If you had forgotten what absolute bliss college football can be, you got a piping hot spoonful of it Saturday afternoon. No one, other than those of us in orange and blue, gave Auburn a snowball’s chance against Johnny Football and Texas A&M. Pundits laughed about it and dismissed it. People in the national media cannot seem to forgot the train wreck of 2012.
Fortunately, the group of young men wearing that orange and blue have forgotten. After Auburn 45 Texas A&M 41, we all can.
I don’t know if I have seen a team with more guts than this one. The 2010 team had guts, but they also had a guy that wore #2 that helped instill courage. This team has a 6 footer who used to play defensive back.
Nick Marshall doesn’t make every throw that he should. He puts the ball on the ground too much. But he is cool and collected in crunch time and I cannot think of anyone better to lead this team throughout the rest of the season.
People who thought that the Malzahn offense is of the finesse variety found out pretty quickly in that last drive that this is a power eye from a spread. Sure, there are lots of moving parts and motions and fakes, but this offense runs right at you. Tre Mason was a beast Saturday and is one of the best backs in the country you’ve never heard of.
Defensively, you cannot say enough about how much better this unit is from the last few years. They make mistakes, sure. But they fly to the ball and make plays. We all knew Manziel and Evans would get their points. What we didn’t know was that a fresh set of linemen had plenty enough in the tank to register two sacks in the final moments to seal the deal.
Excited about the win against a top ten team? Now think about this-It will only get better. And if the schedule plays out the way I think it will, we may be looking for an Iron Bowl for the ages on November 30th. But let’s not get too far ahead. Tough road games still remain.
The ceiling is so high for this group under Malzahn that I can barely contain my excitement for the future. It is hard to believe that these are the same players we watched perform so futilely last season.
But as Dee Ford said after the game Saturday, and I am paraphrasing here “We are the same players as last year, but we are a different team.”
Amen, Dee. Amen
Other random thoughts about the weekend:
-Say what you want about Johnny Football, but he is a gamer and one tough dude. I was dreaming of a 4th quarter runaway after he went out. But then he went in the locker room and grew another arm. They must have shot him up with the same stuff Coach Kilmer used in Varsity Blues.
-That may be the worst defense we have played this year against a DI team. If the Aggs had a funtional D they are likely a Championship contender.
-The old football saying “The team that can run the ball and stop the run will will usually win”, and Auburn did just that Saturday.
-The SEC is a crazy league this year, especially after Saturday. Raise your hand if you had Missouri to win the east.And who in the world thought that LSU would go down to an Ole Miss team missing their feature back and a patchwork defense?
-Florida State may be the best team in the country right now. I see them playing Oregon for the National Championship…after we beat Bama.
So with 5 games left, Auburn should be favored in four of those for sure. I still worry about road games in Fayetteville and Knoxville, especially the way Tennessee is playing right now. Let’s worry about those games when they get here. Right now, I will enjoy being 6-1.