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9.21.2008

Today's Developments, 9/21

Hey everyone. I'm up here at Auburn for an afternoon of interviews with all your favorite newsmakers.

NOTE:
I change the direction of this blog entry. We'll get into "What We Learned" on Monday. A lot of interesting stuff happened and was discussed today.

  • Tez Doolittle has been moved to the top spot at noseguard. That means Mike Blanc, the Happy Haitian, has been dropped to the second team. Coach Tommy Tuberville said Doolittle played the best game of his college career last night.

  • UPDATED Doolittle found out about his promotion this afternoon. Suffice it to say: He was very happy. For a guy who thought last year that he'd already played his final down of football, this is a very intriguing development.

  • Brad Lester is schedule to have an MRI scan on his knee today or tomorrow. It's notclear to me when that is going down. Preliminary results suggest Lester's knee, which was twisted awkwardly during a third-quarter tackle last night, isn't seriously injured. Still, he's uncomfortable.

  • Tuberville seemed dissatisfied with Ryan Shoemaker's performance, as you might expect. I think Clinton Durst will be the top punter against Tennessee this weekend.

  • UPDATED Tim Hawthorne said he was happy to see Chris Todd take more risks with his throws this week, which he said changed the entire offensive dynamic.

  • UPDATED Tony Franklin said he'll continue coaching from the press box this season because, as he said, he can see things more clearly from there. He said he called a much better game Saturday and, the 4th-and-1 call aside, I agree with him.

  • UPDATED Auburn threw 32 passes against LSU. It ran the ball 36 times. Franklin doesn't think that was the correct ratio.

    ``The biggest mistake I made is not throwing the ball enough," he said. ``We threw it 30-something times I think, 32, but if I went back and had to do it over again I would have thrown it 10 or 15 more times. The things that we struggled with in running the football, we probably couldn't fix that night. I should have thrown the ball more."

  • UPDATED Paul Rhoads was actually impressed to see his players down today. Apparently some of his former teams at Pitt were able to rebound from losses almost instantaneously.

    ``I've been on a lot of plane rides where there's too much giggling and farting going on that shouldn't take place," he said. ``This team was still what I would call distraught today."


AP POLL
1. USC (62) 2-0
2. Oklahoma 3-0
3. Georgia (2) 4-0
4. Florida (1) 3-0
5. LSU 3-0
6. Missouri 4-0
7. Texas 3-0
8. Alabama 4-0
9. Wisconsin 3-0
10. Texas Tech 4-0
11. Brigham Young 4-0
12. Penn State 4-0
13. South Florida 4-0
14. Ohio State 3-1
15. Auburn 3-1
16. Wake Forest 3-0
17. Utah 4-0
18. Kansas 3-1
19. Boise State 3-0
20. Clemson 3-1
21. Vanderbilt 4-0
22. Illinois 2-1
23. East Carolina 3-1
24. TCU 4-0
25. Fresno State 2-1

COACHES POLL
1. USC (56) 2-0
2. Oklahoma (2) 3-0
3. Georgia (2) 4-0
4. Florida (1) 3-0
5. Missouri 4-0
6. LSU 3-0
7. Texas 3-0
8. Wisconsin 3-0
9. Texas Tech 4-0
10. Alabama 4-0
11. Brigham Young 4-0
12. Penn State 4-0
13. Ohio State 3-1
14. South Florida 4-0
15. Wake Forest 3-0
16. Auburn 3-1
17. Utah 4-0
18. Kansas 3-1
19. Clemson 3-1
20. Boise State 3-0
21. Illinois 2-1
22. Oregon 3-1
23. TCU 4-0
24. Fresno State 2-1
25. Vanderbilt 4-0

57 Comments:

Blogger Reynolds Wolf said...

Jay,

Great meeting you last night. I was in the press box sporadically, and spent much of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarters on the field..

Couple of observations--did you notice when Todd found Hawthorne alone on the flats for that 50+ gain, the closest LSU defender to Hawthorne appeared to be in Valdosta, Georgia. Tim WAS THAT WIDE OPEN. What was more startling to me was either how s l o w Hawthorne appeared to run after the catch. He had two LSU defensive backs cross the field and knock him out of bounds.

