Friday, September 10, 2010

Mississippi State Review (AU 17 State 14)



Nick Fairley had the game of his life, completely dominating the interior offensive line of MSU and wreaking havoc in so many ways, leading Auburn to a road conference victory againt a western division rival. Sure it was ugly...so what. When we take the field next week againt Clemson no one remembers the score of the previous weeks game. All that matters is what's in the won/loss column. Congrats on out-scrapping a hungry team convinced it could pull off the upset on a national stage. You weathered the many storms, many self-inflicted, and left Starkville victorious. Many SEC teams will fail to do so this season.

Positives...

^The quick start. Taking the opening drive and punching MSU directly in the mouth and putting 7 on the board. Beautiful!

^Putting the kibosh on State's offense after the recovered onsides kick. All the momentum in the world and then 3 incomplete passes

^Outstanding QB pressure with a 4 man rush...Nick Fairley, Mike Blanc, Goggans, and Carter

^Kick coverage is phenomenal...especially Craig Sanders

^Another weapon in Emory Blake

^Mananged to hold MSU to under 250 yards total offense without Craig Stevens or our fourth corner Mincy. Their return (if they return) will bolster our depth, and with Stevens our experience, considerably.

^Losing our perennial starter in Ziemba early, only to have Moseley step right in and never miss a beat.

Negatives...
^Allowing MSU to return the favor and take it's opening possession of the second half the length of the field and score. Three and out, great field position, and score would have put the game away early.

^Penalties that brought plays back that would have given AU the ball inside the 15 yardline...twice!

^Poor clock management to end the first half...two weeks in a row. Why not throw one into the end zone and at least take a shot? Why take a timeout into the lockerroom?

^What happended to defensive rotation. DL rotated sparingly, Bynes and Bates never left the field.

^Corners had a tough time locating the football in the air and making a play on it. Nice job running stride for stride with the receivers for the most part, but a little slow to swivel the head and bat the ball away

^Too soft on the bubble screen. We never stopped it for less than a eight or nine yard gain.

^Offenses inability to deliver the knock-out blow.

^Blocked FG with a chance to end it. Guard got plowed over (not low enough) and allowed too much penetration--almost caused the game to go to overtime...would have if State hadn't dropped so many balls in their final drive.

^Still no Trovon Reed.

^Slow pace. I do not like having our offense stare at the sideline to get a play. Several times Cam was looking to the sideline as the play clock was winding down. He then had no time to survey the defense to pick up potential blitzers he may have to elude. If he can see where they're coming from he'll rarely be sacked. When he has no idea because he's having to look at Malzahn for a last second play-call, we take away his eyes and thus his elusiveness.

Proud we stepped into a potential hornets nest and came out on top. Winning ugly is still winning. We dominated the line of scrimmage, moved the ball with success, tackled reasonably well, and never trailed on the road with a relatively young team. We kept State in it by gifting them their first TD and committing untimely penalties. We will continue to improve. I like where we are.

5 comments:

  1. Excellent review, thanks RP.
    fjs

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  2. Great review, I always enjoy reading them

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  3. Thanks for the great review Rob. I really enjoy them. It was a long summer without them too lol

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  4. Great review Rob...Question, I hear a lot of fans talking about how we are "holding back" offensively for Clemson are you believing that? I know we looked rough in the 2nd half against MSU but I don't know that I buy into us holding back against a SEC team on the road.

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  5. I appreciate you guys reading the posts. Adam, there's no way we were holding back for Clemson. I do think Newton got his bell rung however just before half which may have altered the way Malzahn called the final drive of the first half (mostly runs) and the second half.

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