All right, Tiger fans, get your hands up for Oscar! Ready? Count off! One -- two -- three!
Oscar/Whiskey/Writes on Wednesdays/Insert word that rhymes with "Wednseday"
Six weeks into the season and I've lost my damn mind, again. That's right, come Saturday we will be halfway through the 2013 season and WHY ARE YOU SO SHORT FOOTBALL SEASON?! IT'S SO UNFAIR AND CRUEL! Anyway, through five games, our Tigers sit at 4-1 and picked up their second conference win against Ole Miss. Things are looking up for Auburn and the quick rebound from last year feels good, but there is still a lot of football to be played.
On Saturday,, I made it down to Auburn with my folks and after a lunch at Moe's BBQ on Magnolia, I met up with the fine people at the WarDrunjEagle tailgate. Murphtl and wardamnjared did a great job subbing in as tent leaders for runyogasurf, so kudos to you fellas. It's always a pleasure to hang out with y'all and thanks for making me feel welcome each time I show up out of nowhere. If you haven't had a chance to stop by their tailgate yet, I highly recommend that you do.
Saturday's game was Auburn's Military Appreciation Day. Service members from each branch, past, present and future, were recognized for their commitment to this country. Events like these bring a lot of fanfare, emotion and if the school can swing it, flyover by fighter jets! Because nothing else says "'Murrica!" like football and fighter jets!
Well, we didn't quite get the fighter jets, but it was still cool to get a flyover -- at least to most people.
@theoscarwhiskey G**D*** SEQUESTER FORCING US TO USE COMMIE TRAINERS FOR OUR SALUTE THE TROOPS GAME.— Matt (@boddagettaflyer) October 6, 2013
On the (de)Fence
The Tigers' Defense id receiving a good deal of praise for its effort against Ole Miss. Fourteen tackles for loss, six sacks, two interceptions, one of which was returned 78 yards for a touchdown; hell yeah, who wouldn't be happy with that? Well, me for starters.
Remember how bad last year's defense was? Yeah, it was downright pitiful at times, but did you know they also held four SEC opponents to under 400 total yards? So far this season, all opponents have gone 400-plus on this defense, which sits second to last among SEC teams in total defense, 10th in yards per play and 11th in total yards allowed. Sure, this Tigers D is two-thirds of the way (second in SEC) toward matching last year's total in tackles for loss, and that's great. However, when you let two quarterbacks throw for 340 yards and a running back rush for 180 yards, all those tackles for loss might as well be participation badges. Also, as of right now, Auburn has only forced three fumbles and recovered two .
I really want to believe the defense is improving. Don't get me wrong, there have been signs and flashes and great moments for the highlight reel, but I can't come aboard, not yet. Every time one of the defensive linemen gets to the QB there's busted coverage downfield. Every time the linebackers run down a sweep for little to no gain there's a draw up the middle that goes for a first down and then some. All I am really wanting to see is some consistency from this defense. Our Tigers have, so far, held back the onslaught when it matters most and I'll give them credit for that, at least.
After Auburn's game against LSU, I stated how I was encouraged with the Tigers finally finding balance in their offensive attack. Balance is money not just in Malzahn's HUNH scheme, but for every offense out there. But to see it done in Gus' system is a thing of beauty. I was really excited to see what Marshall and Co. were going to bring to the table, especially after a week off for some extra refinement. Instead, it was more like Week 1 out there: overthrows, dropped balls and fumbling the ball when Auburn couldn't afford to do so.
I'm not going to say that this type of regression upsets me in any form or fashion in the manner that it used to. But, I will say I find it slightly confusing with a touch of disappointment. I like seeing Marshall running with success and picking up yardage, but I'd much rather see him hit receivers in stride. I like seeing Mason and CAP pound their way up the middle, but I much rather see them hang on to the ball better. I know it is unrealistic to believe that this team would be firing on all cylinders and accelerating to 88 mph on day one, but as I said above about the defense, I just want to see some kind of consistency. Well, the Tigers are consistently winning; I can settle with that.
Well, that's it from me this time. Enjoy the rest of your week, and until next time, War Eagle!
More from College and Magnolia:
- College football viewing guide: Can anyone slow down Oregon?
- Auburn Tigers in the NFL: Week 5
- Auburn 30, Ole Miss 22: Breaking down the key drives
- Undercover Barner: On Roll Tiding
- The College and Mag Show, Episode 6