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Looking Back on Saturday

Hey everyone. Let's take a look at some of the significant things that happened at Mississippi State:
  • Chris Todd is not quite right. We knew this going in, but now we have three games of data to consider. Though I believe his arm strength is better than it was during spring ball, Todd is not the strong-armed guy he was believed to be. He's just not. I still think he has value. I think he's better than Brandon Cox. I also believe he is only a peripheral part of Auburn's offensive problems.

  • Kodi Burns won't be playing much. I know, I know. I thought Burns was going to be big this year. I apparently was wrong. Not sure what to think about his immediate future here considering he wasn't summoned when Auburn moved deep into MSU territory the other night. That's usually Burns time.

  • This defensive line is really good. Beating Mississippi State up front isn't necessarily a huge deal, but that's three times in a row that an opponent couldn't fight through for yards after allocating a ton of resources to doing just that. We'll learn more when Auburn plays LSU this weekend. I'm still saying this is the best front seven of the Tommy Tuberville era.

  • Tony Franklin's willingness to accept all blame is intriguing. I'm all about accountability. You don't see it that often in college football. Problems typically are someone else's fault. Not with Franklin. He's comes right out and says he made this mistake or that mistake. On one hand, that's a refreshing change of pace. One the other hand, serial acknowledgment of deficiencies may compromise Franklin's reputation. It makes him seem weak when you hear this stuff week after week. Of course, a strong performance against LSU and Tennessee would change all that.

  • Tray Blackmon's demise? Not so fast. He played less than Joshua Bynes during the first two weeks, but Blackmon re-affirmed his status as a No. 1 guy against MSU. He was laying hard licks left and right in Starkville. He even made some nice pass-coverage drops.

  • Weird stuff happened along the offensive front. Lots and lots of penalties, which is not something that happens to Auburn very often. I saw a lot of MSU penetration the other night. That surprised me. I also don't fully understand why the Jason Bosley-for-Ryan Pugh switch is sticking. I'll swear that Pugh is a better tackle than Bosley. I think Pugh is quicker. I think they're about even at center.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, no matter what facts people give about Burns not playing, if the offense struggles continue, people are going to lay blame on Todd. Even if it's not deserved.

You would think they would have a short yardage/goalline package in place for Burns to give the extra running threat.

Am I to assume I'm correct when there will be a lot of work on the redzone offense this week?

Also, maybe something more creative than draws on 3rd and long as well?

12:37 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Fumbles. The problem right now is fumbles. Eight in two games is just nuts.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many turnovers did we have after week 3 last year? Best I can remember, it was about the same.

I agree about the front 7, and I'm sure we'll find out on Saturday just how good the secondary is.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay, you may have mentioned it previously and I missed it. But, I remember someone saying they thought Tuberville actually pulled the play-calling duties from Franklin at the end of the game Saturday night. Do you know if that is true and did either of them comment on it?

1:25 PM  
Blogger landon said...

I bet there has been a significant drop in sales for the Tony Franklin offensive system since Saturday.

I doubt we'll see Fred McGriff pimping Tony's instructional videos during GameDay this week.

But I'll steal a line from TDK: "I believe in Tony Franklin."

Maybe it's just Kool-Aid, but I'm still under the belief that we will get better as the season progresses.

And if we split the next 2 weeks, a 10-win season is very possible with the schedule as weak as it is in the middle.

1:52 PM  
Blogger AUnMobilz (CAM-"Da Man") said...

I just have to believe Kodi Burns running the read option on several plays is still better than a whole night of Chris Todd throwing wounded ducks..I know Kodi has the arm strength to get the ball downfield when needed... btw the only way for Kodi to get better is to play the guy, at least some... Chris Todd is as good as he is gonna get, and he has no threat of the run to scare the defense and make safties come up in run support. If they don't play Kodi somewhat AU will have a bigger mess on their hands than just disgruntle fans... definition of Chaos: "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"... i smell CHAOS coming and it stinks!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Tuberville doesn't call offensive plays. Period.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter who the QB is if we get another 94 yards in penalties and 3 fumbles this week.

However where Burns would help would be the DE's respecting the QB as a runner.

However if Burns is running the wrong plays, I understand why he's not in there.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Scott M. Brannan said...

at least we're not as bad as Tennessee. after UCLA got blanked by BYU 59-0 the morale up here in rocky top bottomed-out. if Florida hands UT a 2-3-or more TD loss then the meltdown up here will be palpable down there in montgomery.

it ain't pretty here in the mountains.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aunmobile, I believe you gave the definition of insanity. The definition of chaos is a condition or place of great disorder or confusion. I do agree with you though. I would say our offense is both chaotic and insane right now. So was the first half of Troy's first season with CTF. I expect us to get better each week. Limit the fumbles and penalties and we'll play better. I also don't think it would hurt to put together a pound-your-face-in set for the goaline. Either way, it will get better.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm here in Chattanooga and for about 3 hours the UT fans were happy that they seemed to get their offense going vs UAB, then the scores for the BYU/UCLA game started coming up and the spirit dropped immediately.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another good point that Jay makes is the move of Bosley to RT. I'm not sure how well that's going to work out in the long run. I'm afraid LSU will make him prove that he should be out there all game long.

