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The AU Wishbone: Revenge for Victory

Photo: Lauren Barnard/Auburn University
Photo: Lauren Barnard/Auburn University

Texas A&M loss:  Life on the Edge Caught up to Auburn

To be very clear this wasn’t “Auburn was lucky and now the luck ran out.”  This game was more of “2014 Auburn could beat anyone in America but they make too many mistakes on a week to week basis with the most difficult schedule in the country to go undefeated.”

The College Football Playoff Thoughts for the Week :

Hey – good news.  Don’t worry so much about the College Football Playoff Committee and its rankings.   And whether Auburn would also have passed FSU like Oregon did.  And whether Auburn should be ranked ahead of one loss teams who haven’t played anyone (Ohio State).    Just let it go.

We have heard from some of you “What is left to play for now that Auburn might not make the playoff?”  We have strong feelings about this topic:   College football was the best sport in the world before we ever had a playoff.   Any season in which Auburn can beat LSU, Georgia and Bama is a GREAT season, regardless of whether we win the SEC or make the playoff or both.

Don’t let the loss to Texas A&M ruin your season.  Enjoy every moment of Auburn football.

A Tale of Two Halves

Screenshot 2014-11-13 19.51.25Clearly Auburn’s coaching staff and players are making adjustments and shutting down opponents in the second half.  But why can’t they perform at a higher level earlier in the game? With Auburn’s offensive scoring ability it is understandable that teams are aggressive in their play calling against the Tigers, but our defense should expect that at this point.  Do you they need a different pre-game routine? Start the game more or less aggressive in the defensive play calling? Change the starting lineup?

The Georgia Double Revenge Game

Georgia wants revenge against Auburn for losing in Jordan-Hare last season.  You may remember it.  Auburn wants revenge for having to hear about how lucky it was to win a game that it was winning by 20 points at the start of the 4th quarter. Auburn was blowing Georgia out of the stadium and should have finished them.   Instead the visitors roared back to score 21 fourth quarter points aided by Auburn penalties, incomplete passes that stopped the clock, an Aaron Murray touchdown that wasn’t,  and the collision of two Auburn players in the backfield on a sweep.

Do you want to understand more about the recent history of the Auburn – Georgia rivalry?  If so read this and then this.  Now you understand the rivalry a little bit better.

What do we expect from the UGA game?

1)     Mike Bobo vs himself.   Todd Gurley is back this week and Nick Chubb has been spectacular the last few games without him.   But Auburn’s secondary looked very shaky last week – will Bobo resist the urge to throw the football against Auburn?? Every incomplete pass or interception will results in 80,000 people screaming “Run the d&#& ball!”

2)     If you win the rushing battle you win this game.  That has held true for the last ten years (2003-2013) and probably almost every game in the series.  Auburn has an excellent chance to do that – if they can slow down Gurley and Chubb.   Auburn allows 4.61 yards per carry in conference play and Georgia allows 4.44 yards per carry against SEC teams.

3)     Georgia has played one ranked team – and that was Clemson in the very first game.  And that was before Clemson figured out who its best quarterback was.  So Auburn has played a much more difficult schedule and is used to playing these games against higher level competition.

4)     If Duke Williams does not play (and he is not expected to) then someone else will have to step up and be a key 3rd down target for Nick Marshall.  Auburn has plenty of options to fill this role but one of them must step up.

5)     What is Georgia really good at? Winning the turnover battle.   They have lost six turnovers all year.   Auburn has lost six turnovers in its two defeats.

6)     Georgia is better than Auburn at special teams; this is a big concern in a road game.

7)     Here is the big key – Auburn cannot continue to make the number and magnitude of mistakes it made against Texas A&M or Mississippi State or South Carolina and expect to win this game.  If Auburn makes fewer mistakes than it has been making (turnovers + penalties + blown coverages + missed assignments  + dropped passes) then it can win this game.   Auburn is the better football team.  But they can’t defeat Georgia if they spot them 14 points through Auburn mistakes.    Eliminate or lessen the mistakes and Auburn wins this game. 


The Wishbone Power Rankings

The Elite:

MSU (Bama’s defense is beaten up from the game in Baton Rouge – can Josh Robinson and Dak Prescott take advantage of it?)

The Very Good:

Auburn   (A great team that makes too many mistakes)

Alabama  (So much better at home than on the road.)

Ole Miss (Can they recover and finish strong?)

The Good:

LSU (Only Les Miles could have lost that game.)

Georgia  (Allowed an average of 33 points to Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and South Carolina.  What will they do against the Auburn offense?)

Texas A&M (We will be petitioning the NCAA and NFL to allow Myles Garrett to declare for the NFL draft immediately.)

Missouri   (The most up and down team in the conference.)

Arkansas (Bert in the snow against Les Miles?)

Florida   (Can Muschamp continue to save his job this week?  Do UF fans even want that?)

The Not-So-Good:

Tennessee  (Well they found a quarterback anyway.)

Kentucky  (Would be fine for a Big 10 team.)

South Carolina (Can they find a painful new way to lose this week?)

The Wretched:

Vanderbilt  ()

You can read previous Wishbone columns (and listen to Van and John’s great podcast) here.

More great Auburn-Georgia stuff:

* That time Auburn tore down the goalposts after upsetting undefeated Georgia and put them up at Toomer’s Corner for a week or so
* This story on the 1915 Auburn-Georgia game is the greatest thing ever written about Auburn football
* Night Brooded Over Jordan-Hare: An Auburn philosophy professor goes deep on The Miracle
* The pledge Auburn players had to sign before beating Georgia for the first time
* Amazing rare photos from the 1972 BURN THE BULLDOGS pep rally
* Grown Auburn fan still coming to terms with 1992 loss to Georgia
* Pat Dye, Georgia loudmouth

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