Tigers Suffer Historic Beating.

By Posted on: October 28th, 2012 in Football 33 Comments »

Johnny Manziel shreds the Auburn defense.

     War Eagle, everybody. It’s time now for the Acid Reign report on Auburn’s historic 63-21 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies. Never before had any Auburn opponent scored 60 or more points in Jordan Hare Stadium. The 42 point loss tied the record for biggest margin of Auburn defeat since color television was invented. In many ways, this loss was worse than the 42-0 beat down Tennessee administered in 1980. The Aggies had 42 points by halftime, and kindly took their foot off the accelerator after producing another easy touchdown drive to open the second half.

The game was incredibly poor, but military appreciation day was awesome!

     Last week, we saw the Auburn defense perform horribly to open each half in Nashville. This week, evidently the plan was to stay at that level the entire game. Texas A&M set records against this unit, including 671 total offensive yards, a mark never reached by any other opponent in Auburn history. LSU defensive coordinator Jon Chavis showed us the way last weekend to slow down the A&M offense and force mistakes. That strategy was to utilize the corner blitz to neutralize A&M’s superior strength up front, and rattle the young Aggie quarterback. Auburn never tried such a blitz. The VanGorder answer was to blitz both linebackers off the edge. Every time Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel saw that blitz coming, he checked to a handoff up the middle, which invariably gashed the vacated Tiger middle horribly. VanGorder stuck stubbornly to his game plan regardless, and Auburn paid the price on the scoreboard.

      Earlier this week, I kind of tried to downplay the significance of Texas A&M’s powerful offensive line, easily the best Auburn has seen this season. That line completely neutralized Auburn up front, and the back seven players could do little but try to swarm down enemy ball carriers well down the field, or swat a handful of passes away. The Tigers don’t dare bring any sort of defensive back blitz, because somehow we’ve come to the point of starting two true freshmen on the outside, and we don’t trust them to play man to man. This was a team that was supposed to be deep at cornerback, but we’re starting true freshmen, which should indicate that things have gone very wrong in preparation.

Loeffler’s latest rearranging of the deck chairs.
That’s the ticket for a struggling offense. Waste valuable practice time installing even more formations, rather than focusing on execution. That play yielded an instant sack.

      I can’t say that anyone was terribly surprised that the Auburn offense was once again dysfunctional. We knew that to have any chance to keep pace with Texas A&M, Auburn would have to run the ball, eat up the clock, and limit Aggie chances. Loeffler’s first crack at play calling trailing 7-0? Play action pass to tight end C. J. Uzomah. Not that we had set it up in any way with a successful running game, or anything. Clint Moseley missed the throw horribly. With 2nd and 10, Auburn removed fullback Jay Prosch, and ran Mason up the middle with no lead blocker, for only 1 yard. On 3rd and 9, Auburn motioned guys around like crazy, but no one thought to block the middle linebacker on a blitz. Moseley was ripped down by the ankle, and knocked out of the game.

      On Auburn’s second possession, trailing 14-0, Auburn opened with a short side screen pass attempt to Onterio McCalebb, with a host of defenders waiting. Khiel Frazier sailed the pass wide. Then Auburn went Wildcat, with receiver Ricardo Lewis taking the direct snap and going up the gut, once again with no lead blocker. No one blocked linebacker Steven Jenkins, and Lewis gained nothing. It was then 3rd and 10 once again, and Khiel Frazier didn’t even look downfield. Right tackle Patrick Miller forgot the snap count, and didn’t even come out of his stance. An unblocked end raced in, and Frazier had to dump it well short of the first down to Trovon Reed. Then, the game was 21-0 in the first quarter, and so badly out of hand that no one had any illusions of any Auburn victory. And the Tiger offense had yet to even attempt a power run with Jay Prosch and Brandon Fulse leading it. The sad thing is that we’ve come to expect foolish play calling on offense, with no end in sight. (“And things of that nature, day to day, keep forging ahead.” And the band played on.)

      It was a so-so day on special teams, with erratic kicking from Cody Parkey and Steven Clark in the swirling wind. Quan Bray returned Texas A&M’s only punt for 10 yards. Onterio McCalebb had three kick returns, but lackluster blocking produced only 18.6 yards per return.

Unit Grades, after the jump!

Defensive Line: F. The line got no pressure, filled no holes and did very little against a stout Aggie line. Most of their ten tackles were made late in the game against the Texas A&M reserves. The lone bright spot for the starters was Nosa Eguae getting the game’s lone sack on Johnny Manziel.

