|Celebration! photo by: Tiffany Pyle|
I have to be totally honest, I never thought I would be writing this post, not this Fall. I had hopes of maybe writing it next December. We will now save that discussion for another time.
The Auburn Tigers came into this game as I had feared they would. Fresh off of an improbable victory the week before, the Tigers looked sloppy to start with. It wasn't until midway thru the second quarter that they got their act together, and started playing like they have the last seven games. Turnovers that came at a high cost, and the huge height advantage that Mizzou wide outs had over our DB's played out as was predicted early on.
The scoring started a little slow with a punt and a Field Goal to start the two first possessions. Then the Touchdown water faucet was turned on. It looked, for all intents and purposes, to be a Mountain West Conference game, for a while at least, trading Touchdown after precious Touchdown, until the calculators had to be brought out. Many records were broke this night. Tre Mason set new single season Auburn All-Purpose yardage record (2,137), and rushing Touchdown record (22).
Mason also set a new SEC Championship game rushing total with 304 yards on 46 carries. He was named MVP for his efforts.
Missouri's head football coach Gary Pinkel was asked during his post game press conference if he could tell people how to stop Auburn's run game. He stated simply that "I am the wrong person to ask, I'd have stopped it if I could have."
HIGHLIGHTS: courtesy of Auburn Athletics and AUHD
Many times the drives that Auburn wasn't successful on, and there weren't many, looked as if Auburn was the culprit more so than the Mizzou defense. That is not to talk lightly of the black and gold Tigers, it's that Auburn's run game was that effective.
Nick Marshall was very accurate in the passing game, and finished 9 of 11 with 132 yards a TD and zero interceptions. No pass was more critical than the first down slant pass to Trovon Reed. That pass play was set up by a fake WR screen, that was executed perfectly by Nick Marshal, and Sammie Coates. Reed made the catch, and it kept the go ahead drive alive.
Afterwards, Quan Bray was asked what the biggest difference was between this year's team, and the team from last year. "We were hungry. The best thing that probably happened to us was bringing Coach Russell back in. Coach Russell, he gets everything out of us."
This young team with just 16 Seniors, have made the biggest turn around in Auburn football history. From winless in conference play last season to the "Champions of the best football conference in America."
The storybook ending has yet to be wrote however, as the road was paved for Auburn to play in the BCS Championship game when Michigan State took down #2 Ohio State in the B1G Championship last night. The Auburn Tigers are expected to be ranked #2 in the country, and have a shot at the National Championship. The second time in 4 years. Do you believe in miracles?