Do we have ANY receivers with break away speed? ANY!!??!! I would think an Obomanu or a Ronney Daniels would've taken it to the farm. Do Harry Adams or "Frenchy" Pierre-Louis have those kind of wheels?

Last question--I saw Mario Fannin on the sidelines and during warm ups, but don't remember him getting into the game. Did he play?

Again, great job as always dude..

4:40 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I saw Mario some. His usual load is maybe 10-15 snaps and that's approximately where he was last night.

Hawthorne is not known for his speed. Frenchy is much faster.

Swinton is the one who's really AWOL. I mean, he's allegedly healthy. He's allegedly supposed to be good. I haven't seen anything even remotely impressive from him.

4:48 PM  
Anonymous WarEagleRK said...

Jay,

Kind of on what reynolds wolf said, do you think our WR's struggle to get separation has a lot to do with this offense not clicking that well.

You get to see from up to, is this causing us to struggle because the WR's are getting held up at the line?

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a positive note...US just won the Ryder Cup.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous WarEagleRK said...

How about Vandy?

For the 1st time, maybe in my lifetime Vandy is in both the AP and the Coaches top 25.

So if we beat UT this weekend, our game vs Vandy will be a battle of top 25 teams.

Who would have thunk it?

5:06 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Damn. I forgot to put up the polls.

I'm so out of sorts today...

5:11 PM  
Anonymous hip-hopanonymous said...

Chris Todd is not good. He is adequate at best.

Tim Hawthorne got tackled from behind because he had to come to a stop, turn around to catch the underthrown ball, and restart. That's tough to do for someone with excellent speed much less average speed.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous hip-hopanonymous said...

I also agree with some of the other comments from the other post. Everything we do in the passing game looks like an accident.

5:30 PM  
Anonymous hip-hopanonymous said...

And a message for Tony Franklin:

Apologizing week after week for a poor performance is not okay. It's your job. Dont apologize- do it better. If you worked in any other industry you would be fired.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swinton is a guy everybody loves because of his speed and everybody wondered why he did not play before (aka Borges would not play him because he can not run block). Unfortunately, I think we are seeing the did not play because he is not an SEC caliber WR. No offense, he seems like he has been a true "Pro" / Team guy, but simply not good enough to have any impact here. I really wish Frenchy didn't get hurt early or that we see more snaps of Fannin, Hawthorne, and Zachary (or Slaughter if he ever makes it back this year) at Swinton's expense.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hip, i agree on all points.

Apologizing for the INT was an all-time low / joke

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

Hip Hop, you're 100% right on Hawthorne. No, he's not a speedster. He's known for having great hands. A possession guy. But he's got length and a lot of range and can take it the distance if he's led properly by the QB. Many receivers were wide open last night and a ton of Todd's passes were almost a second too late. That's the biggest issue with him.

Fannin played a lot. He's played at least 50% of the snaps. But not one pass was thrown his way. He was open several times on those little curl routes that Billings was getting.

Dunn played a helluva game.

Doolittle was a power last night.
Thorpe got burned really bad once but laid some vicious licks when he was in.

Powers is the best corner we've had since Rogers and he might be better even with less speed and range.

Trott is not a good athlete. He can't run well and he can't climb 15" of vertical air. He can drink some beer though.

Our O line is not very impressive to me anymore. They're funky and Ziemba makes the worst mistakes sometimes.

This isn't the year of the AU Tiger. I promise you. Being 9-1 going into the UGA game does not look doable to me. Sorry, PM.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

Frenchy's never played a down. Nobody knows what the tony fella can do. I can't see him making anymore of an impact than anybody else is with how this offense is stinking it up right now. Our offense supposedly ran our defense nuts in fall camp. Ok. Fine. But I don't get it. Something's not adding up and it has to be at least partially linked to our inadequate pass defense at time. Any solid SEC team will stop Ben Tate from going anywhere in this offense. He's average. The party's over for him. West Coast was his game.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

One more. How would anybody assume Swinton is not a true "SEC caliber" guy? When has he touched the ball other than the first play from scrimmage vs. ULM? How can anybody judge ANY receiver in this offense as being inadequate. Our passing game is a joke. Todd gets an order from his step father on who to throw it to unless the play's busted. He's not reading the field. You saw all the open receivers last night with their thumbs up their shoots. I'd hate to be a WR in AU's offense right now without a QB and/or an OC who knows how to use my talents.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay,

Along with Swinton, add Ryan Williams to the AWOL list. He was supposed to be the next great cornerback - any info on him? Is he playing anywhere, special teams maybe? The starters in secondary should could use some support from backups.

