Wednesday, September 4, 2013
What I Saw: Washington State
A rather scarce crowd showed for Saturday's opening game of the 2013 season between The Auburn Tigers and The Washington St Cougars. I am certain there were more there for A-Day than game one. I guess with the tempted expectations this year people chose not to trek to The Plains for the first game of the year. Truly it was quite disappointing to see.
Auburn started the season on defense as Wazzu won the coin toss. It was a series of quick three step drops by the QB and hitting the little 5-7 yards pass play. It was rather effective.
Auburn could not get a push up front and the linebacker corp was not looking good at all. Missed assignments and poor angles were clearly happening as I watched.
On offense, AU was not much better in the beginning. Starting QB Nick Marshall seemed a bit tentative in his first start and didn't really develop any rhythm in the first half. If not for the likes of Tre Mason (100 Yard Kick-off return), Corey Grant (75 yd TD run) and the bruising running of Cameron Artis-Payne Auburn would've been in real trouble.
Auburn basically clung to a narrow lead the whole game. The defense, led by freshman Montravious Adams, played much better in the second half limiting WSU to just three points. The offense still never got fully on track with a series of dropped balls by the wide receiver corp and a late fumble by Tre Mason.
In the end what could've been a lopsided win turned into a 7 point thriller. Still Coach Malzahn and the Tigers won. And in the end that's all that matters. It is my opinion that last years team would've found a way to lose that game while this years found a way to win. I'll take a win, ugly or pretty, over a loss any day.
So it's on to game Two for Auburn. A game in which Coach Malzahn will pit our Tigers against his old team, Arkansas St. Should be a good game. Lets hope the Tigers win by 21+ points as SEC play looks the following week.
Although the team struggled in some areas others stood out. There will be some growing pains this year but just the sheer will to win a close ballgame shows me this team is already ahead of last years.
As the season progresses and adjustments are made I feel certain this team of Tigers will win one they aren't supposed to win. I have a game in mind. I'll let you know later who I think we beat.
Until then War Damn Eagle!!
by Rick Palmedo