arrow-circle arrow-long-stroke arrow-stroke arrow-thick arrow-thin arrow-triangle icon 2 baseballCreated with Sketch. basketball calendar category check-circle check-square check comment facebook-circle facebook-icon facebook-rounded facebook-square facebook-stroke football instagram-circle instagram-icon instagram-square long-arrow-right rss-circle rss-rounded rss-square rss-stroke rss twitter-circle twitter-icon twitter-rounded twitter-square twitter-stroke user-group user

LSU Abuses Auburn – (Grading the LSU loss)

By on September 20th, 2015 in Football 46 Comments »

Tigers could not tackle Leonard Fournette.
(Photo: Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports.)

     War Eagle, everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign report, on Auburn’s humbling 45-21 loss to the LSU Tigers. Last week, Auburn faced a spirited FCS bunch that gave a good battle. This week, Auburn was physically humiliated by a team that was obviously way stronger. These Tigers are a long, long way from the bunch 21 months ago that imposed their will on the SEC.

     For all the hype about LSU running back Leonard Fournette (deserved, too.), this game was won in the trenches. LSU linemen squashed the Auburn running game and sacked Jeremy Johnson 5 times. Often in my preseason opponent previews I referred to Auburn’s line as a “violent, road-grading unit.” I take it back! At times this line wins battles, but it also has plays where defensive linemen are left untouched to wreak havoc in the backfield. Auburn’s defensive line all but disappeared in this game. LSU was able to run at will and had all day to throw on rare passing downs.

     We have seen Will Muschamp defenses pushed around like this, but not often. I’m very reminded of Muschamp’s first stints at Auburn, when Knowshon Moreno was running wild against a seemingly helpless front seven. On the day, Auburn recorded no sacks, no quarterback hurries, one pass breakup, and only a single tackle for loss. Folks, that’s domination by a power offense.

     Offensively, Auburn has been figured out. The Tigers like to put 3 or 4 receivers out there that they have no intention of throwing to, and instead try to run power plays against a strong, stacked front. The bottom line is that we don’t really have SEC caliber lead blockers. Everyone in the playing rotation at tight end or H-back is a freshman and are not ready to win confrontations with a nasty linebacker corps like LSU’s. Auburn’s only hope against defenses like LSU’s are to learn to pitch and catch a lot better!

     I suppose there’s no avoiding the quarterback topic, tonight. I’m sure the calls for Jeremy Johnson to be benched continued loudly. Unfortunately, folks, the choices remain the same. If Johnson is to be replaced, with whom? Sean White is the obvious answer, but do we really want to be throwing a freshman into the meat of the SEC schedule when he hasn’t prepared as the starter? Freshman starting quarterbacks are usually a huge liability. Jonathan Wallace has had some QB reps this fall. He has wins over New Mexico State and Alabama A&M on his resume. Then there is Jason Smith, who was a junior college quarterbacking wonder. And he’s had basically no preparation to run the Malzahn offense. No folks, we are stuck with Johnson for better or worse for the time being.

     Gloom and doom aside, I thought Johnson handled himself better. Were there a few maddening “how did you not SEE that guy?” throwing plays? But Johnson faced a ton of pressure, and his body language was a lot better this week. They let him run a few times, and Johnson did. He led all rushers. Yes, the game was out of hand, but he threw a couple of touchdown passes. And folks can complain about the pass where he was supposedly beyond the line of scrimmage, but the rule is clear. The ENTIRE quarterback must be beyond the line to draw a flag. Not just a foot or an arm or even a torso. Whether we had an O-lineman too far downfield was another thing entirely. We did totally get by with one, there.

     Special teams don’t matter much, when both your offense and your defense are getting their lunch pail stuffed down their throats. But Auburn’s special teams mostly excelled once again. Daniel Carlson was perfect on extra points and touchbacks. Kevin Phillips channeled his inner Terry Daniel and averaged over 50 yards a punt on 6 punts. He did outkick his coverage one time, and a 23-yard return ensued. Marcus Davis broke off a nice punt return, and Kerryon Johnson was a revelation returning kicks.

