Year of the Tiger: Why Auburn's 2009 Fortunes Are Brighter Than Last Season's

Dione Thrift@DThriftWarEagleContributor ISeptember 22, 2009

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Darvin Adams #89 of the Auburn Tigers scores a touchdown as he gets tackled by Robert Sands #2 of the West Virginia Mountaineers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Over the weekend, the Auburn Tigers picked up a hard-fought win against a good West Virginia team.

The game started out with West Virginia scoring 14 unanswered points, but the Tigers didn't give up, and in the end, the Tigers won 41-30. 

So what's different about this team?

1. Positive Chemistry: The Tigers had poor chemistry last year. Not only were the players divided, but the coaches were too. This year, everyone is on the same page. Gene Chizik preaches the importance of being an Auburn man, and that's what these players are trying to become.

2. Offense: Auburn finally has an offense! In the first two games, the Tigers proved that they can run well, and this past week in the West Virginia game, they also proved that they can pass well.

Here's a question, where was Darvin Adams last year? Auburn receivers are much improved from last year, and all of the players are buying into Gus Malzhan's system.

3. Kicking: Although the other parts on special teams need a lot of work, the kicking game has improved. Wes Byrum missed quite a few field goals last year, which were really crucial. This year Byrum has improved and is helping Auburn win games.

I'm not saying that this team is perfect, on the contrary, I think Auburn has a ways to go and has plenty of things to improve on. However, I also think they've improved a great deal from last year.