Ole Miss: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly


October 13, 2012; Oxford, MS, USA; Mississippi Rebels running back Jeff Scott (3) runs away from a pair of Auburn Tigers defenders during their game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook – US PRESSWIRE

The Auburn Tigers traveled to Oxford, Mississippi Saturday to face the Ole Miss Rebels. Auburn, coming off an embarrassing loss to Arkansas the week earlier, faced a Rebel team that lost a heartbreaker to Texas A&M a week before. Although coming into the game with more momentum and wins than the Tigers, Ole Miss looked to breaking a 16 game losing streak to SEC opponents. Auburn, on the other hand, came into the contest looking to add one SEC win to their already abysmal 1-4 record. After the Arkansas lost, Auburn fans were puzzled and wondered exactly what was wrong with their team and if they could improve to try and finish the year strong.

They could not. Offensive production looked slightly improved throughout the first half although a high snap into the end zone gave the Rebels an easy seven points. New starting QB Clint Moseley finished the first half going nine for nine in passes. Defensively, the Tigers did not play great in the first half, but they did play well enough to keep them in the game. As if on cue, the second half became, once again, the destruction point of the Auburn Tigers. Offensive production came to a halt. Moseley’s second half performance was much different than the first. Clint completed two out of nine passes in the second half as well as adding an interception to the statistics. The Auburn defense, whether emotionally or physically exhausted, gave up big plays to end the game including a 34 yard touchdown scamper by Ole Miss running back Jeff Scott that made Auburn fans weep in remembrance of Michael Dyer.

Overall, the game was about as bad as for Auburn fans as the Arkansas game a week before. Even though I think I could make another “Bad, Ugly, and Disgusting” piece on the weekend’s performance, I will do my best to try and see a bright spot.  So, without further adieu, I give you the good, the bad, and the ugly from the Auburn/Ole Miss game.

The Good

We heard it all week leading up to the game on Saturday: Tre Mason must get more carries and Jay Prosch must be on the field more. Neither did not disappoint on Saturday. Tre Mason had what many call a “breakout game”. Mason carried the football 18 times for 82 yards which gave him an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Also, he had 2 touchdowns and a long run of 26 yards. It seems like Mason is really starting to find himself and will definitely be a playmaker to watch in the future.

Mason did not achieve these statistics alone. When fullback Jay Prosch was in the ballgame, the running game prospered. I remember Prosch being “The Good” for the Clemson game. The kid is just a wrecking ball. On one of Mason’s TD runs, Prosch blocked defensive end and then moved right on to the outside linebacker which allowed Tre to high step in the end zone. Why Jay has seemed to disappear over the last few weeks, I will never know, but it was good to see him back in action.

The Bad

Second half woes continue for the Auburn Tigers.  After what seemed like a promising first half performance by the Auburn offense turned into yet another joke in the second half. The Auburn defense, although playing a decent first half, seemed like they just threw their hands in the air after halftime. The second half has been the Tigers’ Achilles’ heel all year long. Here are the halftime scores of the six games Auburn has played this year:

Auburn-10 Clemson-13

Auburn-3 Mississippi State-7

Auburn-21 Louisiana Monroe-14

Auburn-10 LSU-9

Auburn-0   Arkansas-10

Auburn-17 Ole Miss-17

Just imagine if the Auburn Tigers could play more complete games. It could possibly be an entirely different year. How does a team fall during second halves of games? Could it be fatigue? What about adjustments? It does not matter the case, the problems fall on directly on “The Ugly” portion…

The Ugly:

Let us go ahead and get this out of the way: Scot Loeffler is gone. He is a dead coach walking at this point. I think Coach Gene Chizik made a terrible decision by heading toward the pro style philosophy on offense, which brings us to the true question…

The real question will be whether or not Auburn will give Chizik another year. For all of you people that have already marked Chizik as gone, do not be surprised if Auburn brings him back. Does he deserve another year after this year’s performance so far? No, not at all, but you must remember that this is a man that delivered the crystal football in just his 2nd year behind the arm and legs of a Heisman winner in Cam Newton. Also, Chizik made some tremendous hires in his first year: Gus Malzahn and Tracy Rocker. Should we abandon the head coach that made one really bad hire? What if Chizik is able to maintain the recruiting momentum and hire a new offensive coordinator that brings some fire back to Auburn? It is all speculation at this point, and you can honestly make some justifiable arguments either way: Player development has been lackluster at best. This is Chizik’s 4th year so the rebuilding process should be completed by now. Why, considering we have recruited the offensive line so well in the past few years is the offensive line still a weak area?

That is the biggest concern surrounding Auburn football right now, and it is totally understandable. However, as I stated above, you can make good arguments on each side. It will be interesting to see the future of Auburn football pan out.


Sometimes you just have to view things as they are: this Auburn football is not good and improvement does not look like it is going to happen anytime soon. However, I have seen flashes of greatness from the defense (Lemonier and Ford), but the offense is a complete train wreck. I seriously do not see this Auburn team winning many, if any, games left on the schedule. I expect defeats from the hands of Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Georgia, and Alabama. The New Mexico State and Alabama A&M games are toss ups at the moment. Is this what the Auburn football program has boiled down to? Winning against below average opponents and not even gaining one SEC victory?

The true interest concerning the Auburn football program will come from Jay Jacobs and the Auburn Board of Trustees. Will they advise Coach Chizik to fire Scott Loeffler during the season? After this dismal season, will Coach Chizik be fired or resign? What if Auburn decides to keep Gene Chizik for just one year? Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen because business is about to pick up.