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AFT2020: #2 - 2012 ULM

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Hi-keeba everyone and welcome back in to the Thunderdome of Pain known as the Auburn Football Theater 2020. As you make know by now, this is where we look back at Auburn wins that have been forgotten about because of a ton of different situations, whether it was a horrible season, or the win was against a team that shouldn’t have been that close or a combination of the two. Today, we find that happy medium of Auburn not being that good and the opponent being good enough to match Auburn. In fact, some were surprised Auburn won this game. This week, we dive right in to the number 2 game on our list. The 2012 meeting of Auburn and the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

THE PREGAME

This season had started off just about as bad as it could. Gus Malzahn had left to take over Arkansas State and Gene Chizik had tabbed Scot Loeffler to brng back the Pro-style offense to the Plains and that experiment was…well it wasn’t going so great. Auburn lost by 7 to a good Clemson squad in Atlanta and then got thumped by State in Starkville the following week by 18 in a game that wasn’t as close as that score makes it out to be.

The Warhawks on the other hand, had played one game an WOOOHH boy was it a game. ULM took to Little Rock to take on the 8th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks and came away with some surprising results.

So a lot of ‘experts’ were saying that Auburn would drop to 0-3. Wow, way to go out on that limb you experts you!

THE GAME

Before we begin, the bourbon choice is Wheeler’s Raid #6 out of Nolensville, TN. If you haven’t tried them before and a fan of new distilleries, look them up.

For this one, we get the ol new school JP 11 AM crew of Dave Neal, Andre Ware and Cara on the sideline. Monroe gets the ball at the 11 to start this one out because the Tiger special teams are on point and stop the Hawks before anything can get started. After that, however, ULM’s Kolton Browning picks up where he left off last week and takes off down the field. They did get a little help though.

I mean…I have been touched more by a flight attendant showing me to my seat. So that set up the Hawks in great position, but the Auburn defense would bow up and force a 4th and goal try.

Tricky, tricky, tricky! And before Auburn touches the ball, its 7-0.

The Tigers would take it from the 24 and would actually get after it. Auburn would hit a 30 yard gainer to Tre Mason that would set up O Mac to get on the board.

And after just 2 drives, we are tied at 7. The 2 teams would trade drives and ULM would get it from the 22 as the 2nd quarter got underway. The Warhawks would get a first down and be set up for a 3rd and 3 to try to extend the drive.

This was the frustrating thing about the 2012 season, there were flashes on defense and on offense that things could be different but then more constant showing that the guys weren’t playing as a team, like we saw the following season. So ULM would punt and…HOLY CRAP LOOK WHO’S HERE!

I’m so sorry you were here for this one Chuck…no one deserves to watch this one live.

After this the 2 team would trade the ball 3 times in 13 plays, all ending in punts, and ULM would get the ball back from their own 20 and would finally get something going. The drive itself would last only 6 plays…main because Kolton Browning has Matt Jones qualities.

Ugh…and its 14-7 and WHY IS THE BOURBON GONE!?

Auburn would take it from the 25 and where has this been? Three plays and Auburn is in to ULM territory and…

HOLY CRAP A TRICK PLAY THAT HITS!

Bam! And we are tied up at 14.

The Hawks go 3 and out on their next drive and Auburn gets it from the ULM 39 with 22 seconds left. Auburn gets a few yards but not close enough to try a Parkey FG so a hail mary try it is.

It’s at this moment where I give away the finish…man how big is that TD at the end of the day, cause prepare for not a lot of offense in the second half. So at the half, Auburn enjoys a 21-14 lead over ULM.

Funny enough, Auburn gets the kick to start the second half so it’s a bonus for getting that TD. The good news, is that Auburn has their longest sustained drive of the day, going 11 plays after getting it from their own 35 yard line and capped it off with a little Tre Mason love.

ULM would get it from the 25 and was able to get a first down but came up short from getting another one. Coach Berry could feel this one slipping away so took a gamble.

That’s some pretty big grapefruits because if that didn’t hit, you have to think Auburn puts it in. However, ULM gets it and the drive continues. They were able to get it down to the Auburn 14 yard line and decided to try a FG to draw a bit closer.

NOOOOPE and we hold at 28-14. The Tigers would get it from their own 21 and went on a run, getting deep into ULM territory in 4 plays and Mike Blakely got the call to get them closer.

Well that’s unfortunate…Auburn though has a 2 touchdown lead as we hit the 4th quarter. ULM would get it out to the 50 before punting and Auburn would go 3 and out from their own 7, giving it back to the Warhawks at the ULM 40. ULM would get a first down but need a big 4th down conversion to keep the drive alive and, for the most part, their hopes.

It looks like Auburn has figured things out on defense and the offense has also started to look good, so one more TD should salt this one away.

AND THERE IT WAS!! Andre shows you exactly the play but Frazier decided to go short and it cost him. ULM would go 9 plays in 6 minutes, a very nice drive if I do say so myself, and finished it with a very disjointed play.

Hey, however it works when those hands go up. And all the sudden things don’t feel so good.

Auburn would take over from the 25 and gain a whole 3 yards before punting, setting up ULM from their own 35, and you know how this ends.

And we are tied at 28.

Yup…

Both teams would get it but ULM would just take knees and they would go to overtime for the second week in a row.

ULM would only gain 5 yards in their 3 plays from the 25 and would opt for the FG.

OOFFFF! So all Auburn needs to do is get a FG and this is done.

Auburn would gain 10 yards on their first play, center the ball on the second one and Cody Parkey would take center stage.

Praise His holy name this one is done and another win in the books at 31-28 in overtime.

THE AFTERGLOW

Well we know what happened on the Auburn side, the worst season since 1950, Gene gets let go, yadda yadda yadda.

ULM on the other hand, had a pretty good season. They would fall just short of Baylor the following week, but went on a run in the Sun Belt, finishing second in the conference and would get a bid to the Independence Bowl against Ohio, who got the best of the Warhawks 45-14.

Well, that’s it for this week’s look at the Auburn Football Theater and there is only 1 game left…I think we all know which one it is, but come back next week as we will have something a little bit different for this one…

Until next time my space cadets!