Believe your lying eyes.

In yesterday’s comments, Bill Glennon brought up this quote from Smart at his Auburn post-game presser:

On what Auburn was able to do differently in the fourth quarter…

“They just got hot, got on a rhythm. It’s not like we went conservative. We didn’t call different calls. We were ‘bend-but-don’t-break.’ They hit some plays. They went tempo. I thought Bo (Nix) got a little more confident. We had a couple of busts and when you combine those things, guys get hot. It wasn’t like they didn’t move it earlier, because they moved it earlier, we just had some really big stops. We didn’t have really big stops on the later drives. We didn’t get behind the sticks. They did a good job of personelling, Gus did a good job of searching till he found something. We didn’t have enough answers to what they were doing. Earlier in the game, we did and we kind of didn’t have enough answers when we needed it most. But I’ll say this, they went out there the last time and came up with some big stops.”  [Emphasis added.]

Now, wait a minute.  I’m no coaching genius — I’m no coach, period — but I can recognize a soft zone when I see one.  And I’m not the only one.  I watched the replay last night and Gary Danielson made the same observation.

You know who else did?  Seth Williams, Auburn’s leading receiver in the game ($$).

There are two sides to every football game, and Auburn’s offensive surge in the fourth quarter can’t be fully explained without pointing out what Georgia was doing on defense.

According to Williams, Georgia ran a lot of man coverage in the first three quarters of the game. That resulted in a heavier diet of slants and other man-beating routes for Williams, who finished with 13 catches on 20 targets.

That changed in the fourth quarter, when the Bulldogs decided to drop into more zone coverage — trying to prevent one mistake from turning into a huge play. Auburn’s second touchdown drive featured back-to-back first-down completions to Williams against zone coverage.

Pretty obvious, in other words.  But I guess Mr. Impose Your Will would rather have people criticize his choice of language than question his fourth quarter defensive strategy.

96 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

96 responses to “Believe your lying eyes.

  1. SWGADAWG

    The dropped INT…I think it was Stokes…..gave life to a dead Tiger. Just as their missed FG turned the game early.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Russ

    Kirby is a strange fellow sometimes. I guess he learned from the master, though. Not sure when I’ve heard Saban admit a decision he made didn’t work out.

    Like

  3. So Kirbs dropped the f-bomb in the post-game in order to deflect questions about the change in defensive scheme in the fourth quarter?

    That dude is BRILLIANT.

    Like

  4. Derek

    I remember Alabama being down 12 to LSU with 1:37 on the clock. LSU “kept on keeping on.” 16 seconds later Alabama was down 5 after a one play drive of 85 yards for a td and everyone says: “why are they playing man? That’s stupid!”

    Like

    • That would be more convincing if UGA hadn’t abandoned the soft zone on the last series and shut Auburn down.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Derek

        We’re we up 21 at that point?

        Are you familiar with the phrase: situational football?

        It’s a real thing.

        You play man and get two busts and you’re up 7 with 8:00 to play and not 2:00 and it’s a totally different game. There’s nothing wrong with making a team earn its yards and points with a lead and a clock. It’s just smart football.

        Like

        • I realize you’re the football savant. All I’ve got to go on is that Georgia was the first team ever to shut out a Malzahn-coached offense at Auburn for three quarters.

          You play situational football all you want. I’m gonna go with the old staple “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

          Liked by 2 people

        • By the way, I assume by making this argument you agree Smart is BSing everyone about not going conservative.

          I’d rather he make the argument you’re making than denying what happened.

          Like

          • Derek

            I’m not into the PR and I don’t care about how or why coaches lie their asses off to the public about nearly everything.

            I do think it makes a lot of sense to limit your risks with a 21 point 4th quarter lead. The scoreboard and clock are your friends there.

            This is especially true when your offense is a huge liability that you can’t count on to crank out first downs on the ground vs that front.

            Time that falls off the clock while they nickel and dime you down the field is to your benefit. You get LeCounte beat on a couple double moves, which has happened twice this year, and all of a sudden we can lose in regulation.

            Why put that in play?

            Like

            • Because it hadn’t happened. Because the only time Auburn was able to mount a challenge was when Georgia went to a soft zone. Because when Georgia abandoned the soft zone, Auburn didn’t move the ball on the last series.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Derek

                They fumbled on our 32 and missed a FG at our 29 in the first half.

                I’d consider those challenges mounted.

