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AFT2020: #6 - 2015 vs Jacksonville State

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Alright, the fun is over. Now we are getting into the heavy stuff. Sure, last week was rough, what with Auburn holding off scoring a touchdown till inside the final minute of play to do away with UCF, but now begins the games I am dreading to re-watch. This week begins, THE GAUNTLET: The Worst Six Auburn Wins of All the Times. I sent text to a few friends of the game for this week to get their reaction…they didn’t disappoint.

So, we are going to do this together, sorta…just remember, you don’t have to watch the whole game and be happy about that.

THE PREGAME

This was supposed to be the get right game for Auburn. The Tigers had just come off a closer than it should have been win over Louisville in Atlanta the week before and had cause a little bit of uncomfortable times on the Plains with quarterback Jeremy Johnson, who threw 3 interceptions but the defense came alive when they needed it, along with an 82 yard fumble recovery for a TD…

And that was literally the high point of the season, though we didn’t know it at the time. Needless to say, the home faithful were looking for a bounce back opportunity against a solid, but inferior (at least in some fans eyes) Jacksonville St Gamecocks.

Speaking of the Gamecocks, they came in to the contest ranked 6th in FCS (1-AA for us old folks) and were coming off a huge road win against the #7th ranked Mocs of Chattanooga. Remember the offense that Gus use to run up till 2014, yeah, that’s what Jax State ran although they threw it just a bit better. Led by quarterback Eli Jenkins, the passing attack was aided by weapons Josh Barge and Ruben Gonzalez who were Jenkins safety blankets. Sprinkle in a salty defense against a sputtering Auburn offense and…well we know where this is going. So *gulp* let’s get to it. The 2015 Jacksonville State Gamecocks against the Auburn Tigers.

THE GAME

We get to break in a new crew to the countdown and I am actually completely fine with this.

Oh if only we had the ol’ Dave Dave and Dave lineup for this just under Jefferson Pilot worthy game.

Thank God it’s not Quin…Dawn is much better. And a golf clap to her for searching out Gus at the half of this piece of Lemberger to get the interview (nothing is interesting in it but I wouldn’t get that close to a computer mainframe running hot after only shoving out 6 points against an FCS team, no matter how good they are)

As for the game, Auburn takes the opening kick from the 35 and is able to hit for 2 quick first downs and it seems like things have gotten righted in the week since Atlanta, but a big 3rd down and 6 looms.

Well, there was pressure…kinda?

The punt would pin Jax State back to their own 9 and it wouldn’t take long for the Gamecocks to march down the field and show exactly what kind of day this would be.

Ugh. Fortunately, Casanova Mckinzey bowed up with back to back big tackles for loss and force a longer than it should have been field goal try.

JUUUUST a bit outside. So, even though it hasn’t been pretty, the Voltron that is Auburn is unhurt…so far.

Auburn would take it from the 22 and march down the field on 15 plays to get to the Jax St 10 yard line before the drive would stall out but, not to worry, the MVP is here for a field goal try.

As automatic as it gets and Auburn breaks out on top 3-0.

This is where I would have the VO of Mike Hubbard from when I was a kid, “The lead however, was short lived.”

The Gamecocks would take it from the 25 and go 12 plays with some frustratingly familiar runs that let Auburn fans know what it felt like for the opponents over the last 2 years.

Sure, it’s a 1 yard gain but it should have been a 5 yard loss if Houdini back there gets taken down and doesn’t spin away.

Jenkins would hit Barge for a huge 20 yard pickup before the Auburn defense would hold again in the redzone and Jacksonville State would again send their kicker out to try and tie it up.

On the ensuing drive, Auburn would take it from the 25 and pop off 10 plays to go 43 yards before once again calling on the MVP to go ahead once again.

*Starts to twich* Ugh…just had an 2016 LSU flashback with all these Field Goals.

Also, Dave, buddy, that was right down the middle. Don’t you dare besmirch the good name of the MVP like that! Sneak it in BAH!

So Auburn once again is on top with a commanding 6-3 lead. That however, wouldn’t last long.

