Welcome to the nadir of our time together as writer/reader. Today is hell and we’re going to (probably not because the LSU/A&M game is on at the same time) get through it together. Let’s analyze.
Auburn (1-5, 0-4 SEC) It’s really pretty easy to know what’s went wrong with the Tigers this year. Very few touchdowns (starting quarterback Kiehl Frazier has thrown TWO touchdown passes all year), a close fight to win its only victory of the year, and dying outright when time has come to play its schedule. Auburn behaves like a team that should have an expert defense, but obviously, this is not the case.
Vanderbilt (2-4, 1-3 SEC) Now here, we have a bit of a misleading record. Three of Vandy’s four losses came from SEC powerhouses ranked in the top 10 at the time of their matchup, and the other is Big Ten surprise Northwestern. In fact, barring being blown out by Georgia, the other three losses have been extremely close (although we can make the same argument for Auburn’s two point loss to LSU). Still, Vandy’s seemingly had more of the puzzle solved in terms of playing well. They just need to avoid a loss here if they want to prove they’re not a cellar dweller.
Alright, let’s take this journey together. 11am Central. Kickoff.
Tales of losing records and lives and Gil Scott Heron. Rest in peace everyone. Also, here’s Dave Neal and Andre Ware.
ahahahaha. The preview show noted GREAT CALLS IN OUTBACK BOWL HISTORY. I’m really excited to learn GREAT CALLS IN THE BEEF O’BRADY’S BOWL. Advertising messed up college football, y’all. By the way, this blog is sponsored by the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
Auburn 0, Vandy 0 Curious if this score lasts a whole quarter. There’s a high probability that this will be the case. Neither team has exactly been very good at scoring the touchdowns. It must suck to be Jordan Rodgers at this point in his life. You’d think he’d be the Jay Cutler of 2012 for them, what with being the brother of a top 5 NFL quarterback, but that isn’t the case. Still, this offense has been competent on this first drive. And that’s probably all you can ask for with this team. There’s a 4th and 2 for Vandy at Auburn’s 30, so James Franklin gambles and he gets it. That’s the jolt of excitement this dude brings to the “old man football” conference.
Ok, they’re going for it at Auburn’s 17 and that call might be batshit. And they made it somehow. Fascinating.
Vandy 7, Auburn 0 James Franklin wins the “big brass balls” award of the moment. Neat. GET IT RILED UP. I also like that Franklin’s just batty, because he coaches a team that doesn’t really have anything to lose. Also of note, looking at Vandy’s schedule, is that a win today, and Vandy has an easy chance to cover the six wins needed for bowl eligibility. But Auburn might be able to get some running effort today, which with Clint Moseley, they’re going to need a lot.
Or they’ll punt with average effort. And an Auburn player tries to avoid the touchback and the ball foils him. Something about how this is a metaphor for the 2012 Auburn Tigers football team.
Well, we’re at commercials and I normally look through alumni. And there’s a lot of it for Vanderbilt. So I’ll put up a picture a quarter and identify the dude.
Dude who wrote All The King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren.
LISTEN GUYS, NO ONE PLAYS HARDER THAN AUBURN DOES. ALL IN. That’s not fair to make comments on commercials clearly made before this season, but you gotta be kidding me. Also, Dave Neal went to Rascal Flatts and was SHOCKED Andre Ware didn’t want to go. And this isn’t a race thing, I would detest going to that show, too.
Auburn ALMOST got a fumble to turn around that -13 turnover rate, but Wesley (Ben) Tate may have been down before the ball comes loose. While this overlong review is occurring, I’m kind of amused that the new term du jour is “tackling in space.” ACTUALLY, Auburn gets the fumble. But yeah, the bit I was going to do before the random overturn. I think of this song when I hear “tackling in space”:
End of the 1st Quarter
Auburn’s fumble drive ends with their “unable to scramble” quarterback trying to scramble and failing. I feel like they at least have a little of an option with Frazier. Onterrio McCalebb isn’t used to tackling, apparently, because he caused kick catch interference. And then Vandy with a nothing drive, too. I think this is more what I expected. And Vandy fucked it up. They went for an option on 4th and 9 in their own field and gave up a fumble in the process. Umm. James Franklin has balls, but having balls means someone might kick them enormously hard and you regret having such big balls.
Andre Ware making the “just use your third string true freshman QB at this point” point. Trey Irby making the “everyone should destroy Tostitos forever” point. It’s getting to the point where “CG bag of Tostitos convincing poor impersonator of Obama and Romney to eat chips” might be worse than all of the Taco Bell ads that have happened this year combined.
Vandy 7, Auburn 3 The lack of touchdowns being scored in the red zone has been a distinct problem for this team, and it continues. Even after getting a great opportunity by Franklin’s foibles, Auburn only gets a field goal. And there’s Aaron Rodgers and his not-as-good brother in photo montage! More 3 and outs, and more Wikipedia research upcoming, although this has been a relatively quick half.
lol Dave Neal bitching about the lack of a student section for a 2-4 football team. Dave, you don’t see a half empty student section at halftime for home games played by the #1 team in the country. Also, you’ve never been hungover before a Saturday broadcast, I think. My analysis at this point is Zac Stacy is good, and the two running backs for Auburn are pretty good. Just go with them, I guess. I do love that Andre Ware is chiding the hell out of Jordan Rodgers. Dude needs to be a quarterbacks coach, but only for brothers of successful NFL players.
