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The Upside Downside: Auburn

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That went exactly the way we all predicted. I'm sure of it. Don't go back and look at what we predicted. That would be a waste of your time that would be better spent being happy and not pointing out who said who would lose and by how much. What's your problem?

That's not a lens flare. It's the light of heaven shining on this program again.
That's not a lens flare. It's the light of heaven shining on this program again.
Kevin C. Cox

Texas A&M's quarterback is a true freshman and this was his second start. RSJ and Speedy are also freshmen. The defense played 10 different freshmen. Due to injury and positional needs, the offensive line has been completely rearranged with players in positions that are new to them this season.

That team just went into Jordan Hare and beat the #3 team in the country, on the road, breaking a 14 game home winning streak for The Team Of Destiny. Obviously that's an Upside in and of itself, but remember that all of those freshmen will be here for years. These players will learn to play better as a team, and they will get harder better stronger faster (except for Myles Garrett, who has already hit the known human limits for strength and speed).

More importantly, they got their swagger back.

auburngood

MILES AND MILES OF MYLES

In the 5th grade I got thrown from a horse, broke my arm, and got a cast around my forearm and hand. For a month I was unable to play catch, go swimming, or hold a pencil according to the testimonies I gave my teachers. I had been reduced to watching television, showering with a garbage bag on my arm, and memorizing Simpsons quotes under the assumption that they would eventually become international currency.

Here's what Myles Garrett was reduced to when he had a cast on his hand:

Garrett is a titan playing among men, and he is a true freshman. It was said so many times when Johnny Manziel was with the team that it began to feel silly, but take time to appreciate what you are witnessing here. Myles Garrett is a uniquely skilled and talented player and may be the best you ever see at his position, and A&M has him for two more years. So far the best minds in the SEC have determined that the only way to stop him is to blind the referee using the same powder Chong Li used on Frank Dux during the Kumite finals.

Turns out that doesn't work either. Garrett won't even knock you out, though. He'll make you say mate.

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL

Before they walked into Jordan Hare the Aggies were -8 in turnover differential, good for dead last in the conference. That's on the whole team, both the offense for being far too generous with the football and the defense for not generating some big plays. This week against the Tigers the good guys ended up +2 in TO differential. Kyle Allen's pick was a mistake that shouldn't happen, but after weeks of not looking down field the fans are probably willing to forgive a bad look in return for some really big plays from Allen's arm. The first fumble was forced by a solid hit from the defense, the second two from poor execution by the Tigers. Regardless, A&M was opportunistic and swarmed to the ball, meaning that no matter why the ball was on the ground the Ags fought hard for it and won the bottom of the pile.

CHUTZPAH MOJO GUMPTION MOXY SWAGGER

Go ahead olds, talk about how they need to calm down and quit with the nicknames and the uniforms and the dancin' about and the celebratin' and the shenanigans and the tomfoolery. Football isn't about having fun and being confident.

Remember that team that had no confidence and won? Neither do I.

auburnbad

BEND BUT DON'T BREAK MORE THAN 7 TIMES

Yes this was a season salvaging victory and a huge relief, but the world isn't all wine and roses despite the current euphoria. It looks like the Ags are into the hip trend in modern college football of being able to drop 40+ on a team and needing every last one of those points to squeeze out a win. The A&M secondary will continue working out the kinks in some of the coverage, the linebacking corps will work on keeping 5 yard runs from turning into 10 yard gashes, and the fans will refill their blood pressure medication.

SAFETY DANCE

The choices for play calling when faced with 3rd and long on your own 1 yard line and less than 2 minutes on the clock look something like this:

1.  RB Dive - safe, keeps clock running, gives punter room
2.  Play Action - could get the yardage to ice the game, risks stopping the clock on an incompletion
...
37.  QB Rugby Punt - yeah, I mean, I guess that's not specifically the worst thing you could do
...
1,377.  RB Outside Toss - THE TOSS IS PARALLEL TO THE GOAL LINE. WHICH THE RB WILL BARELY CROSS.
1,378.  WR Reverse - why not? If we're gonna get in our own end zone, let's get deep in there. Let's party.
1,379. You know what? Let's just kneel it. Victory formation, assholes.

[FILE NOT FOUND]

There's probably WAY more than three things wrong with what the Aggies did in this game, but I'm not even going to think of a third one because WE WON. LET'S NOT DWELL ON THE NEGATIVES AND JUST ENJOY A GREAT WIN THAT THESE PLAYERS DESERVE.

BTHO MIZZOU