“Ever to Conquer, Never to Yield” Means Never Being Complacent
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson believes Auburn got complacent against LSU (photo: USA TODAY Sports)
It’s been two days since Auburn’s heartbreaking loss in Baton Rouge. And the pain felt by so many hasn’t gotten any better. Auburn seemed to be on a roll coming into LSU’s Tiger Stadium. The Orange and Blue were undefeated in league play, ranked No. 10 and averaging 48 points against SEC opponents. Forty hours later there’re still questions as to how it could’ve happen when Auburn held a three-score lead on the Bengals in the first half?
We can look at injuries to key payers on both sides of the ball, injuries that had a major impact on the offensive line and the 1st string secondary in particular. Dropped passes also played a roll but the biggest impact came on a 75-yard touchdown return that saw LSU close the gap to two points in the fourth quarter.
However, while those things are part of the game, good teams find away to overcome them. The most troubling thing that irritates so many in the fan base was why did Auburn take its foot off the gas after leading by 20 points in the first half?
Even the casual football fan understands that 19 straight first-down runs in the second half revealed what the Tigers would do. And the players knew it too. LSU punt returner D.J. Clark may have said it best, “We wasn’t [sic] even supposed to be in the game, so once you let us stay in the game, we wasn’t [sic] going to give it up.”
“We thought we had the game in the bag,” running back Kerryon Johnson said. “We stopped fighting, and we gave it to them on a silver platter. I think as an offense … we got complacent.”
That is the most concerning thing to come out of the game. You simply can’t get complacent in the SEC, especially on the road in a hostile environment. Afterwards Coach Malzahn said the loss hurt, but the team will bounce back.
We all hope he’s right. At 5–2 and 3–1 in SEC play, the Tigers’ goal of competing for an SEC championship is still there, although the odds are now much slimmer than before.
We also hope the team can get over the disheartening loss before playing Arkansas this weekend. Auburn can’t afford to take the Razorbacks lightly. It is a team Auburn should beat, but then again so was LSU. If Auburn gets a lead in Fayetteville and takes the foot off the gas again, the same outcome could occur.
Now I want to preface this next statement by saying those who have followed this writer over the last few years know I’m an unabashed Auburn homer. However, what we saw on Saturday can not continue.
Please don’t misinterpret that statement to read that I’m calling for a coaching change. I would never do that. But I am calling for change. A change in not ever again being complacent.
There has to be a commitment to that part of the Auburn fight song that says, “Ever to Conquer, Never to yield.”