Sunday, October 31, 2010
Ole Miss Review (AU 51 Ole Miss 31)
What an effort on the road! The biggest question I had was how this team would respond after consecutive physical and emotional battles in the national spotlight. They responded in a way that exceeded my expectations. I fully expected Auburn to win the game, but I thought Ole Miss would give us some problems and fight us four quarters. The most impressive aspect was the way the offense took what Ole Miss gave them. We didn't beat our head against a brick wall and defiantly try to run Newton when it was obvious Ole Miss was determined to not let him beat them with his legs. So instead McCalebb ran for 100 yards in the first half alone. Dyer ran for a career high 180 tough yards. Newton showed his accuracy throwing for over 200 yards and two scores to a multitude of different receivers. It was a definitive case of pick your poison for the Ole Miss defense and when it all settled, the poison turned out to be a well-balanced, physical offensive beatdown the Tigers put on the Rebs.
The word the keeps coming to mind after watching the way Auburn handled Ole Miss...STRONG! 350 yards rushing...STRONG! Mike Dyer's 21 carry, hard-nosed performance...STRONG! Three different receivers with 5 or more catches...STRONG! No sacks given up on the road against a team eager determined to stop your quarterback at all costs...STRONG! The defense stopping Ole Miss on 4th and 1 in Ole Miss territory just before the half and coming away with more points...Back-breaking STRONG! Demond Washington racing 100 yards on the kickoff return...Will-crushing, game over STRONG!!! T. Zachery stiff arming his man into the ground on his TD catch...I'm feeling a little sorry for Ole Miss now STRONG! The unbelievable downfield blocking by our WR, Kodi Burns in particular...STRONG!
There's so much praise to be distributed for many fantastic efforts against Ole Miss. But my Eyes on Auburn unsung hero award goes to Kodi Burns. Throws a TD pass to open the scoring, throws block after repeated block to free up running backs and fellow WRs, and makes two critical third down catches to sustain drives early in the game.
^ Only one punt all game. And the one punt was a sky high boomer. Only 36 yards but with that height there was zero chance for a return.
^ Wes Byrum 3 for 3 including a season long 48 yarder. Made it look easy too.
^ Offense rushing for over 300 yards for the 5th consecutive game and accumulating over 500 yards again Saturday. I said before the game if Auburn could rush for 300 yards against Ole Miss this may be the greatest rushing football team ever...I think they could be...at least in Auburn history.
^ The play of Demond Washington. The INT was probably the biggest play of the game, thwarting a sure Ole Miss scoring opportunity immediately after our offense gave them incredible field position. The kick return...amazing! Several great open field tackles. The TD catch the guy had on him was just an unbelievable play by the Ole Miss WR. Can't fault Demond on that one.
^ Mike Dyer showed me a burst of speed on his TD run I didn't know he had. I've thought he's been average to perhaps slightly above this season and mainly because I didn't think he had incredible speed to go along with his bowling ball stature. He proved me wrong on one run and immediately his stock rose immensely in my eyes.
^ Play at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That's where it all starts and we're playing as good as anyone in the country if not the best.
^ Zack Etheridge back on the field a year removed from being paralyzed in this game. You're a tougher man than most Zack!
-May have gone to the well one too many times on the flea-flicker to Neil Caudle. That play won ugliest of the game. We got way too cute with that one.
-Poor angle by the play side safety on the speed sweep TD run on the second play of the game for Ole Miss. He never got blocked, he just ran himself out of the play with a poor angle.
-Ole Miss' gray uniforms. All the build up for that nastiness? Come on!
-Jesse Palmer's BCS countdown analysis last night! Coming from a guy that was replaced by a third string walk-on named Noah Brindise in the only game I played against Jesse, what a D-bag! Needing style points in the SEC?? Please dude. Get a clue. Compare the strength of schedules and loosen that tie you've tied too short brother.