 Linebackers: F. Texas A&M averaged 7.3 yards per carry on the day, and 8.3 yards per play. Auburn’s linebackers were schemed completely out of many plays, and offered little resistance. Texas A&M ran 71 plays, and Auburn’s starting linebackers were in on only 13 tackles, despite 48 rushing plays. Auburn had three offsides penalties on linebackers who helped keep Aggie drives alive.

 Secondary: F. The Aggies spread the ball around to ten different receivers, but Auburn could not effectively cover even the two primary threats, Ryan Swope and Mike Evans. They were open underneath, and open deep. Occasionally, an Auburn DB would swat a ball away from a receiver. It didn’t matter. Someone would be found wide open on the next play for another big gain.

 Punting: B-. The wind played tricks on Steven Clark’s punts, and he didn’t hit them well for the most part, but he continues to get pretty good height, and got a few lucky rolls. This game yielded 6 punts for a 40.3 yard average, with no returns. It wasn’t very pretty, but that’s a good net average.

 Punt Returns: A. Auburn only forced one Texas A&M punt. Quan Bray fielded it, and got ten yards by cutting directly upfield and not messing around. If you can get a “first down” out of every punt return, you’re doing well.

 Kick Returns: D+. I never thought I’d see Cody Parkey get out-kicked, but wow did A&M kicker Taylor Bertolet have a leg! However the wind did hold up several kicks by each team. Onterio McCalebb looked reluctant to even field the short ones, and he averaged only 18.6 yards per return. He probably knew that the blocking was going to be half-hearted at best. Kick returns have progressed from being a weapon early in the season, to a liability now.

 Place-kicking: B. Cody Parkey hit his extra points, and I’m not going to count off for missing a 48 yard field goal attempt in that breeze. Parkey hit two of four kickoffs for touchbacks, but the two that were returned both went for 20 yards or more. Auburn’s coverage isn’t the terror it once was.

 Offensive Line: C+. The sad thing in this game was that most of the line pretty much dominated their man in this game. The game plan totally failed to take advantage of that. However, we’re wildly inconsistent at right tackle. Patrick Miller will just annihilate an end on an off tackle play from time to time. Then he’s late out of his stance, or starts with the wrong foot, and turns a guy loose. He may be a really good one in the future, but right now he’s a liability. Khiel Frazier took several really hard blind side hits because of this. No Auburn running back was tackled for a loss in this game. It’s just too bad the staff didn’t lean on this line, and run the ball from the get go. Points off on a wild snap from normally stout Reese Dismukes.

 Running Backs: A-. I had to count off a little on two Tre Mason pass blocking misreads, but these guys were there this game, when called on. The backs averaged 6.8 yards per carry, but were only handed the ball 13 times the whole game. The coaches dithered around the first two series, then we were already behind 21-0, and it was probably too late to go run-heavy.

 Receivers: A-. Problems have become so widespread on this team that even the sure handed Emory Blake dropped a pass. However, if anything improved in this stinker of a game, it was the receivers. They blocked pretty well downfield, and got open. After Clint Moseley got hurt early, it looked like route adjustments (read: confusion generators) were taken out of the game plan. Auburn got some big passing plays on the deep square-in, when Frazier and Wallace had time to throw it. C. J. Uzomah looks like he’s trying to make the most of his opportunity, and was the primary tight end used in this game. He looks dangerous after the catch, too.

 Quarterback: C+. Clint Moseley was in for only two passes before he was taken out on an ankle injury, and Khiel Frazier took several hard licks that seemed to affect him as the game went on. Frazier did look sharp throwing the ball early several times, before pass rushers were let loose to have a crowbar party on him. Frazier started the second half, and a disappointing round of boos echoed around the stadium at the decision. Down 49-7, the remaining 30,000 or so Auburn fans left in the stands wanted to see freshman Jonathan Wallace. In the second series, they got their wish. Wallace threw some crisp balls, going three for three with a 27 yard pass and run to C. J. Uzomah for his first career TD pass. A&M lifted their starters, and Wallace produced a second touchdown drive, but then Scot Loeffler began to call predominately Wildcat quarterback keepers, which Wallace converted for 71 yards on 13 carries. On the night, Wallace was 6 of 9 passing, for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

      Prior to this game, I had not put any stock in the notion of starting quarterback Jonathan Wallace. This game, we finally got to see him run a bit of a passing attack, and he did pretty well. The team ran the ball far more than they threw it with Wallace in the game, so bear in mind that it’s a very small sample set against Texas A&M’s reserve defenders. Still, I’m now not sure that Wallace shouldn’t be the starter. Clint Moseley will likely be limited the rest of the year with the ankle injury, and Khiel Frazier’s accuracy problems returned as the first half wore on. The coaches say he’s only playing at 80 percent due to the shoulder injury. With Wallace in the game, Scot Loeffler was forced to simplify the offense, which was something badly needed. Should we start Wallace, and run the ball two thirds of the time, Auburn will have little difficulty dispatching New Mexico State and Alabama A&M. Against the Georgia and Alabama 3-4 schemes, it probably doesn’t matter which quarterback is in there. My vote is to get Wallace all the snaps we can, to prepare him for next season. However, if Georgia and Alabama are able to tee off on the pass rush and really pound our quarterbacks, let’s put a veteran back out there.

