AU Sends Wake Up Call

Tim TrollingerCorrespondent IOctober 4, 2009

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Ben Tate #44 of the Auburn Tigers against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The college football world is now awake to the Auburn Tigers. Until this weekend AU had quietly flown under the radar. Today's AP poll will change that as the Tigers make their 2009 debut at 17.

It’s hard to blame the AP writers for being early skeptics after last year’s debacle. However, this year's Tigers have anxiously waited all summer to put last year behind them and prove that last year was a fluke.

Coach Chizik continues to prove that he was the right man for the job.  He has all the players and coaches believing in each other and it has shown on the field.

Coach Malzahn continues to find ways to get his play makers the ball. Saturday saw some players really stepping up. Ben Tate had another solid, break out performance with 129 yards rushing and a touchdown. However, true freshman Onterrio McCalleb may have quietly stolen the show. He had 203 yards total offense, 52 yds rushing,62 yds receiving and 89 return yards. McCalleb is proving to be AU's version of the 2008 Gators Percy Harvin.

Chris Todd continues to show why he is this year’s comeback player of the year. Currently ranked as one of the top QBs in the country he has masterfully led the AU offense to a 5-0 start. Saturday saw Todd connecting on 19 of 32 attempts for 216 yards, not exactly huge numbers, However eight different Tigers caught at least one pass. He is beginning to really spread the ball around and seems to be gaining a lot of confidence in the pocket.

Despite the eventual close final score the Tigers were never really threatened. The defense played very solid and was able to ward off any attempts by the Volunteer offense to gain momentum.

The AU defense will have to step up next week as the Tigers travel to Fayetteville to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks. This should prove to be AU's toughest defensive test to this point.