Offense: The offense struggled mightily against Tennessee, scoring only 7 points on 226 total yards. Both quarterbacks played, and both, were mostly ineffective. Exchanges under center, a new wrinkle put in just this week, were sloppy, once resulting in a fumble. The offensive line was once again ravaged by penalties. They were not able to create space for the running game, though I though they did better in pass protection this week.
Chris Todd's arm is hurt. Everyone knows that now. He may know the offense, and he may make better decisions then Kodi Burns, but his arm can't back-up those decisions. The result: Dangerous, floating passes that take forever to get to the receiver, if they get there at all. Unfortunately, what everyone also knows now is that Kodi is not the magic running back that everyone believed him to be whilst he rode the bench. He both ran and threw the ball with very limited success. Suddenly, an Auburn team that was supposed to have two good quarterbacks doesn't appear to have any.
Okay, now that we have laid out the cold dreary facts, take a deep breath, exhaling slowly. I will now remind you of three things that seem to have been forgotten. (1) Auburn won the game. In an era where style points are too often considered more important than real points, it's easy to forget that the object of a football game is to win, period. Ugly or not, mission accomplished. (2) Chris Todd made a great throw for a touchdown pass in the first quarter. I was sure his arm had healed and that all his promise was going to come true before my eyes. It didn't happen, but it showed what promise is there. If his arm ever gets healthy, he's going to be good. (3) Kodi Burns and the Auburn offense made two very clutch plays. The first came on his first series, on a third down play. He escaped a tackler in the backfield, escaped another, scrambled right, and hit Robert Dunn with a bullet pass for a first down. The second came with two minutes left in the forth quarter. Auburn had the ball at their own 10, 3rd and 5. They needed a play to clinch the game. They got it. Burns to Billings. Ten yards, first down. Ball game. Yes, Auburn's offense was not good this day; but in my book, clutch is worth some bonus points.
(D+)

Defense: The defense did not play their best game. Tennessee, especially Jonathan Crompton made life easier for them. But this was a really gutsy performance by this defense. Every time the offense failed to score, heck, failed to more the ball even into decent field position, there was the defense, holding back the tide, forcing another punt. They wavered only once, and that possession started via turnover. I curve for turnovers. The defense got a lot of credit for this win, and they deserve every bit of it.
(B+)

Coaching: I'll not issue a grade, but I will say that this game is evidence that Tommy Tuberville is not afraid to enforce his will upon the offense. The spread changed. Kodi Burns played. These were Tuberville's decisions. Were they immediately successful? Maybe. We don't really know if an unadulterated Franklin spread, in which Chris Todd played the whole game, would have delivered a win for the Tigers. And Tuberville believes in winning; the uglier, the better.
(-)

The Fans: I have been trying to teach a girl I know about football. She doesn't understand the concept of screaming your head off at the stadium. I explained to her that I don't yell and cheer for the sake of revelry. I do it to help the team: to energize them, to make it difficult for the opposing offense to hear their signals, to be a part, in some minute way, of the struggle for victory. And what would she have heard, had she turned on this game to see if what I said was true? Booing.
(Automatic F-)

Tiger Histalmos has written some eloquent words on this matter (scroll down to read them), but let me add a few more. I have had quite enough of the fair-weather Auburn "fans." If you are one of those people who would be rooting for Alabama had not Auburn been consistently better in recent years, I have an offer for you. I will buy you an Alabama hat right now, just to make you go away. You frat boys and others whose loyalties are based on wins and losses: I'll buy the keg and host the party, just to keep you out of my stadium. I want all of you wretched scoundrel who boo my team to go away and never come back.

We root for this team because we love Auburn. That's not just a university I name, but a spirit and an ideal, defined by the Auburn Creed. Those of you who wish to repent, start by reading that Creed, and remind yourself of what makes Auburn special. The rest of you foolish, lost souls, have your one-way tickets ready. The line for hats forms to the right, kegs on the left.

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