Monday, September 26, 2011

New at Rivals: Little Things Mean The Most

My Monday-morning column for the Florida Atlantic game has been posted over at Rivals'  Here's a preview:

FAU, coached by retiring Captain Kangaroo look-alike Howard Schnellenberger (who's the defensive coordinator, Mr. Green Jeans?), was widely described the press as one of the worst teams in football, and Auburn fans were expecting to get their team dispatch the lowly Owls with a methodical display of power football.

That wasn't what they got in reality. While Auburn was never in any danger of losing Saturday night, the Tigers turned in a lackadaisical, sputtering effort that didn't do much to quell misgivings over the 2011 team's shortcomings. The list of ongoing problems hardly changed.
Auburn is an immensely frustrating team to watch at this point. For all the criticism leveled at the coaches, particularly on defense, I don't think we're dealing with a drastic deficiency in schemes. The reality is, more often than not, players are in position to make plays, but simply don't. Poor tackling, poor technique, poor communication, lack of situational awareness, dropping balls that hit the hands, the list goes on.

Little things mean a lot in football, and Auburn just isn't doing many of those things well, and certainly isn't doing them well with any consistency. And with one of the most challenging four-game stretches in the history of the program looming, the time for fixing problems has just about run out.
The rest is on the subscription side, but Rivals is offering a free first month to new subscribers coming over from FTB.

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