LA Monroe Preview: Time To Right The Ship
Game three finds us against LA Monroe, a small division one programme that made headlines last week after they upset Arkansas in their own house, which is the one and only reason why some Auburn fans are a bit apprehensive over this weeks game.
I never go into these games expecting a loss, because no matter how bad we’ve played, or no matter how good they’ve played, there is still a distinct difference in size and talent that should make the difference as the clock winds down to zero. Arkansas were caught sleeping last week, and LA Monroe were playing their best – upsets do happen. I just hope we aren’t caught napping either, then again, after the last two weeks we can’t afford to slow-play this one.
We have a real chance here to win comfortably and give the team some confidence heading into next weeks showdown against LSU. It wouldn’t be a signature win, but a win nonetheless, and we aren’t exactly overflowing of those right now.
LA Monroe will be coming into this one high on confidence, and they have a right to be. After last weeks win, they will come in feeling they have a chance and will put up a real fight. ULM’s Kolton Browning will be a handful. We had trouble containing a scrambling Quarterback in Boyd so I hope we are able to play a lot better defensively against Browning. Putting pressure and limiting LA Monroe early will help us succeed offensively and should help us with some field position.
I don’t think we are as bad as advertised defensively. Sure, we have some kinks to work out but who doesn’t? Our offence hasn’t put the defence in many good situations as of late and it’s killed us. There is improvement on third downs and we are starting to gain some turnovers. VanGorder came out recently and said that we don’t have the horses to play man-to-man defence, which isn’t at all surprising, since there must have a been a clear reason we stick with Cover 2 zone. We aren’t quite there yet, talent-wise, so playing to our players’ strengths is key right now.
ULM also runs a 3-3-5 defence, which you can get a better understanding of here on College And Magnolia. Head Coach Todd Berry is a good defensive coach, and typically loves to blitz. Expect a lot of that on saturday. Putting pressure on Frazier will be Berry’s key to winning, Frazier will have to step up his game and Loeffler will also have to do the same. It’s not good reading how Miss. State were able to pick up on what we were doing offensively and use it to our disadvantage. Then again, if an armchair fan can pick up on it, I’m sure any competent player/coach can too.
Last week was an abomination offensively, so seeing some improvement out of that unit is important. I hope we are ready defensively, as ‘missed tackle syndrome’ is still roaming around out there on the field.
Baby steps are being made defensively, but if we want to grow as a team and stand a chance of getting anything out of this season, then we’ll have to see a big turnaround offensively.
Prediction: Auburn 28-13 LA Monroe.
Yes, I think we’ll win, but I’m not convinced it will be a comfortable one. I just hope we are ready for what they plan to do, otherwise it will be another long afternoon. Playing this one at home should help us, especially Frazier, who struggled mightily last week in his first road start. I’d be happy to see us win a game comfortably, I really would. I hope the football gods would grant me this wish.