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Post Game: Auburn

11:30 AM kickoff the day after Halloween? Ouch. Friday night ended at 4:00 AM for this devoted bloggeur, and 9:30 rolled around far too soon. JUCO and I had debated not attending the game, and instead watching on TV and taking game notes for my report (media passes were hard to come by this week, so no sideline tomfoolery…). Appropriately for this blog though, rabid fandom prevailed over any attempt at serious journalism, so we embarked on the long walk to the stadium, stopping at Abner’s on the way over to procure the best hangover cure known to man: french fries. Despite our decision not to take careful game notes, we made a conscious decision to pay more attention and play less grab-ass. Here is my set of (hopefully) insightful observations:

1. Jevan Snead looked about as groggy and out of it in the first half as I was. I really do wonder if we push him too hard early on in a game. From what I’ve seen, he is far more likely to put a pass in the dirt or hang one up in the air during the 1st quarter than the 2nd. His ability to compensate for blitzes is still lame. Maybe it is harder than I imagine to be able to audible successfully at the line after only a few months in a new offense. This, and other intelligence-related development by Snead, might determine whether or not we win the West before he leaves. A truly exceptional QB would have put us in Atlanta this year, despite our other faults. We know Snead can do it, let’s just hope he does.

2. Run blocking tenacity has improved. Significantly. Markuson seems to be slowly making his players want to completely dominate their men, and it has paid off the last two games when it counted. Cordera Eason is doing really well, but I love to see the freshmen get the rock. Enrique Davis needs to see the field more. I want him to see some payoff to his work in practice now so he doesn’t get frustrated and lazy.

3. This was a less than stellar game for the receivers, Shay Hodges’ badassness notwithstanding. A couple of times, I feel like they weren’t where Jevan expected them to be because they ran softer routes or didn’t finish them. Also, there wasn’t as much separation as Jevan is used to. He threw to some pretty well-covered guys because men weren’t getting open. I’m glad we’re seeing more receivers out there, but I can’t tell yet if they’re going to produce this year.


5. For awhile there, I was less than enthused about the playcalling, specifically the passing routes. It’s possible that it was only the routes that Jevan was throwing to that were poor decisions, but there didn’t seem to be as many obvious check-down options available to him.

6. Dear Greg Hardy: if you aren’t careful, Kentrell Lockett might make us stop missing you out there. He was excellent on the pass and the run. Peria Jerry is playing better football than any tackle in the conference right now. No, he isn’t an absurd physical freak, he isn’t 375 pounds, and he doesn’t have a Cajun last name, but Jerry is our best player right now. Overall, we’re playing run defense like some of Brewer’s better teams. Now about those cornerbacks…

7. I was watching the first half of the game on DVR last night after dinner, and when the TV crew announced the names of our linebacking corps, they said something like, "they don’t have a star, they just run to the ball." I’m ok with that. Palmer, Walker, and Trahan are all more than serviceable. None of them may get a chance to play on Sundays, but don’t count out any of the three. They are all plenty fast and like to hit. Nothin’ wrong with that. The Mike LB’s aren’t as solid, but I still like watching Fein’s scary-ass tattooed arms maul defenders (from the safety of my 18th row S. Endzone seat). Now about those cornerbacks…

8. What can you say? Defending a pass intended for a taller, stronger man in open space is one of the more simple-yet-difficult things to do in sports. It requires speed, great strength and body control, great vision and anticipation…And we don’t have anyone that is particularly good at it. Start recrootin’, Chris Vaughn…

9. Jamarca Sanford: I can’t decide whether I’ll miss him next year or not. Until I see him hit somebody. I love the contact in this game, and Jamarca Sanford is the only guy on our defense who can consistently get the F=MV2 equation to work in his favor. Kid can bring it.

10. Dex won the game. No doubt. I'd dogged him before, but he's fixed his fumble problem, and I don't think he'll lose the ball again all year. He has a vise grip on the rock, and he was stellar this weekend.

11. SEC replay officials completely disregard the part in the rules involving incontrovertible evidence. I'm glad I didn't have a media pass. I don't know what I'd have said if I'd been in that booth within earshot of the replay asshats.

Other miscellaneous gameday notes:

1. I like navy more than red. Keep it up, coach.

2. My new favorite Grove accessory: Deez Nuttz stickers, which were being handed out at a tent near the Alumni Center. Clever.

3. Razor scooters. I hate them. Your child does not need transportation in the Grove. I’m dutifully trying to get my drink on in the AM, and these little bastards are whizzing all around my legs, making me slosh my purple drank around. Unacceptable.

4. Nice Jumbotron, Pete. Even getting better at using it.

5. I’m glad we didn’t collectively dress up like the Joker like half of Texas Tech’s fans did. Lame. Also: you wanna know what MSU and USM combined would look like? Well, they’re #2 in the country, and they’re in Lubbock. Gross. Crabtree should get some Heisman looks, though. That last play was skraight gangsta.

6. State lost, lolz.

7. Going to Athens, GA next weekend. Expect a full damage report upon my return.

Hotty Toddy, and goodnight.

p.s., a little Youtube goodness that kept me going all week...