Monday, September 28, 2009

Auburn Wins!?

Another Auburn victory(?) this week, this time at the hands of Ball State. Auburn gave Ball State an early lead with a punt that bounced off Anthony Gulley's chest and was recovered around Auburn's 20-yard line. It looked like Auburn was going to allow another score on the Ball State's next possession until Zac Etheridge forced a fumble after a completed pass right around the same spot. Luckily, a couple of possessions later, Ball State returned the earlier favor, fumbling and giving Auburn the ball around their own 25-yard line. After a sloppy first quarter, Auburn and Ball State tied, 7-7.

In the second quarter, Auburn scored a quick touchdown, followed by a safety, followed by another touchdown set up by a 62-yard run by Ontario McCalebb that appeared to be in the endzone (at least from where I was sitting, which was down toward the other end of the field). After another short possession, time-wise, Auburn put up a 65-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Zackery. So in about the first two and a half minutes of the second quarter, Auburn had scored 23 more points. Unfortunately, that was all Auburn had until a last minute field goal. Auburn tried a fake punt from their own 33-yard line that fooled no one on the Ball State side, giving them a short field, ultimately yield a field goal. Auburn leads at half, 33-10.

At this point, I feel pretty good about my 59-10 prediction. Auburn has shut down Ball State's offense, giving up about 75 yards and no points if they didn't give Ball State a short field to work with. The second half, however, is a different story.

Auburn sent out the bad tackling unit for the second half, giving up a touchdown on Ball State's first drive, bookended by two Auburn touchdowns. It's 47-17 at this point, but then in the fourth quarter, Auburn looked really bad, giving up three scores, two on sustained drives. Final score is Auburn 54, Ball State 30. Yes, you read that correctly: 30 points to Ball State. Same number that Auburn gave to West Virginia, a far superior team. More than they gave up to SEC division rival Mississippi State. I'd like to think Auburn had a good game, and maybe they do if the game was only three quarters long (I guess they'd be "thirds" then). We left in the fourth after a Neil Caudle interception set up a Ball State field goal.

The box score looked much better, except for the two turnovers and the just over 24 minutes of possession. Chris Todd had his best game of the season (probably career if I had the time to go back and look), but Ball State came in to stop the run, and minus a couple of long runs by Caudle and McCalebb, they were successful. After the last two games, though, I think teams have found a way to hamper (I won't say "stop" since the passing game has looked good in that same stretch) Auburn's offense. Watch out for a hard-fought game next week as Auburn travels for the first time this year to visit a Tennessee team who held Florida in check. I'll probably be peeking out from behind my hands during that game.


  1. Having watched the game in person with Brocktoon, I was very disappointed with the play of the defense and allowing Ball State to score so many points. Having reflected on it a bit further, I still think we have problems on defense, but I think it mostly has to do with depth. Yeah, this is not the kind of AU defense most are used to, but I think it's good enough so long as the offense continues to click.

  2. I think our defense under coach roof can be good, but right now it is wafer-thin. (thanks Monty Python!) Our first 14 or so can play with anyone... however the next 10, not so much.