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The Samurai's Heart by Walt Mussell

The Samurai's Heart

by Walt Mussell

Giveaway ends October 20, 2017.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Auburn vs. Arkansas Postgame Wrap-Up

I’m posting early today. The best thing I can say about today so far is that I haven’t had any alcohol yet. That may change. Trying to talk my wife into opening the bottle of wine we have chilling in the fridge. So far, she’s not convinced. Also, we’re out of beer.

I had a bad feeling when I decided to wear the shirt I hadn’t worn all season. I knew I shouldn’t the minute I put it on, but I thought that was crazy.

Granted, I also had a bad feeling when former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said in public that Auburn would beat Arkansas by three TDs, handing Arkansas serious bulletin board material. (Doesn’t that buy-out include a gag order of some kind concerning talking in public about Auburn.)

Then, on the first two drives, I watched Auburn sputter on a 3-and-out (as I asked myself what was Kodi doing in there on second down). Arkansas countered by driving the ball down the field, including converting twice on third-and-long. What bothered me most was that we couldn’t get any pressure on Mallet in that first drive. After that, I knew the game had the potential to be long.

And so Auburn drops it’s first game of the season. Sportswriter Ray Melick will crow on Sunday about how he saw it coming. My response to Ray…if you say before every game that Auburn’s going to lose, you will eventually be correct.

The stats tell all.
1) We had the ball less than 20 minutes and ran only 67 plays. Last week we had the ball more than half the game and ran over 80 plays.
2) We gained less than 400 yards total, which is jack squat considering that we were playing the worst defense in the SEC (supposedly).
3) We can’t convert on 4th and inches because our QB isn’t used to having the ball snapped to him.
4) We take our opening drive of the 3rd quarter and fumble on the other team’s 3-yard line, providing valuable momentum and deflating ourselves in the process.

Do we have anything positive to take back with us? I take some heart in that we tried to make it respectable. (Pollsters don’t watch games anyway, so they’ll only look at the final score. Still it was pretty bad.)

I take some heart that we’ll likely have night games, at least until Georgia. And since that game will technically start in the afternoon (whereas this one started at 11:00 a.m.), we might be awake for it. Day games can both be great and suck for the same reason. You’re stuck watching the highlights all day. Given that Auburn is a Top 25 team as of this week, this is guaranteed. Given how badly Auburn has sucked recently when they had to get up early, this also seemed guaranteed.

A friend of mine who happens to be a UT grad is celebrating her team’s victory over Georgia. Georgia beat Arkansas. Arkansas beat us. We beat Tennessee. This means the circle of SEC life continues.

Auburn will return home to fight next week against Kentucky. I think the boys will return and play well. (Like I mentioned earlier, the game is at night.)

I also believe that this team is exactly that…a team. They play hard. They win and lose together. There’s no sniping. No backbiting. Just team.

And a class team it is.

War Eagle anyway!

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