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Another tender Tennessee Christmas?

... down comes good ol' Malzahn Claus.
... it's the only Christmas for me. And by 'it' Ben means total annihilation.

When you create a scenario in your mind, let’s say for example, a 56-10 Auburn win over Tennessee, and then reality, cruel witch that she is, serves you a 26-22 victory, you are disappointed. Not real disappointed because Auburn still won. But it’s like when it doesn’t snow on Christmas. It’s still Christmas, but it’s not the greeting card Christmas you wanted.

And so I was not as happy as I could have been Saturday night. Yes, I realize that is silly. Auburn won, is 5-0 and is ranked in the top 20 in the polls. But I really — and this is me being selfish — really wanted Auburn to make a 2004-like statement all over the Vols.

It was close to being that type of game.

A dropped pass by Onterio McCalebb in the end zone and a relatively poor red zone performance made the game more respectable than it should have been. I wanted to be alone with my Auburn brethren during the 3rd quarter, eating my Petro, singing about prayers and living. Again, me being selfish.

Part of the reason the game got so respectable was Auburn’s defense.

Now let’s pretend that you, whomever you may be, are Auburn’s defensive coordinator. Auburn is up 23-6 going into the fourth quarter. The opposing team’s quarterback is Jonathan Crompton. Yes, that Jonathan Crompton. The one who is interchangeable with a catfish. Do you:

a) Convert the entire defense to Islam and issue a fatwa on Jonathan Crompton.
b) Sit the first team defense so they can practice their rendition of Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the U.S.A.” for next weeks episode of Glee.
c) Secretly replace yourself with an android and leave early to get a table with a view of the river at Calhoun’s.
d) Ask Gus Malzahn to call your plays.
e) Do nothing. Auburn no longer needs a defense.

Guess what? There is no wrong answer. Doing any of the above would have garnered the same results as what Ted Roof and Co. did in the 4th quarter (though the fatwa idea may be worth exploring).

Crompton looks terrible, terrible, terrible when he is outside the pocket. So why not blitz? Sitting back in cover 2 or whatever that was is not a good choice. I understand Auburn was winning 23-6 and giving up big plays is bad, but so is playing soft and, dare I say it, scared.

Auburn should play defense as it plays offense — wide-open, unafraid, caution and worries to the wind.

Bah. That is mainly just me being one of them “bloggers.” We got to complain about something.

Tennessee, however, does have a good defense. But Gus Malzahn and his idiot savant-ness made it and the crypt keeper running it look pedestrian.

At one point, I think it was when Zachery scored on the screen pass (by the way, he is shifty and fast), I said, in a moment of joy and carelessness, “I would give Gus Malzahn a handjob right now.” I’m pretty sure I meant it.

Credit also to Ben “I superpunch All-Americans as if it is my profession and calling in life” Tate, Onterio McCalebb, the offensive line, Jay Wisner, Terrell Zachery, the fans, my roommate Griffin and my friends Chris, French and Austin, and Chris Todd.

Speaking of Todd, where did his escapability come from? I’ll let Jerry take it from here:

Where the hell did Todd get this kind of Tarkentonian pocket presence from? It’s one thing for your new cyborg shoulder to give you better zip on your ball, more confidence in your throws, better accuracy, maybe even better decision-making on where to go with it … but how does it help your ability to avoid the rush and spot the open man on the move, which Todd must have done a half-dozen times last night? I give the credit, as I do things like nice weather and a fireman rescuing a cat from a burning building these days, to Gus Malzahn.

Co-signed. I’m sorry we ever doubted you, Chris. (That said, I was a staunch Todd supporter even last year. No really. I could see the good in him. I was Luke to his Darth Vader.)

One last thing before I go all Allman Brothers and ramble into the distance — the Eric Berry videos … WTF?

The videos, found at Berry4Heisman.com, make one wonder if Lane Kiffin wants to coach or go into public relations. As a coach, surely he stresses the team mentality. However, undercutting all that is a plethora, cornucopia — and other words meaning “lots” — of videos starring Eric Berry and … that’s it.

It is ridiculous and sad and makes me yell, “(Derogatory word meaning the physical act of love) you, Eric Berry” when Ben Tate runs him over.

Eric Berry is not going to win the Heisman, with or without the videos. They are embarrassing and poorly done. Stop it, Tennessee. They also make me hate you more.

War Eagle. Merry Christmas.

About Ben Bartley

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