You know those annoying update messages that pop up every couple of weeks commanding you to restart your computer to install the latest Java or Adobe or Microsoft Silverlight (???) updates? Well I’m pretty sure at some point after the Jacksonville State game, this update window began to pop up in Gus’ robot* brain:
But the season was young, and his quarterback had a lot of potential. His star wide receiver had forgone starting his NFL career for one more season on the Plains. And he was stupidly talented.
Then his team traveled to Baton Rouge. His quarterback showed little to no improvement. Jeremy** still couldn’t see the field and still stared down his receivers. With another SEC game staring him in the face, Gus couldn’t postpone it any longer.
And then his star wide receiver punched some more people, thereby ending his short Auburn career.
So here we are, three games into the quarterback upgrade and one game into the wide receiver purge. While Auburn is in no way a championship-caliber team right now, I can’t help but think a good reset did SOME measure of good.
For one, dismissing Duke Williams sent a message that no one is bigger than the team. If message board fodder is to be believed, Duke's special treatment was a source of derision in the locker room. I hate it when kids don't work out, but it's especially frustrating to see one with so much talent waste it with poor decisions. I've never quite gotten over Michael Dyer's fall from grace, and I don't think I ever will. I hope Duke lands on his feet, but it's better for everyone that he's no longer in orange and blue.
If I’m being honest, last Thursday’s road game against the Wildcats of Kentucky wasn’t a game I saw us winning after the Jacksonville State not loss. So for Auburn to go into a hostile environment*** and come away with a win, even if it was a close one, it was kind of impressive.
Remember how Auburn dug itself into a hole at the beginning of the season and the only way out was up? They may not be all that easy**** to watch, but they’re trying. The defense is young, and it’s reckless*****. Despite giving up almost guaranteed thirds-and-long, they bent more often than they broke. They even got to the quarterback a time or two. I’m not saying they’re an Iron [Bowl] Curtain or anything, but they’re making some noise, and that’s better than anything we saw against LSU.
The offense is finally finding its identity and managing to cap off some of its sustained drives with touchdowns. It all starts with the quarterback, and Sean White has shown poise, a cool head, and a pretty decent arm. He's making better decisions and Gus is finally working with the talent he has, rather than the talent he wanted. Where offensive production was previously sporadic at best, now Auburn has established a solid ground game with Peyton, Roc, and Kerryon, and Ricardo, Marcus, and Tony are helping us forget what could’ve been with Duke.
Okay, I’m done sunshine pumping. This team isn’t as good as it could be, but it’s a lot better than it was. Onward and upward, Tigers.
If you’re travelling to Fayetteville to see our Tigers take on the Hogs, watch out for falling BERTs. I hate that man, I hate his team, and I hope he farts on camera in his postgame press conference while he’s crying about how badly we beat him. He does not deserve nice things, and I hope we run the normal, American football down his throat.
Until Next time—War Eagle!
*Let’s be honest: He’s equal parts robot, wizard, and Tasmanian devil.
**I’ve avoided this topic for a while, but I do feel the need to mention that I think Jeremy has handled his role-change with grace. He has a big heart, and he loves Auburn. I only hope he is as fondly remembered as Kodi Burns.
***FYI, Kentucky is lowkey third place in the East right now. That probably says more about the gulf of talent between the East and the West, but I’ll keep using it to sunshine-pump, thank you very much.
**** It's good to know we're not alone:
Ohh my can't deal with this— Josh Holsey (@HeyItsJholsey) October 16, 2015
***** We’re going to see T-Swift in ATL on Saturday so thank you for being a part of #7DaysOfTay!