                Like

              • Uglydawg

                Auburn didn’t move the ball on the last series because Kirbs made Gus use his time outs on Georgia’s previous series, thus making AU one dimensional which is much easier to defend. With those TOs, went a lot of AUs playbook. (BTW..as an aside..the clock keeper had some nimble fingers when it came to pushing the “stop” button after each play for those last few minutes)
                I agree with both sides of this (Bluto vs Derek) disagreement. Nothing wrong with milking the clock..the art is to know when to start pulling on the clock’s teats. Kirby started too soon. And if Kirby would admit it, he was regretting it after AU’s quick second score. He was overconfident (and so were we..with that 21 to 0 sitting up there).

                Liked by 1 person

                • Cojones

                  “…..pulling on the clock’s teats.” is an expression gem that fills the bill for the old “milking the clock” meme. Kudos on a metaphor for a metaphor.

                  Liked by 1 person

              • That crowd was semi stung mid way and end of the 3rd quarter…UGA’s 3 and outs (6) in the 4th quarter contributed immensely to the momentum swing (14 pts.)…soft zone or not the D.C.’s hand was forced, whether the staff wants to admit/deny changes were made,….DAWGS WIN!

                Like

            • Will (the other one)

              Of course it’s the playcalling that made the offense a huge liability most of the day and possibly starting over half the drives going run-run-pass results in the offense staying on the field longer, even if no points are scored.

              Like

            • Ldawg

              5 plays, 57 yards, 1:08 time elapsed. That soft zone was working great.

              Like

          • 4th & Kirby

            C’mon Senator, you know you can’t question Kirby. Tools like Derek refuse to acknowledge poor coaching in their savior.

            Like

            • Derek

              If you’re not one of the other non-existent UGA coaches that have won three straight East titles, you’re the tool.

              I’ve questioned CKS plenty. For example, the two fake kicks last year were indescribably dumb.

              Like

        • How about this for a situation:

          For three quarters, you have absolutely stymied the opposing offense. They have no answers, have shown no ability to run, very limited in the passing game, and they are now down 21-0. What do you do? Do you continue playing the same defense that the offense hasn’t solved, or do you play back, keep everything in front of you and let the offense start making some headway?

          The first Auburn drive was 12 plays to go 75 yards and it took 5 minutes. On that drive, they had to earn it… even if Stokes had two missed plays that could have ended that drive without points. The next drive went 57 yards in 68 seconds to get the team within one score with seven minutes left in the game. So, they weren’t up 7 with 8:00 to play due to hypothetical blown man coverages, they were up 7 with 7:00 to play due to really real zone coverage. Auburn ended up with 329 total yards, and more than half of those came in the fourth quarter.

          It gave hope to a team with none. It respected an offense that deserved none. It was a repeat of other games that were unnecessarily close or outright losses that shouldn’t have been. The criticism is justified, and it has nothing to do with “situational” football.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Derek

            So they didn’t have drives that ended in a fumble at our 32 or a missed field goal from our 29 in the first half? That’s the game I watched. I guess I’ll go back and watch the game where they did absolutely nothing for three quarters.

            Is there a YouTube clip?

            Like

            • Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, as the saying goes.

              Having two drives which seemed threatening on some level but ended in ZERO points is the same as having no drives at all, in my book.

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            • The Truth

              Derek, I’m generally on the other side of the argument but I think you’re making some good points. I’d argue the Nix fumble you keep referencing was more of a takeaway by us than a giveaway by them, and the result of a more aggressive defense we weren’t playing for much of the 4th quarter.

              Like

    • Reverend Whitewall

      Context matters. One decision was with 1:37 on the clock. The other was made with an entire quarter still to play. I think both decisions were incorrect, given the time left on the clock/game situation.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. David K

    I don’t think it’s that bad of a defensive strategy when you’re up 21-0 in the 4th quarter. Kirby’s being cute with his verbiage here because in his mind they’re always playing aggressive and hard on defense. If we could’ve gotten a few first downs on offense and held onto the ball for a few drives even without resulting in points, then we would’ve won without the stress. Problem is the offense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reverend Whitewall

    I hope Biggus Rickus doesn’t read this. He was quite adamant yesterday that we were all wrong with this observation.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      I did read it. So he lied about it probably. But you know what would actually settle the matter? Someone analyzing what Georgia actually did throughout the game.

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      • Reverend Whitewall

        Just picking at ya, Biggus. But you’ve got lots of knowledgeable people (not including myself in that list, I’m just a fan like the rest of us here) all saying the same thing, including one who played against our defense “throughout the game”. 🙂

        In the end it doesn’t matter. It was just a seemingly odd thing for him to say. But he got the job done. HBTFD!

