I have to admit, I was scared to death on Saturday morning. I found a cool vintage AU t shirt, fired up my green egg, and rubbed some ribs down, like I always do. But I had an uneasy feeling about Auburn meeting Bobby Petrino in the Georgia Dome.
Petrino is an offensive genius. He often takes less talented offenses and turns them into scoring machines. I really did figure Auburn would have to outscore Louisville. Playing him is dangerous. I'm talking "riding a motorcycle with a hot chick half your age on the back" dangerous.
Then the first play of the game happens, and we're in business. Will "Boommother#%$&ing" Muschamp's defense forced a turnover after one play and Auburn's offense cashed it in. All seemed right with the world.
I can't complain a whole lot about the outcome. And this game was one holding call away from being an epic rout. Jeremy Johnson looked superb at times like we all expected. Yet those interceptions... Those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad interceptions. I have no idea what he was doing making those throws (though WarRoom Eagle seems to have a good idea). Jeremy has a cannon. He probably thought he could force it through just like he's done against lesser opponents. Hopefully, lesson learned and let's forget about it and move forward.
It was really nice to see Peyton Barber get some touches. You remember a couple years ago some guy named Mason predicted Barber would be better than he was at AU. In fact, the way Peyton runs the ball reminds me a great deal of Tre La Soul. I love the way he was able to pick up 3 yards when there was nothing there. Will he take over the running back spot? Hard to say given the incredible amount of talent there. Roc looks explosive, but maybe not built for the inside running game just yet. And we really haven't seen enough of Jovon to make an assessment.
Defensively, Lawson is the real deal. He was in the backfield all afternoon before the injury. And the defense needs him, because when he left Auburn came back down to Earth quite a bit. Lawson's the type of guy that raises everyone's level. You can see that in the way Montravious Adams played. He could be the next Nick Fairley, but we'll pump the brakes on that one for at least a couple more games.
All in all, the defense looks to be much improved. And most of us have said all along the D just needs to be a little bit better to put Auburn back in the ranks of the elite teams in FBS. After one game, I would say they are more than a little bit better.
So would I have liked to see Auburn put the game away in the third quarter? Absolutely, but if we are being realistic we knew Petrino would find ways to make his offense click. He got them going, but too little too late. And his time out after the holding penalty was world beating stupid. I'm talking "joy riding a motorcycle with your hot volleyball mistress on the back" stupid, but I digress.
So 1-0 against against a pretty good opening opponent is a good start. Now it's
cupcake time time for a really good FCS team with a ton of transfers, some of whom played at Auburn. Let's not over look these guys and get App State'd, OK?