sorely needed.

     Auburn had been having trouble fielding punts, and made the switch at return man to veteran Eli Stove. I don’t think Stove is as elusive a return man as Tutt is, but he did field both of his opportunities and kept the ball from rolling dead inside the ten. The rest of the special teams units had been really solid this year, till this game. Auburn put 2 kickoffs on the ground, and had muffed extra point and punt snaps.

Unit grades after the jump!

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Outrace Ole Miss! (Auburn at Ole Miss Open Thread)

By on October 24th, 2020 in Football Comment »
A Gray Sky in Oxford(Photo by Acid Reign)     War Eagle, everybody! This morning, Auburn travels back to the SEC Western Division for an important matchup. The Auburn Tigers will visit the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. The game is a chance to climb back into the SEC West race for both teams and, especially in the O... Read Full Story

Down To the Crossroads

By on October 23rd, 2020 in Football 2 Comments »
Auburn Has Not Lost in Oxford Since 2012(Photo by Acid Reign)     War Eagle, everybody! Saturday morning, the Auburn Tigers will take on the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford, Mississippi. The Tigers are coming off a disappointing loss to South Carolina in Columbia. Ole Miss has lost 2 in a row in disappointing fashion. Against Alab... Read Full Story

Tiger Eye Review – Lonely-Place Edition

By on October 20th, 2020 in Football Comment »
As we approach the midpoint in this abbreviated 2020 season in the Southeastern Conference, some disturbing trends are becoming apparent. For one, the threat of interruption by COVID-19 related issues from false positives to rescheduled games was evident as four teams missed playing opportunities. How this will play out in the f... Read Full Story

Auburn Drops One in Columbia. (Grading Auburn’s 30-22 Loss at South Carolina)

By on October 18th, 2020 in Football 10 Comments »
No Answers in the Defensive Backfield(Photo: Todd van Emst, Auburn Athletics)     War Eagle everybody. It's time now for the Acid Reign Report on Auburn's dismal 30–22 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Auburn ripped out to a 16–7 lead in the second quarter before the offense became a dysfunctional mess, and the defen... Read Full Story

Gouge the Gamecocks! (Auburn at South Carolina Open Thread)

By on October 17th, 2020 in Football Comment »
A Fantastic Day for Football     War Eagle, everybody! This morning, Auburn travels back to the SEC Eastern Division where the Tigers will have played 3 of their first 4 games, to visit the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia, South Carolina. This game is an add-on game in an odd year, but every game is important in an SEC-... Read Full Story

A Vicious Bird Fight This Week

By on October 16th, 2020 in Football Comment »
Auburn Has Not Lost in Columbia, South Carolina     War Eagle, everybody! Saturday morning, the Auburn Tigers will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks at Bryce Williams Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. The Tigers are coming off a narrow victory in tropical storm rains over the Arkansas Razorbacks at home at Auburn. Sout... Read Full Story

Tiger Eye Review – Killing Edition

By on October 13th, 2020 in Football 4 Comments »
Many things can be killed by singular events: hopes, dreams, confidence, expectations. Fans in both Gainesville and Knoxville can surely relate to this. So can those in Starkville, Mississippi—and that name now takes on new, ironic meaning after the effusion of excitement by that fan base on the results of its first game in th... Read Full Story

Ram the Razorbacks! (Auburn vs. Arkansas Open Thread)

By on October 10th, 2020 in Football Comment »
Might be a Soggy Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium.     War Eagle, everybody! This afternoon, we have a battle to escape the SEC western division cellar on tap. The Auburn Tigers will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in Jordan-Hare Stadium. This game is an important SEC Western Division matchup. Each of these two teams started the s... Read Full Story

A Razorback Recovery?