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  7. You play zone … you better not have busts on the back end and you better tackle a guys immediately on short stuff. We didn’t do either.

    Kirby was trading yardage for time. He was trying to get Auburn to do what FU did for him. Problem was we gave up a couple of chunk plays. When the offense went into turtle mode and didn’t generate first downs, that’s a recipe for disaster.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. MGW

    My best guess is the whole “stand by your OC” thing is recruiting PR. Long as we keep winning it won’t matter. If we get tripped up again, he can always make a change in the offseason, but there’s nothing to be gained right now by publicly trashing your OC mid-season. You need the players to keep buying in now, and you need to show confidence in what you do to recruits.

    Kirby knows we need to score more. Doesn’t matter how dominant you are; a 14 point lead can evaporate in about 14 seconds of clock with a couple of quick mistakes regardless of how well prepared or more talented you are.

    Winning in spite of that kind of margin of error is not a virtue, and Kirby knows it. Already cost us one game and we have far better competition coming up soon.

    Like

    • illinidawg

      So you really think Coley is not doing EXACTLY what Kirby wants him to do?

      Liked by 2 people

      • MGW

        Yes I do. I just don’t think he’s coaching/doing it as effectively as Kirby expects.

        I think one of three things will happen: 1. we’ll win the national title (or at least the SEC) in 2009 Bama style like we’ve been doing all year; 2. The offense will start to click and score a lot more (we’ll either win big down the stretch or it won’t be the offense’s fault that we don’t); or 3. We’ll have a new OC by mid January.

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        • Cojones

          Kirby and the OC are a finishing part to the scheme that has many inputs from stat people and other disciplines who wield input to each call. They aren’t the only ones formulating what to do and that’s why I throw in the “in the arena” blurbs from time to time. That expression isn’t meant to demean the post of others, but rather is to remind that most football programs don’t have a “my way or the highway” HC or OC call for all plays and are scheming for what they see on the field at that moment and preparing their next move/countermove in that game of chess.

          The posts towards our 4th qtr frustrations are more on the mark today than what I’ve skimmed over recently where some consider they are better coaches than those we hire for millions. It makes for a good dialogue that some of us neophytes can digest without having to spit out the husks in order to get to the nutrient rich grain of the subject. Short: It doesn’t come off as hypercritical and self absorbing as some posts have been.

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  9. RangerRuss

    It appeared in the 4th qtr the Dawgs went to a Pre-vent D which possibly would’ve been more effective had they not gone into a Pre-vent O. I’m tempted to suggest Kirby develop some ice water in his veins. But I ain’t being paid $7 million a year to coach so I’ll shut the fuck up.
    Go Dawgs!

    Like

  10. Classic City Canine

    It drives me bonkers that Kirby would rather lie through his teeth (and treat fans and media as rubes who can’t see through the lie) than admit he made a mistake. Low character move Kirbs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But he admitted he made a mistake….. when he used the f-word and made Mary Beth mad!

      EPIPHANY

      We just need to make sure Mary Beth is mad when he lies about defensive schemes….. and when he runs so much up the middle. Hmmmmm.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. PTC DAWG

    Absolutely, our D did the right thing in the 4th…as others have said, made AU burn time, and TO’s…

    Also, WINNING…

    Like

  12. Mike Cooley

    There was some argument here about this very topic yesterday. There are those who don’t like for you to point out that Kirby is full of shit about this. I don’t care about that. But it’s annoying that he loves to tell everyone that they really didn’t see what they saw.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Dawg151

    I have no problem with going into a bit of a prevent mode defense…but ONLY if the offense can be relied on to pick up a couple of first downs and milk the clock a bit when we have the ball. That was most definitely NOT the case on Saturday. It seemed like when we got the ball back on offense, we may have run off about 30 seconds of clock, if that. Yeah, we forced Auburn to use timeouts, but the way the offense closed that game as incredibly incompatible with the type of defense we chose to run during a large portion of that 4th quarter. We’re lucky it didn’t get us beat.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. FlyingPeakDawg

    21-0 on Auburn at the end of the 3rd Q? Kirby had to stop that runaway train. With TAMU and tech to go, he couldn’t let this team get a big head. He wants them on edge. He went vanilla by holding Jake back and playing soft D. It works. Forget this and the HBTFD quotes, the real quotes to focus on are the ones about how much work they still have to do. That’s where he wants the team psychology and it’s working. He’ll build the crescendo for the LSU game when our offense finally cuts loose. This is really Smart football (pun intended) as the other theories imply Kirby doesn’t know what he’s doing and making mistakes. That doesn’t fit everything else we know and see about his attention to detail. It’s a dangerous gamble, but a calculated and worthy one to take. Look for more of the same against TAMU, a relaxed scrimmage vs. tech, and then our best offensive showing of the year against LSU.

