Auburn Football Week 1: The Good, Bad & the Future

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Auburn Football Corey Grant
Photo by Todd Van


 

Auburn Football
Photo Source AL by Mark Almond

College football season is underway, and Saturday’s games felt like a coming soon movie preview, giving us a peek of what to expect during the 2013 season.That clean start, blank slate, now has a 1 in either the win or loss column, and fan’s dreams have been fueled or crushed. Both of my teams, South Carolina and Auburn, left the field with victories, neither of them very pretty. I was really hoping Auburn football week 1 would erase the painful memories of the 2012 season.

Unfortunately, even after Saturday’s win against the Washington State Cougars, I still have painful memories of our team being steam rolled last season. Where are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones with their Neuralyzer when you need them? (“Men In Black” reference for the readers that aren’t movie buffs)

Is it just me, or was anyone else underwhelmed by Saturday’s performance? I didn’t expect us to have a high scoring game, but I never imagined the game would come down to the final two minutes.

Auburn Football Week 1 The Good

Auburn Football Corey Grant
Photo by Todd Van Emst Auburn University

Offense: Our running backs looked AUsome. Tre Mason (73), Cameron Artis-Payne (52) and Corey Grant (146) powered for 271 yards. If Nick Marshall can calm down, and gain some confidence, our offense looks promising both in the air and on the ground.

Washington State University Quarterback Connor Halliday told The Spokesman-Review“They ran the ball real, real, real well. If they could find a quarterback, they’d be a top-five team in the nation. They just don’t have a guy who can throw it. That running game was something very, very impressive.”

Defense: Remember this name, Montravius Adams, the true freshman started his college career with a sack of WSU quarterback Connor Halliday. Robenson Therezie racked up two interceptions, and was named SEC Defensive player of the week! Overall, Auburn had three interceptions, last season we only had 2 interceptions. 2 interceptions total for the entire 2012 season Our defense is definitely moving in the right direction under Ellis Johnson. War Eagle!

Auburn Football Week 1 The Bad

Offense: Starting quarterback Nick Marshall completed 10 of 19 passes for 99 yards. Yes, we saw how powerful his arm can be, but without discipline and experience, its unimpressive. Washington State had 28 first downs compared to Auburn’s 16, and posted a total 464 yards. Auburn had 396 offensive yards. Remember this was against a non conference team, Georgia had 545 yards Saturday against Clemson.

Defense: Auburn’s defense didn’t show they understand the importance of rushing the quarterback, and the missed tackles reminded me of the 2012 season.

Auburn Football Week 1 The Future

Offense: Straight from the horse’s mouth to quote Halliday, our running game was impressive. Next week, Marshall should have a better idea of what to expect. Hopefully former Arkansas State Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, has the upper hand in anticipating the Red Wolves defense.

Defense: Our defensive future looks much brighter than it did last season. I believe in Ellis Johnson, his experience, and his proven record of knowing how to make adjustments. I think he’ll focus on improving Auburn’s pass rush, which will need to be solid by week three vs Mississippi State.

Biggest issue this Saturday may depend on how blood thirsty the Red Wolves are for a victory over Malzahn, Lashlee, and J.B. Grimes.

Overall, I’m excited to see more of what the future of Auburn football looks like under Gus Malzahn. What are your thoughts after Saturday’s game?

 

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