By on October 9th, 2020 in Football 16 Comments »
Auburn Has Blown Out Arkansas 4 Consecutive Years     War Eagle, everybody! Saturday afternoon, the Auburn Tigers will take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the friendly confines of Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Tigers are coming off a devastating loss to the Georgia Bulldogs in Athenswhere the Tigers did not even seem competitive. ... Read Full Story

Tiger Eye Review – Witness Edition

By on October 7th, 2020 in Football 7 Comments »
Sometimes it is difficult to know what we've just witnessed. Wisdom and experience tell us that expectations and reality are hardly ever synchronized until events play out in front of our eyes, but even that knowledge won't overcome our innate prejudices at times, and we slowly adapt to the facts and evidence as they are present... Read Full Story

Burn the Bulldogs! (Auburn at Georgia Open Thread)

By on October 3rd, 2020 in Football Comment »
Auburn Takes on the Defending SEC East Champs(Photo by Acid Reign)     War Eagle, everybody! This evening, the Auburn Tigers travel to Athens, Georgia, to take on Georgia in a cross-conference showdown. It's time for the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry between the hedges in Georgia's Sanford Stadium. Other than the first meeting... Read Full Story

Tiger Eye Review – Film Noir Edition

By on September 29th, 2020 in Football Comment »
So the first week of the 2020 Southeastern Conference football season is officially in the history books, and what a weekend it was. No fewer than three teams threw for over 400 yards in a game, and the two teams from the state of Mississippi combined for over a thousand yards of passing in a single afternoon, after each team av... Read Full Story

Tigers Dump the Wildcats! (Grading Auburn’s 29-13 Win Over Kentucky)

By on September 27th, 2020 in Football 1 Comment »
Seth Williams Snatches a Touchdown!(AP Photo by Butch Dill)     War Eagle everybody! It's time now for the Acid Reign Report on Auburn's season opening 29–13 win over the number 17 Kentucky Wildcats. Featuring veteran lines on both sides of the ball, Kentucky took the ball right at the Auburn Tigers and took their first dr... Read Full Story

Wax the Wildcats! (Auburn vs. Kentucky Open Thread)

By on September 26th, 2020 in Football 2 Comments »
A Sparse Seating Arrangement Is Ready(Photo courtesy Auburn Athletics) function get_style () { return "none"; } function end_ () { document.getElementById('bk col-modal').style.display = get_style(); }      War Eagle, everybody! SEC football is back today, in full swing. This morning, the Auburn Tigers will host the Kentucky... Read Full Story

It Finally Begins!

By on September 25th, 2020 in Football 1 Comment »
Auburn Must Shut Down Dual Threat Terry Wilson     War Eagle, everybody! At long last, SEC opening-game week is here! It may be a shorter season, there may be fewer fans in the stands, and we certainly can't predict what the future holds. However, SEC football is back, and we are certainly glad. On Saturday morning, Septembe... Read Full Story

Tiger Eye Preview of the 2020 Season

By on September 23rd, 2020 in Football 2 Comments »
In this strange, half-started season of college football, the Southeastern Conference finally begins play this week in closed session. As other conferences have shown, the extended protocols call for extraordinary measures that have changed the entire fan experience like few other events in history. Gone are such regular feature... Read Full Story

Shall We Play a Game?

By on August 31st, 2020 in Football 4 Comments »
I sometimes feel the future of the 2020 football season is like a new Cold War. If only for the war of words expressed to the press and public by various pundits, league Presidents, coaches and fans. It is an issue that strikes deep into the heart of the sport. The nature and variety of response to the Covid-19 phenomenon among ... Read Full Story

To Forgive, or Not to Forgive (that IS the question)–repost

By on July 31st, 2020 in Football, Memories, News, Other Sports 5 Comments »

With the news of Harvey Updyke's death, I hope I am keeping my promise.

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When Will College Sports Return?

By on May 4th, 2020 in Football, News 17 Comments »
The national pandemic has affected almost all of us in some way, including our coverage of Auburn Sports here at Track ‘Em Tigers. At the end of March, we announced in an article that there’s not much we can bring our readers due to the cancellation of all collegiate sports. In the interim, not much has changed in the sports... Read Full Story

Could There Really Be No College Football in 2020?

By on March 28th, 2020 in Football, News 8 Comments »
“The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” That’s the way legendary journalist Jim McKay used to introduce ABC’s popular TV show, The Wide World of Sports. I was reminded of the phrase this week when the Sumner Olympics were postponed.I’ve heard some friends say it’s almost agonizing to not have any sports to f... Read Full Story
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