Introducing a new feature for College and Magnolia--plays and players of the game. Even in a loss as frustrating as this one, there were big plays and good players. Hopefully next week, we'll be highlighting the game winning plays.
Having Carl back on the field was huge and he scared the crap out of Laremy Tunsil. And, Sean White played tough as nails on one good leg.
Read on to see what other C&M contributors had to say, and feel free to leave your plays and players of the game in the comment thread below.
Editor's Note: Because this is a new idea is why it's going up on Thursday when the Watch Lists used to be published. Next week it will go up much earlier.
I think Sean and Ricardo both played well. They weren't perfect, but they made some great plays together and combined for Sean's first passing TD.
Having Carl back allowed Cassanova McKinzy to get more hits, but Carl was absolutely the difference-maker on defense. Carl made Laremy Tunsil look absolutely foolish out there (Tunsil had countless false starts, and Carl had no trouble getting around him to put pressure on the quarterback...Carl also made the commentators look foolish for saying that Tunsil "might be the best player in college football" early in the broadcast. Silly commentators.).
Also, Carlton Davis is becoming a stud in front of our eyes. So both Carl's are doing great things on defense.
ALSO ALSO...while it's not fun to settle for field goals, I think we're spoiled with Daniel Carlson, because he's absolutely money. It really says something that our fans can be upset with a (pretty much) guaranteed three points from anywhere within 50 yards (and I mean that in a good way). So he's also balling out every week.
This is Sean's team, so I'd say that even with a bad knee, he balled out again this weekend, and I'm very proud of his efforts. His touchdown pass to Ricardo is probably my vote.
Player of the game was Lawson. You could really tell that having him back changes the entire dynamic of the defense, even if some of the stats don't show it.
Play of the game was the touchdown to Louis. That ball was so on-the-money that it was almost like Sean White called a Zach Morris Timeout, walked downfield, dropped it into Ricardo's hands, then went back to the backfield to call Time In.
I'm going to go with co-players of the game. Sean White as the offensive player of the game. He was hurt. He was struggling. He still gave us the best chance of winning. He got us down into the red zone twice (the other being the JJ bomb), and did everything he could. You can tell he's a competitor who loves the game and gives his all by the fact that when his brace got messed up, he refused to sit out the whole series while it was replaced. He had them take it off and went back out with no brace on. Defensive player of the game has to be Carl Lawson, though I honestly thought about Kris Frost. Frost had perhaps his best game in an Auburn uniform Saturday. However, Lawson made the difference. He caused havoc that let the Tigers actually get an effective pass rush going.
For play of the game, either of the two deep passes to Louis. The touchdown pass was beautiful, but so was the deep 3rd down pass in the 3rd quarter. I don't know what direction Gus is going to go with the offense over the next few years, but I really hope he's able to find a running threat (like Robinson) that allows him to be successful with White as QB. He's really impressed me all season long.
My non-Sean White or Carl Lawson player of the game was Jovon Robinson. He provided a spark when we stalled and wasn't afraid to run right at the oft-lauded Land Sharks. Mustache Guy is my non-Sean White or Carl Lawson non-player of the game because he inspired Halloween costumes all across Jordan-Hare.
Everyone is picking Sean and Carl, and rightly so. Sean has been solid and protected the football. If our receivers would use stickem instead of stick butter, his stats would look a lot prettier (and the W/L record too). Carl provided a much needed spark of intensity that the rest of the D fed off of.
However, I'll pick Jovon as my O player and Carlton Davis from the D. Jovon finally dug himself out of that underground doghouse he was in (you say healthy, I say removed from double secret probation) and looked like the guy we expected to get when we signed him. Carlton is our best corner. It's not really even close or up for debate. Hooo buddy these jalapeños from subway are hot today! Yes, Treadwell made an incredible over the shoulder catch with CD hanging on him (even after a nice push off by LT) for the winning score. But, Treadwell is a prototype at WR. He's a monster. Without CD, Treadwell goes for 200 and the game isn't even close.
Player of the game was definitely Daniel Carlson. In addition to his four field goals (including another 50+ yarder), he had six touchbacks on six kickoffs. How do you give up 558 yards on defense but only 27 points? Make them march the length of the field repeatedly. Carlson is the reason we were in the game until the end. Play of the game? Sean White connecting for his first touchdown to Ricardo for 47 yards. I almost chose one of Jovon's runs but the obvious choice is sometimes the best one.