Better late than never, 11/10
We're always trying to innovate here, so let's try something new today.
Here are Three Reasons Auburn Fans Shouldn't Be Encouraged by what's going on.
(Don't hyperventilate. Better news awaits.)
- This offense still is a patchwork solution: Tommy Tuberville's decision to fire Tony Franklin on Oct. 8 probably was a good one, but that doesn't absolve Tuberville of responsibility. It's clear that Auburn isn't equipped to run the ball properly right now. Is that strategy? Is that personnel? I think it's a combination of both. The problem for Auburn Fan is that neither issue can be solved during the next three weeks.
- Beating UT-Martin wasn't easy: It really wasn't. The game was tied at 20 mid-way through the third quarter until Kodi Burns ran wild. He's just faster and better than the guys UT-Martin use on defense. That kind of freelancing probably won't work against Georgia and Alabama. When quarterback draws become The Main Reason your team beat UT-Martin, you know, things are beyond "troublesome."
- Auburn hasn't said anything official about Tuberville: This coaching staff is uncertain about its future. Forget about Tuberville. He has, as Steve Spurrier would say, a $6 million lottery ticket awaiting him. The assistants, the guys who actually do the coaching, don't know if they'll be here next year or not. There is no lottery ticket awaiting them. That's an exceedingly tough work environment -- and no way to prepare for Amen Corner.
Let's now change speeds.
Here are Three Reasons Auburn Fans Should Be Encouraged by what's going on.
- Kodi Burns is coming of age: You know I've been tough on Burns this season. He has really caught my attention since halftime at Ole Miss. Sure he was picked three times that day. He also showed patience in the pocket and was thinking about what to do next. His decisions weren't great, but at least he wasn't fleeing the pocket at the first sign of trouble. I now believe he can be a B/B+ kind of quarterback. He needs experience and some coaching. I've seen more improvement out of him during the past month than the nine months Franklin had him.
- The defensive line is back: Sen'Derrick Marks, Tez Doolittle and Antonio Coleman are excellent players with different skill sets. Opponents don't like them. The trio missed the UT-Martin game and weren't effective against Ole Miss because of lingering health issues. That's all handled. They're ready to ball.
- Tuberville's back is against the U-Haul*: He operates better when he can paint an us-against-the-world mentality among both coaches and players. Even if he's not playing for his job -- I still can't accurately judge what's going to happen there -- Tuberville certainly is playing to maintain his recruiting allure and his own relevance. He is at his best when challenged like this.
*Shamelessly ganked from eddie4au.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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