Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New at Rivals: Good Win, Fun Night

My Monday (er, Tuesday--hey, sue me) morning column for the It Should Still Be Called The Peach Bowl is up at Rivals' AuburnSports.com. Here's a preview:
Given the fact that Auburn and UVA share the same team colors (thanks to Virginia alum George Petrie having founded the AU football program back in 1892), it was often hard to tell who was Hoo in the crowd, but the scene and the game both wound up being a lot of fun, at least if you were wearing the SEC's correct versions of burnt orange and navy blue.

Whatever you thought about Gus Malzahn's Auburn tenure and/or departure to become a head coach, you'd have to like his last game calling plays for the Tigers. The only thing we didn't see in the Georgia Dome was Malzahn's Ludicrous Speed hurry-up game; pretty much everything else in the playbook came out against Virginia, resulting in more points than the Tigers had tallied against any other opponent (yes, including Ole Miss).

I must confess, Saturday night was the first time I'd seen the Cavaliers play this season, and I've read a bit of "ah, it's just Virginia" commentary since the bowl game, particularly regarding the UVA defense. Maybe so, but that defense was still good enough to finish third in total "D" for their conference (yeah, I know, it's the ACC, but still) and in the top four of most of the ACC's defensive categories.

Their defensive line looked pretty good to me early on, as the "O" in Auburn's O-line appeared more like it stood for "Ole!" than "offensive" (again). Clint Moseley didn't have much of a chance to do anything in his brief start before being injured, and Barrett Trotter spent an awful lot of time having to make something out of nothing in a bravura return to the field after six games on the bench.
The rest is on the subscription side. Rivals is offering a free first month to new subscribers coming over from FTB.

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