Over the past few seasons, the Auburn Tigers offense has had to bail out the defense on numerous occasions, but this year, the tables have turned and it’s the defense that finds itself bailing out the offense. Early college football predictions had the Tigers competing for a chance to play in the College Football Playoffs, but judging by the team’s performance so far, it doesn’t look like they will be able to win the SEC this season, making it difficult to make the playoffs.
Senior defensive back Montravius Adams told reporters that since he has been at Auburn, the offense has always helped the defense out, so he feels it is only right that the defense does the same for the offense, which has struggled this season.
Part of the reason the Tigers’ offense hasn’t been very good is the fact that a few offensive players that were supposed to have big roles this season were kicked off the team for violating team rules. Despite the fact that he might be fired this season if the Tigers don’t do well, head coach Gus Malzahn would rather win with players who follow the rules, which is something a lot of coaches won’t do.
Against Texas A&M, the defense did its best to help the team win the game, and held the Aggies to five three and outs during their first 10 possessions. However, the fact that the offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough came back to haunt the exhausted defense late in the game.
Despite the offensive problems the team had against the Aggies, they were still within nine points at the end of the quarter, but the tired defense eventually with a little over six minutes left in the game, allowing an 82 yard touchdown run that made the score 29-10, effectively ending the game.
Defenses leading teams to championships isn’t something new in sports, but the successful teams have had offenses that don’t turn the ball over very often and do enough to move the chains.
Kevin Steele, the team’s defensive coordinator, told his defense to take ownership of all it can control regardless of the offense’s struggles. Steele likened the defense’s job to that of firemen. He told his players that it doesn’t matter if the offense started the fire, what matters is putti ng it out.
Despite the offense’s struggles, the defensive players are not playing the blame game, instead, they have been nothing but supportive of the offense. Tre’ Williams, one of the team’s linebackers, said the defense’s job is to prevent opposing teams from scoring, and believes the defense still has a lot of room for improvement.
If Auburn was playing in a different conference, the team might be able to survive with an inept offense and a good defense, however, they play in one of the toughest conferences in the country and still have a lot of good teams left on their schedule. If the offense can’t score more that it currently is, it will be a very long season for the tigers, who were hoping to return to their past glory this season. For Auburn fans, that probably isn’t going to be good enough.