Friday, September 21, 2007

Wish List: vs. New Mexico St.

"Yes, we installed a ton of new plays for me this week. We're up to nine now."

You good people have been nice enough not to lob any tomaotes this way in the comments, but you don't have to: I'm well aware the blog could use a bit more, you know, actual nuts-and-bolts football talk to go with the travelogues and extended disaster metaphors.

So in the first edition of what my crossed fingers hope will be a weekly feature, here's three wishes for Auburn on both sides of the ball, on the eve of what, stunningly, is a must-win against New Mexico St.


1. That Mario Fannin gets through the game without a fumble. Dammit, Mario, we need you. No, Tate isn't as mediocre as the general populace seems to think he is. But yes, he's not quite in Fannin's league, either. I'm not counting on getting Lester back. With the current AIIEEEEE quarterback situation, the rest of Auburn's pffense can't afford to put anything less than its most talented players on the field at this point, but Fannin simply can't play if he keeps fumbling at the current rate. One more cough-up, too, and he's all but done for the forseeable future--probably the T-Tech game is my guess. To have even a puncher's chance at Florida or LSU, we have to have the running game's best puncher available.

2. That Cole Bennett gets involved. The mysterious insistence on getting Tommy "Neither a Blocking Nor Receiving Tight End" Trott the ball is even more mysterious given that we have a sixth-year senior with supposedly solid hands (not that he showed them last week) around to ... not catch a single ball in three games? Did I miss some sort of injury report on Bennett? Seriously, did I? If I did, tell me.

3. That someone brainwashes Cox into believing it's the last drive of the game every drive. Seriously, why has he suddenly turned competent when it's Auburn's very-last-gasp-has-to-happen-now-last-call-at-the-last-chance-saloon possession in all three games and been ... well, you know how he's been the rest of the time. Anyone know a good hypnotherapist? Brandon, you're getting sleepy ... The game is already on the line even though it's the first quarter ... Auburn will lose if you don't score right now even though we're ahead 17-0 ...


1. That our linebackers don't get swallowed alive in pass coverage.
We're going to start Chris Evans, Craig Stevens, and Courtney Harden at linebacker. Evans has been a machine, but the other two guys were fairly anonymous vs. MSU. Guess what, guys? You've got even more responsbilities now that you're going up against a team that throws underneath route like they're going out of style. Everybody knows Tubby recruits speed-speed-speed at LB, so at least this bunch should be physcially prepared. Mentally? Remains to be seen, but if Auburn is going to slow down NMSU at all there's going to have to be good coverage in the flats and on backs, TEs, etc., with little aggravating YAC.

2. That they make the big play when available. We're all in agreement that if Pat Lee houses that INT he should have housed last week, Auburn wins that game going away, right? Auburn D, don't let those kinds of opportunities slip through your apparently greasy fingers any more--you're not playing with enough poker chips on the other side of the ball to fold those kind of hands.

3. That they start strong. Even more important this week than the previous three. If NMSU takes their first possession and scores--which seems likely, given the last three weeks--and Auburn picks up one first down and punts (or heaven forbid, turns the ball over)--also somewhat likely--the home crowd, generous as they may be *cough, is going to get wicked nervous and wicked silent in a big fat hurry.

For more on the Aggies and some terrible, terrible puns, here's your obligatory link to the Cheese Puff Preview of NMSU from the summer.

War Eagle. We need this one.

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