Believe it or not, we are halfway through the 2017 Auburn football season. Despite a shaky start, Auburn sits at 5-1 (3-0) and finds themselves ranked in the top 10 in most polls. It hasn’t been perfect but everything Auburn wants to play for is still on the table and it appears we are speeding towards an epic November.
But before we start worrying too much about what lies ahead, let’s take a moment to appreciate what we’ve seen so far this season. Here are some of Auburn’s best plays of the first six games.
This was a tough one. Jarrett Stidham has thrown some absolutely beautiful balls this year and really any of the long touchdown pass could have won this award. However, I still think the best throw of the season was that first TD pass to Will Hastings against Georgia Southern.
It doesn’t get much prettier than that. Stidham drops a dime from the right hash at around the 27 yard line into Will Hastings hands in the back left corner of the endzone. The combination of arm strength, accuracy and timing on this TD throw still blows me away.
A healthyish (totally a word) Kerryon Johnson is a lot of fun to watch. This past Saturday is the closest Johnson has been to healthy since Georgia Southern and it showed. On this play we got to see all of KJ’s skills including his great vision, toughness and nice burst. There’s a reason this dude was once a top 50 recruit.
Yes I created this category specifically so I could show this GIF again. You’re welcome.
I will admit that I was skeptical that Will Hastings would play a major role in the offense this year. Even if he did, I expected him to be more like Ryan Davis where he catches a bunch of underneath stuff to keep the chains moving. Instead, Hastings has proven to be an explosive weapon averaging 20.8 yards per catch. Good stuff.
I decided to pick two for this category. One was probably the better of the catches but I just had to show the second one. So here’s a two for one for ya.
First up, and probably the real winner, is Nate Craig-Myers’s snag against Mercer. I didn’t notice when watching the game in real time how Myers one handed this ball. He made it look so easy that when I first saw it happen, it just looked like a normal play. Craig-Myers just might have the strongest hands I have seen on an Auburn wide receiver.
Number two might have been my favorite catch this season. Darius Slayton was expected to be a major weapon in this Auburn offense in 2017 but injuries have kept him sidelined. He’s played very little since the season opener but this past Saturday looked to be back to or at least close to 100%. That’s big news for this Auburn passing attack.
Also, Bo knows touchdowns.
The first half of the Ole Miss game provided plenty of highlight moments for this offense. This one might have been the best of the bunch. Ryan Davis has been Mr. Reliable but has only averaged 8.1 yards per catch, so it was nice to see him break loose and show his complete skillset. He was kind of the forgotten man preseason in this WR core and has emerged as Auburn’s most reliable receiver. Remember, Davis was once a top 200 recruit in his own right.
This one was actually kind of hard to decide on. Auburn’s defense really hasn’t provided that “holy crap, what a hit” moment just yet. Instead, they have just been really sure tacklers who swarm to the football. Not complaining but it did make this selection tougher. However, there were two plays against Missouri that stood out. Jordyn Peters’s sack came as a close second but I had to go with Richard McBryde’s decleater of Drew Lock. This one had to hurt.
I don’t know if this is really the “best sack” of the season so I labeled it my favorite. It’s my favorite because of the opponent and all the tools Holland displays on this rush. First there’s the hands, which he uses adeptly to keep the right tackle’s big paws off him. Then, there’s the speed and “bend” to flatten out around the corner and get to the QB. Finally, there’s the effort. Holland is full throttle this play but also under control. He’s been fun to watch this season.
Also, friendly reminder that Nick Coe is only a redshirt freshman....
Yes both Carlton Davis and Tray Matthews probably made tougher catches on their interceptions. However, anytime you score points on defense it’s a top play in my book. AU missed having Javaris Davis out there against that Ole Miss passing attack. He’s a big play waiting to happen when he’s on the field.
So there’s my list so far this season, what are some of your favorite plays I failed to mention?