Unit Grades after the jump!

Defensive Line: D-. These guys were just badly pushed around. They generated no pressure, and if they made a tackle, it was because they were chasing. A truly awful effort, especially in the first half.

Linebackers: F. These guys rarely played with proper leverage, and could not make the tackle without help when they got there. Tre Williams, Cassanova McKinzy and Kris Frost were credited with 29 total tackles but had just 3 solo tackles. We are missing Justin Garrett badly, here.

Secondary: C-. I gave a grade this high, because these guys did not give up a completion over 14 yards. Honestly, these guys were put in a bad position in this game. They had to try to clean up messy or nonexistent tackling from the front seven. Sometimes, they did get Leonard Fournette and Brandon Harris on the ground.

Punting: A. It has been a long time since Auburn had a guy boom it for over 50 yards per punt in a game, especially punting 6 times. I’m think this had to be back in the Kody Bliss days, if then. Kevin Phillips probably deserves the game ball in this one.

Punt Returns: B. Auburn only forced 3 punts, and LSU’s Jamie Keehn managed only a pedestrian 40-yard average. Marcus Davis reeled off a 27-yard return late in the game, well after things were decided. No miscues, though.

Kick Returns: B+. After floundering around for more than a season, Auburn seems to have found an answer in the kick return game. Kerryon Johnson had 98 yards on 3 returns and seemed on the verge of breaking each one. Johnson is fast, elusive, and rarely goes down on first contact.

Place Kicking: A+. Daniel Carlson booted 3 extra points and put all three of his kickoffs out of the end zone. The offense was unable to put him in field goal range. If there’s any quibble, it was early in the second half. Auburn scored quickly out of the gate in that period, then tried a curious sky-kickoff from Will Hastings, I suppose to try to get the ball back. It did not work, and LSU was set up in good field position for an answering score. I guess rolling the dice there was the best Auburn could do.

Offensive Line: C. The biggest positive is that these guys weren’t flagged for holding this week. Did have a false start on Braden Smith that put Auburn in long yardage and ultimately resulted in an interception. LSU punted after the pick, so it’s hard to call that costly. The bottom line for this bunch is that 5 sacks were given up, and Auburn running backs only eked out 89 rushing yards.

Running Backs: D. Auburn took a step backwards in the bayou. Roc Thomas led all running backs with 37 yards. I heard folks saying that Kerryon Johnson was an offensive spark. If 15 yards on 4 rushes and 17 yards on 3 catches is an offensive “spark,” we are in trouble! H-back blocking evaporated in this one. The H-backs had a dropped pass, too.

Receivers: D+. It’s hard for a receiver corps to get a grade this low without any dropped balls. But these guys were really held in check, with the longest reception going for a meager 13 yards to Stanton Truitt. Auburn has no vertical threat down the field, right now. Blocking was nonexistent, as well.

Quarterback: C. Jeremy Johnson was under a lot of pressure, both on and off the field in this one. Kudos to him for keeping on fighting. Had a couple more throws this game right to an “invisible” defensive back. Had an awful “sling the ball backwards” moment, as well as a fumble. But Johnson did fit a few passes into tight windows and led all rushers. I’ve got more confidence in Johnson after this game if the rest of the offense will just rebound!

     Where do we go from here? Much like 2013, Auburn players continued to fight after falling into a deep hole. Unlike 2013, there weren’t nearly as many good plays, and Auburn was really never in this game. Make no mistake. Mississippi State will throw the kitchen sink into the box to try and stop Auburn. MSU defensive coordinator Manny Diaz is known for that. They did finally slow Leonard Fournette down last week, something Auburn was unable to do. They will be able to slow a one-dimensional Auburn running game, most likely. The Tigers will need to throw successfully to move the ball reliably.

     A beleagured and battered Auburn defense now faces the best returning quarterback in the league in Dak Prescott. Although it has not yet been shown this season, Auburn does have some capable cover guys in the secondary. Can they tackle Prescott when he takes off? Early returns against Leonard Fournette suggest not.