2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have been impressed with Dunn's pass catching abilities this year. I assume he wants to play ball next year on the next level. Probably wont be the pro's, maybe he can be a roughrider in the canadian league with Tre Smith.

Also, Seems I didnt see or hear much from "ANY" of the freshman last weekend. Will we see less of them in SEC play.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I think you'll still see some of those defensive backs during the SEC season: Neiko Thorpe and D'Antoine Hood.

I saw Harry Adams at the MSU game. Maybe he's on that active list as well.

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like we have a different excuse for why Burns doesn't play every day. One day he's not accurate, one day he can't run the plays correctly. I think Kodi could manage to run a few draws without exercising his brain too much.....

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know you said that Kodi Burns won't be playing much. But what if The Chris Todd Project completely fails in CTT eyes do you believe that he will go over CTF and tell him to go with Burns?

3:58 PM  
Blogger AUnMobilz (CAM-"Da Man") said...

I stand corrected.... i did give the definition of insanity....but i do believe we will play better this week if we eliminated the costly mistakes...i think Todd runs the offense as well as can be expected, we just need to take care of the ball and execute our offense, because our defense will keep us in the game.. I still think there is a place for Kodi in the offense as a chance of pace to keep the LSU defense honest on the zone read option....hey listen LSU does not have steller QB play them selves adn this is their first SEC game on the road on saturday night and at home.... i like our chances.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Kodi's issues have nothing to do with intelligence or understanding.

I think he gets out there in the lights and gets caught up in the drama.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If we can cut the turnovers and penalties, then this game will be like every Auburn/LSU game from the past 4 years.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gotcha Jay G.. Maybe we can ease him into the offense a little at a time. I want to see some offensive explosion. What would be nice is if we put him in for a couple of option plays, have the defense thinking run, then in the third quarter let him drop back and go deep one time. I think Jordan-Hare would erupt. Wishful thinking maybe.

4:34 PM  
Blogger squirrel master said...

You know what else is "not quite right" with Chris Todd? The dude has two first names.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

rk, you're right.

As bad as this offense looked against MSU, and it was putrid, that game probably ends 17-0 without the three fumbles and other misdeeds.

Considering the numbers Auburn put up in 2007, a night with 315 yards would have been an average performance.

5:33 PM  
Blogger ron mexico said...

putrid is a good adjective that has not been used yet. I have said horrible, terrible and miserable so much the last three days I am probably going to have to consult my thesarus or just start making up words in order to mention saturday's game again.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Some of displeasure with the way this offense has been "run" could have been avoided if we as fans had not been led to believe that it was something other than a "work in progress". We were excited about the yards and points it produced on nine days practice against a top ten defensive bowl opponent...may just be me, but it seemed to work much better then. After fall scrimmages I believe the consensus from those fortunate enough to witness it and then discuss it all said to a man "the offense won today". Are you kidding me? The only way that offense "won" against that defense is if the latter were playing with blindfolds on. Granted the coaches were trying to play things close to the vest, but I don't see where tempering fan expectation with a little reality could be more detrimental in the long run than what the entire country has witnessed up until now. By the way AUNMOBILE, haven't seen you at any of the Board meetings as of late.....

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you think its realistic to assume Burns gets caught up in the moment while he's out there?

If you stop and think about it, the guy has never ever been given a chance to perform as though he's the starting qb. Last year he was an experiment to get Cox's head straight, this year everyone and their grandmother knew that Franklin was partial to his boy. That's why Burns has attempted 12 passes on the year.

I can't blame the players for backing the guy with more physical talent and more 'cred for going through two off season workouts, etc.

Call me crazy, but I am scared that choppy feet Todd (I know that's what he's taught) is going to be sacked four times in the first two series and we still won't see Burns. That is a recipe for disaster in terms of team building and morale.

People that believe players don't give up on their coaches when they don't believe the coaches are putting them in the best position to win the game are crazy. I've seen it happen on every level of play, JV to NFL. It's just a fact. If we struggle because of Todd's indecisiveness on Saturday (and I expect to) there will be a mutiny by at least half the players. Guaranteed.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

17-0 might be a bit low. The penalties killed some drives that could have been more than they were, including the long pass to Dunn that might have set up another scoring situation.

If we eliminate the stupid mistakes this week (who knows if we can?) we can keep this game with LSU close and who knows what can happen.

However I realize that is a big IF.

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great, GREAT post aunmobile. you hit all the highlights, particularly kodi isn't getting any better at running franklin's plays sitting on the bench. also nice work kris. expectations definitely factor in here.

9:59 PM  

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