Bomb the Aggies!

By Posted on: October 25th, 2012 in Football 21 Comments »

Can the Auburn D break through this crew?

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s another Auburn home game week, the first of four straight. This week, the Tigers get a chance to right the ship with a win over Texas A&M. This game will be the first SEC matchup between Auburn and and SEC newcomer this season. The game will kick off at 6:00 PM Central Time Saturday, on ESPN-U. While few folks give Auburn much chance in this matchup, it’s never over till you play it on the field. Auburn at night is a different animal, with an electric atmosphere. Texas A&M would not be the first heavily favored team to receive a surprise beating on Pat Dye field with a horde of fans screaming their lungs out.

     For Tiger fans who’ve not seen much of the Aggies this season, I’d say the team they remind me most of as far as recent Auburn opponents go, is the West Virginia teams of the last decade. Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel has similar speed to Pat White, and and receiver Ryan Swope can do a pretty good Jock Sanders imitation. The Aggies have been prolific on offense this season, averaging 31 points per game against SEC opponents, while Auburn is averaging only 12. Texas A&M gives up 20.2 points per game to league opponents, while Auburn gives up 24.4. Where Auburn might have a chance is if a struggling offense can get it together, and take advantage of an Aggie squad that is 11th in the league in total defense against SEC foes.

     The Aggie defense is a blitz-happy bunch, somewhat reminiscent of the old defenses Joe Lee Dunn used to employ at Mississippi State. They blitz to get to the ball carrier, the quarterback, and especially to intimidate the offense. Auburn cannot come out in a three receiver set and run the ball away from the formation into the short side, because we’ll keep seeing heavy blitzing on that side till we successfully throw over it.

     Where Auburn seems to have advantages are in field goal kicking, and penalties. Texas A&M is 11th in the league in penalties, averaging 57 yards per game to Auburn’s 40. Both teams have had a penchant for turning the ball over, but Auburn had none the last week at Vanderbilt.

     While folks have seen an exceptionally moribund Auburn offense this season, it could be the defense’s turn this week to be exposed. Auburn has been decidedly average on the defensive line, less than average at linebacker, and a potentially good secondary has instead had to try to keep it in front, and make most of the tackles. Each week in the past I have pointed out matchups against young offensive lines that Auburn might be able to exploit. There won’t be any this week against Texas A&M’s veteran line. This team features several likely NFL draft picks next spring, up front. A&M will zone read and quick pass a defense to death. Tackling will be at a premium.

     For those attending the game, dress warmly. It’s supposed to be windy and cool. Also, don’t boo our team. Cheer for them, or sit quietly. This year’s 1-6 start is not those players’ fault. The blame goes on the coaching staff, much of it for the schemes involved. Support those players.

     One thing I’m really looking forward to is the military appreciation theme that will be evident at this game. Our troops don’t get enough thanks, and it’s great that these two schools are coming together to celebrate our great men and women in uniform. They keep freedom ringing in this country, make no mistake! I’m looking forward to the fighter jet fly by, and the parachuting at halftime. It should be noted that the chute part could be subject to cancellation, if the winds are too strong.

     We’ll have an open thread up Saturday, and feel free to join in, cheer our Tigers, and even vent frustrations. I’ll be at the game, and hopefully will remember to pack my camera, this time! If nothing else, I’ll try to take as many as I can of the jets! War Eagle, and let’s give those Aggies an SEC night-game welcome!

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  1. CapnVegetto says:

    Another week, another non-Loeffler demotion/firing. I have no reason to think things will be any better. Get ready for another big loss.

    The coaching staff seems intent on losing every single game just to try and prove that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong.

    It’s not just that they are failing miserably that is making me mad, it is that they are failing miserably and not doing anything to correct it. They are in fact, stubborn to the point of sheer insanity. How they still have jobs is beyond me.

    At this point, I see no reason we will even win another game this year.

    • restless6 says:

      Agreed. Now this lack of change will begin to influence Gene’s alleged great recruiting. Opposing teams can use the uncertainty about the coaches against Auburn. The off season recruiting will be interesting.

      I cannot understand how these highly rated recruits falter at Auburn. Jim Donnan said that he thinks its a talent issue at Auburn, especially at QB.

      The historic lack of quality QBs over the last few years is maddening. I have never hear that explained.

      • KoolBell KoolBell says:

        I’ll try to shed some light on the QB situation.

        First a highly rated, and under used Barrett Trotter, who was as healthy as he had been in three years mind you, gets the feeling from the coaches that he “knew which way the coaches wanted to go”. Those are Trotter’s words in a radio interview with Cole Cubilic.

