Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Auburn vs. Ole Miss Preview: Fifty years in the Making?

Two weeks ago, Auburn did something they hadn’t done in over 40 years. We lost to Kentucky.

This week, we may do something we haven’t done in over 50 years, lose back-to-back games to Ole Miss.

The last time Auburn lost to Ole Miss twice in a row was during the Truman Administration. We dropped three straight contests in 1949, 1951, and 1952. (Yes, no game in 1950.) Those games were the 3rd, 4th, and 5th times we had played Ole Miss. At that time, Auburn had a 1-4 record against Ole Miss. Since 1952, Auburn has gone 23-5.

However, forgetting that we lost 17-7 last year to Ole Miss and have lost the last three games this season, I have to try and put it out of mind.

Honestly, though, I don’t know what to think this week. Will Auburn show up to play? Or will it look like they’re going through the motions? They started the first drive against LSU well, but flag-happy refs killed the momentum. What should they do this time around?

I think Auburn should pass.

In the first two games, Auburn ran a lot and established the ground game. By game three, though, they had to start passing the ball in order to open up the run. Consequently, opposing teams are looking for the run.

Let’s give them the pass.

I know we don’t have great receivers, but we do have some good ones. We need to start using more of them. Short passes on 1st down. Pick up 5+ yards. It opens us up on second down, where we can go for runs or short passes to pick up longer yardage. This will back up the safeties and not allow the teams to focus on stopping the run. This, in turn, will open up lanes for Ben Tate.

I know the general perception is that Auburn will make it four in a row this week. Ole Miss looked good in its win over Arkansas last week. They started out with an early lead and never looked back. Auburn needs to do the same. Short passes. Small victories. And get that score. The team took two days off to rest after the LSU game to recharge their batteries. (Speaking of rest, Auburn needs to reconsider its policy of playing 12 games straight. The players needed a break.

Auburn’s back is against the wall, but with these small victories up front, I think Auburn can stand a chance at regaining some of its momentum back.

Last year’s game vs. Ole Miss was on November 1st, after a woeful October. Let’s try to end this month the same way we started…with an SEC victory.

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