Monday, October 10, 2011

New at Rivals: Similar Feelings to '09

My Monday-morning column for the Arkansas game is up at Rivals'  A preview:

Years ago, inimitable football-analyst-emeritus Beano Cook observed of the Arkansas Razorbacks, "They're like the Russian Army: terrible on the road, unbeatable at home."

That hasn't always been the case for Auburn, which was actually one game over .500 in Fayetteville going into Saturday, but the Tigers' long collapse against the Razorbacks still felt equally familiar and frustrating.

For what seemed like the umpteenth time (although AU has only lost 9 games to Arkansas in its history), the Hogs exposed every missing piece in the Tigers' squad, and left the visitors to slog home with more questions than answers.

One much-asked question that did get answered Saturday night was, "Why aren't they letting Kiehl Frazier throw the ball?" The answer--obvious then and now--is, "Because you don't do that to a true freshman." Frazier is a tremendous football player, but he's also five months removed from high school. As his last couple of series showed, calling on him to outfox grown men in an SEC secondary, on the road, is at least a year premature.

Watching the offense struggle Saturday night brought on a strong sense of deja vu from the last time the Tigers tripped over their tails in Arkansas, in 2009. Once again, the offense lacked any resemblance of a downfield passing threat, allowing the Hogs to key on the running game in the early downs and pin their ears back on obvious passing downs.
The rest is on the subscription side.  Rivals is offering a free first month to new subscribers coming over from FTB.

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