There's a tricky part to posting an article on Wednesdays or at least for me there is and I'm pretty certain I've gone on about it in another article over the past four years. You see, you're left with the following options; you either discuss the previous weekend's game, which everyone has had their fill of by Tuesday or you discuss the upcoming matchup with the next opponent. One is quite easy as it is all reaction and hindsight while the other is a bit more difficult as it one part prediction and one part hype. Also, writing a prediction can be a fairly anxiety-inducing. Well, for me it makes me apprehensive, because after all this effort to produce what amounts to my best guess as to what an opposing team might do, what if I'm wrong? Not just wrong, but flat-out-slap-to-the face-enjoy-your-six-course-meal-of-crow-you-dumb-ass wrong. That's just embarrassing. If you know nothing about Auburn's next opponent or not at all interested in them at all, well, then the exercise becomes tedious for not just the contributor, but also the reader.
Thankfully, for you all, I know a good deal about the team Auburn is playing on Saturday and I do not like them (with the exception of a couple people at Good Bull Hunting) in the slightest.
In the past couple of years, I've written my fair share on how much I dislike the Aggies. I grew up around them. I've lived with them. I've spoken to them face to face and managed to restrain myself from yelling vitriolic phrases at them. Don't get me wrong, Longhorn fans are just as bad if not worse at times, but Aggies? Ugh.
They are just that team. They are just those fans. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones that jump up and down and sway side to side and yell and scream "Hey! Hey! Look at me! Look at me! We're still here! We're still relevant! Look at the great (read: few) things we've done in the past! We can do it again!" Only for them to have their asses handed to them.
Okay, I'll admit, that's nearly every team and fanbase out there, but Aggies, they take it to another level. On top of that, they make it weird. Like, really, really, really weird. They are so weird that when they joined the Southeastern Conference they managed to fit in! No one even batted an eye either! They're that weird friend amongst your group of friends who you can't exactly remember as to who let them in and in spite of that friend creeping everyone out you don't want to say anything because that person might have a gun. Potentially a lot of guns. They are from Texas after all. (And so am I, just remember that, Walt).
What I really dislike the most about them is that in their past two visits to Auburn and Jordan-Hare Stadium they won. Granted, 2012 Auburn just flat out sucked and the Johnny Manziel Variety Hour was the hottest show in football, but 2014? There was no excuse for that loss. That TAMU team was flip-floppy as hell and for whatever reason, the Tigers came to some sort of agreement along the lines of, "You know what? I don't see what all the fuss is about ball security. So let's not worry about it. Everyone cool with that? Great."
Starting this Saturday, that nonsense of losing to those crazy-fake-junta-militia-wannabe-dog-worshippers comes to an end. I'm not having it. You're not having it! And if one of you talks about how cute you think it is that they kiss their dates after scoring a touchdown I will push you down the stairs from the top of section 119!
Kevin Sumlin has managed to revitalize his offense with the addition of quarterback, Trevor Knight. The transfer from Oklahoma has made enough of a significant impact that with a couple of more games under his belt, the Aggies could become dangerous. Against UCLA, Knight hit 8 different receivers for an average of 10.9 yards a catch. He is second in the league with yards per game and you better believe that Sumlin's SWAG Crew watched the crap out of how Auburn's secondary played against Clemson. I'm pretty sure you can count on the likes of Christian Kirk, Josh Reynolds or Ricky Seals-Jones lining up across from Carlton Davis. Poor number 6 (Davis) could be in for a long evening.
TAMU's running game has also found purchase by averaging 6.08 yards a carry. Sumlin, who has been long associated with Air Raid style offenses, is balancing his attack pretty evenly with the running game. Freshman and Junior running backs, Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford have been sharing carries pretty much evenly and both are averaging over 5 yards a carry. Also, Knight himself is not afraid to show off his running skills and has already amassed over 100 rushing yards himself. Auburn's defensive line, which has been pretty stout at stopping runs up the middle, has been vulnerable at the edges.
Each year, the Aggie's defense is shaping up more and more to SEC quality, as well. In their opener against UCLA, TAMU managed 10 tackles for loss including 5 sacks. Myles Garrett has been leading the league in sacks the past two seasons and doesn't look to be slowing down anytime soon. Auburn found a way to limit him last year and it'll be critical to neutralize him more so as the Tigers offense is still working to truly come together. The performance against Arkansas State was definitely a great step forward, but there's still a lot of room for improvement from our boys in blue and orange.
As much as I hate to say it, but this might be the perfect match up to see how well our Tigers play the rest of the season. Auburn can win this game. There's too much talent, experience, importance, and BEING AT GOD DAMN HOME to not win this game! It's known that Clemson opener was a botched experiment and the game against the Red Wolves felt like a grand return to form. What Gus & Co. decides to do against the Aggies won't necessarily make or break this season, but if he goes back to trying to find a rabbit at the bottom of his visor again then this won't be fun.
And I'm done with not having fun.