The loss to Mississippi State dropped the Tigers to 2-2 (0-2 SEC) on the season.
If the offense does not break out this week then it is fair to wonder if it will happen at all this season. So, there’s the glimmer of hope for Auburn and Oregon fans. Score touchdowns on those trips and we’re talking about a good Auburn victory. Ordinarily, a team like Auburn might have gotten a preseason push because of how last season ended. He started twice, including last season’s opening win over Arkansas. All of which, in hindsight, makes the entire situation even more perplexing, because maybe we should have seen this coming. Alabama won the SEC and reached the College Football Playoff. Unlike his predecessor, Malzahn’s team came up one stop short in a 34-31 loss to Florida State, but the future remained bright. Perhaps leading the charge is Auburn. He was a backup previous year for a reason right?
As defensive coordinator Will Muschamp continues to cycle through personnel to fix a number of glaring concerns, Lashlee is similarly searching for answers for what’s been one of the worst offenses in the SEC. Grey did get a few minutes late in last year’s game against Auburn, so he’s unlikely to be intimidated by the venue.
Malzahn said in his weekly media session that this difference is just “part of the offensive system” and not an issue where Williams “is doing wrong or he needs to do better”. The Tigers were voted sixth in the AP poll, and they were named the SEC favorite in July. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said yesterday the injury is more serious than was initially believed and that Lawson is “going to be out for an extended period of time”.
The Tigers lack any sort of explosiveness or rhythm.
In their three games against FBS competition, the Bulldogs’ defense has given up an average of 380 yards a game. Most everybody was rotated in as the game played out. Thus far, Auburn has experienced an offensive nose dive similar to 2012, when Malzahn left for Arkansas State and Chizik went 3-9 without him. Hopefully they can find a way to open up the deep ball this week. Defenses are dictating to Auburn instead of the other way around. It ran 46 times versus 28 passes (along with four sacks), and it failed to finish drives.
Lashlee said during the week the decision was being made to possibly give White his first career start that the 6-foot, 200-pound quarterback had the same handle on the offense as Johnson.
“There’s a balance there”, Malzahn said. White will try to build on that in Saturday’s 3 p.m. homecoming game against San Jose State.
Auburn gets to spend the first two weeks of October re-grouping.
For Mississippi State, though, the tantalizing question of what could be will likely have to wait until next week, at least. Next comes a well-timed off week. But if it blows up, this season will go down in flames. They did shut down Dak Prescott and Mississippi State, but MSU hasn’t had a real feature back take over this year.
Malzahn has a great track record in toss-up games. It’s a frustration point for Malzahn. On one hand, you could say that Malzahn is a terrific in-game coach who can out-maneuver opponents in the final stages of a game.
Auburn’s defense responded to a call for action from coordinator Will Muschamp in practice last week, and the results showed up in improved play Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
He did have a few freshman mistakes, which were to be expected. Alas, circumstances have forced Auburn’s offense to go conservative.
There is still time to right the ship. College football has a almost 10-month long offseason.
But the schedule does Auburn no favors. Other than that play, Auburn pretty much bottled up the San Jose State attack and held them to just 65 total rushing yards.