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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DO YOU BELIEVE?

 
Tre Mason extends his body for an Auburn TD vs TAMU via- unknown source
By: Rick Palmedo
College Station Texas
     A beautiful fall day. Just under 70 degrees. The looming presence of The 12th Man. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner leading his team into battle. The road whites. A quarterback not at 100%. A team given little chance to be competitive. Given even less of a chance to win. Sounds like the beginning of quite a story huh. Well let me be the one to finish the tale for you.
The Auburn Tigers
     Auburn marched into College Station to take on number 7 Texas A&M and their Heisman winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. There wasn’t a handful of so called “experts” who gave Auburn the slightest chance of winning. Anything from A&M by 3 touchdowns to Auburn might keep it close for a while but can’t keep up. "A&M is just the better team" was heard ad nauseam.
     45-41. The scoreboard at the end of the game said it all AUBURN 45 TEXAS A&M 41. The team given little to no chance did what they said couldn’t be done. On a crisp blue day in the great state of Texas, our beloved Auburn Tigers stunned the football world and, at least for a moment, silenced the naysayers. Oh they’ll be back. Have no doubts about that. They’ll certainly be back but for this one glorious Saturday afternoon Auburn told the world to Sit Up And Take Notice! As Tre Mason said after the game “We comin”.
     It wasn’t pretty at times. Giving up 41 points and over 600 yards of offense is not something to brag about. It was frustrating at times. Watching Johnny Football scramble around like he was in his backyard while our guys tried to catch him. Good Lord please go to the NFL already! It was beautiful at times. Nick Marshall on 3rd and Goal to Quan Bray for the score. The wheel route to Jay Prosch. Tre Mason stretching out and scoring the game winning touchdown. And yes, it was even AMAZING at times. The 3rd and 9 pass for 27 yards from Nick Marshall to Marcus Davis. Kris Frost chasing down Manziel from half way across the field. And of course Dee Ford putting the exclamation point on the win when he sacked Manziel on 4th down. Auburn 45 Texas A&M 41
     For Auburn coach Gus Malzahn it was the first of what is destined to be many signature wins. For Auburn it was a chance to exercise a lot of demons. To show the nation that 3-9 was an aberration. That Auburn Football is about winning championships. It was about proving we could indeed win on the road. We could stand tall in the face of adversity. We could play this game with the intensity and fierce competitiveness that Auburn teams in the past have done. We could beat a top 10 opponent. We could, simply put, play AUBURN FOOTBALL.
     Auburn “shocked” the football world. We did what couldn’t be done. We beat the unbeatable. We got the best of Johnny Football.  Amazing what a team can accomplish when they put their minds, their hearts, their souls, and their bodies on the line. Auburn did all of that on Saturday. And when it was needed they made the plays. And it was needed a lot. The offense scored when it had to. The defense, so maligned for so long, stepped up every time it was asked to do so. Sacks, interceptions, tackles for loss. Over and over the defense stepped up when called upon to do so. And in the end it was enough. Auburn 45 A&M 41
The Bigger Picture
     Auburn has now put itself in a position most thought impossible when this season started. We do in fact control our own destiny in the SEC West race. Win out and yes, we are in the SEC Championship Game. Is that getting too far ahead of ourselves? Maybe but here’s the thing, we are fans. We don’t have to take it “one game at a time”. We can speculate. We can discuss. We can dream. We are fans. Short for fanatics. We can let the players and coaches take it one day, one game at a time.
     Will Auburn win out? Your guess is as good as mine. Looking at the remaining schedule I can only see one game where we will be underdogs. Yes it’s against the team that must not be named but we get them in our house. And it follows an open date. I like our chances. The only other game I see as a pick ‘em type game is Auburn at UT. Yes I know Tennessee has been down a bit but they are getting better and we have to travel there. So that one is a bit scary.
     For this team, this staff, our fans, the sky is the limit. Wait, let me change that quote. There is no limit. The hopes and dreams of every team that lines up to start a new season are the same. Win it all. For Auburn those hopes. Those dreams. They are still a reality. The blood, sweat, and yes, tears these young men have shed are paying big dividends. In the entire SEC there are only 3 teams that control their own destiny. Auburn is one of those 3. (Feels good doesn’t it?)
The Final Words
     As this season has progressed we have seen an Auburn team expected, by those who think they know us, to do nothing, do the remarkable. 6-1 headed into the homestretch. We have seen a team get better each week. A team grow up before our eyes. A team that is taking on the persona of its head coach and his staff. A team that simply refuses to quit.
     This team is the stuff legends are made of. A first year quarterback taking the lead. A maligned defense rising to the occasion and willing itself to make a play. Just one play. Just one. A trio of running backs that refuse to be stopped. An offensive line that has a mean streak in them as long as the Amazon river. A defensive line that is putting more and more pressure on quarterbacks. Linebackers coming into their own and defensive backs that step in and step up when one of theirs goes down. And a team with a never say quit attitude that plays together, prays together, and wins together. That my friends is Auburn Football.
     As we put A&M in the rear view mirror we look to the future of this team. Where we go from here is up to the coaches, players, and yes, even us, the fans. Florida Atlantic comes to town Saturday. A lesser opponent I know. A game Auburn should handle with little difficulty. And we probably will. But it’s the fans that need to be there. In force. Pack the stadium. Show this team what they mean to us. Be loud. Be proud of this team. They have surpassed most peoples expectations. They have won when they weren’t supposed to. They deserve our support. YOU need to be there. I know I will be!
     As you may or may not have noticed I am an unabashed fan of Auburn. I graduated from my beloved (yes I know I over use the word) University in 1989. I now live there. I have a son who is a Junior there. I can’t think of a better place to live, raise children, retire, and then be buried when my time is up and the good Lord calls me home. I make no excuses for my homerism. I love Auburn. The University, the athletics program, the town. It is my home. And I believe in Auburn. And LOVE IT!
War Eagle everyone.
Time to beat FAU
#11 in the BCS and climbing!
*You can follow Rick on Twitter at @tgrfan89 and the entire blog @AUTigerBloggin
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