Morning Musings: A Haunting Memory
AP // Alex Brandon
Once again, it was a tale of two halves last Saturday. The typical third-quarter woes from Coach Malzahn worry me. For whatever reason, his teams, whenever they take a double-digit lead of any kind, take their foot off the gas pedal in the second half. There was no reason Auburn should have allowed 23 points last weekend. There was also no reason Auburn should have only scored 44 points, considering its 35-point first-half performance.
Sure, you can get away with lethargic second halves against Ole Miss this season. But, you know whom that won’t work against? Alabama, Georgia or even LSU. Fix it before it becomes a devastating problem in the near future.
Auburn’s passing game… has shown significant signs of improvement over the course of the season, and it’s really no secret why. Since Chip Lindsey has taken complete control over the play calling, Jarrett Stidham has completed 79.1 percent of his passes for 1,081 yards, five touchdowns and just one interception. And on the flip side to that, Auburn’s receiving corps have become the most involved that I’ve seen in a very long time on the Plains. Six different Auburn receivers have at least one catch of 46 yards or more this season.
It’s that variety in the passing game that will prove to be crucial if Auburn hopes to run the table this season.
LSU will be honoring Les Miles… and the 2007 National Championship team on Saturday afternoon. So a year after being fired, Miles will be honored while LSU plays the team that got him fired in the first place. We’ve come full circle.
Will Auburn beat LSU in Tiger Stadium… for the first time since 1999? Other than the 2014 National Championship, the most painful Auburn game that I have seen live was in 2007 in Baton Rouge.
“They scored too early” is what I kept telling myself after Brandon Cox threw a touchdown pass with just over three minutes left to take a one-point lead. Sure enough, LSU drove down close enough to be able to take a knee in the center of the hash marks and kick a field goal. But that never happened. Instead, Les Miles decided it’d be best to take a shot to the end zone. It was one of the most baffling coaching decisions I have ever seen.
Auburn’s secondary was taken completely off guard, and Matt Flynn completed a 22-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to Demetrius Byrd to win the game. At 10 years old, I remember shedding tears that night over an Auburn game for the first time in my life.
Eight straight losses in Death Valley. The last time Auburn won in Tiger Stadium, I was two years old. This series has haunted me for my entire life.