LA Monroe Review: Baby Steps
Well, sometimes I guess it doesn’t matter how you get it done, all that’s important is the end result — in this case, that rings truer than ever. Auburn did what they do best and closed out a close game.
What do we takeaway from this game?
It was a weird game throughout – to say the least. Auburn started out fairly well and burnt out near the end, almost blowing the game in the process. That’s how you would sum up the whole game in one sentence, but momentum played a huge part in this one. Auburn’s offence looked smooth throughout, Frazier made some nice throws and the Auburn run game didn’t struggle at all. The game changed once Blakely fumbled the ball on his way to the end-zone, which set up a big momentum shift the other way. Frazier suddenly looked sheepish on the next few drives, Auburn’s defence started to struggle, and a ‘comfortable’ over LA Monroe suddenly turned into a mountain climb.
But whilst the fragility of the squad was still there, I still saw some improvements — baby steps, if you will. Auburn’s special teams continued it’s dominant play, as Parkey nailed everything in sight, Clark was punting like a mad man and the kick-off coverage was ferocious. It’s clearly the bright spot in this Auburn team.
Offensively, we played better and Frazier looked more comfortable throwing the ball. The play-calling was still suspect at times (such as giving Frazier long pass plays after his confidence has been shaken) but it wasn’t as bad as I’ve seen. The run game did well for the most part, and every back made the most of their carries. McCalebb had a great day, racking up 128 rushing yards on only 11 carries. Tre Mason also put up another good day of stats with 90 yards on 22 carries.
Defensively, there were some good things. Auburn were better against the third down, as LA Monroe only converted 9 of their 21 third down attempts, which is an improved number. Unfortunately, when Auburn’s offence turned the ball over late in the game, the defence started to rattle and struggled to stop LA Monroe, giving up 14 unanswered points — which forced OT.
It wasn’t a great performance, granted, but there are baby steps being taken with this defence and I guess that is a positive. VanGorder’s weakness is scheming against this type of offence, and his strength is scheming against offences like LSU. That’s another positive.
There really isn’t much else to say, apart from I’m glad we got the win. At this point, we can’t get too picky with how we win games, just as long as it’s in that column.
Onwards and upwards. Beat LSU!