Thursday, August 22, 2013
You Were There: The Most Important Game
There was a lot to take away from this game, and from the season leading up to this game. Never had any team had to endure such criticism, and so much scrutiny. Never had any player had so many attacks on his character that frankly, was a "bunch of garbage."
That quote from Gene Chizik while standing up for Cam Newton, was at the pinnacle of the melee that had befell that Tiger squad. For all the criticism that Gene Chizik has received since then, he was a rock in a storm that threatened to tear the Auburn family to shreds. His stalwart stance against all those claiming to be professional media, all the while flinging false allegations at him and his staff, is the stuff of legends. He earned this writers respect forever by simply standing up for his player and not allowing that team to fall apart amidst all the garbage.
Auburn had, by most standards, a less than stellar defense. Although after the first quarter of the Alabama game, that very same defense played lights out leading up to this game. Many thought that it would be the defense that would keep Auburn from claiming the ultimate prize in college football. That same defense held the high scoring Oregon offense to just 19 points.
If there was a dependable spot on this Auburn group , it was the special teams play including that from both the kicker and the punter. Wes Byrum had continually shown that he was clutch towards the end of a game.
In one magical season, against the odds, and in the face of continual attacks from outside the football stadiums, this Auburn team rose to the top. This Auburn team delivered what many before it had never been able to. For whatever reason, all the cards fell into place.
There was even an Eagle flyover before the game started. Looking back, how could we ever have doubted that we would win it all? It was only the most important game of this generation.