     This season suddenly has shaped up to be a fight for Auburn to get to the Independence Bowl. MSU is a pivotal game next weekend. Lose it, and Auburn is 2 – 2. A win over San Jose State is likely, but who beyond that? Kentucky in Lexington is scary without Carl Lawson providing a pass rush. We have no one else. Georgia and Nick Chubb look to be a repeat of LSU. Can Auburn beat Arkansas? Only if we pass better. Texas Tech tore ’em apart in the secondary this afternoon. Ole Miss? Unlikely, as things stand right now. We haven’t stopped Texas A&M since they joined the SEC. Haven’t held ’em below 36 points ever. Bama’s a loss right now, too, facing Derrick Henry.

     Right now, we have confidence that Auburn can beat San Jose State and Idaho, for 4 wins. Arkansas and Kentucky are vulnerable, and Auburn’s best-case scenario is a holiday date in Shreveport or Birmingham for the holidays. Who’d have thunk it this past August?

46 Comments

  1. Tiger Tiger says:

    Agree with your grades, dude. Pretty much none of us expected the season we’re seeing.

    It reminds me of 2011 and 2012, where our special teams remained the single bright spot…before it too was snuffed out by overwhelming darkness. *Spooky music*

    I’ve seen enough of Kiehl Frazier 2.0…gotta try someone new. I’d put Sean White or Jason Smith against MSU next week. QB play can’t get much worse than it already is, MSU’s pass defense isn’t great, and we get the Bulldogs at home.

    Any other coach would have pulled JJ by now. If losing the starting job breaks JJ’s fragile football psyche forever, so be it. Players get pulled all the time, and no one worries about a DE, FB, or WR losing his confidence.

    • Orangeblood says:

      It was bad from the first play. Tackling was awful, you got to hit a big back from the waist down, thats on Muschamp’s preparation. Then we run plays mostly between the tackles. That’s on Gus. We didn’t seem to make any adjustments. You have to attack the perimeter of this type of team, yet not many slants, short routes going to the sidelines or many jet sweeps. Just runs up the middle???

      There were not enough throws down field or too our best receiver. JJ seemed slow and inaccurate. He may be the best we have but I would have like to seen White given some playing time. The tigers are lacking precision.

      I think we can beat the Mississippi schools, Arky and Wildcats and get a decent bowl. T-A/M, Ga and Ala may be more beat downs. But who knows, they had us playing for the NC four weeks ago. Stranger things have happened. Just ask the bammer fans, they had a reactor melt down Saturday night.

      • Tiger Tiger says:

        Yeah man. The poor tackling epidemic is still alive and well.

        I’m hoping we can beat Arkansas and Kentucky…maybe MSU, just maybe…but I don’t share your optimism about beating Ole Miss, though. If the team plays like this the rest of the season, I think even beating the Hogs and Wildcats will be a stretch.

  2. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I agree that we will be lucky to get a bowl game this year. If we can take the San Jose State and Idaho games, we might be able to win against Arkansas and Kentucky. But the Hogs had some good plays, and Kentucky showed flashes of talent as well.

    The tackling was very bad yesterday. Guys were whiffing with arm tackles, not squaring up, leaving their feet.

  3. AETiger AETiger says:

    Acid, what grade would you give the coaching staff? Doesn’t seem to me that they are earning their incredible pay checks. I am really disappointed that our offensive looks so dis-jointed that Gus says the timing is “off”. Really, what did y’all work on in Spring, over the Summer and in Fall camp? I am not giving the defense a pass, but Muschamp just got here.

  4. Squeakywheel says:

    Great analysis Acid. Lack of consistent effort and sloppy playing pretty much sums up the first three games. With the injuries on the D and what appears to be a team with a lot of new talent, this is a rebuilding year. Can’t believe I just said that, but think the best we can be this year is s spoiler.

