My Monday-morning column for Rivals' AuburnSports.com wasn't actually posted until late in the day yesterday, but I do promise that it was the best darn column to be submitted from the parking lot of a Jack's in Anniston during a tropical storm. A preview:
I'd like to find somebody to brag about on the Auburn defense, but frankly, it's hard to locate anybody who had a consistently strong performance. Coverage was poor, tackling was worse, and confusion was rampant. Yeah, it was the first game, and against a team Auburn's coaches obviously hadn't emphasized preparing for, but minus the dominating run-stopping of Nick Fairley and Mike Blanc, you'd be stretching things to call this even an average defense.The rest is on the subscription side, but Rivals is offering a free first month to new subscribers coming over from FTB.
It's never a good idea to take a single game as representative of any team's abilities, much less its potential. Let's stipulate that coming back from two scores down with two minutes left is a respectable feat under any circumstances. Utah State may turn out to be a very good football team this year; certainly if they continue to play with that kind of power and discipline, they ought to win more than a few ball games.
But let's not gild the lily here. This was an ugly win over what all the world--certainly including everybody at Auburn--expected to be a cupcake. If the Tigers really plan to prove wrong the naysayers who've been dumping on their chances for the last seven months, they've got a load of improving to do, and precious little time in which to do it.