        Secondly, Zeke Pike. The heartbreak of all heartbreaks as far as talent at QB goes. Pike made the Elite Eleven in the famous Trent Dilfer QB camp. Dilfer said, that Zeke had the best arm, great decision making ability, and the cockiness to be a very good QB.

        Yes, Zeke would have been a Freshman, but if he had the talent that the Elite 11 crew said, then he would have flourished, at least in the passing department, in this offense. Sadly, he couldn’t keep his attitude in check, nor those angels he wrestles with.

        • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

          What do you think Trotter meant when he said that? Was it that they didn’t want to use him, or did he not care for the direction in which he felt the offense was heading?

          • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

            I think the handwriting was on the wall, meaning he saw that the staff was going with Frazier.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      If it was just Loeffler I would be much less discouraged. We all should have known something was wrong when our best coaches started bailing (Rocker, Malzahn). There has been ZERO player development by anyone remaining on the offensive staff. The defense has shown improvement but I’m confident that we will lose VanGorder at seasons end.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        I don’t know if two coaches leaving for better opportunities counts as ‘bailing’……Keep in mind that Malazahn did not have to come back and coach the bowl game. He did. If he was truly running for the hills, he wouldn’t have done so.

        • CapnVegetto says:

          Better opportunities? Malzhan left to the tune of an over 50% paycut to be head coach of a Sun Belt team whose coach just left to go to Ole Miss! Roof left to go to a MUCH lower profile program, (UCF),only getting hired at Penn State after their last defensive coordinator went to jail for being a pedophile. On top of that, he’s doing a pretty good job up there.

          No, my friend. They were running for the hills. You don’t pack up your family and leave a $1.2 million a year job for a $500K job in a lesser conference at a lesser school if you are happy.

          I love ya, really, but your hopeless optimism is still rearing it’s overly pretty head. :)

          • AUwaterboy says:

            You do leave if your goal is to break in to head coaching. Malzahn wanted the North Carolina job or the Kansas job. When he was passed over, he had a chance to go back to his home state where he knows all the high school coaches (recruiting advantage) and he went from 1.1 to $850,000. Not $500,000. Still pulling down close to 1 mil for the chance to finally have a chance at his life long goal.

            Roof didn’t jump ship he was encouraged to leave by Chizik due to lack of production and alumni pressure.

            Most of the time your critical points are based in fact. But sorry, your reaching on this one.

  2. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    CapnVegetto -
    I feel your pain. I too find myself watching the sports headlines each day now thinking I’ll see someone on the Auburn coaching staff get the boot. Maybe they are delaying the inevitable till season’s end because it cannot get much worse and there will be some major house cleaning after the Iron Bowl.
    I just have this sick thought that if Jay Jacobs is not let go, then he may keep the coaching staff in tact due to the situation of new coordinator and schemes in place this year that need time to develop in the program and through recruiting.
    Don’t get me wrong, I totally agree that no matter what is in place, good coaching and talent on the depth chart needs to produce more wins that the one we have in overtime to ULM. But let’s look at what we have:

    Offense -
    New OC, bad luck with Zeke Pike, no more Dyer, and two QBs starting that weren’t picked for Loeffler’s schemes. The offseason would surely bring in some JUCO players for instant impact due to the whole ‘we can’t wait and watch this debacle another year.’

    Defense -
    No matter who is the DC, they inherit an awful defense. The players haven’t really had any success as a group in quite some time. That alone takes time and it surely would help if the Offense would create some success to give the defense relief and a reason to defend. VanGorder has the resume to say that he can do it at his position, but anyone would be hard pressed to get it done this year.

    Also, if there’s booing on Saturday let’s believe that it is not directed towards the players but rather the coaching staff.

    WDE! Let’s hope we can welcome TAMU into the SEC like Auburn is capable of.

    Jonathon

  3. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I love the sentiment… but unfortunately I feel as if the intent of it will be the other way around and directed at Auburn.

    This weekend two families are converging on the Plains on Saturday…. one, a staunch Auburn family and the other a staunch Texas A&M aggie. There will be tailgating. There will be mutual celebration. Why? Because the family that is the A&M family was there with us as we celebrated our NC. Kin folks by marriage. I see no reason not to celebrate with them this weekend. I am having fun regardless!

    Like Capt V, I am wondering how long this malaise is going to be allowed to last. Action was supposedly being taken. Things were being corrected. Seriously… how much film watching does it take to improve?