Jacksonville State would take it from the 25 and 9 plays later, this happened.

Good rush, back foot throw…yeah, that always equals a touchdown right?

They would review it and he did catch it so there’s that. It’s 10-6 and at this point, Jax State has 204 yards of offense to Auburn’s 134…ugh.

Auburn would get it from their on 35 and get a first down before it got real uncomfortable again.

Jax State from the 34 now, looking to put Auburn in their rear view but the defense would hold the Gamecocks to 3 plays and a yard, setting up another FG attempt.

Auburn would look to capitalize from their own 33 but would go 3 and out. While Jax State would get it at their own 8 and get it to the 43 before the half would end, mercifully. But don’t tell Gus that…

THAT’S THE FACE OF AN ALPHA WOLF THAT KNOWS EXACTLY HOW THIS BAD BOY IS GOING DOWN TONIGHT LADIES!

To his credit, Gus looked like he knew exactly what he was doing, as Jax State would get the ball first at the 25 and the Gamecocks would make their first big mistake

NOW THAT’S A QUICK WHISTLE! Sure, the wide out would have continued on his route but…he didn’t so wow. Jax State would end up punting anyway and Auburn would get it from the 20. After getting it to midfield, Auburn started to look good.

Oh please, after that quick whistle, a measly holding call is the least of the refs worries! So the Tigers grab the lead again, 13-10.

The Gamecocks though would get it from their own 32 and once again make their way in to Auburn territory and look to snatch the lead back.

Can you hear the collective groan from the crowd when the ball gets launched to the endzone? I know I could and I made the same sound to be quite honest.

So Auburn takes a 12 yard loss from the original line of scrimmage but they have the ball. Meanwhile the offense starts to show signs of life after the TD pass.

See, I do show Auburn doing good things! 3 plays later Auburn would punt and Jax St would take it from their own 17 as we start the 4th quarter.

A good number of quick hitters and some nice zone read action get them down, once again, into field goal range.

And we are back where we started at 13-13.

With the offense needing all the help they can get, it was time for the special teams to step up.

But the offense, ever the courteous ones, didn’t want Jacksonville State to be without a gift and would make good on that just 2 plays later

Such a thoughtful boy. And Jacksonville State was much obliged to said gift and would inch down the field…in 11…long…inch by inch….plays, to get a 1st and goal opportunity.

Now it’s starting to feel awkward in here as Auburn takes the ball from their 16 with 5:37 left.

Auburn surges in 7 plays to get it down to the Jack State 20 before, play 8.

AAAND that has to be it. I, in fact, remember watching this game at a BWW. After that play, I tabbed out, got in my car and listened to Rod the rest of the way home.

The Gamecocks take it from their own 7 yard line and go 3 plays and a yard again before punting.

And that, Mr. Tuttle, is how you blow a game to a bad offense.

Auburn would get it from the Jax St 31 and 5 plays later

Talk about a god send. Don’t get me wrong, last week against Central Florida was something but this, this should have never happened to be honest. So we are tied at 20 with :39 seconds left.

Jax State would run out the clock and overtime it is.

Auburn would get the ball first and remember that they had Roc Thomas and Peyton Barber until finally

So its Auburn 27-20 and the Gamecocks have the ball. JSU would get bailed out by a somewhat questionable PI against Carlton Davis and would have the ball near the 10 for 3rd down. I have the last 2 plays cause, why not.

Your final….finally, 27-20 Auburn.

THE AFTERGLOW

So following this game, Jacksonville State would go on a run. They were ranked #5 in the FCS poll but were ranked #1 following the loss. They wouldn’t loose again for the rest of the season and made it to the FCS National Championship game against North Dakota State where they got routed by the Bison 37-10 and finish the season #2 in the country.

Auburn, well Auburn didn’t do that well. The Tigers would finish the regular season 6-6 with an impressive road win over Texas A&M (that I still don’t know where that came from) to get bowl eligible and took down the Memphis Tigers in Birmingham.

That’s it for this look back at the best of the worst Auburn wins that I have video of, which is a lot so its probably a solid list. Join us next week as we begin the top 5…I need more bourbon…