Just another game

I thought Saturday was a big game for Georgia, but Jerry Hinnen gives it near-apocalyptic status for Auburn… and Gus Malzahn in particular.

Skywrite it with airplanes. Build a second Mothratron atop the first, and have them display it in all-caps. Cut it maze-style into a cornfield the size of Nebraska, so it can only be read from 747s and space shuttles.

The question before Auburn football cannot be written largely enough, cannot be asked too loudly:

What is Gus Malzahn’s ceiling as Auburn coach?

That Auburn fans have now spent almost three full seasons waiting for an answer goes a long way toward explaining why Saturday’s showdown with No. 1 Georgia is the program’s biggest game since playing Florida State for the 2013 national championship.

Yes, it’s the hated Bulldogs. Yes, Auburn’s dreams of an SEC West title — and perhaps even bigger prizes beyond — are on the line. Yes, defeating the College Football Playoff’s top-ranked team in Jordan-Hare Stadium would be a victory for the ages regardless of the coach’s status. But the stakes for this game start with nothing less than whether Malzahn can still produce performances worthy of remaining on Auburn’s sideline.

I’m not sure that Saturday is as much on Gus as it is on Jarrett Stidham.  Auburn’s beaten Georgia twice in, what, the last eleven years?  And both times it took a quarterback having a tremendous season both running and throwing the ball to get the Tigers over the hump.  While they do let Stidham run (he averages about seven carries a game), nobody is going to mistake him for Cam or Marshall.

It ain’t gonna bother me, though, if Gus is feeling a little pressure going in.  Just keep that effing rabbit’s foot away…


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

14 responses to “Just another game

  1. dawgman3000

    Most of the pressure is squarely on Auburn, which alleviates some the anxiety i’m feeling about this game.


  2. dawgtired

    The odds of Auburn beating both UGA and Bama…and then UGA again are slim. So, in my mind, this game is even bigger for us. A loss could derail our play-off hopes. We HAVE to win! Attack the day!!


    • Macallanlover

      No, we don’t “have” to win if we want to achieve championship (s), that is totally wrong. It would be very nice for all of us to win, but it is Auburn that hears the slamming of three doors (division, conference, and MNC) if they lose. It is big for both, and should be without the “titles” that go with it. An athlete should not require those other goals to play their best in a game, but both will be laying it all out on Saturday. It is a big game, no one has to hype it.


      • Russ

        Yeah, I don’t really want to find out, but I do think we could survive a loss to Auburn assuming we then win out. I’d rather just win out (and beat Tech 51-3).


  3. roswell dawg

    We remain vulnerable to a QB who can spin it. Stidham does. If we don’t find a way to have effective man coverage, it will be a very difficult game for us.


    • Jt (the other one)

      Part of that is pass rush…which we seem to only do when the other QB starts spinning it…many of the long balls vs. SCar were because our DB’s got caught peeking in the backfield too long…discipline…


  4. Mayor

    One of those two wins you mentioned Senator came because of this: http://youtu.be/XkpDz8YyVD8 The Aubies are lucky it isn’t 10 out of the last 11.


  5. ASEF

    It really is odd watching Auburn pile it on lesser teams and then come to a screeching halt when someone pushes back. Auburn’s backfield could be a battered mess by the time this one is done.


  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    Whew! Talk about purple prose.


  7. Silver Britches

    This article is worthless.

    They won a national title 7 years ago and played for another 4 years ago. But, LO! HOW LONG THEY HAVE SUFFERED.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dave

    I don’t know why, but I have a feeling we’ll know how this game will go by about halfway through the 2nd quarter.

    Have a feeling that Stidham, for all his impressive numbers, has been someone who either has it or he doesn’t in a given game. Realistically, he had a couple good throws against LSU, but was completely ineffective after the quick start.

    If he’s allowed to get comfortable and get in a rhythm, then this will be a battle to the end, and Auburn would love to take their chances at home as the sun goes down.

    If the Georgia defense can knock him off his game and wear down the very good AU defense, then I have a feeling we’ll be up by two+ scores heading into the half.


  9. Jt (the other one)

    Something tells me vs. SCar Kirby didn’t put the pedal to the metal as he did with other teams…could be the familiarity he and Champ have with each other…could be the friendship (in each others weddings)…etc…BL I think vs. SCar we were looking in the mirror in many ways. That said…vs. the Barn’ there is NO LOVE LOST. Kirbo isn’t particularly found of them going back to his playing days then 9 years at Bama’ with Saban…so for whatever reason…I am less anxious about this game than vs. SCar. I think we win…not a mud stomping but win.