    Like

  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Kirby: It was a perfect defensive call. Absolutely perfect. We didn’t do anything different, and we won the game. No harm, no foul.

    Like

    • Cojones

      And beat the spread and the under.

      Like

      • Macallanlover

        I had both! And neither was in doubt until this stupidity. Still, I will take a W in that game, one I wasn’t much more than 55/45% sure we would get. But all that counting my money stopped when we let them march down, unchallenged for that 1st score in the 4th. Different if that point just brought the clock down to around 2 minutes left.

        Like

  16. Gurkha Dawg

    It’s really too bad. Once you realize that a man is lying to your face, it’s hard to trust him again about anything. I realize a coach is not going to get up there and give away his strategy and tactics, but he could be honest and say : “we probably went to the zone too early, and it almost cost us the game. That’s on me”. I think everyone would respect that.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. hooper

    Playing D with your O in the 4th with a lead is in Smarts blood. Catch a easy pass over the Middle, game over. Intercept the ball in the end zone, game over. We beat the war tiggers, I don’t think bama does. FTMF

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    • PTC DAWG

      Concise review.

      Like

    • Will (the other one)

      If Bama loses it’d break a pretty long-standing trend (Auburn hasn’t gone .500 vs us and the Tide this decade. Gotta go back to the pre-Saban days to find an Auburn team that didn’t either beat both rivals or lose to both in a season.)

      Like

  18. Was never really all that concerned as I figured we’d clamp down when we had to against that mediocre offense .

    Like

  19. Athens Townie

    I get that mocking tags like “Mr. Impose Your Will” are ironic and amusing. But this “Mr. Impose Your Will” guy is (arguably) giving us the best three consecutive seasons we’ve had in a long time. He’s also a brand new, young coach with a lot to learn still. Meanwhile, he’s recruiting at a level completely unknown at this school or 99% of the others.

    What bothers you so much about him?

    Liked by 1 person

    • illinidawg

      No shit, I expect the unhinged shit during tense games but this “Kirby is a liar” is ridiculous.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      Good question, inquiring minds want to know.

      Like

    • ASEF

      All those positives are noted constantly in posts here.

      But in-game strategy and sitting on leads is not what this coaching staff does very well. Auburn having the ball in the 4th twice with a chance to tie was entirely a function of Georgia shifting strategy. Period.

      I get the theoretical “by the book” reasons why coaches start trading yards and points for minutes, but it’s as much a calculated risk as sticking with the strategy that built a 21-0 lead.

      Anyone arguing that Auburn was credibly capable of 3 scores in 1 quarter against the defense that shut them out for the 3 previous is smoking crack. So we give them a defense they can score on to “shorten the game?” Ok

      This is a clear area of needed improvement for Kirby imo.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Athens Townie

        I agree he needs to get better and improve himself as a coach. There’s no doubt. I also think he’s doing a hell of a job — objectively, it’s really hard to argue against that.

        My question was actually about the mocking tone in some of the posts about Kirby. It’s a recurring thing. I was just curious if there’s something behind that.

        Like

    • dawgtired

      “He’s also a brand new, young coach with a lot to learn still.”

      This is my thinking as well. He has to learn. I’m guessing that he noticed that Auburn scored 2 TDs on the ‘conservative D’ in a short period of time and scored nothing on the pressure D the all of the rest of the game.
      And since he went back to the pressure D after the less than successful conservative D, AND is denying that it was a conservative D anyway, there’s a chance we won’t see it again. Lesson learned, Kirby is instantly a better coach.

      Like

    • Thought the post was pretty clear — I don’t like having my intelligence insulted.

      It is possible to think that Kirby is doing a great job without believing he walks on water. YMMV, of course.

      Like

      • illinidawg

        Before the Florida game there was a similar post and I asked you “Are you mad”. You said “ask me after the Florida game”. I did but you didn’t reply. So we beat the Gators and beat Auburn so I guess, if I asked again, I’d get “ask me after the A&M game”?

