Let the roads lead you back home where you can burn a couch, Mountaineer fans!
Is that what you were expecting from this Auburn fan? Well, I'm only kidding. Auburn fans have way more class than that. I just wanted to come on here and analyze Saturday night's game. It was a great effort by both teams.
1) West Virginia is still good. Earlier in the week, I said West Va.'s offense would give us some problems. Well, the offense gave us FITS! Jarrett Brown is a beast and killed us with his scrambling ability (although I have to ask: How many times does he have to scramble for 8-10 yards before our defensive coord. puts a spy on the guy! It was driving me crazy). He also has a strong arm. Noel Devine is, well, Noel Devine. The guy has great moves in the open field and can fly! Ya'll's offense really had our defense out of whack in the first half. The West Va. defense also presented problems. I thought we were going to able to run against the 3-3-5 stack, but ya'll shut it down for the most part. We found some running room in the second half, but the 3-3-5 really confused us early on. We won't see another 3-3-5 defense the rest of the year. I thought ya'll would suffer a down year after Pat White left, but ya'll will win a lot of games this year.
2) Auburn's tackling was by far the worst I have ever seen in all the years I have been following the Tigers. The first half, especially, was atrocious. Yes, Jarrett Brown is a large man and hard to bring down, but there's no way he should've gotten out of the grasp of as many tacklers as he did. It was literally ever other play. And the screen pass to Jock Sanders to score West Va.'s third touchdown? There were three defenders with their hands on him and he got away and scored when he should've been tackled for a loss or no gain. We got better in the second half, but man, our tackling was putrid early on. We can't use the rain/weather excuse, either, because West Va's defense had to battle the same elements and it wasn't missing tackles. We've got to get that corrected. Get 'em going, Roof/Chizik!
3) Chris Todd proved he could pass his team to victory. This guy looks like a totally different QB from last year. His arm is 10 times stronger, and he is able to fit balls into tight windows this year. He still holds the ball too long for my liking sometimes, but I'm not really going to complain about a 4-touchdown night, especially on a night where he had to throw the ball for us to win. Give West Va. credit. They stuffed our run game, and they forced to Todd to win the game through the air. Todd made good decisions, led the team down the field numerous times and didn't make the game-changing mistake. The offensive line did a great job protecting Todd, too. I think West. Va. only had two sacks all night, and one of those I wouldn't even count as the O-line's fault. Todd held the ball FOREVER that time he was sacked in the first half. Great job by Todd and the line tonight. If our offensive line can stay healthy, I think we can do some big things this year. And lastly...
4) Jarrett Brown proved he can't pass him team to victory. Brown is a great athlete and can make plays with this feet, but he wilted under the pressure Saturday night. Brown had a good first half for the 'Neers. We finally put some pressure on Brown in the second half, and we forced Brown into mistakes. Hurried throws, errant throws, sacks. Our front seven really stepped up and made plays when they had to. I said earlier in the week that Jarrett Brown had never done good against the big-time defenses he had faced. Well he still hasn't. With the front seven applying pressure and getting to him, Brown threw into coverage all night long, two of his four interceptions coming in the red zone. Even on the screen passes, we got to Brown before he was ready to throw the ball, forcing high throws that were tipped and intercepted. Brown is a great athlete and he showed me a lot on Saturday night, but he doesn't make the greatest decisions in the world, especially when the heat is turned up. Honestly, I don't know why ya'll didn't run the ball more. Our defense did make some adjustments to stop the run in the second half, but still.
I hope ya'll enjoyed your trip to the Plains (I know the rain sucked), and have a safe trip back. Oh, and I hope Jarrett Brown is going to be okay after going down with an injury late in the fourth quarter.