Thank God it was only Buffalo. Auburn suffered through its biggest hangover in recent memory Saturday in front of an announced crowd of 84,000 people – I think they meant to say yawns. The late arriving crowd was in sync with the Tigers late arriving team. Auburn was clearly a group that was tired, beat up and not ready to play so soon after last week’s thrilling win over LSU. Still, yesteday’s 38-7 win over Buffalo served its purpose.
Was it a surprise? Absolutely not. When coordinators Al Borges and Will Muschamp say that last week’s game was the most physical they’ve ever witnessed, you can expect a follow-up like Saturday’s. Brandon Cox was clearly still hurting, and because of the bandaging on his leg, he was unable to plant his foot and throw with any velocity. The results were predictable. Cox finished the day 6 for 10 with 134 yards passing and one interception.
The highlight of the day was the coming out of heralded freshman running back Ben Tate. The Maryland high school legend, had seven carries for 114 yards and gave fans a preview of Auburn’s future. Brad Lester and Tre Smith had workman like days and did just enough to keep the Tigers comfortably ahead.
What should we take out of yesterday’s lackluster performance? Absolutely nothing. Buffalo was a necessary evil that came at just the right time. Of course, I’m sure the coaches would have loved to have given the starters most of the day off. Buffalo was viewed by many as a working day off. Unfortunately, it never came to that.
Auburn now has five days to get ready for Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina team. On paper, it should be fairly easy. But this is a Steve Spurrier team where anything can happen. It’s a conference game on national television. You can bet Auburn will be ready. Yesterday may have been just what Auburn needed.