By Jay Coulter
The Auburn football team got a much needed off day on Monday and now begin to put the pieces back together after a heart breaking loss to LSU.
There’s still a lot to play for this season. With Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama still left on the schedule, this most unusual season has a chance to end in success. I can’t remember a year when Auburn won its last two that Tiger fans didn’t deem the year wildly successful.
At this point, it looks as if Auburn will have the best team when the Dawgs and the Tide come calling.
The Tigers left Baton Rouge healthier than they’ve been all year. That should provide a big boost in the coming weeks. The defense has been decimated with injuries for most of the year and now appears to be nearly 100 percent. Pat Lee is the exception. He jammed his neck on a tackle and is trying to get healthy for Saturday.
There has been much debate on the choice to squib kick to LSU on the final series. I think it was the right call. The problem was not with the call, but with its execution. Wes Byrum simply didn’t get enough leg on the kick.
But I’m not knocking the guy. He’s built up enough good will with Auburn fans this season to last a career.
Tommy Tuberville had to be thinking back to the South Florida game and the big return by the Bulls that put them in position to send the game into overtime.
“We weren’t going to kick it to their deep guy,” said Tuberville. Enough said.
Wide receiver Robert Dunn returned to practice Sunday. After speculating that he had quit, it was confirmed by Tuberville that he was suspended for an incident at practice. There’s still no word on how long he’ll be sidelined.
Congratulations to defensive end Quentin Groves who now is tied for Auburn’s all-time sack record. It’s been apparent since the South Florida game that Groves has been preoccupied with the record – so much so that it’s affected the way he’s played. Maybe now he’ll relax more and get back to being the old Quentin. Auburn is going to need him.
Ole Miss is a hard team to get a handle on. They come into Saturday’s game at Pat Dye Field with a 2-6 overall record, including an 0-5 mark in the SEC. Still, the Rebels can be dangerous. They came within an eyelash of beating both Florida and Alabama.
Ole Miss was pummeled by Arkansas 44-8 on Saturday. You can bet the speculation has already started about the future of Rebels coach Ed Orgeron. Despite bringing in a couple of solid recruiting classes, it has yet to translate on the field.
Tuberville comes into Saturday’s contest with a 6-2 record against his old school. The game kicks off at 5:00 p.m. Central time from Auburn and will be available on pay-per-view.