  5. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Its All Bad, Real Bad. Who here wants to see JJ start next week? Outside of ” we’ve nothing to lose so he’ll need the reps to improve for next year’s run.” Outside of that it’s very clear that neither big check coach GusChamp have the ability to fix whatever rotten seed has been planted within Auburn football. What teams have such highs one season and fall to such lows the very next!? Auburn lacks consistency and has for years now.

  6. Rebel Yell says:

    I’ve been an AU fan for almost 50 years, and I’ve never understood why we, occasionally, just don’t show up. The lack of effort yesterday, and all year, was really depressing. I clearly saw one play where big-mouth Jonathan Ford pulled up rather than even try to tackle Fournette, and Tray Mathews tried to jump over him, so he wouldn’t have to try to tackle him. Why do we pay these coaches such exorbitant salaries (10 or 20 times what Jax State pays theirs) for such poor and displeasing results? Yesterday was probably the beginning of the end for Malzahn. We’ve all seen this movie before.

  7. NCTiger NCTiger says:

    If Auburn fans are honest, I don’t think we expected to be a college football playoff type team this year but the loss to LSU was certainly disappointing all around. Let’s see if the coaching staff can turn it around into a competitive, decent year on the Plains. By the way, who is this Jonathan guy? His comments all game and again this morning seem kinda “trollish” to me…

    • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

      I think when you are ranked 6th entering this season, with a “great” defensive co-ordinator, with 4 and 5 stars recruits abounding for talent, an offensive “genious” calling the plays and a “heisman candidate” caliber QB (allegedly) returning in an offense he has been in since high school….yes, we Auburn fans were, and should have expected a trip to the playoffs. Anybody who had diminished expectations for this season was being seriously pessimistic.

  8. neonbets says:

    Great recap, Acid. It must have been difficult typing all that while holding your nose to avoid the stank.

    If Auburn keeps this up and you might consider a switch from handing out grades to handing out Participation Ribbons. Even then, however, after a game like the last the linebackers will be shut out of the festivities. But…because nobody can get their feelings hurt, you’ll be stuck giving them an “award” that is simply called Ribbon.

  9. fasttimes says:

    I saw a team stop trying yesterday and a coaching staff that wasn’t calling plays to try and win. 10min left with the ball. No sense of urgency, no going for 2, no onside kick, punting on 4th down with 2 min to go. It looked like the end of the iron bowl last year. I don’t get it. I also have heard since t-vile left, how young we are. How can you have a young team for half a decade? So disappointing.

    We should let JJ play qb for the first half. If we are winning or tied, he can continue to play. If we are losing bad enough (like yesterday) or he is playing terribly, we out White or whoever else in. That’s way the pressure should not be on the back up (we are losing already) and at least we can get our probable qb half a season plus of meaningful reps so we aren’t doing this again next year. Just my opinion. I don’t know anything about coaching football.

  10. Orange Talon Orange Talon says:

    Auburn can put whomever they want at QB, but until they figure out how to RUN the football it’s not going to make a difference. Go ahead, put a Freshman quarterback in. Force him to throw early and often. Put his head on a swivel as he tries to figure out the multiple fronts and blitzes sure to come his way, all because of no running game – good luck with that.

    The issue is not at QB, or RB for that matter. The issue is (1) the lack of cohesion (trust) on the OL and (2) play calling.

    War Eagle!

  11. Zach Taylor Zach Taylor says:

    If you want to see the progress of this team, watch Kris Frost on one of the Fournette highlight runs.

    You will see a 5-star, nfl potential, multi-year starting LB in the SEC avoid tackling No. 7.

    Twice. In one play.

    • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

      Yes, I saw several plays yesterday of Kris Frost giving a half hearted effort getting off blocks and then jogging to tackles or more accurately jog AFTER the ball runner as they rumble down the field. He is an embarrassment.

  12. DBAU81 says:

    Disclaimer: I was unable to watch the game but did listen to Rod and Stan for most of it.

