Auburn Football: Focus – Into the Bye


Focus is the key for the Auburn football team after losing to Mississippi State in Starkville last weekend.

There were more than a handful of mistakes that led to the Auburn loss. Busted assignments, penalties, and less than stellar quarterback play all contributed to the end of a 5-0 start. Both teams in the state of Mississippi remain unbeaten and the Tigers sit at number six in the polls.

Gus Malzahn met with Steve Shaw the head of SEC officiating, about some of the calls that were made last Saturday. It doesn’t look like the Auburn fans were the only ones disappointed at some of the penalties called last weekend.

Steve Shaw says he personally spoke with Gus Malzahn about several plays Auburn took question with against Mississippi State.

Auburn did not give the game away despite a 21-0 run by the Bulldogs. The Tigers recovered and slowly chipped away at the score. Though it was a valiant effort, the Tigers ultimately lost.

This game is almost a carbon copy of the LSU game last year. Auburn had two critical turnovers that ultimately cost them the game. Auburn showed some life and like this past weekend, but it was too late to get the victory.

The Auburn Tigers have an extra week to prepare for South Carolina on October 25 and it seems that this may be the Tigers biggest test this season.

Teams playing after a loss have the opportunity to do one of two things. Fail to re-group and play with doubt or answer the call that adversity brings. The 2013 Tigers proved to the whole world that every team has an opportunity to do something great within the given circumstances.

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Personally speaking, the game itself is not the test for Auburn. The Tigers should handle the Gamecocks with ease and win by double digits.

It is staying true to Malzahn’s plan of action and fixing the problems that slowed down Auburn in the previous week.

The offensive line is going to have to gain some grit and perform this week.

The Mississippi State defensive line is easily the Bulldogs most talented unit on the field, but that does not excuse poor blocking. Often times a defensive lineman would get a push to the outside, forcing Nick Marshall or other ball carriers to lose yards on the outside.

This limited play calling for the Tigers and has to be fixed to finish strong in the SEC West.

Another problem that has to be addressed is the coverage of a mobile quarterback. A team that practices against Nick Marshall shouldn’t have any problems containing a QB.

Dak Prescott ran for 121 yards and really tested the Auburn defense. Many of the successful drives that the Bulldogs had were from Dak picking up easy yards. Yards that would continue a drive and keep the Tiger defense on the field.

This is one of the more critical problems that Auburn has to prepare for and pretty quick seeing that Ole Miss and Alabama are right around the corner. Both Bo Wallace and Blake Sims are able to make plays on the ground and will be playing with that mentality vs. the Tigers.

The Tigers know that it is an uphill battle to get to the championship. Gus Malzahn and company will have the test of guiding the Tigers through the rest of a brutal SEC schedule. To get to the championship the Tigers will have to win out and beat rival Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Half of the season is over and it is up to Gus where they go from here.