The First Look – Bye Week
Like I said when we started this weekly post by JackTheRabbit, I would only post if I agreed with almost all of it. Let’s just say I was one point away from not posting it. Also, not really sure what he’s talking about with Tim Hawthorne. I seem to remember many absolutely awfully thrown balls coming his way. And no, the head coach does not need to change. That’s just stupid and down right Chicken Little.
At Least We Can’t Lose This Weekend
OK, so there’s no game this coming weekend, and quite frankly I’m glad. This off week could not have come at a better time. I was optimistic about this past weekend. I just knew Auburn would show up and take all of their frustration out on poor little Arkansas. I was excited to see how we would improve. Instead I witnessed probably the worst looking Auburn team since 1998 (and yes I do remember that season).
I know that our offense is undergoing some transitioning and that there’s a lot of confusion around how it should be running, but what surprised me is how much our killer defense underachieved Saturday. A 63-yard TD run by a tailback that can’t be taller than Nick Saban? A large portion of the defensive struggles had to do with time of possession. Overall, Arkansas had the advantage of TOP by a margin of a little over 10 minutes, but I seem to remember looking at the scoreboard during the 3rd quarter and seeing that at that time Arkansas had the ball 50% more than Auburn. There were still some great defensive highlights though. Casey Dick was pretty typical with his 2 INTs. The only difference between Auburn and most other Arkansas opponents is that Auburn wasn’t able to fully take advantage of those opportunities. Auburn came away with 13 points instead of 21 from Arkansas’ turnovers. Wow, we really could have used those 8 points.
Another observation from Saturday is that Auburn could have Tom Brady starting at QB and it would not have made a difference. Kodi made some plays and Kodi made some bad plays, but it became more and more obvious to me that our receivers, except Robert Dunn, aren’t holding up their end of the relationship. All season people have been calling for the benching of Todd and for Kodi to start, but having seen plenty of Kodi this weekend, I can tell that it does not matter. Our receivers are not going out there and laying it all on the line to make plays (I’m looking at you Tim Hawthorne).
Last observation I took away from Saturday is that these last two losses fall on coaching. I don’t think I need to bring up the previous Vanderbilt loss, however, I think that coaching is the guilty party in this weeks loss as well. When Chris Todd came in the game and we were on the 19 yard line with 3rd and long to go and we ran an option to the strong side and gained zero yards, I booed. I booed loudly. Not at Chris Todd, and not at Ben Tate. I booed the coaching decision. That’s the epitome of what our offense has been this season: a mismanaged, disorganized mess. The coaching has to change offensively. There is no doubt about that. Nallsminger 2.0, Tubsminger, or just Steve Ensminger won’t cut it. If we fail to get adequate personnel into the offensive coaching position then that’s when I believe it’s time to start looking at the head of the team. It’s time to stop taking these games out of the players hands and give them a chance to win.