      With the 42 point loss to Texas A&M, Auburn closes out a miserable October, having lost to Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, and the Aggies by a total of 84 points. At 1-7, Auburn has been mathematically eliminated from bowl contention for the first time since the 2008 Iron Bowl. November awaits, with two cupcakes and two top ten teams. At this point, I really hope the coaches put the emphasis on developing young players. Whether the coaches return next season, or not, that’s what’s in everyone’s best interest at this time.

It’s a sad state of affairs in Auburn.

      I’ll say it again, it’s great to be an Auburn Tiger! We’ll keep supporting this team, and watching their struggles. Next week, Auburn has New Mexico State for homecoming. It’s an early game, and it will be broadcast on the CSS network. We’ll be back here at TrackEmTigers.com, with another stab at a live thread play by play. War Eagle, folks! Like my fellow fans who were in Jordan Hare Stadium till the very end, we stand un-bowed. We are Auburn family, and always will be.

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  1. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Ugh. I think it’s tough enough to watch these games, let alone having to grade them at game’s end. For that, hats off to you. It’s really tough to find the bright spots these days.

  2. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Always look forward to this report – win or lose. Thanks Acid.

  3. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    Another great report and I was there until the end last night. It was a difficult game to watch. At times, I thought that I was at a track meet because A&M was so fast ran the spread offense so well.

    Auburn should just play JW at QB for the remainder of this season.

  4. mikeautiger says:

    I hate to beat the dead horse, but, another death another lack of edge to play football. 7 deaths around this program in the last few months. Young kids keep having to face death, like pulling a scab off you knee and poring alcohol on it, takes away concentration and effort. This starts a snowball affect that a affects every part of the team.

    I am a new pilot, one of the things they teach you is that a crash is never really one big event. It is a series of small mistakes, caused these deaths, that cause the major crash and burn.

    Pelton has got to go, all I heard at Auburn was Chizik is running the offense, that has to stop or we need a new OC. Who ever is the head coach is going to have a good year! Healing will take place and we will be back on track. I hope it is Chizik so he can redeem himself.

    I was there to the end, it was not pretty, but I think we found the QB that can run this offense. There a few kids that seem to be able to produce and the others will catch up.

    I am disappointed in those that left the game so early. Are you a real fan, a loyal Auburn supporter and family member, or are you just wanting to have a quick easy win with no character. If you cannot come support your choosen team in good times and bad, take that national championship sticker off your car, and that t-shirt off your back and don’t come back. You don’t get to share in the glory if you cannot fight hard and stick with you team during the bad times. Glory, winning, and respect cost you something! Put on your big boy pants, get over yourself and get behind your team or leave and don’t come back when we start winning again ’cause we will be back.

    We may not know what to say or do during the difficult days. But presence is the greatest gift and help you can give anyone when they are having a hard time.

    I’ll be back in Auburn next week and the next and the next, next year, next decade til I die!

    War Eagle!

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      It breaks my heart for the players when folks leave early, but I would rather they leave than start to ‘Boo’.

  5. restless6 says:

    That death excuse is lame. Tuscaloosa suffered horrible devastation and death in April of 2011, and pulled it together to win the BCS Title.

    As far as fans leaving the stands, it’s their damn money. If they don’t like sitting in cold weather watching a limp effort, I don’t blame them for leaving.

    Stop making excuses for this disaster. Auburn is in a deep hole with a fading light barely visible.

    If being “All In” means supporting the current state of Auburn, I’m out. It’s time for Auburn fans to demand excellence. Mediocrity should not be tolerated nor acceptable.

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      What? Your All out? You’ve never been All-In.

      As Todd92 told you the other day, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.(bammer boy).”

      • restless6 says:

        I will never cheer for Bama, unless they play in the BCS Title Game against a non conference opponent. As far as your door on the ass comment, you can pound sand.

