Thursday, December 11, 2014
A Season of Hope
It started so well, that month we call October......
The first game of the month gave the appearance that this team had come together and was starting to realize their true potential. LSU had been summarily handled. A first quarter of full of sound and fury. A fireworks display to make even the 4th of July blush.
Hope was high that this Auburn team had found it's stride. With the offense finally clicking on all cylinders, this team was capable of something truly special.
The Tigers stumbled against Mississippi State. Two early turnovers and lots of penalties made things look as though MSU had been there before, and that Auburn had not.The Tigers wilted on the road, yet hung in there until the very end.
Heading into the game versus South Carolina, Auburn was heavily favored. Auburn's defense was ranked 20th in the nation in total defense by College Football Stats. It seemed, our offense could outscore anyone because our defense had found its stride. It only seemed that way.
South Carolina, led by that offensive mastermind Steve Spurrier had figured out an Auburn weakness on the defensive side of the ball, and had his team prepared to take full advantage. The result was a squeaker by an Auburn team at home.
The Old Ball Coach gave every team remaining on Auburn's schedule a blueprint on how to attack the Auburn defense. It was on film for all to see.
After narrowly escaping Oxford, MS with a win, our next opponent used the Spurrier approach to their advantage, it played to their strength, and Auburn had a fight on their hands with Texas A & M. Some key mistakes, and penalties were the undoing of our Tigers as The Aggies had a coming out party on our home field.
The rest of the season went downhill quickly. Auburn's defense finished ranked 61st in total defense, and was a major factor in the undoing of all that was hopeful. It wasn't all on the defense however as our offense continued to have mental lapses. Penalties, and missed assignments caused a lot of the problems. Most occurred at the crucial points in drives.
That season of hope has all but vanished. There is still work to be done. Auburn plays Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl. The practice is needed.
Then we turn our attention toward next season. Who will declare for the NFL Draft? There is hope again for next season. That is the lure of Auburn football, "wait until next year." I for one have hope that something special is going to happen.