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3 Things That Worry Me About Auburn

A Bulldog team seemingly regressing. An opponent fighting for their head coach’s job. A backup quarterback. The Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Hate Week. And we don’t even get to blame Gary Danielson. What, me worry?  

NCAA FOOTBALL: NOV 12 Auburn at Georgia
Even their mascot has identity issues.
Photo by Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here is what I’m NOT worried about as we face the WarPlainsTiglesMen:

1) While Tight End Extraordinaire Brock Bowers did seem a bit banged up late in the Kent State game, he looked perfectly healthy by the 2nd half of the Missouri game. He has a deceptive gait – he outruns everyone but he looks like me running after overdoing it on a Bloomin’ Onion. That being said, the only thing faster than Brock Bowers in open space is our collective receding hairlines.

2) I was beginning to think that Todd Monken hated Australia. Because Bulldog punter Brett Thorson wasn’t getting too much action on the field. Thank goodness for the first quarter of the Missouri game. Now he’s no Jake Camarda, but I haven’t seen a shank yet and he’s putting plenty of air underneath the ball. In fact, I think only 2 of his 9 kicks have been returned.

3) The facts are that Auburn has a slightly better than average defense and a bottom third offense nationally. They didn’t impress anyone against their two opening cupcakes, they saw the inside of the woodshed against Penn State even though they were on the Plains, and Missouri had them beat twice before Auburn Jesus popped in. So not much to worry about, right?

Okay, I lied. This is the first of four things that worry me about Auburn. Because it’s Auburn. It’s an old rivalry that has been moved around for Auburn’s benefit (first the home-away rotation, now moved from it’s traditional November late-season date). We don’t care for Auburn. So I pay no attention to the fact that their coach is likely the next one to get fired; that they have issues at quarterback; that they are more turnover prone than even we are; that they haven’t won in Athens since 2005; and that Georgia is looking extremely vulnerable for a number 2 team in the nation.

I broke my hand punching a wall when Tiger QB Brandon Cox pulled something out of his you-know-what in 2005. The only good thing that came out of that was some restraint when Nick Marshall did the same thing in 2013. I am wary just because Auburn is weird and weird things come from interacting with them.

Now forgive me, as I was weaned at the nipple of Larry Munson’s scratch. So here’s more of what does worry me about trying to beat Tigers for the 2nd week in a row:

1) Tank Bigsby. I still regret we didn’t land Tank during his recruitment. And I bet the Auburn fanbase regrets not utilizing him more, or at least fielding a team decent enough to get him more national attention.

When Auburn played Missouri, Bigsby ran the ball 19 times for 44 yards (and a tuddy). Of those 19 attempts, Missouri hit him at or behind the line of scrimmage 17 times. We all saw that Missouri has a tremendous rushing defensive scheme… at times. My concern is if the Georgia front can get that much penetration and gap discipline to similarly bottle Tank up. Because if not, he will certainly hurt us.

2) The first quarter. In the last two games, the Bulldogs have not exactly executed on those 15 scripted plays. Aside from the Bowers 75 yard touchdown on the 2nd play of the Kent St. game, our first quarter possessions resulted in:

  • Muffed a punt reception, turning it over.
  • Threw an interception
  • Ran 12 plays for a paltry 36 yards resulting in a field goal.
  • 3 plays for minus 9 yards and a punt.
  • A fumble.
  • 3 plays for 2 yards and a punt.
  • 4 plays for 21 yards and a punt.

In the Missouri game’s first 15 minutes, we turned it over, didn’t score, punted 3 times, and trailed our opponent for the first time all season. I’d like to think this was a point of emphasis in practice this week. We can’t be the only ones seeing this trend.

3) That shovel pass has to go. If memory serves, we’ve tried it 3 times and I think all 3 to Bowers. It must look gorgeous under the IPF lights for them to keep going back to it. Because it looks horrible each time we’ve attempted it in a game. Each one looks like a turnover waiting to happen.

And that’s because we’re not getting the right push up front. Missouri made at least 7 tackles behind the line through 3 quarters. If your offensive line hasn’t established itself, why try something that tricky? I get the desire to use the talents of Brock Bowers in unconventional ways, but let him get out from behind the work-in-process O-line rotation.

Call me crazy, just don’t call me late for dinner. Sound off in the comments below what worries you about the Bulldogs of Georgia versus the Whatevers of Auburn. And as always…