Image default
3 Good, 3 BadFootball

3 Good Things, 3 Bad Things After The Iron Bowl

Sorry folks, but I’m a little bit late on this one. To be honest, it’s taken some time to sink in. I woke up on gameday feeling less than 100%, but I powered through. I wasn’t going to miss the Iron Bowl for ANYTHING. By the time the game was over I had been on an emotional rollercoaster. My wife (a Georgia fan) joined me for the game and I think she finally began to understand our hatred for Bama. Little did she know that a week later she would have her own reasons, but that’s a story for another day.

Now back to me, it was an angry ride home. I was mad when I went to bed. By morning, I had a full on case of the flu or something similar. I spent the next few days on my deathbed, physically AND emotionally. I began to wonder if this Auburn team was trying to kill me…I obviously wasn’t in a good headspace.

But I wasn’t going to let a silly thing like an epic Iron Bowl loss be the end of me, so I snapped back to reality and realized a few things. This ragtag team that we love so much had a much better season than we were ever supposed. We were only a few plays away from beating 3 of the best teams in the country. That’s pretty amazing when you put it into the right perspective. So without any further rambling, let’s talk about the good and bad of the 2023 Iron Bowl.

Let’s start with the good…

1. Our rushing attack was what kept us in the game. Hunter and Alston both came close to hitting the century mark and we ended the day with a combined 244 rushing yards even after losing 35 yards to sacks. It wasn’t so much a sustained running attack as it was an explosive one. There were some huge long runs and two of our three touchdowns came on the ground. It was an exciting thing to behold.

2. Defense and Special Teams played their hearts out. We’ll get to the mistakes later, but they kept us alive for 4 quarters. Chapman had one of his best punting performances of the season with 2 punts of more than 50 yards and 2 punts downed inside the 20 yard line. The defensive line held Alabama to a mere 192 rushing yards. We also tallied five tackles for a loss of yardage and one sack.

3. Jordan-Hare stadium was electric. There’s simply no stadium in college football that can compare. The fans were amazing, The noise was deafening. Going into the 4th quarter with the light show, Swag Surfin’ on max volume and the fanbase smelling blood in the water is an experience that can’t be copied. We had a roller coaster of a season and it was amazing to see that level of fan support all the way to the bitter end.

And now for the bad…

1. We need some big bodies on the offensive line. Protection has been a problem all season and this game was no different. We gave up four official sacks and I’m unofficially going to give Bama credit for another one on that -7 yard Robby Ashford run play. Thorne was hurried for most of the game and had a really difficult time establishing a sustained passing rhythm.

2. There were so many dropped passes, it was embarrassing. With the exception Ja’Varrius Johnson, nobody played well. Thorne also threw two interceptions, although I can excuse the second one simply due to the desperation of that final offensive play. Aside from a few shining moments, our receivers have under performed all season long. After what we’ve seen, it’s my opinion that next season we will have an almost completely overhauled offense from top to bottom.

3. Two plays keep haunting me from this game. The muffed punt and the 4th & 31. On the muffed punt, there’s just no excuse. It’s not the only one we’ve seen this season, but to make THAT mistake at THAT moment in THIS game is simply unfathomable. That’s a mistake that can’t be explained away with the typical excuses.

Now for the big one. 4th & 31. Why did we run that defense? Why did we only rush two? Why was there a spy? At the single most critical moment in the game we called the absolutely dumbest defensive play in the playbook. We gave those morons their own Kick Six type play to celebrate for years to come. It’s almost unforgivable.

I know the Bama receiver pushed off a little, but guys it never should have gotten to that point. In typical Auburn fashion, with one singular defensive mistake we butterfly effected the entire college football world and now Ron Desantis is down in Florida allocating a million dollars for an FSU lawsuit against the College Football Playoff. Sometimes Auburn football really does feel like a weird simulation.

Related posts

Leave a Reply