Morning Musings: Always moving forward
USA TODAY Sports
There’s no catchy nickname for last Saturday’s game. No luck involved. No fluky last-second play. No miracles needed. One team was simply better than the other. It was routine.
After Saturday, Auburn truly feels like the best team in the country—the favorite to win the College Football Playoff. And it only seems fitting that the three other teams currently slotted in the playoff are Auburn’s three most recent nonconference losses. This season feels like a redemption tour of sorts. But at the same time, placing any kind of label on this team doesn’t seem entirely fair.
Truthfully, I wrote this team off after the LSU game. Most did. People were quick to remind me that Auburn still controlled its own destiny, but it really wasn’t something I wanted to hear. I thought our goose was cooked. But the team continued to improve over the course of the season—each performance looking more dominant than the last.
Necessary changes were made on offense since the pair of losses to Clemson and LSU. The line rotation changed a total of seven times, and the play calling was given entirely to OC Chip Lindsey. After blowing a 20-point lead, I doubted Coach Malzahn’s ability to adapt. I was wrong.
Against Alabama, I kept bracing myself. Holding my breath and keeping a close eye on the clock as it slowly ticked down—preparing myself for an Alabama comeback. But it never came.
A sense of relief overwhelmed me when Auburn stopped Alabama for the final time on 4th down with 2:29 left on the clock. It was over. The celebration inside Jordan-Hare began.
Auburn looks ahead now to Georgia—for a second time. This week is one filled with uncertainty. Questions that have yet to be answered. Coaching searches that may serve as distractions, or key injuries that could play a role in this week’s game. Now it feels like we’re all holding our breaths for a different reason.
Last week is already history. It’s time to move forward. In four days, the Tigers take on a team that’s out for revenge. A team that was flat out embarrassed when it was at its highest point in years.
Auburn has the blueprint to beat Georgia. Pressure Jake Fromm, play disciplined football outside the tackles, and use plenty of motion and misdirection on offense to keep the Dawg’s defense always guessing.
My grandfather said it in 2004, he said it in 2010 and now he’s saying it this season. “It’s difficult to beat a good team twice in one season.”
Let’s see if we can do it again.