Mississippi State Review: It’s Not Looking Good
I’ve had a few days to collect my thoughts, and avoided writing the review right after the game, but there aren’t many things I’ve changed my mind on.
Before I go on, I want to point out that it’s still very early in the season. I’ll give my full thoughts on the season overall after our last game. It would be easy for me to sit here and bitch about our troubles, but for now, I’ll hold steady and wait until the year ends.
The game itself was poor to watch. Last week, we saw a half decent offensive display so I was quite confident we would get some points on the board in this one, but it wasn’t the case. Frazier struggled mightily, he was hesitant with almost every throw, and forced too many things, hence the interceptions. It was tough to watch since there were plenty of times to make plays with open receivers. The play-calling didn’t help much either, since from the very start the coaches set out to protect Kiehl and give him some easy throws. His confidence was shot after the first interception, and I’m still unsure whether Mosely could or couldn’t go in. Regardless, I think Frazier is the better option. Keeping him in these games will only help him grow as a Quarterback. This was Kiehl’s first road game, so we have to hope that he’s learning from his mistakes.
The offensive line struggled at times too, and the run game was poor as well. All in all, a bad day at the office. This offence is struggling. Big time.
Defensively, there are small steps being taken. A lot of State’s 28 points came off turnovers, and heck, we gave up less this year than last year. I don’t think the defence is as bad as people make it out to be, just that with the offensive struggles, field position hasn’t been in our favour and the players are getting tired as the game dwells on. Definitely not a recipe for success.
The linebackers had a bad day, Holland missed a lot of assignments which resulted in huge defensive losses and Bates wasn’t too good either. If we want to stand a chance defensively this year, these guys need to make BIG steps forward. The success and execution of the unit depends on them.
The defensive backs had a rough day too, although Demetruce McNeal was one bright spot. He was flying around out there and really got to the ball. He wanted his shot to start, and he made the most of it. Whitehead struggled some too, he was out of position on Miss. State’s second touchdown. He let the receiver creep behind him and all Russell had to do was float it up for it to be grabbed. I’ve seen much worse defensive displays, but this was nothing to write home about either.
The special teams did well as always, and McCalebb even came through with a big return that should of turned the momentum our way. The team were unable to feed off it, that much was obvious.
In conclusion, this game signalled a big step backwards for this team and it’s worrying. Like I said, I won’t criticise properly until the season ends but something has to be done NOW. This was a must-win for Chizik and Auburn, and as it stands they are 0-2, 0-1 in SEC play and are hosting the school that upset Arkansas on the road this Saturday. It is hard to envision Auburn losing to a programme like LA Monroe, but they will go into this game with a lot of confidence and we need to stifle that and get out of there with a win.
The rest of the schedule has us with home games to LA Monroe, LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, , New Mexico State, Alabama A&M and Georgia, and road games against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Alabama. Will our home crowd help the team? I like to think so, we usually do play better at home but how much better this year is still a mystery.
The team will have to take big steps forward if they want to end the season on a high. They lost to a poor Miss. State team, and corrections have to be made. We can’t afford to regress anymore.