After a painful year of pulling teeth to gain a yard last season, it was quite refreshing to see creative playcalling and imagination originating from the sidelines Saturday against Louisiana Tech. I was impressed with many facets of Auburn's offensive gameplan Saturday.
First, the rotation was smooth and constant with seemingly two or three players running on and off the field between each play. This creates problems for defensive coordinators because as personnel changes offensively, defenses hope to match what the offensive has on the field. Because Auburn was able to rotate players so quickly without confusion, it created several match-up problems with LA Tech defensively, i.e. linebackers forced to cover receivers. This is an enormous advantage for any offense because the defensive coordinators will not call a play until they see the offensive personnel. With Auburn lining up quarterbacks at wideouts, wideouts in the backfield, running backs at quarterback or wideout, tight ends flexed as wideouts, you just never know what you're going to get.
Second, Chris Todd had zip on the ball! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus. Miracles do happen. I was not a Chris Todd fan last season and openly rooted for Neil Caudle or Barrett Trotter or someone not named Chris Todd to win the starting job this fall. But all summer long we heard players stating Todd's arm was revitalized. I must say, to win a starting job after a fan base, and presumably a new coaching staff and probably teammates, has written you off...your shoulder is surgically repaired...you are forced to be a spectator in spring drills as a new offense is installed...and you do it in only 9 practices! Unbelievable to say the least. The pass to Adams in the endzone was a beauty; the pump fakes leading to big plays were savvy; the leadership capabilities appear to have taken a giant leap forward. It will be needed because this team will go as Chris Todd goes.
Third, the offensive line has the ability to be absolutely dominant. This group is talented, nasty, big, and experienced. If it stays healthy this team will be in every game it plays.
Defensively, Auburn will continue being Auburn. Defensive line...deep, talented, the strength of this team. LBs...one deep, can play with any team in America, but if significant injuries occur--the offense better be ready to put up Tulsa like statistics. Secondary...a mix and veterans and rookies with above average talent. This group will get better each week and will be a strength by mid season.
All in all, week one was a positive, momentum building week. SEC play brings with it a completely different mindset and level of play. We'll preview Mississippi State later in the week.