You were thinking it! Don’t deny it!
When Auburn fumbled in the red zone on the first drive, you cursed the bad luck.
When Auburn fumbled in the red zone on the second drive, you said to yourself “Not Again!” for two reasons: you had just watched Auburn fumble on its first drive. You had flashbacks to Auburn’s contests last year against South Florida and Mississippi State: games where we couldn’t keep hold of the ball.
When Auburn fumbled in the red zone on the third time, you were swearing loudly, approaching a coronary, until the referee signaled that the play had been blown dead and it was still Auburn’s ball. You breathed a sigh of relief when Auburn finally went in for its first score.
When Auburn made its second score, you breathed easier ever more. Then Tristan Davis was hurt. “Not Again!” you thought.
When Robert Dunn had his second punt return for a TD called back because of an illegal block, a block that had no effect on the runback, your first thought was Chaz Ramsey from a year ago…wondering if Auburn’s reputation will change from running backs to blocks in the back.
Eventually Auburn got up to 24-0. You relaxed. Auburn had it in the bag, even though the score could easily have been 42-0.
Then Kodi threw an interception and Southern Miss responded with a TD. They missed the two-point conversion. It was now 24-6.
On a later drive, Auburn gave up 4th and 10 and 4th and 16 plays to allow Southern Miss to close the gap with another TD. The score was 24-13.
Auburn responded by taking the ball down the field, at times in huge rain. With 1st and goal at the 7 and the chance to make it a three score game again, Auburn fell short and had to take a field goal. It was 27-13.
“Is Auburn losing?” my wife asked.
“They’re trying to,” I responded.
Southern Miss would drive the field again, to be stopped by a turnover.
It ended 27-13 and you exhaled deeply. Auburn had gone up early, lost focus, and it nearly cost them. Back in July, when I was reviewing the upcoming season, I predicted a 31-13 final core for this game. It felt a lot closer. You thought the same way.
What did we know at the end?
Auburn was now 2-0.
We now have a QB. Chris Todd led the Tigers on respectable drives, but he seems unsure of himself. And there’s just something about him wearing Brandon Cox’s number, a number that you thought maybe should have been rested for four years. We won often with Cox under center, but something about Auburn’s play over the last three years has had many doubling and tripling their beer intake.
We seem to be able to kick it a lot better than we did last year. None of this pooch kick crap that likely cost us the LSU game.
Our defense is stingy when focused, though work is still to be done.
Our offense does know how to pass.
This week is Mississippi State in Starkville. It’s time for payback. I just hope we can hold on to the ball this weekend.
War Damn Eagle!
In other SEC news, Arkansas had to score two TDs in the 4th quarter to beat Louisiana-Monroe. Hope this doesn’t make up complacent when we play Arkansas.
Ole Miss took Wake Forest to the wire before losing on 30-28 on a field goal with three seconds to go. As I attended Wake (grad school), I root hard for the Demon Deacons against except when they’re playing Auburn. It was a great game. Ole Miss is going to be tougher than anyone expects this year.
Alabama was lethargic in their win over Tulane, with the offense contributing only one TD in the affair and special teams contributing two. However, as Tulane spent a week in B’ham due to Gustav, the Alabama faithful apparently did give Tulane a standing ovation when they came on to the field. It was a class move.