It’s going to be a rough year for Auburn.
Frustration with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn reached a season high Saturday when the #8 Tigers fell to unranked Mississippi State 23-9. Auburn, widely considered to have one of the best defenses in the nation under coordinator Kevin Steele, proved unable to find their offense once again. The loss prompted several disgruntled Tiger fans to start GoFundMe accounts aimed at paying off Malzahn’s massive $30-million-plus buyout.
The once-favored coach, however, may not be entirely at fault. Despite wonderful play calling by Malzahn, his players—including once highly-praised quarterback Jarrett Stidham— failed to execute. Much of the issue falls on the Auburn offensive line that has become so inefficient that it’s left Stidham paralyzed in the pocket.
Without quick corrective action, the Tigers can expect to struggle in upcoming games against Ole Miss, #22 Texas A& M, #2 Georgia, and #1 Alabama.
It’s not a schedule Auburn can afford to make a mediocre showing against, and many fans have penciled in four additional losses for the season. Auburn had similar woes, however, last season before going on to defeat two top-ranked teams back-to-back. It seems, however, this year that the Tigers are on a perpetual downslide.
The Bulldogs are solid. But for how long?
The Georgia Bulldogs looked solid against Vanderbilt Saturday, but every decent team has a good showing against Vanderbilt. The #2 Bulldogs have yet to face a challenge this season, but have a chance to prove themselves against LSU on the road at Death Valley later this week.
The LSU Tigers fell to #13 after losing to Florida, but have looked stout this season and pose a threat to the Bulldogs. LSU hasn’t lost a home game this year, and night games at Death Valley are notoriously hard to win.
That’s not to say that the Bulldogs don’t have it in them. The Tigers’ loss to Florida is a good sign for Georgia, and the Bulldogs just may get a strong victory in Death Valley Saturday. They certainly have the talent to do so.
Can LSU’s Ed Orgeron prepare his Tigers for their toughest test of the season? And will Dave Aranda’s defense hold up against a powerful attack from Jake Fromm? If so, the Bulldogs just may be in trouble.
Alabama’s offense could be its best ever. But how good is the defense?
There’s no questioning Alabama’s offense this season, with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa already having more touchdowns this season than Jalen Hurts had all of last year (Tagovailoa only plays half a game, if that, on average). But what’s going on with the Tide’s defense?
A traditional defensive powerhouse, the Tide allowed thirty-one points to a weak Arkansas team Saturday, leaving some wondering if Alabama’s defense is just not up to par this season.
Some analysts, however, had a different opinion, one sure to be favored by the Tide’s fans: the offense is so good that the defense doesn’t need to try.
It’s certainly not a comment Alabama coach Nick Saban would like to hear, but when your offense can score 50 to 60 plus points a game, would the defense still feel as motivated?
The Tide will have to get their defense in check before playing Missouri on Saturday. Though Alabama will almost certainly win, Drew Lock and the Missouri offense will be a good test for the Tide.
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