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One Down, Three to Go

By on November 15th, 2017 in Football 9 Comments »
636460194851947781-USP-NCAA-FOOTBALL-GEORGIA-AT-AUBURN-95252677

USA TODAY Sports

Saturday afternoon was overwhelming. 

Throughout the entire week leading up to the game, I was preparing myself for a loss. I had seen this game play out in front of me countless times. Gus Malzahn and big games just typically don’t add up to victories very often.

Following the LSU game earlier this year, many fans called for Coach Malzahn’s job. This segment of fans felt that it was just unacceptable for a team to be up 20 points and find a way to lose. They were right. There was also a segment of fans that felt that Gus should be given time and have the opportunity to finish out the season. Because who knows, maybe he could turn things around and give us a season to remember. They were right, as well.

At certain points of the season, both of these groups—the “fire Gus” and the “keep Gus” camps—had completely valid points to back up their base arguments. 

But whether you’d like to admit it or not, last Saturday’s game saved Gus Malzahn’s job. Fans were tired of losing this game. Auburn was 2–9 against Georgia since 2006 with an average score of 32–18 in the Dawgs’ favor. This year, that narrative shifted.

It was the most dominant performance I have ever seen from an Auburn team. Following the opening drive of the game, the defense woke up and played lights out, holding the Dawgs to just 46 rushing yards—139 yards lower than their previous season low. On offense, the Tigers were versatile with play calling and refused to take the foot off the gas pedal for 60 minutes against a quality defense. 

Long gone is the offensive line that allowed 11 sacks to Clemson. And for the time being, it looks like Coach Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey have finally found some middle ground in the play calling. There wasn’t a team in the country that could have won on the Plains last Saturday.

This year, the Iron Bowl has suddenly become a winner-takes-all matchup. And we all know what happened the last time this game had these types of stakes.

Get the job done this weekend, because No. 1 looms in the distance for the second time.

9 Comments

  1. neonbets says:

    Nice write-up, Cole. If a team is in the CFB Playoff discussion at Thanksgiving, then the coach deserves to stay. End of story.

    But let’s keep that quiet. I’m kind of liking the performance of Gus and Co. since they’ve been on the precipice, staring into the abyss of coaching unemployment. There’s a sharp urgency to the team’s preparation and execution that is a pleasure to behold.

    So, privately I agree–the staff stays. But publicly–and just for the next 6 weeks–my mantra is: Gus, not only needs an Alabama win, but a GA win, and 2 MORE playoff wins. Anything short of that and Auburn needs to clean house!

    [Oh, and no resting on our laurels: Even if we win the National Championship, Gus had better leverage that into a Top 5 Recruiting Class–otherwise….]

  2. BirminghamEagle says:

    Pulling for a bama upset but right now i’m just going to enjoy this one because it’s been a long time that AU gave Ga. a beat down like that. Only thing better would have been Mark Richt on the other sideline to experience it.

  3. audude audude says:

    After enjoying this Saturday night and Sunday morning I am ready to move on. This cannot be a blip on the radar. This must be a team that is peaking at the right time and giving every team a beat down, War Hawks, Tide, Bulldogs…EVERY TEAM. That is the Championship Urgency.

    Glad to see Bama had problems in Stark Vegas but that was last week.

    Let’s Go Tigers!

    WDE

    P.S. Good write up Cole!

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..One more thing about this game… in my lifetime, the biggest margin of victory over Georgia was in 1990. Freshman quarterback Stan White led Auburn to a 33-10 beatdown of the Bulldogs. However, that was Ray Goff’s second Georgia team, and they finished with a bad 4-7 record. Last week’s 23-point beatdown equaled that 1990 result, but this was against the number one team in the nation, not some 4-7 cellar-dweller!

  5. meathead530 says:

    Nice write up. GCM did his job Saturday. If he does the 25th, it will a beautiful game. (Well, with some improvement by the special teams too).

    WAR EAGLE.

  6. Tigers5711 says:

    tiger5711

    I’ve been following and supporting Auburn football for over 50 years and I strongly disagree that Malzahn should be replaced if he doesn’t beat Bama and or win the SEC or the NC. He is the proven best coach in the SEC now after Nick Saban who has been coaching a lot longer. CGM may accomplish what NS has done in the future. With the exception of NS this is what CGM has accomplished: He is the only current coach in the SEC to win the conference. He’s the only one to get his team into the NC game. He’s the only one to get his team within 13 seconds of winning the NC. He’s the only coach in the SEC to recruit players good enough to get his team into a good position to win the SEC and NC in 2017. He’s the only coach to hire a DC who has gotten his team in a position to shut down nearly all SEC opponents this year. He may not be a Saban yet or ever but he is by and far the 2nd best coach in the SEC and it would be foolish to fire him. Frankly I believe he will beat Bama and GA again in the SEC game and be in the playoffs and maybe even the NC.

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