Does Vanderbilt have a field goal/punting unit? And have they ever planned 4th and inches plays in practice? They sure don’t seem like they do. Auburn may pull victory from the jaws of Vandy’s lack of logic. And guess what? When you give Auburn fantastic field position, once in a while, they might pull it out. James Franklin’s an exciting guy to watch coach, but he’s looking less like “big balls” and more like “dude who lets the Jackass guys hit him with a live cannonball.”
Auburn 10, Vandy 7 And now Auburn has the lead on a Tre’ Mason run-in. Vanderbilt has taken some pure shits and probably screwed this up, as this school has been wont to do in the past. Jordan Rodgers going “Oh shit” and trying to make a two minute drive out of this, crossing midfield and all that fun stuff. Vandy still has two timeouts with :16 to go in the half, leading Andre Ware to make his call of the year: “What do you with those timeouts when you go to the locker room? Do you make a motivational speech?”
Auburn 10, Vandy 10 Halftime!
End of the 2nd Quarter
We return with a “plays in space” alert, so put on that Spiritualized record again on this Auburn drive where they figured out that running might be the best thing this Auburn team can do right now. Auburn gets about 30 yards but the drive sputters for a pretty important setup for the Vandy team right now in need of momentum, points, and redeeming themselves.
Vandy isn’t a big play team. This is probably a criticism, and considering their record, it should be. However, Zac Stacy’s one of those players that is a mean power back. That’s probably a better quality in the pros. Or hell, he’ll just break out on this drive. Just phenomenal rushing. Nice work, dude. Already broken 100 yards rushing.
Vandy 17, Auburn 10 This drive is all Zac Stacy, so here’s a tribute:
Well, okay, it’s not a tribute. But Saul Williams is pretty rad at poetry and storytelling, so let’s go with it.
Bro behind me just said “Vandy’s decent. They’re not as good as they were two years ago, but they’re decent.”
Another three and out and ONTERRIO MCCALEBB AGAIN CALLED FOR KICK CATCH INTERFERENCE. Though the replay makes that less his doing but the refs saying, “well, clearly it had to be him.” And another three and out during my huntdown for that stuff. This is getting too fast for nothing at all.
And then Tre’ Mason puts up a big ole run. Seems logic dictates that these teams should probably just run for the rest of the game. These have been the only impressive parts of both offenses this afternoon. In fairness, Moseley and Rodgers have made a decent percentage of their passes, but these have been misleading short yard plays. It’s made no real difference in where the yards go. Also, Clint Moseley is sacked and the drive dies.
End of the 3rd Quarter
So now we’re seeing Auburn try to do something they have not done all year, which is score a touchdown in the 4th quarter. Auburn has tried every screen pass in history this game, if you want something else to blame this apocalypse of a season on and they turn a good little drive into a non-TD drive.
Vandy 17, Auburn 13 Under 10 minutes to go, kids. Wild finish forthcoming. And here’s a gif of the only notable part of the last drive, via the Gifmulmination site.
Vandy did actually manage to fool Auburn into getting some key passing yards. Interesting risk that paid off, although it seemed dumb as shit. I guess a lot of things seem dumb as shit until they work, though.
Small note, the Vandy/Auburn game started at 11:20am. The LSU/A&M game that much of the country is watching started at 11am, but I still might be able to see that one end after the former game is done. And Vandy attempted to have Stacy throw the ball at 4th and 3. Which wait what huh?
And yet somehow, Vandy’s defense holds up goofy playcalling and gets a three and out. So so underwhelming. And now they have to run Zac Stacy surely, who as of note, only ran three times on the last three Vandy drives.
OH LOOK GUESS WHAT WHEN ZAC STACY IS RUNNING, HE DOES WELL. He also just broke Vandy’s all-time career leading rushing record. But his work is not done yet, as the team needs a first down or two to force Auburn’s hand in terms of their three timeouts.
And guess what? A fumble ends the drive. There have been three turnovers by Vandy to Auburn’s zero. This is going to have an interesting finish, I take it, with 2:24 left for Auburn to score a winning touchdown, despite not having done so at all in any game this season. The drive gets to the Vandy 41 with 1:44 to go as Clint Moseley of all people has to win this game for Auburn. And he might just do it, truth be told. Then again, it’s a 4th and 13 at the Vandy 45. One last chance or lest they get a 1-6 record in Auburn. And. That. Is. It.
Vanderbilt beats Auburn for the first time in forever. Insane.
End of Game
Thanks once again to those who’ve read these babblings. There’s been record pageviews for this piece. Join me next week for the Ole Miss/Arkansas SEC Network tussle.