    Comment: I don’t expect us to beat the LSU’s and Alabama’s every year, but I do expect us to show up and compete with them every year. These games where we just flat out don’t show up and get our asses kicked from the opening bell make me sick. I thought those games were a thing of the past after we got rid of the previous regime, but evidently not.

    Prediction: unless things change rapidly, we will not win an SEC game this year and the Independence Bowl might as well be the National Championship game, because we’ll have about the same chance of getting to either one.

    OK, now that I’ve vented, there is this ray of hope: it’s still early in the season. There’s still time for corrections and improvement. Gus and Muschamp did not suddenly become bad football coaches overnight. They can still, this season, earn their considerable paychecks. But there’s no time to waste.

    • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

      You’re right, this is getting real old, real quick. We have a problem with the culture at Auburn if we have the talent to go to a National Championship one year …..recruit mostly 4 stars since….and we fold like a cheap suit at the first sign of adversity. Having a QB that can’t run the offense is a VERY dispiriting for both the offense AND defense. But the defense laid down like dogs yesterday….and didn’t look much better against JSU and Louisville. That speaks to the character and the leadership of both the coaches and players. Like you, I don’t always expect to win…but I sure as hell respect maximum effort from players who aspire to reach the NFL. Sadly, it aint there.

      • DBAU81 says:

        Your comment touches on a deeper issue that bothers me, and I’m sure a lot of the rest of us as well: the wild swings in fortune that this program has experienced over the last few years hint at something fundamentally wrong that goes way beyond poor tackling on defense or a QB who can’t read coverages. I hesitate to make any kind of “big-picture” assessment during the middle of a season, particularly after a loss, because it’s akin to making an important decision when you’re angry or upset about something. But we’ve all seen enough of this crazy inconsistency by now to really make you wonder just where the problem lies.

        • Tiger Tiger says:

          So we have:
          2010 – great
          2011 – bad
          2012 – horrific
          2013 – good
          2014 – bad
          2015 – looking horrific

          I don’t think the problem is with the coaches. Yes, I know the head coach is ultimately responsible, like the captain going down with the ship. But no coach would intentionally plan to ruin his reputation by letting things go to pot. We’ve had over a dozen coaches come through Auburn in the last 5 years, and none of them left on a good note. So many coaches, and none of them could fix Auburn’s problem.

          I think the problem is with the type of players we recruit. We recruit a bunch of high school stars who expect to be pampered in the Auburn family environment. If we recruited people like Lawson, Garrett, and Barber, we’d be ok. Those guys work hard and stay focused. But we don’t, and you can only work with what you’ve got. No coach can fix what we have now.

          Maybe I’m wrong. But I think 2013 was good because we had hard-nosed college transfers like Nick Marshall and Jay Prosch leading our team. Auburn had been good before, and will be good again, but probably not this year.

          • DBAU81 says:

            You’re onto something about our recruiting approach. As much as we all love to talk about the Auburn “family,” I wonder if all the emphasis we place on it during recruiting (as a way of setting ourselves apart from other schools) creates a sense of entitlement or false expectations among the players regarding how they’ll be treated when they arrive on campus.

  13. CapnVegetto says:

    Acid….

    COME ON MAN!! How in the blazing hell can you possibly still be defending JJ? He is AWFUL. There is nothing positive, and no defending him. He needs to be on the bench, NOW. Your assessment of him “leading all rushers” and “fitting in a couple of tight throws is ridiculous. Of the few positive things he did, they were all in garbage time. The game was long over. There was nothing on the line and no pressure. When it mattered, he was throwing INTs and throwing the ball backwards. It’s obvious he does NOT have what it takes mentally to play QB in the SEC. And your answer is “well keep playing him because we don’t have any other options.” OH. MY. GOD. Dude, the season is over. We’ll be lucky to make a bowl game. Start planning for the future. Hell, at the very least, do you think it’ll get any worse?

    The only bright spot this year is Peyton Barber. You can tell he genuinely gives a crap and plays hard. He is about the only one, too. I hate that this season is going to be lost on this awesome kid.

