Friday, October 28, 2011
Ole Miss Preview
Houston Nutt entered the SEC as a head football coach my sophomore season, 1998, at Arkansas and has been been a thorn in the side of Auburn since his arrival in this conference. I truly feel like Nutt's existence on an SEC sideline hinges on the outcome of two games...this one, and the Egg Bowl. He loses to us, I think he's done. I certainly hope we don't allow this opportunity to slip away...unless of course, Gus Malzahn is on their short-list (although if Gus turned down the opportunity to coach the East's doormat in Vandy, not sure why he'd desire to coach the West's cellar-dweller?).
This game boils down to one thing in my mind...the big play. If we don't give up the big plays and make Ole Miss earn their points with consistent drives all game--we win. I don't believe they can do it without our help. If we're overly penalized, turn the ball over, allow them a defensive or special teams score, consistently give them a short field to work with...we could be in trouble and lose to an inferior team.
I'm interested to see Clint Moseley perform against a below average SEC defense as opposed to the stellar NFL caliber defense he saw in his first start. The game should play out in slow motion for him comparatively this week. The onus falls to the offensive line to keep Clint upright and give him time to throw the ball downfield. The offensive line play of late has been the biggest disappointment and reason for most of our offensive, thus this team's, woes.
The Ole Miss offensive has been awful all season long. They rank 107 in passing, 107 in rushing, and 104 in points scored to this point. For comparison sake, AU is 106 in passing and we know how putrid our passing game has been. Ole Miss has been worse! We rank 35th in rushing.
On paper the match-up appears to be just what the doctor ordered for the Auburn Tigers. Of course, Ole Miss appeared to figure out what they do well last week against Arkansas and are hitting their stride just in time for Auburn. Evenso, Ole Miss has no business winning this ballgame.
I'm still waiting for the Auburn Tigers to play a complete game. Perhaps this is the week. And maybe we never see a Houston Nutt coached football team again!