Also, any info on Chris Slaughter?

Thanks.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wrote that comment regarding swinton for two reasons. 1> I have seen about 6 of the same guys doing jumping jacks in open space down field cause they were so wide open trying to get todd to notice / throw it to them and not once, was that guy swinton. I simply do not see him get open like the other guys. 2> If he was, at some point in 4 years, he would have forced himself onto the field and made a few plays.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ryan williams is in the "dog house". i think i read because of grades, but i can not be certain of that. he has yet to dress for a game.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is mario in the dog house or do we not want one of best playmakers on the field.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Crudup said...

Anon, weren't Slaughter and Swinton all stars in fall camp? We already know why he didn't play under Borges - not physical enough. But he's got spread written all over him. BTW, MANY receivers, including Fannin, were painfully open last night. Not looking for debate. Just stating the facts. Swinton never touched the field.

Ryan Wms is a clown.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

keep 'em coming crudup. you're on a roll.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Ryan Williams is in the doghouse, which I think will open its doors right around the time fall semester grades arrive.

Mario Fannin is definitely not in any kind of trouble. Remember that he switched to wideout a couple months ago. He also is just now getting into what I'd consider a truly safe period with regard to that shoulder.

A major hit to that shoulder last month might have done some real damage. Now? He'd probably be fine.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

As far as Sgt. Slaughter, I expect him back in a few weeks. Maybe West Virginia?

7:13 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I can't remember who the reciever was, but the play was an almost sack that Todd somehow at the last second turned into a 40 yard pass play on a roll out. Maybe it was Hawthorne. Anyway, I think I saw him pull out his cell phone and send a text to Todd. "Yo dude... Can you SEE? I'm open mf. send me the damn ball."

7:16 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

That was Hawthorne, yes.

7:27 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

The more I think about it, the madder I get. WHAT IN THE NAME OF FRESCA ARE WE DOING? How can anyone explain Kodi not getting a single freakin' snap in two weeks. TODD CAN'T DO IT DAMN IT!!! CTT, you need to take the short walk down the hall and b-slap some sense into the Apologizer.

Can we really say Tate is not good? How about the play calling and blocking? Run into a brick wall left. Run into a brick wall right.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

phormerly phred, disagree on tate - i think he's a serviceable sec back - but you are spot on as to the qb situation. why, why, why is kodi off the grid? all pre-season, all we heard about was 'its too close to call, too close to call.' then kodi gets a scratch on his leg, and instantaneously its utterly indisputable that todd gives us the best chance to win and anybody that thinks otherwise is uninformed? WTF?1 (can i say that?)

7:37 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

Congrats to Tez. That's good stuff.

On Tate - what I was getting at was this: every time he ran the ball the first thing that popped into my mind was "where are the blockers?"

There were no other blue jerseys between him and LSU. Not a single time.

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay,

Thanks for the info on Williams and Slaughter. You do a great job of keeing us in the know.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tate is legit....it is simply the scheme that is making life tough for him and the entire running game right now

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Everett said...

The offense struggled, but if the defense keeps giving up 23 points in a half, AU won't win too many games. I thought stopping the run was their strength, but last night LSU had some pretty sizables gaps to run between.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I tend to think Tate is legit, but I never thought his style worked well with this scheme.

He doesn't accelerate as quickly. Tate disagrees with me on this point, for the record.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

jay, you mind commenting on this:

"all pre-season, all we heard about was 'its too close to call, too close to call.' then kodi gets a scratch on his leg, and instantaneously its utterly indisputable that todd gives us the best chance to win"???

8:43 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

G man ... it thought you were going to post the polls.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous hip-hopanonymous said...

Jay,

How can you say that Franklin called a good game??? I am willing to bet that we ran off right tackle on 85% of first downs. I was under the assumption that we were setting something up for later in the game, but that play never came.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

found the polls.

