While being just down right giddy about the way the 2009 Auburn Tiger offense has looked. I am almost as down trodden about the defense. Yes, they are thin at a few key positions. Yes, it is hard to stay motivated when the offense is racking up yards like never before. But, this is still Auburn. It was not long ago that the defense is what the games for Auburn. I am not sure that they young guys on the defense truly remember that. The Auburn teams of the past never gave up on defense. They knew how to finish.
In my opinion for all the great things Gus and the boys are doing on their side of the ball. Ted Roof and his squad need to learn how to finish. Giving up the late TD to MissState when the good guys are up by 30 may seem okay to most, but not me. There is going to be a point when Auburn is going to need a key stop late in the game, the question will be can they rise to the occasion and get it. Auburn has been in the upper echelon of defensive teams over the years. The Tigers are usually in the top 10 or so in total defense. No way are we near that at this point in the season. Something to think about anyways.
LA Tech is not a pushover like in years past. MissState is a much better team then we saw last season. So is Auburn, but before we as fans start thinking that we can make some real noise in the SEC, we need the defense to become the defense of old.
Another thing that can stop Auburn from greatness this season is Special Teams. Does anyone else cringe when we are receiving punts? Where is Robert Dunn when you need him? I would even take Tre Smith over what is happening on the plains so far this season. What is Coach Boulware doing with his practice time? The Tigers are just plain bad. It seems that no one can hold on to it, much less catch it. And Auburn’s blocking of kick returns is abysmal. Thank the good lord above that they have a couple of shifty return men, or they will be in a world of hurt.
On a good note, Wes Byrum seems to have things figured out. Apparently it has to do with his arm placement. Who knew? Clinton Durst is able to boom it, well if he is not getting plastered by the defense because the up men forget to block someone.
If Auburn can get the special teams under control, and the defense back to true Auburn form this team will be just fine. They are quite fun to watch, I know that.
War Damn Eagle