Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Tennessee Game Review

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Take a second to go read up on my predictions on the Tennessee Preview.

So, how did I do? Well, obviously I was off on the final score. I guess I can't call them all perfectly, as I had with the Arkansas Game. But, I do have some things that went in my favor. The first thing I can think of was that either late Friday or early Saturday, I read that the spread for this game was 7 points. I immediately went to my Best5Zach Outdoors Facebook Page and said I would happily take Auburn against the spread. I didn't even think it would be close. Of course, after thinking about this, I did want to go back to my preview post and up that guess....alas, it was already in print so I decided against it.

Moving on. So, the first thing that stuck out to me was the play calling in the first series. Wow. Was THAT painful. I am all about mixing it up and breaking games open by bucking trends, but dang....3 straight incompletions to open the game. As we are all aware, Auburn only threw it 9 times to win at Arkansas. I didn't think that was any call for lining up and throwing the ball. Tennessee is one of the worst against the run teams in college football. It shouldn't matter if they put 12 men and Coach Jones in the box. Run the ball.

Additionally, the pick 6, bothered me. On 3rd and 4, on your own 23,  you call a behind the line screen where your QB throws it blindly? Never mind that he made a bad read and pass. I know it's easy to blame that. But, fact is, he fakes to the left, spins and throws it right....and right into defenders arms. Even if it worked out for the good, it still bothered me a lot.

However, the offensive play calling for the rest of the game was fantastic. Keep it on the ground and take them to Pound Town. Personally, I would have had Marshall and Mason out after the first series in the 4th quarter and let Johnnson get some SEC experience with CAP being a stud behind him.

The defense looked suspect at times, but what else is new? Although they didn't give up the touchdown on the first possession of the game, they did give up the field goal and looked thoroughly lost throughout the 10 play drive. The pass from Dobbs to North was ridiculous. Remember it? Dobbs threw it straight up in the air and it literally took 3 seconds for it to come back down. The Auburn defensive backs were confused...as were everyone watching the game. Yet, it was a 30 yard gainer. Additionally, the 3rd drive of the game resulted in a 12 play drive for another field goal. Additionally, the first play of the second quarter resulted in a Neal TD, coming from Mason's fumble.

As I had predicted, Neal went for over 120 yards and a TD, though he was held from long rushes. He did average 6.2 yards per carry. But, when UT got down from the special teams breakdowns, the run game was all but forgotten.

Dobbs did indeed make it out of the game, though he didn't have too many rushes. He made the most of one, going for 32 yards. He had 25 drop backs which resulted in a couple of sacks, an INT by (guess who) Therezie and only 128 yards to show for it. Not bad for the Auburn defense.

I was glad to see Therezie get another turnover, as I had expected. He has proven himself to be a true Auburn defender, as we have expected. He makes pass breakups, TD saving tackles, and has more INTs than the entire team did last year. I don't know why he doesn't get more love than he does from the media. Come next year, he could be a game breaker like we haven't seen since Groves, Dansby, etc.

Then there is special teams. I tell ya, I didn't expect them to really show up like they did, though I said I was expecting good things. 2 TDs and several long returns to show later, it appears that they might have turned the corner. I said it last week, but the one thing this team lacked to sell me on being a  real SEC contender was field flipping special teams. Well, guess what, they showed up in spades.

Auburn was nearly flawless against penalties.

Our impact players were hit and miss this week.
Therezie did get another turnover.
Frost didn't impress me. His pad level was terrible this week and he attempted way too many arm tackles.
Mason did was he does. Yardage wasn't ridiculous, but he found the endzone, though he put one in the dirt.
Sammy Coates had 1 target and didn't come down with it.

In review, I missed the score substantially. However, I did see it would be larger than the spread. Therezie getting another turnover, Mason having another multi-TD performance, and the special teams blew up BIG.