FULLTIME: This first: the better team won. The “question” of which was the better team was not even remotely a question by game’s end.
This second: this offense can do anything. It can win any championship. That’s not the same as saying it will … but if it will get out of its own way, there is no game on the schedule it can’t win virtually by itself. That LSU defense was probably the best one Auburn will face all season. And they destroyed it. They humiliated it. 528 yards, yes … but 442 rushing yards is what Auburn does to freaking Sun Belt teams. They turned Drake Nevis and Kelvin Sheppard and the rest of that front seven into one of LSU’s neighbors … Tulane, or Lafayette or something.
In the end, Miles had to try and throw on 4th-and-6 because giving the ball back to Auburn was simply to concede. He had to take one gamble too many, one too early. Even when it’s off the field, Auburn’s offense disrupts what the other team wants to do. It’s that good.
It is a joy. Cam for Heisman. Nick Fairley for Lombardi. War Damn Eagle.
The defense might not help out too terribly much. But Nick Fairley will, and Josh Bynes will, and the secondary will do their best.
THIRD QUARTER: He’s on our team. I still can’t believe it:
By this point, Auburn has established themselves as the better team. If our Tigers don’t throw the game away with FUMBLES, MARIO or letting Peterson loose for a big return, we will win.
C’mon, Auburn. One more quarter.
HALFTIME: DammitdammitdammitdammitdammitDammitDAMMIT. Auburn has the chance to open up a two-score lead and really, really take control of this game, and they toss it away. Of course LSU comes back to tie the game, and of course they have the ball first in the second half, and of course we’re back to chewing our nails to the quick.
The good news: Auburn’s been behind at the half and been perfectly fine. Tied at the half, they are certainly capable of being perfectly fine again. But this game has “one play decides it, again” written all over it, doesn’t it?
— Where the hell would the defense be without Nick Fairley? And now he may be out with a head injury. Our secondary’s tackling is just flat woeful.
— We can run on anyone. But even we can’t drive 99 yards exclusively on the ground. Auburn’s got to get more out of the passing game.
— We’re at home. I still like our chances. But it’s hard to breathe. War Eagle.
Kickoff, 2:30 CDT: Eltoro Freeman is dressed; I would be surprised if he didn’t play given how much better he matches up against LSU’s ground game over the likes of Kentucky and Arkansas.
And that’s it. It’s time. The opportunity is vast. WAR DAMN EAGLE.
Pregame, 2 p.m. CDT: Jerry again. Lineupdates: Fannin is getting the start over Dyer at tailback. Both will probably play; sounds like Dyer still isn’t entirely over his knee injury. Not surprising, but much more troubling: T’Sharvan Bell is probably not going to play today. Chris Davis, it’s your time, my man.
Also worth noting that Ryan White has changed his jersey number; it may be to get him onto special teams somewhere, but it may also be because he’s the emergency corner today if someone else suffers a knock. And finally, neither DeAngelo Benton nor Trovon Reed will play today, but I’m not sure why you would have expected otherwise.
Pregame 12:30 p.m. CDT: Jerry here, guys. As Jeremy reported already, Malzahn has designed an Oregon-style flashcard for this week’s game … or did he? Maybe Oregon already had the card made?!?!?
That is a totally accurate and untouched screencap of Thursday’s game and not a Photoshop rendition at all. At all.
Elsewhere, the student section is bringing it. They are, as the saying goes, “all in.” This is 2.5 hours before kickoff:
War Eagle, gents and ladies. Thanks to Peggy for the pic.
The beat writers are also in the house, but no news on the ground just yet. But wait, before you leave TWER, makes sure you check out Mac’s last-minute projections, the same ones that GUARANTEED an Auburn win last week.
Pregame 11:25 a.m. CDT: ESPN’s “College Gameday” picked Auburn across the board. And how about that Navy to start their game against Notre Dame!?!? Kill ’em Midshipmen!!!! And a big thanks to the readers for checking in this morning. I’m finding the rituals fascinating so far! (Especially tigertracker’s poor ol’ mom!) — J.M.
Pregame 8:25 a.m. CDT: Just a few short hours ’til kickoff. The butterflies of doom in my stomach are strangely quiet this morning. I’ll be very limited today on posting things here ’cause I’ve got a thousand things to do and traveling around the mid-Atlantic before and after the game. (Any other TWER contributors are certainly welcome to jump in. And comment like crazy down below, gentle reader!)
I was wondering what everyone’s lucky charms or game day rituals were … you know … to ward off evil football spirits. I know you have them. I have them. A lucky hat. A lucky Godzilla holding a 2009 Trooper Taylor Towel. I think Coach Chizik has them too. How else can you explain the repeated appearance of the Under Armor’s “Mean Gene Signature Lucky White-with-Blue-Trim, Short-Sleeve, Turtleneck Windbreaker Bo-Diddly-Bob Wearing Thang”? You know what I’m talking about.
As much as I’ve made fun of the “Mean Gene Signature Lucky White-with-Blue-Trim, Short-Sleeve, Turtleneck Windbreaker Bo-Diddly-Bob Wearing Thang,” I will probably flip out if I don’t see Chizik be-garbed with it today.
So what are you doing today to help out the team? Grab those discarded chicken bones, put ’em in a Crown Royal bag and roll ’em out in some voodoo fashion to “spell” L-S-U-C-K or something. Not that I think we’ll need luck, but I DO think we’ll need something to counteract the devil-may-care luck of Coach Les sMiles.
If you haven’t checked out Jerry, John and Justin‘s posts from yesterday … do yourself a favor and check them out. (You know what? There sure are a lot of “J” names involved with this operation. Weird that I just now noticed that.)
Once again … let’s post up the BEFORE photo of the LSU braggart and hope that we get to see the AFTER shot later on. Weagle weagle folks! War Damn Eagle! Kick ’em in the butt Big Blue … — J.M.