There are two reasons why I’m taking one last look back.
1) My buddy Rick Bozich posted something yesterday, I think on Facebook, maybe somewhere else. It was in the form of a question: Who thinks Auburn is a better football team than Alabama? A paraphrase, but it was obvious from the wording, he feels the Crimson Tide are better.
Of course, being ever the contrarian, I immediately ripped him an email, advising my vote’s for the Tigers.
2) Last night on CBS Sports Network, I saw the last eight minutes of the game.
With the battle on the line, Auburn had its way with Bama.
First of all, the Tigers didn’t dial up quit after AJ McCarron’s 99 yard TD strike to Amari Cooper with 10:42 to play.
Auburn’s stellar D held Alabama to 5 and out, and 3 and done on the Tide’s next two possessions.1
We know what happened on the next Crimson Tide possession, the final one of the contest.
What impresses me about Gus Malzahn’s team is its ability to run the ball up the gut, using zone blocking, misdirection, traps and chicanery. The Tigers last drive was beauteous. They had three timeouts to use, when they got the ball at their own 35 with 2:41 to play. They didn’t need to use one to score.2
Here’s that Auburn drive. Tre Mason up the middle for 7. Tre Mason up the middle for 1. Tre Mason up the middle for 5, for “Another Tigers First Down.” Tre Mason up the middle for 5. Tre Mason up the middle for 3.3 Tre Mason up the middle for 5 and another fresh set of downs.
Then, when Malzahn had the Tide suckered in and sucking air, Nick Marshall rolled left. The Tide’s corners bit, charging in to stop his progress. At which moment, Auburn’s QB flipped a short pass to Sammie Coates, who was WIDE OPEN. He could have crawled the 39 yards for the score.
Those are the reasons why I think Auburn proved it’s a better team, when it mattered, Better strategy. Better execution. Better waffles at the Waffle House.
I’m not going to enter the debate over Nick Saban’s decision to kick that 57 yard FG, which proved fatal. Other than to opine, that he might have realized his defense was never going to stop Auburn’s lethal running attack in OT.
— Seedy K