Monday, October 19, 2009

Kentucky Reax: Wheels Come Off, Pate Throws up in mouth

This is no way to treated an cherished Auburn Ex-Pat

Well, that sucked. I can do without the "Kentucky's really pretty good stuff" I have already sort of heard. They are a mediocre SEC team that had no business beating us at home. We felt that way before the season started. They were who we thought they were, except they started a frickin freshman QB. Watching this defense get gashed time after time gets really old, and it appears that all of that early excitement in the young season still translates to 6-6 when all said and done.

Anyone want to take odds on how long before our creative student section begins the cheer "the Roof, the Roof, the Roof should be fired"? Seriously, I know that depth is an issue. We looked tired in the 4th. I can understand that. But we didn't force the issue toward the passing game to expose those young quarterbacks. I can also understand how the poor offensive performance puts the D in bad spots. But hop in the way back machine with me to 1996. Terry Bowden was pass happy. The defense was thin as could be. But Bill Oliver was able to mask weaknesses and play to our strengths. He patched together a pretty good defense on the way to an 8-4 season. But Oliver is a defensive genius and Ted Roof is, well, he's Ted Roof.

Rob said all their is to say about Herring at weakside LB, except that he's a disgrace to #31. He really should be wearing the jersey of a mediocre college player (my number was #14, Adam, and my career collegiate ERA was around 6). Kentucky exploited this kid all night to the point where I felt bad for him. He is obviously not SEC caliber.

I think it might be hook time for Chris Todd. That second half throw to Mario "under-utilized" Fannin was evidence enough for me that his shoulder is dead again. It short hopped Mario by about five yards. The other aspect that we are missing is the scramble. I can count at least three times on a 3rd and five where Todd's refusal to tuck it and run for a first down cost us. On those designed draw plays he actually gained yardage. So that little wrinkle is there and we've seen some evidence (against Ball St, mind you) that Caudle has wheels. I wonder how long into the LSU game before the hook comes out if he struggles again.

Ben Tate, you da man. 30+ carries, 130+ yards again. I hope it continues to be a great year for Ben. I hope he makes lots of money in the League one day. He has taken his lumps here and will go down in AU history in the top five in rushing. I also think he will be one of under appreciated backs as he fades into history.

Not much else to say really. When you make Rob Pate throw up in his mouth after some of the games he had to be a part of in 98 and 99, well I guess that says about all their is to say. LSU's next and heaven help us find our groove and soon. The Corn Dogs only had a week or two to stew over that loss to the Gators.


  1. Regarding the 1996 Bill Oliver defense, weren't we also dead last in the SEC in total defense that season?

  2. Don't know that for sure. I will say he did more with less talent/depth on that squad than Roof is doing with this one.

  3. .....Oh, man, that's certainly true, Dr. Z.

    Noseguard: true sophomore Jimmy Brumbaugh, coming off a late 1995 knee injury. Played every down due to no backup.

    Lost ends Shannon Suttle, Nate Smith, and Mark Smith to knees. Started sophomore Charles Dorsey, and true freshman Leonardo Carson, with true freshman Ezell Powell as the only backup.

    Had a little linebacker depth, but when Takeo Spikes and Ricky Neal went out, there was a talent gulf. I think Marcellus Mostella was out of shape early, too.

    Secondary was a mess. You ended up with a revolving door, with inexperienced sophomore Jayson Bray as the only guy who lasted. A lot of freshman played front line, like Rodney Crayton, and Antoine Nolan. Those freshmen were fast, but only about 5'7 or 5'8.

    Safety was sophomore Martavious Houston, and true freshman Brad Ware.

    That defense had shaky games, including getting blown out 51-10 in Gainesville. They had fatigue issuses, too, that showed up in the UGA 4-overtime game, the end of the Iron Bowl, and the end of the Independence Bowl, where we gave up 22 points to Army in the last quarter.

    .....That wasn't what knocked the 1996 team from the SEC upper echelon, though. Oliver did work some magic. The loss of Stephen Davis, and 4 new starters on the O-line was what did it. And the returning starter Victor Riley, was so out of shape Bowden wouldn't even let him play the first game. Two walkons, Jim Roe and James Kiger started on that line. Auburn became one-dimensional on offense, AND it was Dameyune Craig's first year as a starter.

    Acid Reign