    • mikeautiger says:

      A totally different experience. Strangers died, few associated with the team on an intimate basis. When you have people die that you fought in the trenches with, then have several people involved in the program die on top of that it creates compound grief which is a whole nother ball game all together. We can obsrorb death around us, when it is someone we know it is harder, but when it is repeated in separate incidents it is very disabling and can take 6 or more months to get back to normal, 5 months between tornado deaths and football season. We all experience grief differently there is no right or wrong or magic formulation to get over it. Wallace and Usmound played great sat night, they did not really know the young men that died in the shooting.

      Deaths were only the start of building on a shaky foundation that helped lead to the issues, not the main reason.

      Excuses no, intelligent insight from years of professional experience as a chaplain and counselor on death, yes. If people do not want to see the play don’t come, it’s their money, they can do what they like with it.. Auburn should always have a winning season. A rare team can win NC even a a few in several years.

      If your car brakes down domyounjust leave it, no you take it to someone smart enough tomdiagnos the problem and fix it. You just don’t leave it to rot.

      • restless6 says:

        Incoherent and nothing but crutches and deflection for this team.

        • mikeautiger says:

          Are you an bama fan?

          • restless6 says:

            No.

          • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

            Yes – he is. His speech has betrayed him on several occasions. On this board he has made comments about Auburn cheating, and when the coaches are fired how one of them may reveal money having been paid to Cam. Yea, he’s a bama troll who’s purpose here is to make us all look bad. Oh he’ll throw some resonable comments out once in a while as a rouge. But he can’t help keeping his Crimson colors from showing.

          • number1tiger says:

            I totally agree with restless. I think you are reaching just a little bit for an explanation on deaths. First of all, I know you are referring to the shootings and the deaths of 2 ex auburn football players. Where do the others come from. Another point of yours that I think I disgusting and down right wrong is how you minimized the effect of the Tuscaloosa tornadoes last year that killed many. How you can sit there and say that would not effect those kids as well? I remember they had an OL lose his life a month or two before the season. Despite both they still won the title. That is absurd of you to say that about either team. I don’t see their initials on our helmets or our jersey’s, so it must not be too big of a deal.

            What is a big deal is that our team has quit on our coaches and on our alums and fans! From day one, I supported Chizik and his staff. The first two years I was sold. Then when I see how bad our team is, despite 4 top 10 recruiting classes, I have realized that Chizik is a horrible coach. All of Auburns wins our first two years are Malzhans wins in my eyes. Chizik is only as good as his coordinators. To prove my point, look at the success of Paul Rhodes at Iowa state and compare It to Chiziks. You can win at Iowa State if you know HOW TO DEVELOP players. Chizik and his staff suck at developing players and coaching them up. They are horrible at recruiting players as well. Although they rate high in talent, their character is extremely lacking. Personally as a contributing alum, I do not wish to see kids with that kind of character, or lack thereof, on our campus.

            I have been to every game this year and I plan to participate in all remaining games. I have attended games for the past 38 years, however, I left at halftime Saturday as well. This doesn’t make me a fair weather fan at all and how you can call our fans such is unbelievable. I’m not going to sit around and watch the team I love so much get hammered and humiliated when the reason for embarrassment are the coaches who fail to work together and put asides their differences. This includes all of the athletic department, pat dye, all of the good ole boys. The players are not exempt either. They are the ones who chose to quit on our coaches, our team, the one to the left and right of them, they are quitting on me, our university, our wonderful fan base, and last but not least YOU. So don’t tell me or any other Auburn fan to take stickers off and throw away our hats and shirts. If we keep Chizik and his staff, it will continue to kill our program.

  6. mvhcpa says:

    All I can say is that someone is responsible for this steaming mess, and their head needs to roll. I hope we identify the correct head. And I hope it is still around to lop off (i.e., if this is Lowder’s final legacy, then it’s too late to get him).

    Again, I hope that we identify the right head before pulling out the guillotine.

    Michael Val
    (who is preparing for 70-0 against UGA and UAT)

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      Its no secret Michael – a lot of heads will roll. A new coaching staff will be on the Plains in 2013.

      PMT

      (who hopes we can keep it under 70 against UGA and UAT)

  7. WarEagleEngr says:

    Well I guess ‘Avenge 1986 Cotton Bowl Defeat’ goes unchecked off of my pre-season wish list. It was right below ‘Avoid Beginning a Losing Streak to Vandy’.

    And how did Auburn manage to surrender 68 points in 19-freakin’-17? Had the forward pass even been invented then? Was the defense missing due to a typhoid epidemic?

    Lord help me, trying to find some humor in this…

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      ….Georgia Tech had head coach John Heisman, who beat Auburn four years in a row from 1915-1918. Georgia Tech lost only one game (Vandy 1918) in those four years, and had two ties. Yes, the forward pass did exist back then. Heisman invented it.

