Rushing offense: I
All of the grades are going to be I’s, for Incomplete. Because there’s no way to grade this game — even head coach Gene Chizik and defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said that after the game — because Alabama A&M was so overmatched. With that said, it was a nice stats day for a couple of Tigers. Tre Mason racked up 181 yards on 12 carries and scored twice. Senior Onterio McCalebb picked up 104 yards and scored twice. Altogether, AU picked up 341 on the ground.
Rushing defense: I
The Bulldogs were completely outmatched along both lines, and the rushing figures bear that out. They managed only 22 yards on 25 carries. If you’re unfamiliar with this game, that’s a very poor average. A&M’s best back, Kaderius Lacey, picked up just 41 yards on 12 attempts.
Passing offense: I
Jonathan Wallace’s numbers looked better than he did. He has a couple of passes he can throw with consistency. Outside of those, however, when
he’s asked to make reads and deliver
the ball to a second or third option, things get iffy. As it was, he wasn’t asked to do that much, and he finished 10-of-18 for 171 yards and a TD. It helped that he had plenty of time to throw most of the day.
Passing defense: I
A&M has never been much of a
throwing team under head coach
Anthony Jones. The Bulldogs value running QBs and a strong running game. Whenever their QB is throwing 28 times, it’s trouble. Deaunte Mason showed why, completing 17-of-28 pass attempts for 181 yards and an interception. It wasn’t an awful showing, but it didn’t look good, either.
Special teams: I
It was a rather disappointing outing for the AU special teams. Against an inferior opponent that struggles to put kickoffs anywhere near the end zone and consistently line drives punts, you expect a few great returns, maybe even a score. Penalties and mistakes killed the three decent returns the Tigers had. Other than that, it was a rather ordinary day.
Honestly, I don’t know what you tell a team before a game like this. Don’t get hurt? Coming into this game there were people who thought A&M had a shot at an upset. That was never going to happen. These two teams are on different levels, separated by light years. Afterwards, Chizik actually said he didn’t know what could be learned from this game, if there was any improvement at all. For a coach desperate for anything positive, that was telling.
It was nice to see the seniors at Auburn walk off the field with a win. That’s about all you can say about this one. Past that, it can’t be counted as a tuneup or a real positive experience heading into
next week’s Iron Bowl. But then, that’s why you schedule this game – to send the seniors out with a win and to be able to rest up some starters. So, mission accomplished, I guess.