A Miserable Day on the Plains

Monday, September 17, 2018

A Miserable Day on the Plains

“Maybe I just don’t know football anymore.”

–  Stan White, former Auburn quarterback and Auburn Network color analyst

The words spoken by White following the final pass interference call that ultimately led to the LSU game-winning field goal was shared by most Auburn faithful who watched a pivotal SEC game be taken from them by league officials. What did they see that clearly no one else did?

Another former Auburn quarterback, Jason Campbell, perhaps said it best, “It’s a shame they didn’t let the game be decided by the players.”

LSU 22 Auburn 21

Like many contests in this series, this one will take awhile to get over. Auburn didn’t play their best football. They should have never been in a situation to allow an inept official determine the winner. It’s hard to play uneven for four quarters against the SEC West and come out a winner.

Like in other championship years, a loss to LSU doesn’t mean the end of the road, but it’s hard to see a way to Atlanta unless the offense gets a whole lot better. And the penalties, Oh the penalties. Auburn now leads the SEC in penalty yardage.

Jarrett Stidham will need much better days if this team is to be a factor. While not horrible, there were more than a few overlooked receivers and the two interceptions were as costly as they come in a big game.

To Stidham’s defense, the receiving team failed to show up most of the day. Freshmen Anthony Schwartz and Seth Williams had flashes of greatness, but veterans like Ryan Davis had costly drops.

The Auburn running game must find a way to get more on the ground, Boobee Whitlow crossed the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive week, but as a team, they managed only 130 yards on the ground. It’s going to be hard to win football games if production doesn’t get better. Kam Martin has officially been placed in the witness protection program.

Most confounding was the way the offensive line manhandled the LSU defensive front during the back half of the second quarter and into the third period, only to stop and regress for the rest of the game. Consistency has plagued this unit during both of its big games.

The sky is not falling today. This team still has everything to play for moving forward. After what should be tune-up games against Arkansas and Southern Miss, they head to Starkville on October 6 in what possibly could be the toughest test before facing Georgia and Alabama in November.

Auburn opens as a 27.5 point favorite against Arkansas. Kickoff is set for 6:30 pm CT and will be carried on the SEC Network.

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