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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tigers' offense struggles to seal the deal at MSU

It's an off day on the Auburn beat, a rare Saturday during the fall away from the football stadium. Naturally, I'm going to spend the entire day watching football on TV. Ahh, variety.

Anyway, I wrote a follow-up story on Auburn's 17-14 win at Mississippi State. It's about how the offense struggled to seal the deal in the second half. Here's how it starts:
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Cam Newton was fully aware of why Auburn came away with a 17-14 win at Mississippi State on Thursday night.

The quarterback knew it had little to do with him or any other member of the offense.

“We put our defense in some binds,” he said, “I’m not going to sit up here and lie. Our defense had a heck of a game. And that’s the sign of a good team.

“When the offense isn’t going so hot, the defense has to be able to step up and hold the team down, and they did that.”

Auburn is 2-0 and the only SEC team with a league win because of a strong defensive effort, holding Mississippi State to 246 yards in the game and no points in the final 24 minutes.

But the Tigers struggled offensively, gaining only 348 yards, the first time in offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s time on the Plains they’ve gained less than 400 yards in a game and won.
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10 comments:

CrownsCaster said...

The offense had chances to score in the 2nd half. The hold on Fannin's run down to the 10 or 12 yard line was a huge error. We missed 1 FG towards the end of the game. There will be games like this where the D will have to win it for you and they did just that. I'm not worried about Gus Malzahn's offense in the least. 350 yards is his "bad" game whereas under Tuberville it was 150or 200 yards!

Andy Bitter said...

I think some of the play-calling near the end was also aimed at trying to milk the clock, knowing that the defense had been shutting MSU down for most of the half.

This was the first time I can remember the Tigers actually working the clock like that to run out a game. Under Malzahn at least.

Moose said...

Andy, are you worried by the offensive display you saw Thursday? I think it was a combination of being on the road and the offense just having an off day. Any sign of worry from Malzahn or others? Luper concerned about Fannin?

AUsome mom said...

That's why they say defense wins championships. We can't just try to outscore everyone in the SEC. We have to be able to depend on our defense. Great read Andy!

AUBURN GUYS said...

Did you hear anything about why the SEC allowed the Cowbells to be used against the rules. It got out of hand when they used them while Auburn had the ball.

Clint Richardson said...

Lee Ziemba's mother, Dawn, added me as a friend on Facebook a couple of months ago and I sent her an email asking her about Lee and she said 'He's fine...just a little lineman arthritis.' So I dont see his career starts record-breaking attempt being in jeoperdy

MikeP said...

This game was the first time under Chizik that the coaching staff has demonstrated the ability or willingness to slow the game down and put a "W" in Auburn's pocket. There will be several games in every season when that's the smart thing to do.

I'm as happy with this win as any since Chizik's been here. The way the coaches managed this game shows maturity and confidence. KUDOS!

Bootskii said...

Well this was not only a tough game for us, but a tough situation. We only had a couple of days to get ready for this game. It was an SEC road game on a Thursday. Those aren't easy what so ever. I would like to see another team go into hostile territory in the same situation and play with the tenacity our team played with.

stealthyfan said...

The game was an opener. All the players know, especially Cam Newton, that their efforts were not up to par. Call it jitters.
They left 17-21 points on the field Thursday. They know it (team members at AHS game to support Luper's son) and the coaches know it. I expect this is hte focus of practice this week. But, time management is a ?.

Tar Heel Tiger said...

AUBURN GUYS - there will be no penalties for cowbell misuse during the season.

Per some beat hack's story last week:
"Violations of those guidelines could result in the school receiving escalating fines: $5,000 for a first offense, $25,000 for a second and $50,000 for a third. No in-game penalty will be assessed."

I don't know if the SEC office will publicize the fines and, if so, as they occur or just a cumulative total at the end of the year.