Monday, October 11, 2010
Kentucky Review (AU 37 UK 34)
Malzahn frozen with disbelief!
Wow! That was closer than I expected. We made the Kentucky offense (Mike Hartline in particular) look like world-beaters! Can't say enough superlative things about Randall Cobb either...that guy competes with the best of them. But man oh man am I grateful we have Cam Newton on our side. He was absolutely unstoppable on the ground and UK had no answer for him. Not sure why we got away from him in the third quarter but we've got to ride his back all game long, week in and week out.
^Fast start on the road offensively. Scoring on your first 5 possessions is more like a PlayStation stat, not an SEC road game stat. Unbelievable!
^Controlling the line of scrimmage. We ran for over 300 yards and reduced UK's rushing attack to QB scrambles by Randall Cobb. They got nothing on the ground conventionally.
^Bleeding the clock to zero with a 19 play, length of the football field drive to win the football game. That drive was masterful by the offense as a whole...O-line for allowing no sacks or penetration to disrupt the flow as well as no penalties to kill the drive...WRs (Darvin Adams) for making a couple of huge grabs in traffic to keep the chains moving...Coach Malzahn for listening to his senior offensive line tell him to lose the trickeration and just run the damn football right at them and then calling plays allowing just that to happen...Cam Newton for orchestrating the drive and not being careless with the football. It was fun to watch amid the Kentucky student section.
^Lexington's Keeneland Horse Track! Beauty everywhere you look!
^Auburn's ability to rally when adversity hit and do what had to be done to get the win.
^The Auburn colors on the road...a packed Auburn section, orange sprinkled throughout Commonwealth stadium, the enormous orange and blue flags the cheerleaders wave...it sends chills every time.
^Byrum calmly nailing the winning kick in yawning fashion. Smooth I tell ya!
-Allowing UK to take the opening kickoff and carve us up like a butcher was not the way you envision establishing the tone. Thank God for the offensive firepower we countered with.
-No pass rush...mainly because of the Kentucky game plan to dink and dunk with quick routes. Still, didn't see many white shirts disrupting things behind the line of scrimmage.
-Kick coverage was mediocre at best...poor mostly. Had a lot to do with Craig Sanders standing on the sideline apparently banged up. He, along with McNeal and Emory Blake, has been a special team warrior all season long and not having his presence was evident.
-Pass defense killed us...again! Had UK in predictable third down passing situations all night and it still didn't matter. Even when we knew what they were gonna do we still couldn't stop it! Does not bode well against Arkansas. We were content to just let Mike Hartline complete every pass he attempted, all like 3 yard dump passes and then let the receiver scamper for 7-12 yards at a time. That's unacceptable and has to improve in a hurry. The one caveat however is we perhaps had a bit of a letdown thanks to things being so easy early on. I believe we let up a bit in the third quarter on both sides of the ball (and perhaps in our play calling as well) and before we knew it Kentucky was primed for the upset. We have to learn to end games like that and leave no doubt about it; completely eliminate all hope for the opposition.
-Couldn't tell from where we sat, but apparently the 2 personal foul penalties on Zack Etheridge were borderline scandalous, unbelievably questionable at best. That's too bad to flag a kid for playing to the whistle or within the confines of the white lines.
-Looking to Kodi Burns on third down? His catch on the off-balance throw against the sideline was nice, however, considering the options available in crucial situations, I don't quite get it?
-34 yards per punt...not very good!?
So, it's obvious we've got to decide what we're gonna do defensively. Are we going to continue being an umbrella, prevent, don't give up the big play, make you march it down the field against our soft-shell cushion secondary defense or will we transition to the challenge you at the line of scrimmage, run in your hip pocket, hands all over you, make a play on every ball thrown, disrupt/disguise/deceive, balls out relentless pressure, if you can make a perfect throw hats off to you defense that Auburn's used to producing? The answer to that question will be the difference in next weeks outcome.