So I’m late getting my column out this week, so I’ll briefly touch on the cruise control win in College Station. It went about as we all expected. A&M couldn’t stop the run or the big play. The only surprise to me was that the Auburn defense gave up a couple big plays.
My only other comment on the Aggies is that they should be better. That team has too much talent on both sides of the ball to be mediocre. Kevin Sumlin has had every opportunity to be successful and hasn’t. He deserves to be let go. Here’s hoping they give him another year.
Given what is coming up on Saturday, College Station seems a million miles behind us. The renewal of the South’s oldest rivalry will have arguably the biggest implications in its storied history. Two teams, both ranked in the top 10. Georgia is playing to solidify its number one ranking, while Auburn is looking to at worst play spoiler, at best play their way into the playoff. Beating Georgia would be step one of three very tough steps.
I have no doubt that Auburn matches up well with Georgia. From a talent standpoint, they are very similar. Both teams will likely neutralize the other’s run game. It will be up to the quarterbacks to win the game for their respective teams. I like Auburn’s chances doing that with Jarrett Stidham. Georgia will be bringing a freshman QB into the most hostile environment he’s ever seen.
My biggest concern is Auburn’s play calling, which has been much better over the last few weeks. What happens when Auburn gets out to a lead? Does Gus go into a shell? Can Auburn keep their foot on the gas pedal? Can they maintain?
The other question is can Auburn come out and play loose like they have nothing to lose? One could make an argument that Gus Malzahn is coaching for his job Can he find that fearless offensive coordinator inside that we fell in love with in 2009 and 2010? That guy never flinched. Fall behind Georgia 21-7 early? No Problem. Down 24-0 in Tuscaloosa? Child’s play. That guy had no fear. If Gus can summon that guy, Auburn beats Georgia. If not, we don’t.
I want to believe again. Make it happen, Gus.