It was merely a blowout last November as the Georgia Bulldogs visited the Auburn Tigers. Auburn took a 27-10 lead into the locker room at halftime. It was not until the second half that Aaron Murray, the QB who owns the record for most passing yards in the SEC, helped his team come back and take a late lead. With less than a 30 seconds to go in the game, Auburn faced a 4th and 18 on their own 26 ½ yard line. It seemed impossible for the Auburn Tigers to pull out the win, and it would look as though their SEC Championship dreams were diminished. Nick Marshall stepped back to pass and heaved the ball to what seemed like the was in the air forever, goes between two Georgia defenders, both going for the interception, it hits the shoulder pads of one of the defenders, and Ricardo Louis, the Auburn receiver, looks up and sees the ball, catches it with his fingertips, and scores. I’ve never heard a stadium as loud as that. Auburn takes the lead, and Dee Ford makes a good play on Aaron Murray to end the game with the Tigers winning 43-38.
Just two weeks later, after Auburn had an off week between games, Alabama came to town. The Crimson Tide was undefeated and looking to win their third BCS National Championship in a row. Auburn sitting with one loss looked to not only ruin their season, but also to get to the SEC Championship game, and have a chance at the National Championship themselves. It was the first ever “winner-take-all” Iron Bowl. It was a back and forth game. Auburn scored first, and then Alabama scored 21 unanswered points to make it 21-7 in the first half. Not so fast, though! Auburn goes down the field right before halftime and scored to cut the deficit to 7 going into the locker room. Auburn received the ball in the second half and tied up the game at 21 on the opening drive. AJ McCarron threw a 99-yard pass to Amari Cooper down the right sideline and scored to make it 28-21. The hopes seemed to be almost gone for Auburn, as they had to travel the whole field to tie up the game. Led by running back Tre Mason and quarterback Nick Marshall, Auburn ties up the game on a read option pass to a wide-open Sammie Coates to tie it up, 28-all. With only 1 second left in the 4th quarter, as TJ Yeldon stepped out of bounds to set up a 57-yard field goal for Adam Grittifth. Alabama had already missed 3 field goals in the game, and was trying to make this one to win it all. Chris Davis takes it from the endzone all the way up the left sideline, for a 109-yard missed field goal return for probably the most amazing and thrilling victory ever.
Now switching over to the 2014 season, when #5 Auburn visited the #20 Wildcats of Kansas State on Thursday night. K-State missed a few field goals and had a TD pass hit off Tyler Lockett’s chest for an interception in the end zone. With that touchdown or at least two of the field goals they missed, K-State could have won, or tied that game. But instead, Auburn won 20-14.
And lastly, this past November 1st, the game that everyone deemed Auburn lucky once more. The Tigers visited Ole Miss as the first ever College Football Playoff Committee released their Top 25, and Auburn and the Rebels were #3 and #4. This was a huge showdown, as the winner would keep their hopes alive to contend in the SEC West race and the chance for a playoff spot. This game would go back and forth the whole way. Bo Wallace fumbled in the red zone trying to shove his way to the first down marker inside the 10-yard line. The ball was knocked out of his hand, and recovered by Auburn. Later in the game, LaQuon Treadwell caught a screen pass and was about to score as he was drug from behind and fumbled the ball an inch or less before crossing the goal line. Auburn holds on to win 35-31.
Auburn is so lucky!
If you want to call Auburn “lucky,” then why did the Georgia defenders not intercept or just knock down the pass on 4th down? Why did Alabama miss all those field goals? If Chris Davis did not have good blocking in front of him, he would not have scored. Why did Kansas State not win that game? They should have, right? And Ole Miss, they definitely should have won that game! Bo should not have fumbled it and Auburn is so lucky that Treadwell did not score.
As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast, my friend.” Auburn is 9-1 in games decided by 8 points or fewer in the last two years. That does not mean they are “lucky,” that means they are good and know how to win.
If “lucky” is when the opposing team of Auburn’s does not execute the plays they are supposed to make, then yes Auburn is lucky. But Auburn is not “lucky” because they do not do their part. This past game, Auburn’s offense exploited Ole Miss’ defense, by scoring 35 points on 507 yards on a defense that was barely giving up 10 points per game, and way less than 300 yards per game.
Still think Auburn is lucky?
You would think that Auburn would have run out of luck by now.
But that’s just it, it’s not luck.It’s Gus Malzahn, Nick Marshall, and the defense making opportunistic plays that causes Auburn to look like a lucky team.
Luck only happens once, but when you keep on winning, it should not be considered luck anymore. It should be considered taking advantage of mistakes the opposing team makes and capitalize on them. That is what Auburn does best.
Even the “Bear” said it right (and he’s an Alabama fan): “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.”
Well, the legend speaks! So, still think Auburn is “lucky”?