        Like

      • Athens Townie

        I was curious if there was something behind the mocking tone a lot of your posts contain with respect to Kirby. There’s a definitive saltiness — not saying I mind it, but I’ve noticed it. And I guess I’m not the only one.

        For the record, I agree with your observations re: the zone defense and, also, with Derek’s point about making them earn yardage/burn time in that look. On Florida’s late touchdown drive, the Georgia defense made them eat almost half of the 4th quarter. Nice trade when you’re up by multiple scores. Kirby’s playing the situations and the odds.

        Personally, I think he’s one of the very best coaches in the country for this job. But I think he has a lot to learn and definitely doesn’t walk on water. After a few seasons, we’re seeing his weaknesses more clearly. But, so far, the strengths surpass any coach we’ve had since … _______?

        If you let coachspeak insult your intelligence, you’re bound to be insulted rather frequently.

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        • “It’s not like we went conservative” isn’t coachspeak. It’s ass covering.

          Auburn’s last scoring drive took all of 1:08, so I don’t get the Florida comparison.

          Again, I think Kirby’s doing a fine job, but BS is still BS.

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          • Athens Townie

            You don’t get the comparison? Or the results were just different?

            Against Florida, that zone strategy worked. They scored but burnt up the clock and sealed the game. It didn’t work against Auburn, and Georgia had to go back to tighter coverage on the last drive to seal the game.

            In any case, that’s not the main point of my question. I was just wondering what Kirby did to earn the mockery or scorn or whatever the tone reflects. You don’t owe me any explanation, obviously. I was just curious why he seems to rub you the wrong way.

            Like

            • How many different ways do you need me to say “BS is still BS”? I really don’t know how else to say it.

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              • ASEF

                “Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining” is maybe the phrase you are looking for.

                Are PR firms just telling their clients to deny the obvious these days and stick to it no matter what? My 14 year old would agree wholeheartedly.

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  20. Macallanlover

    Stupid strategy, at that point of the game, and just as stupid to deny what everyone saw clearly, and has indisputable video evidence of. AU and their fans were dead, Kirby lit a flame under everyone in urnge and blue and made the impossible, totally possible.

    I don’t know how long it takes him to learn the lesson he should have learned with what Riley did to OU in the Rose Bowl, and the one he repeated in the 2nd half of the very next game against Bama. During that off season I would have bet serious money that we wouldn’t see that again. We were playing perfectly, up 21-0 on the road. Next thing I knew we were on our heels and the entire stadium and sideline was on their feet dancing like it was 2007 in Sanford with the Dawgs celebrating. Yeah, they both turned out well for us, but others haven’t.

    I worry about people that don’t continue to grow and adapt. Kirby came in with solid support but he has to evolve in how he manages this program, both on offense, and in how he manages the clock/leads. The game is more explosive than it was when his father coached it, and when he served under Saban. Teams overcome 21+ point leads every week, usually more than once every week. He put that game in harm’s way for no obvious reason.

    Now, if you tell me he had told someone before the game, “we are going to kick their teeth in early, have them begging for mercy, then just lay down and tease them by exciting their team and the whole stadium full of scummy fans to make them think they live out their fantasy. Then at the last moment, turn their oxygen off and watch them die as I laughingly shout: “How bout them fucking Dawgs!” Then I would send in a large, special donation to his favorite charity, and declare him the GOAT. But no one has come forward and told that story, so I will continue to worry about when he will wake up….cause that was just dumb. I felt like we had lost, and they had won at the end. I get it, we won, but that inexcusably reckless.

    Like

    • The Truth

      “Now, if you tell me he had told someone before the game, “we are going to kick their teeth in early, have them begging for mercy, then just lay down and tease them by exciting their team and the whole stadium full of scummy fans to make them think they live out their fantasy. Then at the last moment, turn their oxygen off and watch them die as I laughingly shout: “How bout them fucking Dawgs!” Then I would send in a large, special donation to his favorite charity, and declare him the GOAT.”

      Mac, this enters the pantheon of my favorite GTP comments. Good work.

      Like

  21. illinidawg

    He’s a liar and dumb.

    Like

    • Reipar

      A liar yes but dumb implies totally incompetent. I think a better description is he’s a liar and at times makes stupid decisions.

      Like

  22. We clearly went into a zone D with the corners playing way off, which we hadn’t done all game. They picked us apart with runs, passes and QB runs on that one drive. Then we went back to man and clamped down, especially on their last 2 possessions.