    The fact that nobody else gives a crap and isn’t playing hard is ENTIRELY on the coaching staff. Those guys need to start earning those giant pay checks, or it’s going to be house cleaning time this winter.

  14. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    The truth is that we actually had a shot at the beginning of the second half to make it a game..to start crawling back in. Nick Marshall, Cam Newton–both had the grit to make it happen. JJ just whiffed entirely. He literally took that opportunity and made it a 3-and-out run. At that point, he should have been benched. At that point, bring on the back-up. At the very least give him some playing time before the start next week against MSU.

    My most optimistic guess is that the coaches see a different JJ in practice. Maybe he makes all of the crazy passes under pressure, maybe he can dart down the field like lightening, maybe the O-line makes their assignments to protect him? It doesn’t matter because he doesn’t make anything happen during the game. Scoring when the game is well out of hand and there is literally no chance to come back, because he was thoroughly ineffective before does not count.

    And why should the D be trying? It doesn’t matter if they make a stop or create opportunities–the Offense is THAT bad, that it truly doesn’t matter.

    You think fan morale is low??!! We need a better metric than stars to recruit. Apparently, you need something different than 4 or 5 stars to be successful at Auburn. Maybe we’re getting all of the 4-5 star athletes that have spent their lives getting ‘ribbons’ for every accomplishment and then they have to work at it, and they cave? I don’t get the lack of consistency either….because this seems to happen to every coaching staff at Auburn. Maybe we just need to be patient (ha!) and let a single set of coaching staff (no changes!) have the same guys from when they are freshmen to juniors–on both sides of the ball–and see what happens……

    Now the salary that the coaches are making is an entirely separate issue (if you ask me). It doesn’t matter how much you pay a coach, there will still be losses. There will always be losses. In general, the entire payment scale for coaches and staff needs a serious market correction [not just at Auburn, but across CFB]….it’s too much…and naturally we all want more from the investment, even if it defies logic in the win/loss column. Now deliver consistency, deliver a team that will fight til the end, deliver a damn qb who can throw a decent pass to his WR who is not in triple coverage, deliver defensive linemen who fundamentally understand how to tackle and execute said tackles….and we will likely shut up about the amount of money that the coaching staff makes….just sayin’ Gus, Boom and Lashlee…just sayin’

    • Tiger Tiger says:

      Tiger, I think you and I are tracking in the same direction.

      I agree very much with your “fan-morale” paragraph – see my last post, just above yours. We were typing the same thoughts at the same time.

      If you were a lady and single, I would ask you out on a date. I would spare no expense and take you to Sonic.

      • KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

        Tiger said, “If you were a lady…”

        • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

          Ha! I LOLed……..the ‘lady’ designation is a tough one….too may rules that I often break on the daily ;).

          • Tiger Tiger says:

            Haha, oops. You see, I originally thought your pic showed a black-and-white photograph of Geronimo the Apache, or some other Indian dude, lol. I see now that it’s a lady…these thumbnails are just really tiny.

            Glad we all got some humor going on this post. It’s not all doom and gloom. War Eagle!

          • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

            FTR, it’s a picture of Sacajawea….you know, a woman capable of leading men through the wilderness……LOL, amirite!!??

          • Tiger Tiger says:

            Ooohh, ok, I couldn’t tell. Indeed, ma’am, she was a remarkable person. Without her, Lewis and Clark’s arrival to the Pacific would have been delayed by at least a day or two, haha.

  15. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    It will be interesting to see how long Gus Malzahn sticks with a struggling QB. Auburn football needs to succeed in order to pay the bills.

  16. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Let me be the first to predict that we win out and beat Mich State in the NCG. I don’t necessarily believe that statement but if it happens, you heard it here first… Do we have a player development issue? I agree with others that it is deeper than the obvious QB play. What always happens in these scenarios is one guy (usually a RB) will step forward and put the team on his shoulders and work harder than any one else and be the catalyst for change but who? Totally sucks giving Fornette his highlight video footage for his Heisman run. At least I can afford to go to a game this year. Anyone selling?

