Some thoughts on Auburn-LSU

I got my soggy arse home last night just in time to pour myself a glass of bourbon (for medicinal purposes, you understand) and settle in to watch Late Night in Baton Rouge.  Entertaining game, and a few points crossed my Dawgcentric mind as I watched it:

  • Cam Cameron is on the same page with Les Miles.  More than once, it struck me that Miles finally has the offensive coordinator he really wants: a run first guy who’s competent calling a power game with play action.  It’s well suited for the Tigers’ strengths on offense, although I wonder how long LSU sticks with that max-protect package against defenses that are willing to play a lot of press coverage, like Alabama and Florida. Against Georgia?  Let’s just say I winced every time I saw Copeland unload on a hapless Auburn middle linebacker.
  • The Zach Attack.  The other thing I give Cameron a lot of credit for is cleaning up Mettenberger’s mechanics.  He’s eliminated most of the hitch in ZM’s throwing motion I saw last season, I assume by convincing Mett he has a strong enough arm that he really doesn’t need to wind up so much.  The result is that his release is noticeably quicker.  Between that, his height and how money his starting receivers are, when he stands in the pocket, he’s pretty deadly.  The catch is, if you can force him out of the pocket, he’s pretty ordinary.  Georgia’s pass rush just became the biggest key – okay, the second biggest key, after not making stupid mistakes – for this Saturday’s game.
  • LSU’s defense didn’t freak me out.  I mean, the Tigers did okay early on, against an Auburn offense with a shaky quarterback making his first SEC start on the road.  But as the game wore on, Malzahn’s guys started getting some traction.  I’m not saying they threatened to turn it into a game late, but they did rack up over 400 yards of offense against what’s supposed to be a shut down bunch.  I wonder how things would have played out if Auburn hadn’t shot itself repeatedly in the foot in the first quarter and a half of the game.  I also wonder if Bobo will take Blackledge’s advice about challenging the LSU defense with downfield passing.
  • LSU’s special teams, however…  Oh, why don’t you just shut up.
  • Nick Marshall isn’t Brent Schaeffer, but he isn’t Cam Newton, either.  He’s not a transcendent talent like Cam, although he’s got a strong arm and can move a little.  But he just hasn’t done this SEC quarterback thing enough to be comfortable running an offense.  Although, speaking of running, I predict he’s going to run that read option play to death when he faces the Dawgs.  We’ll probably get pretty sick of it, too.
  • The Auburn defense looks a little challenged.  If you watched the game, tell me you weren’t seeing visions of Quayvon Hicks wrecking havoc on the Plains in a couple of months’ time.  (Aaron Murray, too, seeing as he doesn’t have a problem throwing outside the pocket.)
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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Some thoughts on Auburn-LSU

  1. Dboy

    Given our troubles stopping the run, I am shaking in my hobnailed boots after watching LSU blow giant holes in the AU front 7. I thought LSU had better offensive and defensive line play than we do…and definitely better special teams. We are going to have to play an inspired game to beat them. Im envisioning a game playing out like last years SEC title game vs Alabama…but hopefully with a different ending.

    We have more down the field big play potential that AU did. I am hoping that we can use that to give Gurley / Marshall room to run. LSU was stout on run defense in the 1st half and we weren’t exactly dominating NT running the ball when they stacked the box. Thank the heavens that we have a vertical passing attack. we are going to need it next week

    • TennesseeDawg

      Auburn adjusted and the last 5 carries for Hill resulted in zero yards. On the last 2 offensive series, LSU went 3 and out and didn’t gain a single yard. It can be done.

      • Dboy

        TennDawg,

        that is true but I got the feeling that LSU went conservative after getting up 24-0 (I think that was the halftime score). Not sure that was the same team in the last few drives of the first half and in the second half… and IMO it was by design.

    • gastr1

      We were pretty darn good against the run yesterday– 7 yards versus any D1 team is awfully good. It gave me confidence in at least the possibility of an acceptable performance this Saturday.

  2. Skeeter

    Great post! But my first question is, what bourbon did you pour?

  3. SouthGaDawg

    Nowadays when all you see is this hurry-up spread offense business, it will be refreshing to see two teams line up in an I formation and run right at each other. Snot bubbles will certainly be evident. Saturday should be fun.

  4. uglydawg

    Auburn’s running game was pretty effective. Gurley should be able to get some yards, but Marshall goes down too easy…We might see another back spelling Gurley if Marshall can’t stay on his feet better. Georgia’s offense gives LSU a whole lot more to worry about than Auburn’s did…and LSU’s offense gives Georgia a lot to worry about.

  5. LSU is like Bama. ILBers, strong and stout. Run ‘em side to side for awhile and then JJ Green and Keith Marshall on the wings.\

    If we don’t run them wide and they have energy – they will shut us down inside.

    Once they are tired – the TEs will be open over the middle. Then, as yesterday – the safeties will creep up and Reggie/Conley/Scott-Wesley will be set up.

    Leaving Ranger Rumph as the wild card.

  6. IveyLeaguer

    We must have seen the same game. Agree with all your points. There is plenty to be concerned about. This is the week we find out what we are made of.

    Are we good enough? It’s been an awful long time since we were. I hope the answer is yes.
    ~~~

  7. D.N. Nation

    “This is the week we find out what we are made of.

    Are we good enough? It’s been an awful long time since we were.”

    South Carolina win successfully Dawg-graded.

    • IveyLeaguer

      Yes, it was. But are we good enough to finish the schedule, beginning with LSU this Saturday? We haven’t been for a very long time. We haven’t been able to handle the Top 10 teams when it counts.

      Carolina was a great win, one we desperately had to have. It was big for a lot of reasons, actually. I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s behind us now. Now LSU, Florida, the SECCG (we hope), and all the games in between loom ahead.

      We haven’t been good enough to handle a schedule like that in a very long time. We’re due, if not overdue.

      I don’t wanna say I’m running out of patience, but if we lose Saturday we better have played a heckuva game. There’s nothing wrong with playing your best, and just getting beat by a better team. I’m fine with that.

      We’ve played two close games against top teams. In the first, we beat ourselves by playing sloppy. In the second, we didn’t do that, we were solid. So if we lose, I want it to be LSU that beats us.

      I guess as much as anything, I want to continue to control our destiny. The Carolina game bought us that, and I don’t want to lose it. And I want to prove to everybody, and to ourselves, that we are once again a top-level SEC program.

      This game would go a long way toward doing that.
      ~~~

      • D.N. Nation

        “We haven’t been able to handle the Top 10 teams when it counts.

        Carolina was a great win, one we desperately had to have. It was big for a lot of reasons, actually. I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s behind us now.”

        Georgia can’t beat Top 10 teams it hasn’t played yet. Clearly a failure in coaching.

        “I guess as much as anything, I want to continue to control our destiny. The Carolina game bought us that, and I don’t want to lose it. ”

        It would take two losses for Georgia to not control its own destiny.