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10/6/2016 – Season Overview Thus Far

By on October 6th, 2016 in Member Post 8 Comments »

My season overview revolves around the coaching staff’s QB decision(s) thus far this year. I believe that JFIII gives AU the best chance at success vs. top-tier defenses, and I believe he should have started from Day One vs. Clemson.

In the coaches’ defense, it was a bad way to open the season: vs. Clemson and with Gus on the hot seat. In that context, I understood going with SW in that game, although I still disagree with it. But we didn’t even “start” Sean White until the second half, playing all 3 QB’s and running a joke of an offense. When we settled in on SW and sprinkled in JFIII in the second half, we accrued 225 yds and almost came back to win it because of a nasty defensive performance. The worst part of this game (other than losing), was that none of the QB’s the opportunity to settle into a rhythm in that game. So we’re back at square one with Ark State coming to town. The coaches took the safe route and went with SW, and our superior talent crushed them despite questionable/uninventive playcalling. The offensive success with SW turned out to be fool’s gold, and we got manhandled on offense for 3 qtrs vs. TAMU. In the 4th qtr, we brought in III and move the ball in big chunks of yards and had their defense completely out of position on most running plays. After 3 drives, 2 penetrate into the redzone, and 1 gets into the endzone. The announcers even said “Franklin is the guy moving forward.” At this juncture, the coaches should have gone with III. Albeit a small sample size, he was (and still is) the only QB who consistently moved the ball vs. good defenses (Clemson and TAMU). And that’s just coming in cold off the bench–he wasn’t even allowed to settle into a rhythm. So what do the coaches do? They start SW vs. LSU, the best defense AU had faced to date. And what happened? AU failed score a TD and gained less than 400 yds. We won the football game thanks to the best defense we’ve seen since Tubby, and a complete lack of competence from Cam Cameron. 

After another fool’s gold offensive performance against LAMO, here we are again, with our first SEC road game of the season just a couple days away. And we will again go with SW. And, because Miss State’s defense isn’t as athletic as Clemson, TAMU, or LSU, we will likely find enough success on offense to win. We will likely go into the bye week at 4-2 and prepare for the likes of Arky, Ole Miss, UGA, and Bama. Instead of a team 4-2 with a super high ceiling and a gamebreaker at QB who is finding his rhythm (JFIII), we’ll be a 4-2 team struggling to score enough to win half of the remaining SEC games on our schedule because SW isn’t built for our offense.

The most frustrating part is to consider the hypothetical scenario in which III started from the get-go. Any way you slice it in this scenario, there’s no way we’re worse than 4-2 heading into the bye week. Hell, we may even be 6-0 (with III in the game, we moved the ball in chunks on the ground vs. Clemson and TAMU). But regardless of 6-0 or 4-2 (or 5-1), we would be a team with an insanely high ceiling moving forward. I hope I’m wrong. I hope to God I am the wrongest guy in the room.

But, from what I’ve seen since Gus took over as head coach, this offense clicks with a Dual Threat and wilts without one. And we just so happen to have an ACC champion sprinter with a cannon on our roster. (He also just so happens to have been recruited out of JUCO by the same exact Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator that are currently on our sidelines.) If III continues to sit on the bench, this season will become the ultimate “what if” season after 10+ guys on the defensive 2-deep head to the NFL in the coming years.

These are my thoughts. Please give me y’all’s thoughts, especially those who disagree–it would give me hope for the remainder of the season.

War Eagle Always.

 

8 Comments

  1. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I don’t agree. Based on the extremely limited sample size of Franklin’s quarterbacking, I could not justify him starting over Sean White.

    Franklin has yet to prove he can pass accurately on a consistent basis. I have seen him heave it out there in the vicinity of a receiver and hope for the best.

    White, on the other hand, has demonstrated that he can place the ball in advantageous positions, even with coverage, on a consistent basis.

    What I have not seen, until recently, is a coaching staff who allows their quarterbacks to play loose, taking charge of the offense, and playing to their fullest potential. This holds true for both White and Franklin.

    So, hopefully the staff will get Franklin some snaps against big boy football defenses and we can see if he is the real deal or not.

  2. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I have to agree with KunFuPanda. We are 5 games into the season, and White’s near the top of the league in most passing categories. That link above is pretty cool. You can click on various categories, and sort the quarterbacks by performance in that category.

    …..White leads the SEC in completion percentage. He is 3rd in yards per pass attempt, trailing only Chad Kelly and Austin Allen. White is tied for the lead in least interceptions, having only thrown 1 in 5 games.

    …..I’d argue that Auburn has 2 losses because they haven’t let White throw enough.

    • greyfox says:

      This is why I tell people to turn their brain on, Acid.

      White is at the top of the league bc of two garbage games–Ark St. and LAMO–and had time to throw against the worst front 7 in the west on the worst dbs in the west. Against FBS Power 5, Auburn has 1 passing TD. ONE. And 3 INTs. White is responsible for two of those. One passing TD in 3 games is terrible. Oh, and it’s not like we’re scoring a whole bunch of rushing TDs either. How many? Seven. That makes 8 TDs on offense against 4 decent defenses.

      It’s not only the inflation due to inferior competition that worries me. State is 13th in the SEC in opponent redzone TDs. Opponents have scored 13 tds (68%) and 2 fgs on 19 trips. For comparison’s sake, we have allowed 8 tds (36%) and 7 fgs on 22 trips; Alabama has allowed 4 tds (30%) and 6 fgs on 13 trips. And if you include only FBS P5, State has allowed 7 tds on 10 trips. The other two P5 offenses aren’t exactly electric: Scar and LSU rank in the bottom 4 in total offense and are 13th and 14th in redzone TDs.

      Mississippi State was truly the best team to make it look like Sean White is the guy. Please take a larger sample and PLEASE turn on your brain.

      War Eagle.

      • mcleodbk says:

        greyfox, I agree 100%. State may not win a game in the West this year. Their front 7 was extremely overrated vs the run coming in (3 of first 4 opponents ranked #120 or lower in offensive rushing yds per game, which falsely inflated their run defense ranking). Look for State to be in the bottom half in run defense by season’s end. And their secondary is one of the worst in the SEC.

        And, as you point out, their redzone defense simply isn’t good.

        After Halloween (after we’ve played Arky and Ole Miss), we’ll have a better idea of where we stand. Until then, we all need to reserve judgment on White and Lashlee. Otherwise, we run the risk of inflated expectations, which leads to dismay on the back end if those expectations aren’t met. 3 games vs 2 bad defenses isn’t enough of a sample size. Let’s all relax, take a deep breath, and do ourselves a favor by not jumping the gun.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….Post-MSU-game… they let White throw in the first half, and he had a magnificent half and helped Auburn stake out a 35-0 halftime lead on the road in the SEC. Auburn went in a shell, offensively, in the second half. No fault of White’s! He was only allowed to throw one time, and did complete it for a big, clock-consuming first down. He’s proved it.

  4. AUJTJarhead AUJTJarhead says:

    Your all wrong. It’s the power of a cap over a visor. LOL

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..You know, Gus still had his blue sweater-vest on, when it was 80 degrees in the sun. Gawd. It’s like the sweater crowd at Miami beach. Can they never get warm enough?