Cox Deserves Better

Wes HowardCorrespondent ISeptember 15, 2007

Icon20-5 as a starter. 

5th year returning senior. 

Has beaten his rival every time he has played them. 

Numbers to make even the most pessimistic fan smile.  Sounds like a recipe for successful season.  Unfortunately for Auburn, the ingredients just haven't mixed well together this season.  Brandon Cox, who has to take antibiotics daily to fight the muscle disease "myasthenia gravis", hasn't had the season everyone expected him to.  In a world of "what have you done for me lately", Auburn fans seem to forget just how much Cox has done.  Boo's rained down in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday during the game against Mississippi State after Cox threw his second interception in as many passes.  Suddenly the kid who played through nagging injuries and has beaten Alabama every time he has played them became the villain. 

Brandon Cox didn't deserve this treatment from the fans.  It is true that he hasn't played well this season.  He has made some freshman mistakes and bad decisions.  That is still no reason to treat as he was treated Saturday.  Freshman phenom Kodi Burns relieved Cox and played well.  It was evident that Burns knew about 4 plays.  Run left, run right, hand off, and fake hand off.  It worked though.  He put 14 points up on the board and consistently moved the football.  After Burns threw a tipped interception, the defense finally buckled and gave up the go-ahead touchdown. 

With 4 minutes left it became evident that if Auburn wanted to win they would have to pass.  Kodi Burns didn't know the offense well enough to engineer this drive.  The stage was set for Brandon Cox to be the hero once again.  He came on the field and moved the offense down to the Mississippi State 8 yard line.  Four plays to get it in the end-zone and win the game.  The Hollywood ending wasn't in the cards on this day for Cox and Auburn.  Cox's 4th down pass feel innocently in the end-zone and Mississippi State began celebrating a hard fought 19-14 upset of the Auburn Tigers.

After the game, Cox said all the right things about being benched and was a class act.  Too bad the crowd didn't have that same class.  Brandon could have easily explained how much it hurts to get up in the morning.  How he has to deal daily with a muscle disease and played all last season injured.   He could have explained that he plays as hard as he can every game and wants to win just as bad as the fans.  He didn't.  He took the high road.  Time will tell if Cox ever plays another down for Auburn, but one thing is clear.  He deserves better.  Just look at his career stats and remember that feeling you had after every one of those 20 something wins.