October 22, 2012
COLLIER: Auburn's numbing numbers game
Was anybody really surprised on Saturday afternoon?
Oh, sure, it's hard to wrap your head around the reality of losing two straight to the SEC's traditional doormat. It's difficult to fathom the first and only Auburn team to ever lose to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in the same year. It's not easy to understand how the Tigers could finish the "soft" portion of their conference schedule 0-3.
But really: Why were you expecting anything different when the same old behaviors are resulting in the same old results?
Consider that Vanderbilt outgained Auburn by 382 yards to 212. Note that the Commodores averaged 4.6 yards per rush to Auburn's 3.1. Realize that Auburn notched exactly one sack to Vandy's five.
There are just no excuses for numbers like that, but they're numbers that are now numbingly familiar.
The only serious improvement I've seen in Auburn's defense this year has been in an overall increased aggressiveness, and even that went out the window for most of the Vandy game, starting on the Commodores' first possession, and ending with their game-winning score. All the bad habits are still there, at the worst possible times -- poor tackling, bad angles, inability to get off of blocks.
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