Thursday, November 8, 2012
For this Auburn team to beat the Georgia Bulldogs, we'll have to see an effort far beyond any we've witnessed this season. It must rival the intensity we saw against LSU, but must surpass even that. We must be more creative offensively and enter with a gameplan our players believe in, can execute, are put in positions to be successful, aren't left on an island to block an All American DE, or ask a true freshman QB to outsmart a quality defensive coordinator. We must tackle better than we have all year. Rally to the football and limit what UGA does on the ground. With an offense as balanced as Georgia's, you have to take something away and that must be the run. Can Coach VanGorder devise a scheme his players can comprehend, execute, and be successful?
We must be able to run the football with some success, even when Georgia knows that's what we want to do. Get Wallace out of the pocket and let him be an athlete...something we've lacked all season from the quarterback position and something we've been unable to even slow down defensively. Give him an opportunity to display that athleticism. Make his life easy by staying ahead of the sticks, keeping the defense honest with the screen game, the deep ball, a few misdirection plays...but ultimately, just run the damn ball down their throats. 2nd & 8, 3rd & 6 is workable. 3rd & 10 is not. And therein lies the key to this game...what happens on third down?
We are worst in the league converting 3rd downs...28.8%. Georgia is 3rd in the league at 42.6%. Their drives must be limited, and our drives must be sustained. It's the only way we stay competitive and have a chance.
Speaking of competitiveness...it's unfortunate that's the hope for this game...for it to remain a game. That we've (at least I have) fallen from expecting to bring the pain to expecting to feel the pain. It's been these rivalry games that have decimated Gene Chizik and has led to his uncertainty. Can he field a team willing to go down swinging? One that shows a pulse and refuses to be out-hustled, out-efforted, out-competed? One that may lose the war, but wins many of the battles, that forces the opponent to walk out of Jordan-Hare respecting the effort put forth by their rival...regardless of the scoreboard. We lose that way and I'll be proud, I'll commend the effort with a standing ovation. Show me it means more to you than laying down in OUR stadium! Have enough pride to fight for four quarters. Ignore the things you can't control and concentrate only on destroying the guy across the ball. Run with passion, tackle with aggression, play with confidence, and poise, and desire. Coach realistically, simply, without over-analyzing every single tiny detail. Just put guys in positions to be a success.
I want to this team to beat a quality opponent. I want this team to experience the elation of victory over the Bulldogs. I want my kids to be proud of the Auburn name they wear across their chest. I want our staff to be successful and see the hard work pay off. I want Auburn fans to have the opportunity to roll Toomer's with their friends and family after a night game in the perfect setting for college football. I want to see a team so desperate for success none of us can question their effort. Will we get it? We will see.