    I agree Auburn found a rhythm but I don’t know why Kirby would say that they didn’t change anything. Folks will get mad about this conflict but watch the replay. Just the 4th quarter if nothing else.

    Like

  23. Our entire approach, on BOTH sides of the ball, seemed to get way too lax with way too much time left,
    imo.

    Start with not expecting the onside and go from there.

    Like

  24. Also, I agree with points above about it really coming down to the offense. The offense just getting even a couple first downs likely would have kept Auburn from even getting the ball with a chance to tie.

    This was my only concern with Bobo, especially with some teams that didn’t have half the defense they have now. His offenses would often move the ball too well and too quickly. Coley is sometimes the polar opposite. They can both lead to your defense being on the field too much. Even as great as some of the Bama defenses h have been they had offenses that could at least give them some rest.

    Like

  25. LSU could actually make our defense look bad if our offense can’t sustain some drives.

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  26. Duronimo

    Senator, your opinion is factually based. It seems like yesterday that we were losing to Alabama this very way. And while we’re talking about facts, may I point out that Coach Dooley’s running play of choice was the pitchout. It’s how he put his best backs in position to exhibit their skills. The manball component was that it “ran” the defense until their tongues hung out. Sending 5 star backs straight into a stationary defense, is neither a good use of the talent nor does it wear out the defense. But it does run clock.

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  27. BuffaloSpringfield

    Kirby B.S.’s Havoc is BS, Explosive is BS it’s all about control, the clock, the management, the identity. The DB’s lined up 15 yds deep. You can’t see it on TV cause they don’t want you to see the entire game. You get the box and then isolation shots on receivers . The DB’s in the 4th quarter lined up ( cover 2, cover 2 man free ) beyond the sticks keeping it all in front. Only on the last 2 series did they M to M. Kirby is becoming a politician or perhaps he already was one since the 6 month waiting period, he lobbied for. He has total control and HE will not change. Just Saban with less wins. Both can bite his ass real quick. Recruiting, McGill Society, this is no longer your average working man’s Dawgs. They are CORPORATE…….

    Like

  28. Tony Barnfart

    We should run the 44 flatback rooskie play action pass (ie the david greene houdini PA) when the other team knows we’re in churn clock mode and sells out on the run. It’d be 6, game over.

    Like

  29. JaxDawg

    Maybe this post is dead, but I decided to focus on on the 4th quarter and see if I could get a pulse on what happened. Disclaimer: I’m a fan of the game, but never played it.

    Auburn first drive of the 4th quarter: it was a corner blitz that didn’t make it home that created a chunk play to get Auburn in Business. That was followed by a missed INT by stokes (man coverage), and then a PI by stokes (man coverage) that created an easy punch in opportunity. My conclusion, we stayed aggressive, and we ended up getting burned for it.

    Our first 3 and out: several runs and we had to punt. One can argue with the run play selection, but given how the D had played all night, it’s not crazy to take time off the clock, and put the game in the Ds hands.

    Auburn’s second position and score: we definitely got conservative and played mostly soft zone. But when the emotion of the moment is stripped away (which is what we hope coaches do), we had just been burned being aggressive, and we had less time on the clock than the last drive, and a two TD lead. Making them work for it and preventing big plays makes sense. My conclusion: more conservative but understandable.

    Our next offensive possession: we have a 1 TD lead now and a seasoned QB. We got more aggressive on offenses. Had Wolf not dropped the first down pass, the end of the game probably would have looked different. As for the rest of that series, we we let Jake throw the ball, and Auburn’s pass rush and secondary won the day. It just happens some times when you’re playing a good defense. And make no mistake about it, that was as good of a defense as we’ve seen this year; possibly the best we will see all year.

    Auburn’s final drive: the defense was called aggressively and our pass rush got the job done.

    Final conclusion: we stayed aggressive and got burned quickly. We went softer and got burned, just a little slower. Then finally, when we knew we needed a stop to preserve the win, the D played aggressively and it payed off. So Kirby mixed in SOME soft zone with a 4th quarter lead, and it was after we stayed aggressive and lost a 1/3rd of that lead. I can’t argue with that approach. I don’t think we changed philosophy on D, just made some in the moment calls that were very sensible in hindsight. Great job by the D. With slightly better execution by both units (stokes dropped INT and Wolfs drop) this conversation never happens.

    Hard fought win by some damn good dawgs; coaches and player alike.

    Like