    • Tiger Tiger says:

      I’ll have some of what you’re drinking. It would be amazing if you’re right, though.

      To chime in on your RB question, I’m not sure who our workhorse would be. Barber works hard and runs strong, but isn’t fast enough to break a home run. Roc has the speed, but fumbles a lot. Kerryon is fast on the outside but doesn’t run inside. And Jovon…I just don’t know…he’s a bit of a letdown for me.

      On the bright side, Fournette did have some amazing runs that were fun to watch. We’ll be laughing about this in 5 years or so. Think about it: 2004, 2010, and 2013 were all good years. We’ll be good again soon!

  17. Eagle1 says:

    Just my two cents worth, I think JJ’s problem is more mental than physical and he does not seem to be able to be cool under pressure. I don’t know if this can be corrected quickly. The quarterback should be one of the brightest players on the field. Hope I am wrong about this. I just don’t see what harm can be done by using another quarterback for a few plays at times just to see if it would help, not saying it has to be permanent , other teams do it.
    War Dame Eagle!
    Eagle1

  18. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    To NCTiger; if you’re referring to who Jonathan is lets get it right, it’s Jinath’o’n. I have a profile and it defines that I’m an Alum and have been contributing to Track ‘me Tigers for a few years now. I was on campus with Takeo Spikes (man I wish we had his talent at the LB position at any number of seasons within the past few years) and was in the student section during the actual “barn burner” vs. LSU among many other games. That being said I’m no “Troll” sir and despise your reference as such! Unless you are not watching these games, you have not seen the obvious criticisms I’ve laid out for the masses. Prove me wrong and I’ll listen. “Troll”??? Give me a break.

    • Jonathon Jonathon says:

      And that’s Jonathon for the record, ‘I’ and ‘o’ are dangerously close for normal finger sizes. Mark it.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..I second that on Takeo Spikes. He made two less than average Auburn defenses good.

    • NCTiger NCTiger says:

      Jinath’o’n; my apologies. I read this blog exclusively though I rarely comment. I, too, am an Alum. My old man graduated in December 57′, I graduated in December 89′ (my wife is an 89′ alum as well). I got my commission in the US Navy on the Langdon Hall stage. I was in the student section the for the first Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare. I am as passionate about Auburn as you are. I do not feel that it is all bad on the Plains, however. We lost 5 games last year with a defense that struggled badly. I felt like our chance to be very good would come this year if we continued to have an elite offense and forced other teams into a one dimensional offense trying to “catch up” with us. I still think that the defense we have could do that. I did not think Muschamp could make our defense elite in one offseason with largely the same players (exception Lawson and Matthews). I still think we must be as explosive on offense as in the past and have our defense get just enough “stops” to be able to win against the elite teams of the west (Ole Miss, Alabama, and LSU) this year. Again, my apologies.

  19. WAREAGLE2015 says:

    I have been an Auburn fan my whole life. My father attended Auburn and we attended home games until I moved to South Carolina with my wife. I bleed orange and blue, but what I have seen this season is absolutely terrible. We will be lucky to be 6-6 this year with a bowl trip to the Birmingham Bowl. Something seriously has to change and it needs to start now. The coaching staff just needs to admit they made a mistake about JJ and move on to Jason Smith and start running the zone read and qb runs. This will help us to start getting the big plays in the passing game and also help our defense out some.

  20. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I got home from work this evening and saw how many comments these grades got, and thought, “uh-oh. Folks are gonna be tearing each other up on this thread!” For the most part, I was wrong! Kudos to everyone who commented. If anyone wants to gripe, gripe about me. I can take it!

    …..For those who think I’m “defending” Jeremy Johnson, I just try to call these things as I see ’em. I’m putting out my opinion, nothing more. In Johnson’s case, where 90 percent of the fan base wants him benched, I think it’s important to at least acknowledge good play.