    One thing is for certain… I don’t boo Auburn so those that are concerned about this activity will have no worries from me. No, if I am dissatisfied with what I am seeing… I do what I think is appropriate. I get up and leave. No sense in ruining the Auburn experience for my kids or those fellow fans that are going to root till the bitter end. It’s that simple. But I sort of think that no matter how the displeasure is shown… I think the results are impacting the players negatively anyway. I mean, how hard is it to get excited about a 1-6 soon to be 1-7 year?

    In the end, I have no agenda. I have no favorites. I don’t dislike this coaching staff but I am EXTREMELY disappointed. I was one of the ones that with Chizik’s work ethic that AU for the first time in years would begin to excel. Well, I was wrong. I will not defend them. And I can’t defend them. Whoever at AU that is calling the shots – I really don’t care what happens to a certain degree as long as it helps Auburn.

    Regardless of what happens, we are leaving all this here…. with those that know best. For now, I am going to the Plains and getting my tailgate on!

    WDE

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      “For now, I am going to the Plains and getting my tailgate on!” – me too WDE1988.

      I always look forward to tailgating and attending a game on The Plains. “Cool and windy” forecast, should make for a perfect Autumn football day. The military emphasis will be special, looking forward to the 4 jet fly over. I just hope some how some way the orange and blue can acquit themselves well.

  4. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    I hope I am wrong but given Auburns poor coaching and A&Ms firepower I fear a monumental beat down. What do I mean by monumental, maybe 50+ points as in 56-3. I don’t bet on football but if I did I would surely take A&M and lay any number under 35 points.

  5. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

    domaucan1 from Big BR,LA

  6. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    LET’S WIN ONE FOR THE GIPPER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  7. Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

    Acid,

    Succinct as usual. The most poignant line: “…don’t boo our team. Cheer for them, or sit quietly. This year’s 1-6 start is not those players’ fault. The blame goes on the coaching staff, much of it for the schemes involved. Support those players.” It gets harder and harder not to vent and show signs of frustration. Unfortunately, I’m sure there will be a few that do boo. Likely, they’d be aimed toward the coaching staff, yet the effect that they would have on the players themselves would be disheartening. I will support this team no matter what. The coaching decisions, on the other hand, are a different matter entirely. If we see the same junk play-calling on offense, I will be disgusted.

    I can’t understand how they try the same strategies week in and week out after ‘reviewing’ footage and seeing that it is OBVIOUSLY not working as intended. Why the offensive play-calling does not adapt itself to the ‘strengths’ of our players is beyond me. I honestly think we’ll see Wallace pass a few times in this game. Hopefully more of the raw talent will play. At this point, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain for next year.

    WDE

  8. idnod says:

    Hey Auburn, play loose and fast, have fun, you’re better than your 1-6 record, all it takes is 1 play to change a season….. Let’s show Texas A&M a little Halloween magic on the Plains Saturday night !!!!

  9. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    My sis will be in town! I don’t know if we will get to see the game, but if we do, we will raise our glasses and say cheers.

    For all those lucky folks heading down to Auburn: Hope that you have tons of fun and shake a shaker for me! One of these years, my little clan will make it down to join you!

    War Eagle!

  10. CapnVegetto says:

    I don’t think it will be a monumental beatdown. The defense HAS gotten better. BVG just loses them mentally when the offense fails to score over and over and over and over again. If the offense can overcome Loeffler’s incredible ineptitude and Chizik’s meddling, there is a chance that they could at least keep it close. Will they win? I doubt it.

    It only gets worse, too. We’ve still got Georgia and Bammer. Bammer is going to beat us 100-0 with this damn team, and we’ll have to listen to the turds another year talk about their imaginary dynasty and how they’ll never lose another game with Nick Satan as their head coach.

    Gawd, I’m going to go kill myself now. I hate Bammers.

  11. CapnVegetto says:

    AUWaterboy:

    I stand corrected. It is $850K. I was going off initial reports, and I was incorrect, and too lazy to look it up. But that is still a significant paycut.

    Breaking in to head coaching? I just don’t buy that though. After 2010, Malzhan was courted by a few much higher profile programs, (if you could call Vandy that), for far more money. Breaking in wasn’t his problem. I believe he bailed because of Chizik’s meddling and seeing the writing on the wall.

    Just my opinion though.

  12. Darthaubie Darthaubie says:

    As an eternal optimist, I have a feeling we could beat the Aggies. Good Luck Tigers, I’m making the trip tomorrow to cheer the team on in person. WDE!!!!