I still like him better than A.J. McCarron.
I have heard this week how big a game this is for Auburn's renaissance in becoming relevant again in college football. That may very well be true, but let's keep in mind how far we have already come back from the cellar of SEC football.
Auburn won 3 stinkin' games last year that very easily could have been two stinkin' games. Auburn was shut out of the win column in the SEC, getting absolutely hammered in their last three SEC games.
Now Auburn sits at 5-1, with a chance to have a pretty good season, all things considered. A win tomorrow against A&M and all of a sudden a pretty decent year can morph into a potentially very special one.
For those fans, and there area handful, who are ready for Auburn to head to a BCS bowl this year I say: I think that's great, but let's take a moment to sit back a smell the roses. Gus Malzahn has taken this program light years from where they were just one year ago. He has rebuilt a wounded psyche and made players and fans believe again. Win or lose in College Station tomorrow, Auburn is well on their way back to the top of college football.
As far as the game goes, we have all heard by now the keys to victory. Run the ball. chew up clock. Keep the ball away from the insufferable jerk wearing #2 in maroon.
Easier said than done I say. Alabama's ridiculously good defense full of pro prospects, that have already signed with agents in the weight room, had that plan. The Tide got down 14 early and had to abandon that strategy and elect for a shootout.
The good news there is Auburn is much better equipped for a shootout than the Tide. Better news is that A&m's defense may be the worst of any FBS team on Auburn's schedule this year.
But that damn Johnny Football is good.
Make no mistake, A&M will score points. They have the ability to get them in bunches. Auburn will have to deal with that, and not get demoralized when the Aggies run off a couple scores. It will likely happen.
But Auburn got down 21-0 to LSU in the worst possible way with turnovers and gashing runs, and by the end it was LSU that looked demoralized even in victory, because in the second half Auburn punched the Tigers in the mouth and kept swinging until the final bell.
Manziel also has a tendency to throw the ball up for grabs. So, if Auburn can manage to force a turnover or two, then Auburn's defense can win the day, even if giving up 30+.
The key here is not to get behind. If Auburn wins the toss, take the ball down and score. If Auburn somehow manages to get up on the Aggies, then I think Auburn's run game and ball control gets the Tigers to 6-1.
It can happen people. Believe...