Auburn Football: Thoughts From Horrible Sugar Bowl Performance

Here we take a quick look at the horrible performance by Auburn football – mainly the coaches – in a Sugar Bowl loss to Oklahoma.

I kept trying to tell myself this game didn’t mean anything, but for some reason it still made me sick to see Auburn football get destroyed in the second half by Oklahoma.

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that Oklahoma’s players and coaches brought a lot of passion – borderline arrogance – to the game and our guys didn’t respond.

As for the game, things were tight in the first half as Oklahoma went into the break with a 14-13 lead. Our offense was having some success moving the football, while our defense did a good job limiting Oklahoma’s offense.

However, once Sean White got hurt it made things a lot easier for Oklahoma’s defense as they just crowded the box to stop the run.

Our coaches did a terrible job of adjusting the offense, and from there the onslaught began. The Auburn offense couldn’t sustain any drives, and our defense eventually got tired of covering Oklahoma’s high-powered offense.

I give a lot of credit to Oklahoma. They were the better team, but I still think we could have competed much better in this game.

Here are some quick thoughts from that Sugar Bowl loss:

Sean White is Important

The whole dynamic of this game changed once Sean White left with an injury. You could see the team and fans get deflated. I saw a great tweet from someone during the game that said something like you don’t realize how important Sean White is to this team until he’s gone.

That certainly has been the case. The team struggled against Vanderbilt without him, and the offense looked completely lost once he left the game Monday night. He’s not a Heisman candidate by any means, but the Auburn offense is a shell of itself when he’s not behind center.

Eli Stove Will be a Boss Next Year

I mentioned before the game that I thought Eli Stove would be a secret weapon for Auburn football in the Sugar Bowl. He’s no secret anymore, he looked like the go-to guy at wide receiver in this game.

He led the team with 4 catches that went for 39 yards, and he also had 2 carries for 8 yards. Those aren’t eye-popping numbers by any means, but you can tell the coaches want to get him involved in the game plan. I think he has a huge role in this offense next year.

Fourth-and-1

The most crucial and devastating moment in this game for me was when Gus Malzahn elected to punt on fourth-and-1 after calling a timeout. There are so many things about this decision that I could go on a rant about, but just know it had my blood boiling.

You could tell the game was slipping away and our defense was getting tired. It looked like he was going to go for it, and then he called a timeout to punt, which is idiotic. If you’re going to waste a timeout there, then you might as well go for it.

You have a bruising running back in Kamryn Pettway that could easily get you a yard and give this team some confidence and the defense a break. After that you could tell our defense just gave up, and who could blame them. That was the moment things fell apart for Auburn football, and Gus Malzahn is to blame.

Looking Ahead

That’s all we can say today, is what until next year. Despite the embarrassment Auburn football fans suffered Monday night, the future does look bright.

The defense is setup to be strong again next year, and there will be several good quarterbacks to choose from who can take this offense to a new level – and do so on a consistent basis.

In the end this was just another bowl game that has no effect on anything. It’s time for Auburn football to turn the clock and get ready to compete for an SEC Championship next year.

War Eagle!

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