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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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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Auburn vs. Kentucky Preview

I’d like to take a few minutes to talk about baseball and the playoffs.

In the playoffs, they always ask the team that will be the visitor in the first two games in the series what they hope to accomplish in their first two games. Every time, the answer is the same. The players all say that they hope to go 1-1 and take home field advantage in the series. If the team loses the first game and wins the second, they’re happy or at least satisfied. However, if they win the first and lose the second, then they’re upset because they had a chance to win both games and blew it.

Had Auburn players been asked at the start of the season if they would be satisfied with 5-1 at the midpoint of the season, they would have been happy. Now, it seems like a letdown. But letdowns happen. Auburn beat Tennessee. Tennessee beats Georgia. Georgia beats Arkansas. Arkansas beats Auburn. The SEC’s version of the circle of life continues. And now that the impossibility of a perfect season this year has been eliminated, we can move on and get back to one game at a time.

So, it is focusing on one game at a time that we go home to face Kentucky. Kentucky hasn’t exactly been burning it up this year. Right now, the team’s only claim to fame is giving Tebow a concussion. He seems to have come back from it. Unfortunately, for Kentucky, their QB is now out. If this were last two years, it would worry me. For some reason, Auburn seemed to have problems with QBs they hadn’t prepped for.

With Kentucky hurt and Auburn hungry again, I think we’ll squeak by. Auburn will be favored in this game. It will be at home. It will be at night. Auburn will be licking its wounds with hopes of quick redemption (and bowl eligibility).

Auburn’s record against Kentucky is 24-5-1. We first played the Wildcats in a home-and-home season in ’34 and ’35. We split those, with Kentucky taking the first one (at Kentucky) and Auburn winning the home bill. The next meeting was in ’54, the first of 18 straight. We last lost to Kentucky in ’66 in Lexington. Auburn’s only loss to Kentucky at Auburn came in ’61 in a 14-12 heartbreaker. (The one tie game was at Auburn.)

Again, we need to move on from last week. Auburn was due for a down game. I hope this was it. I was still proud of the team. Last year’s squad wouldn’t have rattled off 20 points in the 3rd quarter and made a go of it. This team has come back a lot of adversity. They’ve trailed in every game but one, and come back in all but one. They’ve been down. They’ve been written off. And most likely they’ll be written off again. (Particularly as the Iron Bowl will be in the afternoon.) For this weekend, they will leave with a victory, a 6-1 record, and hopes of continued improvement down the road.

And speaking of the road, they have LSU next weekend. LSU has a bye this weekend and will have had two weeks for the Florida game to fester by the time Auburn travels to Baton Rouge. LSU will be pumped and ready to take out their frustration on our beloved Tigers.

Coming next week, why LSU is always fun.

War Eagle!!

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