That was difficult to watch. Not because we lost to Kentucky (I actually think they're an underrated team that's played a brutal SEC schedule). Our lack of basic football fundamentals (particularly on defense) makes my stomach turn and my tongue stray. Our tackling is atrocious. Absolutely awful! And our scheme was pathetic, bush league against a team starting a quarterback taking his first ever collegiate snap. Our offense wasn't much better either. For this offense to click, we must have a quarterback capable of delivering the ball...Chris Todd has been unable to get that done 2 weeks in a row now. False starts on 3rd and 1, overthrows, underthrows, throws into triple coverage, an illegal formation on 3rd and 6 on the final drive (running a gimmick play at that??), untimely 3 and outs, and offensively we beat ourselves. Kentucky's defensive gameplan was simple, we refuse to give up the big play and force you to sustain drives without making mistakes...we couldn't do it?!
-Chris Todd is injured and has been since Tennessee. No, I don't have any inside information; this is complete conjecture on my part. But it's quite obvious Todd's arm is not what it was at the start of the season. Todd was hit after a throw and driven into the ground directly onto his throwing shoulder midway through the UT game. He got up with a tremendous grimace and a "dead arm" and I said to myself at the time, "He's hurt!". He finished that game, but I still find myself wondering if he reinjured that shoulder and is keeping it to himself to save his season (perhaps at the expense of Auburn's).
-#31 Herring is outmatched and a liability for the defense. I hate to say that, one because I don't like calling players out (except for quarterbacks), and two because he wears my number and is the lone white guy on the defense (two things to which I can relate). He can't get off blocks, he misses too many tackles, and he's a step slow. He's by no means the only reason Auburn allowed over 300 yards rushing to a team without a quarterback, but his play stood out as an obvious weakness. What does this say about Eltoro Freeman his back-up?
-Kodi Burns needs to run more and dance less. Contrast Kodi Burns taking a direct snap and running off tackle to Tim Tebow. Kodi dances and jukes desparately looking to avoid contact (you're not wearing your orange practice jersey on Saturdays Kodi). Tebow takes the snap and looks for someone to run over. Tebow looks ugly but gets results (positive yardage every time). Burns looks pretty but for every positive yardage play he counters with a negative. Just take the snap, find a hole, put your head down and get 4 yards!
-Ted Roof must get more creative. How in the world a team with a true freshman quarterback that threw worse than my eight year old daughter was able to come into our stadium and run the football when my four year old daughter knew what was coming is a complete mystery to me. Play man to man on the corners and put everyone else in the box. Tell Kentucky by your alignment that you're not going to run the football. You may beat us deep and if you do congrats, but take away what they want to do, the only thing they could do. LSU is similar to Kentucky in this regard (so is Bama). Blitz and play man and see if we can create a turnover or two.
-Offensive pass interference is no longer in the rule book (I guess). UK's first scoring drive was kept alive by a third down conversion in which Kentucky's receiver obviously pushed off on Demond Washington creating the separation necessary to make the catch. It was a pitiful no call and would have been flagged 100% of the time if roles were reversed. Maybe I'm sensitive to this as a former defensive back. And while we're on the topic of penalties, how Kentucky played an entire SEC game on the road without a single penalty called against them is comical as well.
-Chris Todd's decision making was poor. He threw into double, if not triple coverage on more than a handful of occasions making me cringe each time. How he escaped throwing but one pick was a miracle.
-It appears Pierre-Louis has decided the best way to hang on to his new role as punt returner is to not catch a punt at all. It beats fumbling but it also adds an extra first down our offense must convert each possession.
-Still don't understand how a team with so many depth problems can have a guy like Gabe McKenzie holding his helmet on the sideline. He must be done.
Even with all of the above miscues, we still should have won this football game. Unfortunately, the road gets tougher from here on out. LSU will be similar to Kentucky in style (only with better players at every position). To have a chance we need Todd to be healthy and mentally into it, and a defense that decides to start putting pressure on quarterbacks as opposed to ourselves.