Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thoughts on LA Tech

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.


  1. Good post. Look forward to reading more from you. War Eagle!

  2. think this is going to be a great read throughout the year.

    what were peoples thoughts on our corners playing 10-12 yards off at the snap. that was my biggest complaint with the D. seemed we were giving too much of a cushion.

  3. Brett I agree, the corners were playing a soft cushion technique. Several reasons why...They were playing base defense for the most part, no real blitz packages meaning not much man to man coverage, particularly in the first half. They have a young free safety they're protecting. With each passing week, he'll earn their confidence and they'll trust him to be there when they press and need help. But he has to earn that trust by going through the fire. Also, no depth at LB meant more zone play, preventing match-up issues (see Herring running down the seam on La Tech's TD pass) that didn't favor AU. As depth is built and more time is spent become familiar with the defensive concept, both the LBs and DBs will be called upon to play more man coverage.

  4. first let me say I am a razorback fan, but I have witnessed the work of Malzahn from his days as a high school coach at Shiloh Christian in Springdale, Ark then on to the biggest classification in high school ball in Ark and he won state championships at both schools. From there to Ark....if HNutt had a brain he would have used the talent Gus brought and probably would still be coaching Ark...mark my words when the talent at ole miss leaves him he will be as he was at Ark...unfulfilled expectations...Gus is a winner and Auburn will enjoy fball for years to come...but Gus will be promoted to somewhere..probably sooner rather than later.