    …..My opinion, about whether Johnson should be benched is, “I don’t know.” I’m not in the huddle, practice or meetings, and I can’t speak to Johnson’s psyche. I have a very small sample size of Sean White’s play. I was at A-Day, and most of the passes they let White throw were short to medium range. He’s definitely not as mobile as Johnson is. As to Jason Smith, it took less than a week before both he and the coaches decided that he’d be better off at receiver. I think the coaches should play the best player. I’m not ready to say I know who that is.

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      I think we all agree the coaches should play the best player. But ain’t it funny when things aren’t going good how many of us think we know who that “best player” is? – Just saying.

  21. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    This is Track ’em Tigers, an open place for discussion amongst a passionate fan base. I cannot nor would not criticize anyone’s comments. Like them or not they come from a place of passion in good times and bad. In the end we pull for our team, bad grades and all! I can arm chair QB all day but Acid is right, we aren’t in the meetings, practices or licker room so there’s a lot of unknowns. The pressure amongst these young men is great, and is even more monumentous when you’re in a program that is a national power with coaches who are paid Millions. Imagine that!? You are a student-athlete primed to go pro in something other than football but your coaches is living by the sword and a million dollar paycheck each and every week. I hope we can win more than we lose but it’s become a game that’s beyond going to class and graduating. Make your own conclusions but know that we are all on the same side here, like it or not.

  22. audad says:

    Jonathon, I appreciate your passion dude. Ignore the troll comments. I have no affiliation to Auburn other than my son went to school there and I became a fan after attending several games during his years there. I have been a fan for 10 years now, and have seen almost every game on TV and several live. The effort on Saturday was about as bad as I have seen. Incredibly the coaches poll still has AU ranked 25th tonight. This team could and probably should be 0-3, and yet is still ranked in one of the polls. This game was the first one where I knew after one play that they had no chance. The effort the defense showed on that first play was what carried over the rest of the game. Muschamp, who is known for aggressive, physical defenses, has to be having nightmares. This defense is the worst I have seen in that respect, and that is saying a lot. There was some physicality in the first half against Louisville, but it has been missing for the past 10 quarters. I think Acid was generous in not assigning three F’s to the three segments of the D that he grades. Any team that does not exploit QB draws and options to the outside against AU is foolish. They cannot defend either, and for some reason, never have anyone in position to make a play. I won’t even start on the offense. Suffice it to say, when your punter and place kicker are your top performers, not much more needs to be said. I agree with someone else that said this could possibly be another 0-8 season against conference competition. That could cost Gus his job. Lastly, I wonder what the folks are thinking that saw this team as a playoff contender. A low level bowl game is a possibility (maybe), unless something drastically changes.

  23. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    Yes, things are not looking good outside of place kicking.

    • Tiger Tiger says:

      Counting all punts, field goals, and kickoffs, that gives us about 1 minute of good football per weekend. Could be worse, I guess.

  24. Tiger4Life says:

    Very concerned about Coach Malzahn…when he stepped off that airplane and proclaimed “It’s a new day!” it WAS…Hope that BCS Championship loss (which should have been a win) to FSU didn’t take his mojo…Hope that “he was being talked about for NFL openings” hasn’t sidetracked him…HE just looks like he has lost FIRE…Hiring Muschamp had us all saying- NOW we are going to be dangerous! And now-??
    But the main thing I have noticed is we don’t even TRY to go fast anymore…
    Anybody take 9-3 right now with wins over Georgia & Alabama?
    War Eagle (and yes I would prefer 13-1)

  25. Old Army Old Army says:

    Well, just two comments after reading through this (good up Acid, actually think I might have learned something about football and other stuff tonight):

    First, Auburn is done with LSU. As bad as it was, I think they are one of the three best teams, if not the best team, in college football this year. An old fashioned SEC powerhouse running the damn football team on steroids. Not sure I have seen anything like this since…… well an Auburn guy named Bo.

    Second, my team still has to line up against them, and A&M has not stopped a run up the middle all year. Not sure what is going to happen when the running back who shall not be named hits between our tackles and guards.