Auburn Football: Reaction to Mississippi State 28, Auburn 10


Photo courtesy of Zimbio.

Confetti falling from the ceiling at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Every college football fan in the country looking up to the Tigers. A Heisman winner putting the finishing touches on a magical season. A crystal ball standing atop a trophy that reads “2010 National Champions: Auburn University Tigers”.

That magical 14-0 2010 season is a distant memory for Auburn fans now. Since Cam Newton left, Gene Chizik is just 8-7, and this 2012 season has seen the Tigers get off to an absolutely terrible 0-2 start.

The program hit a new low Saturday, falling 28-10 to Mississippi State in Starkville. This is Dan Mullen’s first win over Auburn. It’s his first win over an SEC West team not named Ole Miss. It’s a breakthrough for the Bulldogs. Given the events of the Cam Newton saga, that hurts.

What also hurts is that the best-case scenario for Auburn this year is 7-5, if they’re lucky. 6-6 is the most likely result, and 5-7 is also a very real possibility. Here are some grades for Auburn’s loss to Mississippi State.

Offense: F

What a pathetic display of offense. We can pile on Kiehl Frazier all we want, but Scot Loeffler called a horrible game. The 2008 offense was better on most days than this offense. The Tigers scored 3 points on offense (set up by a fumble by Mississippi State). The only touchdown was a kickoff return by McCalebb. The Tigers finished the day with 216 yards and 15 first downs, but the offense was far worse than that. Through three quarters, Auburn had 90 yards of total offense and 7 first downs. 2-12 on third down? Bad. Five turnovers? Just terrible. In the first half, Kiehl Frazier was 1-7 for -2 yards. There were many reasons why this offense failed, but today revealed the truth: Frazier may be the quarterback this year, but he’s n0t the QB we all thought he was. He’s not the QB of the future. As for the running backs, what a terrible running game. Auburn ran for 91 yards in this game. Auburn’s leading rusher was Mike Blakely, who carried the ball 11 times for 42 yards. All in all, I’ve seen junior varsity offenses with better game-planning and execution.

Defense: D-

The only reason this isn’t an F is that the defense played well in the first half, which kept Auburn in the game longer than they should have been in it. However, in the end, the linebackers were terrible, the coverage was terrible, the tackling didn’t improve at all and the defensive tackles couldn’t do anything. The only bright spots were, once again, the defensive ends. In the end, Mississippi State scored 28 points, had 23 first downs and gained 388 yards of offense. This was another poor defensive effort, even while they weren’t beaten all game like the Clemson game. They didn’t get any help from the offense, but the defense was very disappointing today. I’m not impressed with Ted Roo… I mean, Brian VanGorder.

Special Teams: A+

Once again, a great special teams day. Auburn’s only touchdown came off a 100-yard kickoff return. The Tigers also made a field goal and blocked a Mississippi State field goal. Special teams was the lone bright spot for Auburn today.

Coaching: F

For the first time, during the game, I began to question Gene Chizik’s actual ability to coach. Auburn’s players weren’t prepared. The gameplan was just awful. Even with a struggling quarterback, Chizik kept Frazier in the game. Scot Loeffler called perhaps the worst game I’ve ever seen out of an Auburn offensive coordinator. It was that bad. Ted Roo… I mean, Brian VanGorder, hasn’t improved the defense at all. The missed tackles are there. They aren’t in position. That’s coaching. It seemed like there was no gameplan at all today. The coaching staff quit along with the players. The list goes on and on about the coaches’ failures today. I’m beginning to wonder why there was so much hype for Ted Roo… I mean, Brian VanGorder. His Falcons defenses were middle-of-the-pack at best and his Auburn defense is just bad. I’d dare say, worse than last year.

Overall: F

This was a dark day for Auburn football. An 18-point loss to Mississippi State that saw the Tigers put up a lifeless effort on both sides of the ball. The coaching was atrocious. The QB play was atrocious. The whole offense was atrocious. The whole defense was atrocious. What a terrible day for Auburn football. Just sickening.

Auburn’s MVP: Corey Lemonier, I guess. He’s the only player who could do something right today. Of course, it’s easy for me to sit here and say that, but it’s true. Lemonier had a good game, even though he was surrounded by 21 people who had a bad game.

Mississippi State’s MVP: Tyler Russell. The Mississippi State QB threw 3 TDs on 20-29 passing. He picked apart Auburn’s terrible secondary again and again and again. There isn’t much else to say about his performance other than he was a big reason why Mississippi State is 2-0.

Conclusion: I love Auburn. I love everything about Auburn, the university and the football program. That’s what makes this team so hard for me to watch. This team has the potential to be worse than the 2008 team. The schedule could easily see Auburn go 5-7 or 4-8. This game has changed everything about Auburn football. Now, Gene Chizik is in his fourth year and is just 16-12 outside of the 2010 season. Youth isn’t an excuse. Alabama is young, and they’re the #1 team in the country. There’s no reason the Tigers should be this bad this season, but they are. I’m not calling for Chizik to be fired, because I like him, but if he aquires players like Reuben Foster and Jeremy Johnson in 2013 and still can’t win, that seat will get scorching hot. Loeffler and Ted Roo… I mean, Brian VanGorder have a lot of work to do, both with players and themselves. This team is a wreck. A complete wreck.