Sunday reflections from Auburn and beyond

Thoughts from Auburn’s overtime loss at Mississippi State

* Why did it take eight games and a change in head coaches to figure out called runs for quarterback Robby Ashford would be a really good idea?

* Interim head coach Cadillac Williams’ positive energy on the sideline was a welcome sight. And his players responded.

* Offensive play-calling, particularly in the second half, was as good as I have seen at Auburn in a long while. Kudos to offensive line coach Will Friend, who is acting as offensive coordinator.

* Defensive coordinator Jeff Schmedding deserves some credit, too. After a shaky start, the defense gave the Tigers a chance to win.

* Mainly, Auburn players deserve credit for responding after an extremely difficult week.

* There should be consequences for the official who made the bogus pass interference call against Auburn in overtime, but there won’t be. Judgment call and all. Face-guarding is not a penalty in college football, so not turning his head should not have been an issue. The ball was clearly uncatchable. From what I have been able to tell watching replays, I don’t believe there was even any contact with the receiver.

* If there is one decision Williams would like to have back, it is probably going for it on fourth-and-one deep in his own territory.

* The combination of a short squib kick and a facemask penalty on Auburn’s final kickoff was devastating.

* It is clear that Anders Carlson, who routinely sailed kickoffs through the end zone before last season’s ACL injury, is struggling now. Why not let heralded freshman Alex McPherson kick off? He can do it now and still protect his redshirt season.

* Defensive tackle Colby Wooden and edge rusher Derrick Hall are the kinds of players every coach wants. They have NFL talent. They are superior leaders. And they play all-out on every snap.

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