      ….Tech’s national champion 1917 team scored 491 points, and gave up just 17 in a 9-0 season.

  8. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    So I hope Kyle Frazier realizes that folks were likely booing bc the brain trust sent him out on the field despite the fact that he wasn’t 100%. That said, it’s wrong for auburn folks to be booing any players. Uncool. There are several folks on that team who need a hug, and Frazier is one of them. Come on folks!

    I hope Wallace starts. He seems to be the less damaged of all the qbs. It’s shocking how quickly we’ve fallen and how much this coaching staff seems adverse to making any positive adjustments. It’s just disheartening.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      Agreed.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Who boo’d?

      I was there and I didn’t hear it. The only thing I heard after 21 straight points was the A&M fan section. They were loud. The rest of Jordan Hare was quiet. Only thing you could hear was people packing their stuff up.

      WDE

  9. aubb says:

    watching wallace is something to be excited about now…i love that guy he seems to have fire and grit

  10. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    It is time to start John Wallace at QB this Saturday. The season is already lost; therefore, I would just let the kid call the plays from his reads. At least, he was looking down the field for his receivers on Saturday night. It is obvious that he is the most talented QB on the roster.

    Moseley is done and I would not renew his scholarship. Also, I would suggest moving Kiehl Frazier to WR.

    Keep the faith!

  11. LSU Jonno says:

    It’s clear that the coaches have lost this team. It reminds me of LSU in 2008 after losing to Bama, except LSU was just bad, not awful.

    Trailing Troy by about 28 at halftime Les put in a bunch of underclassmen. They responded by winning the game, by overcoming the largest deficit in LSU history. That team went on to lose to Ole Miss and Arkansas at the end of the year, but the coaches got a lot of young guys a lot of valuable experience.

    If the starters don’t want to play anymore, f**k ‘em. Someone else will. Yeah the coaches suck, but the players are giving up. There is simply no excuse for losing by 42 at home with this amount of talent.

  12. AUdacious_Dude says:

    Auburn is at a cross-roads. They can either make the choice to move forward with Bobby Petrino or move backwards with some unknown assistant coach.

    • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

      Quite an ultimatum there…. Bobby Petrino or bust huh?

      Why people believe he is the ONLY coach capable of winning at Auburn is beyond me. Why people think that he can even win consistently at Auburn is beyond me. He is like 2-6 against Alabama and LSU and he couldn’t field a defense to save his life. On top of that he’s known as a mediocre recruiter AND he’s got ethical issues such as hiring his mistress as an assistant. I could deal with the moral issues. Everyone has had problems before, yet the other things combined are a no-go for us. HE IS NOT COMING TO AUBURN. Auburn Undercover gives extremely little to no chance of him being hired in any form at our school. Thank God I say.

  13. restless6 says:

    So, I guess you can’t criticize this team nor defend yourself from personal insults here?

    • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

      I don’t think anyone has any issues with anyone else criticizing this current state of affairs. Unfortunately, some of the people here view your criticisms in a different light. Emotions are running high in the fan-base right now and it’s understandable that people are lashing out at each other.

      I wish that some people could get past this ‘All-in’ family stuff that our horrible coach has been spewing. While I agree with the premise behind it, I also understand why some people would want to distance themselves from the direction we are headed. It’s the same as any real family. It’s not that certain people don’t love the ‘family’, they just don’t want to be associated with certain elements of it right now.

    • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

      Also, the more brash and harsh some of our comments are, the more people will feel the need to react negatively. You may want to elaborate in your posts a little more and be more constructive to avoid these reactions.

  14. BigDaddyAU says:

    I saw fire from a few players Saturday..Uzomah, Mason, Blake, and of course Wallace. Everyone else looked like they could care less. Now far be it for me to criticize our players..but at some point they have to step up and show determine and heart REGARDLESS of the coaching problems that exist.

  15. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    The largest margin of defeat I have seen in years.

    This game could have been much, much worse.

    AU didn’t show up. While some say they saw fire from a few players the only thing I saw … the only thing I saw was red. No discipline. No skills. And no coaching.

    This team has disentagrated. Accordingly, the grades given here are too generous. Incidentally, I didn’t see a coaching grade.

    Just one general question: When did AU ever establish a running game… you know, what Chizik talked about all week and all season??? If I remember right, and I was pretty much zoning out the pathetic play… AU had -3 yards somewhere after being 28-0. Did it get better after that? My family that was there as A&M fans who stayed… said A&M put in there 3d string. So how did AU do anything positive?

    WDE