After watching the Auburn Tigers beat Mississippi State by a score of only 3-2, I became skeptical of whether the new spread offense would remain. I figured that we would unsuccessfully try it for a few more games and then would return to our old offense and rely on our running game.
Even though the Tigers lost against LSU, their hard-fought battle made me more confident than ever. The offense, led by Chris Todd, started to come together and threw deeper balls, resulting in more points put up on the board.
Our defense played wonderfully as usual, and our special teams also stepped it up a notch from the Mississippi State game, where two field goals were missed by Wes Byrum.
One problem I did notice during the LSU game was that the punting was a little off. The normal starter, Clinton Durst, was out with a fever. A close source says it's possibly mono. The punter that played during the LSU game, Ryan Shoemaker, struggled a little bit, and therefore our field position was not ideal and put the team at a disadvantage.
The Tigers are capable of winning the SEC, but only if they can pull off wins for the rest of the season. The hardest games are Georgia and the Iron Bowl against Alabama. LSU has a tough road schedule, including games against Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama, so it is very possible that they will lose two games.
In order to win the SEC, we must rely on Brad Lester to stay healthy, which does not look too promising after a sprained neck in the Mississippi State Game and a hurt knee in the LSU game. Most importantly, we must rely on the offense to continue to progress and click like they did during the first half of the LSU game.
Also, the Tigers must have the advantage of good field position resulting from Durst’s punts. If it is not too much to ask, we also need injured wide receiver and kick returner Phillip Pierre Louis. But now that is simply wishful thinking.
The Tigers will continue to improve and will put up a fierce fight against the rest of their fellow SEC teams, especially after coming off a loss against LSU. However, they must not make the mistakes they made in the first few games. There cannot be five false starts, fumbles in the red zone, and missed kicks.