There are a lot of impressive things about what this year’s Auburn football team is doing. One that really stands out to me is that the Tigers have played 11 games and have come out sharp and ready to go all 11 times. I have played on and coached a lot of football teams and don’t remember any of them doing a better job in this area than the 2013 Tigers.
That fact that the Tigers have played with intensity every week says a lot of good things about the players, the coaches and the leadership on the team. It says a lot about the players being serious about improving as the season goes along and they have certainly done that.
Auburn’s 10th win of the season, featuring the Immaculate Deflection or whatever you want to call it, was certainly the most interesting.
Despite Auburn getting out to a big lead, Georgia was able to come back after changing its offensive plan to use the quick passing game. Auburn’s defensive line was getting too much pressure on quarterback Aaron Murray to allow him to take deep drops and find his receivers. Georgia really struggled to block defensive end Dee Ford, who has made a very impressive comeback from the injury that kept him out early in the season.
After the change in strategy Murray got the hot hand throwing the football and led the Bulldogs all the way back, although I have my doubts the quarterback actually scored on the play the officials ruled was a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 38-37.
It looked to me that the official was about to spot the football on the one-foot line, but changed his mind and called it a touchdown. That was a monumental play and call because the chance of the Tigers coming back and winning with so little time remaining was not good. However, the Auburn kids continued to play with the same confident personality they have shown all year.
In close games nobody has panicked and the Tigers found ways to win, and they did it again vs. the Bulldogs. The Tigers have played hard from start to finish and the big catch by Ricardo Louis is a perfect example of that.
The result was a great win and a much-needed win for the Tigers. Beating a highly-ranked Texas A&M team on the road was very nice, but winning the rivalry game was even bigger because of how much the game means to the players and fans, and because it sets the stage for an even bigger game to close to the regular season with a chance to earn a spot in the SEC Championship Game.
While the Tigers are off this week they will have a chance to rest and heal while getting an early start on preparations for playing the No. 1 ranked team. A chance to play for the league title is something these Tigers have worked hard for and although it won’t be easy to beat Alabama next week this is a great opportunity for the Tigers to do something special this season.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
Premium Subscription Signup
Pat Dye’s Crooked Oaks Hunting Preserve and Lodge
Pat Dye’s Quail Hollow Gardens