Just for fun I did a historical review. Here you go.

2002 Finished 16th
2003 Not ranked
2004 Finished 2nd
2005 Finished 14th
2006 Finished 8th
2007 Finished 14th
2008 Finished ?

9:04 PM  
Anonymous barkley for govenor said...

Jay, after the game Tubs said they had to do something to bring consistency to their running game. Do you think that will involve running downhill more rather than east/west in that read option play?

9:04 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I'm with hip hop.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Polls are up.

I thought Franklin called a good game RELATIVE to what he had accomplished prior to that game.

As for Kodi, I've explained this several times. Franklin now believes that playing one guy is the only way this offense can build chemistry, so he's sticking with the guy he believes is the least risky.

I don't necessarily agree with that. I'm explaining his approach.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I don't think Tate was trying to run east-west. He's a north-south runner and he showed that repeatedly in previous seasons.

The way things were working last night, the only "north" running would have ended directly in the chest of Jean-Francois or Alexander. There was nowhere to run inside.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

thanks jay and for the record, if what you say is true, franklin is a pigheaded fool. having 1 qb is a good thing. picking the wrong guy and refusing to admit the mistake is foolhardy.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous WarEagleRK said...

Win or lose, what will Franklin be saying he's sorry for next Sunday?

It's almost like a running joke at this point.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I'm now producing a video.

Should be up around 9:45.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

If it's later demonstrated to be a mistake sticking with Chris Todd, I'm 100% sure Franklin will admit to it.

9:15 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

How will we know? There's nothing to measure against.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

jay i guess i'm a little ahead of the curb here but i think 2 games of floaters, heaves and short hops, and a grand total of 17 offensive points over a span of 8 quarters, is pretty much all the "demonstration" that is needed. franklin admitting to it will be of little consolation once the season is lost.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous barkley for govenor said...

I understand he wasn't trying to run east/west, but when you are running that read option play it's your only choice. Do you think we will line up in the I or ace formation a little more next week to get some more yards on the ground?

9:29 PM  
Blogger squirrel master said...

By the way Jay... does Al Borges still live in Auburn? I bet he's laughin it up right now. I wouldn't blame him either. At least with his offense we could run the ball and run down the clock. The whole sweep left, sweep right with no lead blocker is getting old quickly.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Al still lives in Auburn. His wife, Nikki, now is a big hitter with the athletic department.

I do not expect to see Auburn lining up in power sets soon.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

The Advertiser's video server appears to be down. That could hinder my plan to upload video tonight.

Still trying ...

9:50 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

Positive thoughts:

I agree with whoever said 9-1 going into UGA. That's doable.

It's good for guys like Neiko to get the big game experience ... and feel the heat of the burn. I think that will pay off later.

I'm reading that the players are getting behind Todd. Maybe with more confidence, he will do better than we think. I mean, that was LSU we were playing afterall.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous jim in scranton said...

The players can get behind Todd all they want. That won't help his noodle arm.

I hate it for him b/c he apparantly had a good arm before, but I'm sick of seeing Auburn QB's struggle to make plays down the field.

It sucks when you have zero confindence in your offense's ability to make plays to win a game. Tuberville even commented to Blackledge before the game that he didn't think we could score enough points to win.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

What?

10:40 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

You know ...

I am going to pose this question and then I'm done for the day. Hold the applause please.

I can throw a baseball 90 mph and from left field to home on the fly. But I never could throw a football for crap. My conclusion - very poor technique.

The question: are there not any technical improvements Todd and coaches could come up with to compensate for his arm weakness? Surely there are gurus who specialize in this. If so, let's hire one tomorrow.

10:48 PM  
Anonymous auburn guy said...

amen jim in scranton!

p.p., we could go find a guru for todd. i have a different suggestion: let the other qb - the one with the healthy arm - play.

11:11 PM  
Blogger Phormerly Phred said...

I'm just trying to be positive, which I hate doing by the way.

I am going to do it once a week.

Phositve thoughts by Phred

11:14 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Someone call Zeke Bratkowski.

I bet he can help.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous zeke in santa rosa said...

I think I get it.

11:41 PM  

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