In which a 40-year-old Commodore supporter who's just getting around to downloading Watch The Throne unpacks the results of Saturday's Vanderbilt-Auburn game.
* The first drive was everything I could have hoped for. Going for it twice on 4th and 2 or less? Confidence in your running backs and your offensive front, and rewarded. I noticed only one designed run for Rodgers - and he could have had the TD if he cut up the middle, but he did follow his blocker so props for sticking to the plan.
* That blocker? Stephen Scheu, who plowed the road for Wes Tate's opening touchdown. Teamwork makes the dream work. I know it's just Auburn, but that first drive was the sort of thing that makes you believe in 8-4 by December.
* I'm seeing the balance I wanted originally - Stacy as the workhorse, Tate as the change up. Establish the run, pound the ball, force them to come into the box, strike with the pass, force them back into coverage, pound the ball, lather, rinse, repeat. A bit more wildcat than I would have asked for, but as it largely worked, I can't complain.
* Jordan Matthews always has something to say when challenged. I love the fire, son, I just hope it doesn't bite you in the ass at some point.
* Setting aside Chapter DCCLXVII of "SEC Refs Should Come On The Field With A Dog And A White Cane," it's alarming that we finished -3 on turnovers to the worst team in the nation for turnovers. No INTs, but the fumble-itis is something that we don't need down the stretch.
* OPPA GARNHAM STYLE
* Every time I see Gene Chizik's shacket I thank all the fashion gods we are still Nike and not Under Armor for football.
* That dreadful "fake punt" should be taken out of the playbook, burned, and the ashes buried at midnight at a crossroads under a full moon with holy water poured on the dirt. Did CJF really think they wouldn't notice that we'd replaced our punter with an all-SEC tailback? I know it's Auburn, but seriously, nobody's THAT stupid.
* There's aggressive, and there's not smart. Zac Stacy pounding on the ground on 4th and 2? Aggressive. Halfback pass on 4th and 3? Not so smart. Fake punt in your own territory when leading and putting the best player back in the punter's spot? NOT SMART.
* The rule is "drink every time they mention Aaron Rodgers is Jordan's brother." What do you do for a freakin' photo montage?
* We drove for a game-tying FG in the last two minutes of the first half. When was the last time we improved our situation in the last minute of the first half - in football OR basketball? (Overlooking the Auburn score given up immediately prior, obvs)
* Whoever is out there in the Vandy Boba Fett armor? I'd like to have a daughter and introduce her to you. Please stand by for 20 years or so.
* Bad 4th down conversion attempts. Fumbles at the worst possible moment. Archibald Barnes' unfortunate vapor-lock penalty to keep the drive alive. Thank God it's only Auburn or we would definitely have lost this game. We have to tighten up the ship - I'd love to see that against UMass, but they're a winless team just up from I-AA, which doesn't exactly make it necessary to avoid sloppy play.
* As a matter of fact, Vandy opens as a 5-TD favorite. Does this mean a return to ACS as the Designated Slaughter QB? I'd love to see him get some run on Saturday, and several more reps for Norman and Kimbrow. Anyone who's not a redshirt should get some live-fire experience and we'll be grateful for it down the stretch.
* This is a game that we should have lost, and we won it. Yes, it's the worst Auburn team in years if not decades, and yes we didn't cover, and blah blah blah - if we finish the year 8-4, with a win over the Vols and a trip to a bowl outside the state, nobody but NOBODY will remember how sloppy this game was. If anything, the fact that we butchered this game should give CJF plenty to scream about at practice. Now beat UMass, get to .500 with a nice little 2-game win streak in hand, and then we'll see what November looks like...
* I've drunk out of a handle of Evan Williams in two different time zones this season. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.
* Congratulations to Zac Stacy. If you went to central casting and asked for the sort of young man you'd want as Vanderbilt's all-time leading rusher, you couldn't ask for a better person to take the spot. Now hang that number high enough that it stands for another thirty years...and to the young backs, chase it hard.