How did we reach the final month of the regular season already? Auburn’s got four games left, a 6-2 record, and the respect of the national media as the country’s top two-loss team. It wouldn’t be right for us to ruin that respect by laying an egg against a Texas A&M team that’s wounded and hurting at the moment.
Thankfully, we’ve got one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the SEC, who’s got the notice of Kevin Sumlin.
Jarrett Stidham's success at Auburn "not a surprise" to Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&Mhttps://t.co/dAntbNNiMr pic.twitter.com/JAiexlWgFL— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) November 1, 2017
And despite the loss of Kam Pettway, an offense that’s been pretty good over the past couple of months (2.5 quarters at LSU notwithstanding).
Auburn's red-zone offense a "huge challenge" for Texas A&M this weekend https://t.co/Nyj9qMVR7E pic.twitter.com/I9fmVoXZiw— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) November 1, 2017
Still, we’ve got some holes... mainly in the special teams defense aspect of football. The LSU loss was facilitated by a punt return for a touchdown, and Arkansas hit us back after we scored on the dipsy-doodle with a kickoff return for a touchdown. A&M has someone better returning kicks than anyone that LSU or Arkansas can put on the field.
Shoring up special teams a focus for Auburn, which allowed return TDs in last 2 games and now faces Christian Kirk https://t.co/0LnkpmVNcO pic.twitter.com/Htd4YUioCX— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) November 1, 2017
And for a little A&M knowledge, check out this nice Q&A with one of their beat writers from the Opelika-Auburn News.
Behind Enemy Lines: A Q&A with Texas A&M beat writer Robert Cessna (@Aggie_Sports) before Saturday's game vs. Auburn https://t.co/NWRLRRs8zP pic.twitter.com/6zihLJyWUY— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) November 2, 2017
If we can find a way to get by the Aggies (likely without Kellen Mond), then we’ll play the number one team in the land barring a big upset this Saturday. If we get by that, we’ll probably play a different number one team two weeks later. It’s already shaping up to be a big November, but with each week, the pressure will mount.
My On the Beat column from earlier: First College Football Playoff rankings show Auburn’s goals still within reach https://t.co/uiFRabsk08— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) November 1, 2017
And tonight, basketball gets underway against Barry University in an exhibition game. We’ll see exactly how things are handled with the still-unknown identities of two players whose eligibility may be in doubt, and how some new faces work out on the team. There were some high hopes for this group coming into the season, so it’s all up in the air at this point. Tonight should provide some good clarity.