The following is based on a true* story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent**.
A few weeks ago, I awoke from a dream in a cold sweat. This dream was several weeks too early and a little dramatic, but it scared me nonetheless:
I was sitting on the couch in my living room when I heard a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting a guest so I asked who it was and got not answer. I looked through the peephole to find an empty patio. Suddenly, a face appeared.
I screamed. He said he knew who I was and he was coming after me for those horrible things I wrote about Schmississippi Schmate. He must have been referring to the excellent Schman Schmullen jokes I used in my Schmundercover Schmarner column about Schmauburn’s upcoming game in Schmarkville. Then he brandished a machete, which I thought was a bit of an overreaction to a couple of Cousin Eddie GIFs. Apparently my door was unlocked because we struggled with it for several seconds before he overpowered me with his meth strength. He drug me outside, swinging the machete similarly to how I imagine Schmike Schmleach swings his sword. I was eventually able to wrestle free and push the guy into a giant flower display (???) on the stairs outside of my apartment. I leapt over him (because in this dream, I am basically an Olympic high jumper) and escaped to safety.
Once awake, I caught my breath and checked the door. Sure enough, I’d forgotten to lock it. Since I was home by myself, once I locked the door to ensure no psychotic Schmississippi Schmate fans could break in, I slept with all the lights on***. Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t want you to expect funny Schman Schmullen jokes in this neck of the woods. No sir, I’ve got nothing but positive things to say about old Mr. Megan****. Now I’m not saying there are any State fans out there like that. I’m just saying I can’t take the chance. Long story short, this game has been quite literally haunting my nightmares for weeks.
Before we get to this week’s happenings in Starkvegas, I’d like to first address something we covered last week: the nagging questions we hadn't been able to answer about this Auburn team. I think Auburn did a good job answering most of the questions I posed before last week's LSU game:
1. But is Auburn winning with enough authority?
2. Does that mean something?
It means that we have more points than the other team.
3. Is Auburn elite?
If Auburn’s offense and defense click at the same time, it’s hard to argue that they’re not.
4. What is up with Nick Marshall?
He looked a lot more comfortable against LSU than he has at any other point this season. He made better reads and threw the ball better. He looked much more like 2013 Marshall.
5. Should Auburn put in Jeremy Johnson?
6. When did we get an Australian punter?
This question remains unanswered, actually. I assume we smuggled him in.
Defense made a triumphant return to Jordan-Hare Stadium last Saturday. LSU had many offensive problems but Auburn was able to dominate the game from start to finish and held them to a stupid 0/13 on third down. For a team whose specialty seems to be giving up third-and-long, it was a breath of fresh air. I received an unsolicited text message from my father suggesting I name a future child after Ellis Johnson. I probably will.
The offense looked snappy again, too. Nick Marshall and Sammie Coates looked like the tag team of yesteryear, and Duke reminded us of his unbelievable catch radius and clutch reliability. CAP and Corey had great nights as well, with Corey’s punctuating touchdown making me squeal like a child. All in all, it was a fun night to be an Auburn Tiger.
That’s the good news. The less good news is that Auburn has to take this show on the road to Starkville this week to face Dan, Dak, and newly anointed juggernaut Mississippi State*****. I feel slightly more comfortable about this game after watching Auburn’s performance against LSU, but leaving Starkville undefeated will be no easy task for the Tigers. In fact, I agree with Blake—at this point in the season, this is the game that scares me the most. MSU has all the offensive weapons to push our defense to the limits and their line can bottle up our run game. But I’m sticking with what I said last week: Until I have a reason not to, I believe in Brilliant Auburn and love it. If Auburn can fire on all cylinders like it did against LSU, I think they silence the cowbells.
If you’re making the trip to Starkville, have a slice of pizza at Lost Pizza Co. for me. And wear navy. It’ll look better against the maroon/white thing they’re trying to do.
Until next time—War Eagle.
*I am 100% serious. I really had this dream.
*** Sorry about that power bill, Laura.
****Whoops. That one slipped.
*****What is this world we live in?