Monday, November 18, 2013

Final thoughts on Auburn. Well, probably.

Completed my civic duty yesterday. Rewatched the game in its entirety. Please, hold your applause til the end. Because I have two goals today: one is to give you this post as my conclusion to the nightmare that was Saturday night, and the other is to speak directly with Director of SEC incompetence Steve Shaw. If the latter happens, I'll come back and give you an update. For now, on with the former.

Walking away from Jordan-Hare we gave mention that this game (specifically the ending), is a microcosm of this season. We just can't put a full 60 minutes together and Lady Luck will have nothing at all to do with us. That final Auburn pass play was quite the motherload of salt for that festering wound.

But Tyler took it one step further in his "Grief Bacon" post yesterday morning when he said, "Doesn't that one play pretty perfectly sum up the whole season for both Georgia and Auburn?" Well yes. It does doesn't it. I would probably be laughing about just how deep the depths of our bad luck goes were it not for the faces of our players as they streamed off the field. People keep telling me that game was a "heartbreaker". No, it's heart wrenching. And then Penn Wagers through that sucker in the dirt and Ol' Lady Luck stomp her flat! 

It's as intense a muddle of emotions as I've ever felt - despair, grief, anger, frustration, hatred, pity, anger.

My frustration with the officiating boils down to this - it's not unreasonable to expect a game to be called evenly, fairly. That should be inherent within the context of every sporting event. And yet, the SEC fails miserably. And believe me, the last thing I want to be is the guy that blames officiating for affecting outcomes. Whether our rush defense or the officiating had more of an impact in the result is debatable. But it shouldn't be. Not at all.

So when we got to this point in the rewatch yesterday and my wife turns to me and says, "Wasn't that targeting? Right there?!?", well...I just have no answers. And it pisses me off that it's even a question. But what can we expect when Steve Shaw, much like his predecessor Rogers Redding, continues to put a butthurt midget that is harboring a 40+ year grudge at not being recruited for anything other than a mascot onto a field with a flag and a whistle?

As for the game, I'm bewildered at how easily Auburn rushed the football. Grantham's defense did not match their speed and intensity until the fourth quarter really. And I'm almost as bewildered that the offense struggled to move the ball. Some of that was play calling. Some of it is still having younger receivers stepping into big time roles and not running clean routes. A lot of it is the inconsistency in the offensive line. And the rest of the inefficiency early on is being laid at the feet of Bobo's feet with play calling. I can agree with that mostly.

But it's not just the plays being run. On a larger scale we're just not making adjustments when they're needed. Nothing pointed to that more Saturday night than the fact that at one point Auburn had four guys with more yards than the Todd Gurley, arguably the nation's best running back.

As for the last play, I have to disagree with Richt on just rushing three guys. Sure, we pressured Marshall into moving up in the pocket. I just can't help but think having one more rusher would've helped make the play for us before they made it for them. 

And in the end, that was a bigger mistake than anything Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons did or didn't do.