Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ole Miss Review

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I love to BBQ. Like, it's getting to be one of my favorite past times. So, any time there is an opportunity to spend the day BBQing, count me in. And, if it's a game weekend, you might as well make a party of it. So, I did. Much to the chagrin of my  wife, I got on Facebook and invited a bunch of people over for a tailgate/bbq/darts/ballgame/letyourkidsplaywithmykids evening. It all started out on Thursday as I got the Boston butt in a solution of brine and let it rest over night. On Friday, I removed the butt, drained it, and rubbed the butt down with a dry rub. Back in the fridge it went until midnight. 

In the meantime, Alyse and I had to fulfill our parental duties by escorting our kids on for Halloween. If you didn't know, Outback has a "kids eat free" on Halloween, so we headed to continue our tradition. And, apparently I had forgotten that something in the water at Outback makes our kids go crazy. They are generally well behaved, but they are trolls. I think it's because we get there at 5 and the wait staff isn't quite ready, so the food takes forever and we never get bread service. 
We visited some family and then we convinced the kids that they were tired. In reality, I knew that I had a long night and even longer Saturday ahead of me. So, after the kids went to bed, I watched some TV, then got the butt cooking around midnight. 

Then, it was right back at it at 6am Saturday morning as a I stoked the coals and we were off. Of course, the wind and the cold weather made it nearly impossible to keep the grill over 225 degrees, no matter how hard I tried. That's the perfect temp, but I had to constantly feed the fire to keep it going at 225. But, I managed. In the meantime, I kept the brown sugar glaze piled on, the apple woods smoking, and the water pan full of my half and half water/apple cider vinegar. Sure enough, the butt came off and was delicious, especially slathered in my EOTWAWKI BBQ Sauce. At least, the scraps I ate were. In the meantime, the house was full and rocking. Even the garage was full as we threw darts and had a great time. 

Sure, we had more Bama fans than Auburn fans, but what else is new. They were even cheering for Auburn...most of the time. But, we had a great time!

So, let's talk about the game. If you didn't read it, go read my Ole Miss Preview. Let's see how it turned out. 

You may recall that I pointed out that Ole Miss continues to receive more media hype than any team since the 2004-2005 USC teams. they wilt down the stretch each of Freeze's years, manage to win a late game or two, and end with a solid Bowl game, which feeds into the next year.  Don't get me wrong, I hope they knock off Mississippi State. They are a GOOD defense, but Bama's performance against them in a prime time setting sure made them look better than they really are. I said that they looked suspect against the run, and that the ability to run and win the time of possession, was their weakness. Sure enough, Auburn ran for over 250 yards behind a terrific CAP performance for 143 with a long of only 20. Marshall added 50 yards for 2 TDs on his own. We expected a multi-faceted attack. Grant, Thomas, and Louis all were involved and all had solid additions. 

As I expected, Marshall was very efficient with the ball and while I only thought he would have 15 total attempts, he was 15-22 for 254 and 2 TDs. 

We talked about Coates and if he would look like his old self. He didn't break out and show that world class speed, but his ability to come down the with the ball are unquestionable,as he did one no less than 2 catches Saturday night. But, like I said, there haven't been any throws made in space. He did manage to have 120 odd receiving yards. Duke added 70 more. After those two, not much of anything to report. But, again, it's efficient and it worked. 

Defensively, Auburn stuffed the run for a total of 59 yards, but allowed 2 TDs. Wallace led the attack, just as we expected, but he was kept in check for the most part. Much of Ole Miss' rushing yards were on single plays such as Core's 23 yard run. 

The passing attack was just as deadly as I thought it would be, and the weapons I talked about were on full display. Evan Engram showed why he is a Gronk-type tight end....exploding for over 120 yards and a TD, leading the Ole Miss attack. Treadwell checked in at 3rd with 103 yards and a TD. He garnered the most attention, as he should. He is an NFL type receiver and it pained me to see him get hurt. In the end, Wallace was able to throw for buuku yards without managing to find the other team even once, an impressive accomplishment for him. But, he did what he typically does, turning it over when it really matters, as he did inside the 10. 

In the end, Auburn allowed far more points than I expects, but forced 2 late turnovers. I have to admit, I would have given up on the play against Treadwell, but Frost didn't. He even put his elite LB speed to the test by running Treadwell down from behind. 

Special teams. Eh. Auburn can't seem to get the return game going. Additionally, the one time we needed a big punt, Auburn shanked one. 

Looks like we were dead-on on our players of the game. CAP lead the way to Auburn's multi-faceted rushing attack for 250 yards and 3 TDs. Engram had a monster day and the Treadwell/Jones matchup was interesting, but not as compelling as I thought it would be. Maybe that's because Ole Miss threw the ball all over without a single INT.

As far as score, we were a long way from the 24-17 I thought we would see.