I Volunteered to Go to Knoxville and Root the Tigers On

By Posted on: November 12th, 2013 in Featured Article, Football 6 Comments »
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You LIE, Vols, you lie. Why do you have to pull an Alabama with the national title resume  
                                                             embellishment?

Oh, I know it’s Georgia week. How do I count the ways? But I still have a big smile on my face after my first attempt to summit Rocky Top. Yes, my first trip to Neyland. In season twenty-nine–no less. From Atlanta, I’ve trained my car to head mainly south for games, with the exception of a lateral over to Athens every other year (except this one).  I’d forgotten how good it was to get out of the neighborhood in the SEC.

What a fine campus and stadium they have up in Knoxville. I attended with UT fans, but a few Auburn folk stopped by our tailgate. It was a great walk over to the stadium. Once inside, our end zone seats were comfortable but far away from the congregation of Auburn faithful seated across the way. Looking that way, I discovered something I found disappointing from such a fine fanbase as the Volunteers. They couldn’t resist the Alabama-esque temptation to anoint their field with undeserved, mythical, minor-selector national championship years in their ring of honor (shown above). Of the six national titles displayed, only 1951 (A.P.) and 1998 (BCS) were legit. Shameful.

Fully expecting to hear Rocky Top played no fewer than 48 times, the crowd had their energy sucked out of them after the pick six and subsequent two play TD drive before the half to put Auburn back up by two TDs. Two more scores in the third and they were filing out of Neyland in droves. I actually felt sorry for the Vols. Their team found themselves in similar straits as us this year with a new coach and a lousy couple of years but our fortunes are vastly different at this point. Butch Jones has had his team up for a few of the games but has been on the receiving ends of more than a few clubbings from the likes of Oregon, Alabama, and us.

I haven’t seen a more thorough stampede of our rushing attack since the 2010 LSU game. The Vols simply had no answer for the shifty Nick Marshall, who played entirely too long in the second half. I’m not sure what Malzahn and company thought they were doing, but the oft-injured QB should have been rested no later than the third quarter in favor of Jeremy Johnson.

Our special teams were out of this world with punt and kick returns averaging over 50 yards per. That’s total domination. I couldn’t see it in the stadium at the time but there’s no doubt later on the TV replay that speedster Corey Grant benefitted from a block in the back for his 90 yard kickoff return. With him averaging over 1o yards per rush this year, we simply have to get him the ball more. While he lacks the cutting ability of Trey Mason, and the bowling ball devastation of Cameron Artis-Payne, his speed is McCalebb-like enough to warrant close to 10 carries a game. Maybe we’re just saving him for the returns?

And it is folly to label Auburn’s offensive attack this season as one-dimensional. There’s two reasons why we didn’t have to pass the ball that much Saturday: Marshall’s arm is still healing and we were averaging eight and a half yards per rush. We didn’t need the pass. Besides, Marshall has already demonstrated he can throw the ball under pressure and rack up huge yards if our run isn’t the only weapon we need to dial up. He demonstrated that against State and Texas A&M. We simply aren’t showing much at the moment. Sauron’s, er, SABAN’s eye is all-seeing, and it watches game film.

So expect entire new sets for Amen Corner. I’ll be back later before Saturday to discuss Georgia week. War Eagle!

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  1. mvhcpa says:

    Great write-up. I was on the Tennessee campus for a College Bowl tournament (yes, I was–and am–a nerd) in my Sophomore year at AU, and thought it would be a great place to see a ball game and experience a football Sunday with that river running right by the stadium, but never did get a chance to go back. Thanks for representing us all!

    Michael Val
    (who hopes all the fans on both sides were at least as classy as both you and your hosts)

  2. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    The UT campus is beautiful. I was invited to give a talk there and started it with a big War Eagle. The audience was mostly young college kids who didn’t remember (or know–yikes!) when we played EVERY SINGLE YEAR…ah, memories…..It was also Spring when I was out…so most folks minds weren’t on football…unlike mine who wanted to sneak over to Neyland to check in on the Vol Spring practice…….

    Whatev’s it’s Georgia week: I hate Georgia.

    War Eagle!

  3. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Rhet Lashlee has said AU is throwing “alot” in practice the past couple weeks. Has AU been prepping for Amen Corner for two weeks? My bet is that Gus is about to break down the dam containing the playbook. Exciting!

    Has anyone noticed that the speed sweep has all but dissapeared this season? I’m hoping this is by design and that we’ll see it the next two weeks, Grant could be dangerous on this play.

    • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

      I guarantee in the next two games we will see plays and formations we have not seen all year. Gus is holding his cards close and he has plenty of Aces left in his hands.

  4. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    I’m jealous,

    I had tickets and something came up. I wished I could have been there. It really looked like there was a ton of Auburn Blue in the stands.I know it was a blast for everyone.

    On another note, I couldn’t agree more with your statement:
    “And it is folly to label Auburn’s offensive attack this season as one-dimensional.” Tigers have proven they can pass when it’s called for.

  5. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Enjoyed the read. I was in the Tennessee stadium once and it wasn’t much fun. Fans treated us bad and so did the Vols team. I would have loved to have been there Saturday.Hope the Tigers can bring some of that against the dawgs this week. man how sweet it would be to beat them and beat them bad!