Afterthoughts: Ole Miss Fallout…..
I just read wde1988’s column, and he and I think a lot alike. Basically, he wrote pretty much everything I was thinking, and I wish to expound on one area. As 1 of the 2 resident gloomy gus’s on this site, I feel it necessary to post what I am thinking, and to attempt to dissuade some of the massive homerism that is so very prevelant here.
First and foremost, that was a great win against a wonderful up and coming team. I honestly thought we were going to lose that game. I believe that Ole Miss was going to come in mad with something to prove after getting hammered by the turds in the prior week. I was wrong. Quite simply, Ole Miss just isn’t that good. Make no mistake about it, they will be. But, they are not there yet. They still have quite a few holes to fill in their team…..namely a running game. Hugh Freeze is a damn good coach.
I’ll take a moment to address Freeze. I’ve spent 2 weeks reading from talking idiot heads about how he is such a bad coach, and how he has taken so much hell for going for it on 4th down inside the red zone twice against Alabama, and coming up with zero points. Everyone is questioning his calls, saying they were bad. I say to the pundits, SHUT THE (blank) UP. You are idiots. You are the stupid ones. If Ole Miss had made those 4th downs and scored, you’d be calling him a genius. You’d be saying how brave he was. Hugh Freeze was in the red zone against arguably one of the best defenses in the nation. He was smart enough to know that he wasn’t going to beat Alabama with damn field goals. Any attempt to do so was futile. He knew that if he made those, the psyche of his team would have been TOTALLY different, and it was likely the game would have been as well. His defense was playing well, (although it could be argued that the Updyke offense really isn’t that good anyway), and he made a call and went for the throat. They failed, but they went down swinging, and Ole Miss fans can hold their heads high and look forward to a time when they WILL make those plays. We saw flashes of it against Auburn. Even though they lost the game, it’s not because of bad coaching, it’s simply because of holes in the team that need to be addressed, and WILL be addressed. Mark my words: Ole Miss WILL be a good team in the future with Hugh Freeze at the helm.
Of course, that brings us to our own coaching staff and the evaluation of Auburn’s game. Many will remember my profanity laced outburst on ‘Chicken Ball’ a couple of weeks ago. Well, apparently Gus still has not gotten the memo. He is coaching the polar opposite of Hugh Freeze, which I hate more than anyone on this planet can possibly fathom. Gus is so damn scared of taking ANY risks, and the 1 or 2 he takes are incredibly stupid and ill-advised. Saturday night, I had flashbacks of the first 2 years of Gus’s OC tenure here, (including the BCSNC year) and well remembered how much I hated his playcalling at times. (I’m not counting the 3rd year because Chizik was sticking his nose to far into Gus’s business.) It seems that for as good as his offensive scheming is, his playcalling is just as bad. There are times when it starts out well in a series, and it almost always turns terrible. It was bad in 2010, too, but every single time Gus would do something stupid, Cam Newton would bail him out. Gus would call for a 50 yard bomb on 3rd and 2, the throw wouldn’t be there, and Cam would beat everybody on the field and run for a first down. Gus would call for a stupid, ridiculous, give-up call run up the middle on 3rd and 10 and Cam would beat everybody on the field and run for a first down. It happened all year. Cam saved Gus’s rear end and made him look like a genius all year long, and was able to negate most of his horrendous playcalling.
This year, he’s doing the same thing, and there’s no Cam Newton to save him from his own stupidity. Take the 2nd half. They’re near midfield, it’s 3rd and 4, Gus calls timeout, then calls for a damn 40 yard pass play to the end zone. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU??? Call a 5 yard pass, get the damn 1st down and keep the offense on the field you MORON. At this point, you are trying to sustain a drive and wear down the opposing defense. Then you try a 54 yard field goal, miss it, and give them the damn ball at midfield. Thank you, defense, for bailing Gus out of that dumbass call.
Next, it’s 3rd and 7, in the red zone. You’ve run the damn ball 20 times in a row. I could be wrong, but at that point I think he had thrown 1 pass the whole damn 2nd half, (the stupid bomb I just talked about). What does he do? Run it up the middle. WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???? ARE YOU STUPID???? At least TRY to mix it up, get the 1st down and score a touchdown. We ended up kicking a field goal, giving the ball back to Ole Miss, and they promptly scored.
The 1st half, there were dropped balls, but at least we weren’t COMPLETELY one dimensional on offense. We scored 20 points, and it should have been more. Why? Because Gus was calling plays to MOVE the ball, and he wasn’t calling scared, at least until the end. We got a 14 point lead in the 2nd half, all of a sudden Gus gets his panties in a wad and becomes Tommy Tuberville 2.0. RUN THE BALL EVERY TIME!!! DON’T TURN IT OVER!!! COACH NOT TO LOSE!! DON’T TAKE ANY RISKS!!!! As a result, a game that should have been in no way in doubt was very much in doubt in the 4th quarter. Were it not for the defense, particularly the DL pushing around the Ole Miss offensive line like the Alpha Betas beating nerds at ComiCon, we would have lost this football game.
So, as is the usual story, the problem at Auburn right now is the coaching, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. We are COMPLETELY one dimensional at this point, and as much as people would like to blame Marshall and the receivers, I have to blame Gus Malzhan. I blame Gus Malzhan simply because he is so afraid to take ANY risks. Of course the receivers don’t have any confidence and drop balls, because when you won’t give them a chance, you basically are telling them right to their face, “I don’t believe in you enough to give you the ball when the game is on the line.” Nick Marshall misses throws because he rarely gets the chance to try. If I were a defensive coach right, now, when it came time to play Auburn, there would be 9 guys in the box, because I know all I have to do is stop the run and I stop Auburn’s entire offense, becuase Gus Malzhan doesn’t have the balls to attempt to beat me in the air. It’s not that Marshall and the receivers couldn’t do it, it’s that their chicken sh-t coach doesn’t even have the stones to try. I would also know that if I get down by a touchdown or two, once again all I have to do is stop the run and Auburn won’t score another damn point all game, because Malzhan will be too scared to try to put us away.
I am so tired of writing about this. I am so sick of coaches that take a game that is all about passion, adrenaline, and physicality, and coach like 5 year old little girls at a scary movie. I am tired of our defense having to bail out Gus’s stupidity on offense. I am sick of seeing conservative, wimpy playcalling and homer fans that are perfectly happy with it because we’ve won 4 games against bad and mediocre teams that are too poor to take advantage of our stupidity. Here is the reality folks: WE WILL NEVER BE A GOOD FOOTBALL TEAM WITH THIS PHILOSOPHY. WE WILL NOT BEAT ANYBODY WORTH A DAMN. We will win games against bad teams that we are supposed to beat, and we will not compete against anybody worth a crap. That is not good enough, at least not for me.
I want to see some passion on the offensive side of the ball. I want to see some testicular fortitude. I want to see from the offensive staff what I see from the defensive staff. The defense has been winning games for Auburn this year. The defense won the game Saturday night, without a doubt. We are not winning because of the offense and Coach Malzhan, we are winning IN SPITE OF the offense and Coach Malzhan. I’m tired of it.
I want to see Malzhan and Lashlee be winners, not wimpy, limp-(blank) losers. Grow a pair, guys!!