By Jay Coulter
Tonight hurts. My ten-year-old daughter went to bed crying. It was her first painful loss as an Auburn fan. There have been nights like this before. But I can’t remember a night with so many missed opportunities.
How can you hurt so bad right now but still feel like your team is the best in the conference? Auburn is a good football team. Auburn is a young football team. Tonight we saw a combination of both a good and young football team play.
How many years has it been since we’ve seen such a dominating performance by a running back? And I say this a year after Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown left for the NFL. Kenny Irons is the real deal.
Brandon Cox wasn’t perfect but I sure was proud of him. He’s going to be special before he leaves Auburn. He still needs work at the line of scrimmage and with clock management but how can you not give this kid an A? Sure he still must learn to look away from his primary receiver but he’s better. And as he gets better, we’ll continue to get better.
John Vaughn is a different story. I can’t remember a night when a place kicker was worse. I can’t remember when a kicker for any school missed five field goals. I hate to single out one person but how can you not. John Vaughn single handedly cost the Tigers the win. That’s tough talk for a 22 year-old.
For Vaughn and the team I hope he can recover. Although I’m not sure it’s possible. What is it with our kickers following up spectacular seasons with terrible campaigns?
Our defense played good enough to win but our secondary has a long ways to go. I hate to see Tyrone Prothro suffer but I’m relieved that we don’t have to face him. Skylar Green looked like Reggie Bush at times tonight. Prothro could have been much worse.
After watching Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and LSU today, I believe we are as good as anyone in the conference. Next week is a rebound week and it will be tough mentally. But if we continue to improve against Ole Miss and Kentucky then I think we’ll win our remaining games with Georgia and Alabama.
D.J. Shockley will tell the tale for Georgia. If he’s gone then they’re gone. If he’s back and healthy I expect another epic game for us in Athens similar to tonight. As for Alabama, their defense is outstanding. No question. But their offense doesn’t have as many weapons as we saw tonight.
An Alabama win over LSU means we control our destiny. We win out and we head to Atlanta. Tonight hurts but all is not lost. This team has a special feel to it - even in defeat. Let’s get behind them and get ready for an exciting four weeks of football. War Eagle!
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