The Gators' trouble with Auburn continued last night with their first loss at home under Urban Meyer. Auburn has won 4 of the last 5 meetings against the Gators including their only loss in last years national championship run. The vaunted Gator offense looked terrible against the Tigers, and Brandon Cox picked the Gator secondary apart all game. To make matters worse the Gators shot themselves in the foot multiple times with dumb penalties and miscues.
The Gators watched top teams go down all day and wanted to avenge last years game, so their is no way they can use the excuse of looking ahead to LSU. The Gators were beat by Auburn plain and simple. Auburn came into the game as one of the worse passing teams in the country, but the Gators secondary made Brandon Cox look like Tom Brady. Cox picked the secondary apart all game and had no problem getting the ball down field to whoever he wanted. The front four of the Gators did a great job of stopping the run once again, but the pass rush was almost non-existent for most of the game.
The Gators did not give up any big plays like they did last week against Ole Miss, instead Auburn moved methodically down the field. Cox picked on sophomore Pierre-Louis and freshman Joe Haden equally throughout the game. Freshman Major Wright, who started for Kyle Jackson, had some great hits on run support, but seemed lost in coverage at times. Cox hit his wide outs in between the Gator zone all game and did not have any turnovers during the game. The defense was stout against the run again, but if the secondary can't stop the pass it doesn't seem to matter.
Gator fans knew that the defense was a weak spot on the team, but the offense was supposed to be able to make up for it. The Gator offense, which had scored at will in previous games was shut out in the first half. The Gators finally moved the ball well in the second half, but it seemed that they had only two options on offense. Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin are great players, but when a defense knows that those two are the only ones who are going to get the ball they cannot be effective. Tebow threw an easy interception because wide out Riley Cooper ran the wrong route and was no where near the ball. Kestahn Moore only carried the ball 3 times for 7 yards and of Tebows 201 passing yards, Harvin had 119.
The Tigers decided that if they were going to lose it would be because someone other than Tebow or Harvin did their job, and that did not happen. Their were multiple dropped passes, blown routes, and bad plays made by everyone on the offense. While some of the players needed to step up, others needed to be able to get the chance. The Gators ran the ball 28 times, but 19 of them were for Tim Tebow. Moore was the running back to get the ball out of the backfield and he only go it 3 times. The Gators should have ran the ball more and not with Tebow. The Gators should have given Moore, James, and Rainey more chances to run the football and make the offense less predictable.
The Gators do not have much time to adjust, as they have to travel to LSU this week in what was supposed to be a match up of #2 v. #3. LSU looked like they were caught looking ahead in the first half of the game against Tulane this week, but they will be ready for the Gators this week at home. The last time the Gators played at Death Valley they gave the Tigers their only loss in their BCS championship year. The Gators will need to forget what happened this week and get ready to play LSU or they will get destroyed by what may be the best team in the country.