2017 Auburn Football Regular Season Review

by on in

The regular season has come and gone. This season has had valleys, but more importantly, this season hasn’t hit its peak yet. As we look forward to the game in Atlanta next week, let’s remember the games it took to get here:

Auburn needed some extra time to shake off the rust against the triple option attack. Going into this game, Auburn had high expectations, and Auburn walked away from where we thought they should. Stidham, especially, was rusty, but he ended up with a good game. KJ went out with a leg injury before that kept him out for 2 weeks.

This game feels like it was last season. Honestly, the offense has come so far since this game. Stidham held on to the ball too long when he wasn’t running for his life, he ended up being sacked 11 times. The defense played well, only had a bad drive before and after the half. However, the offense couldn’t get things going.

MERCER – 24-10 WIN
This was a frustrating game to watch. Auburn was clearly the better team on both sides of the ball, but they couldn’t pull away because they kept shooting themselves in the foot. Auburn had 4 fumbles and an interception, and the defense only gave up 10 points. Most teams don’t win when they turn the ball over 5 times, let alone only give up 10 points.

This was the turning point for the offense. Auburn had a field day running the ball, and it was the first time Jarrett Stidham had a complete game. Stidham was 13/17 for 218 yards and a beautiful TD pass to NCM. Defensively, Auburn held Drew Lock (probably first-team All-SEC QB) to 216 yards. Holding Lock to 216 yards is pretty good because he has a decent chance of throwing for 4,000 yards this year.

Auburn couldn’t do wrong in this game. Stidham passed for 264 yards and 2 TDs, KJ ran for 116 and 3 TDs. The defense contained a supposedly good Nick Fitzgerald. I’m not saying Nick Fitzgerald isn’t good, he just hasn’t played good against Auburn and outside of that I don’t care what he does.

OLE MISS – 44-23 WIN
Another game in which Auburn put the opponent away early and coasted. The defense did give up some late touchdowns and the score was closer than it should’ve been, but that’s a valuable lesson for the second and third strings to learn.

LSU – 23-27 LOSS
After Auburn lost to Clemson, they made the proper adjustments and the issues from that game haven’t happened again. Same situation here. This loss was a turning point for Coach Malzahn. He learned his lesson that no matter how much of a lead you have, DO NOT PARK THE BUS – KEEP ATTACKING.

This was the third conference game Auburn won by 30 points. Honestly, I was a little sad that Bert wasn’t fired directly after this game, but in the end his justice was served. Kam Pettway looked like he did last year before going down with a shoulder injury. This was the first game that Auburn had all their running backs healthy.

TEXAS A&M – 42-27 WIN
Stidham shined again. Something about him playing in Texas again made it a big deal. I think he’s from there? KJ was his normal self, rushing for 145 yards and a touchdown. The defense struggled and gave up 27 points. Auburn was the road team and in this series, the road team has won 6 straight times. Auburn shouldn’t have a problem changing that next season.

Going back to Gus Malzahn learning from his losses, he didn’t let up on the gas at all. Not many coaches challenge a 4th down spot up by 30 with 5 minutes left, but he proved his point. Georgia can be mad all they want, but they stood no chance on this day. Auburn would’ve beaten anyone in the country this day.

People can be mad all they want about this game being scheduled, but it was sandwiched between games against the #1 team in the nation. This game was close at halftime, but Auburn responded when they needed to. They were intentionally vanilla on offense. When they needed plays, they made them and made quick work of them. This is how the Mercer game should’ve ended.

Auburn was clearly the better team on the field. Alabama had 1 good drive all game and had a Hail-Mary touchdown in the first half. I can’t really say much more about this game – you still know how sweet this victory actually is.