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Morning Musings: Always moving forward

By on November 29th, 2017 in Football 6 Comments »
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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.

6 Comments

  1. AUFan1 AUFan1 says:

    My uncle lives in Atlanta and he says all the talk on local sports radio is how much Ga. beat themselves the last time and how confident they are. Some of the players supposed to have said they beat themselves too. I hope the whole team is over confident because it will be another shock when they get hit in the mouth.

    • AtkinsonTiger AtkinsonTiger says:

      I'm looking forward to shutting the mouths of all those Ga. fans /players who've said they beat themselves last time around. Yeah lose by 23 and your opponent had nothing to do with it. What excuse will they have this time?

  2. meathead530 says:

    Hurry up, Saturday.

  3. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Surprised that Vegas has it at only -2.5 spread…

  4. fasttimes says:

    Thanks for writing this. i don’t have a platform like you guys do, but this is me to a T. i was ready to send gus on, the lose to clempson again (when we could/should have won) and the loss to lsu was too much and i felt like i was in groundhog day. i didn’t have the confidence in gus to correct it. i knew the players were every bit as good as any of those other teams, but coaching was a problem.

    i was wrong. they fixed it and have done it so well that i think we might be seeing the most dominant Auburn team on both sides of the ball we have seen in decades. these last few weeks have been a blast and i hope/expect it to continue this weekend. War Eagle!

  5. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..The old “Tuber-shell” mentality bit us, at LSU. Coaches do that, and Tuberville was not the first one, even at Auburn. I can remember Terry Bowden doing that, against Georgia, in 1994. Auburn was riding a 20 game winning streak, and Terry handed off into the line every play, after Auburn had blown a 23-9 lead, and the game was now tied. Bowden ran the clock, ran the clock, ran the clock, and set up for a last second field goal. Hawkins missed it, and we were left with a tie game. No overtime, back then. Auburn took it hard. The next week at Legion Field, Auburn sleep-walked through the first half and spotted Alabama a 21-0 lead.

    ……There is not enough space in this comment box, to detail every time Tommy Tuberville throttled back on the offense. It cost us, in 2004. We won every game, but our scores were not impressive to the pollsters, and Auburn was left out of the BCS Title Game. Team morale goes down, when obviously talented guys on the roster don’t get a chance to show what they can do, late in runaway games. The Tubershell also cost us in recruiting. The rap sheet other coaches would trot out to skill player recruits, went a little something like this:

    ……You’ll sign with Auburn, and you’ll sit on the bench for 2-3 years while you learn a complicated Al Borges playbook. If you do manage to get into the playing rotation, it will be in the second half, and Tommy’s just gonna run it up the middle every snap. Hey… sign with us, you’ll play immediately, and we like to throw the ball!

    …..By the 2007 season, Auburn’s best wide receiver was walk-on Rod Smith. We had not been able to recruit an SEC-worthy quarterback in 5 years. Jason Campbell was signed in 2001, and Brandon Cox in 2002.

    …..You have to keep the hammer down and keep running your offense, while you are winning. If you don’t you lose recruits, and you lose in the polls. Make no mistake. It has really helped Auburn’s position in the playoff rankings this year, because Auburn kept scoring in SEC matchups.

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