Johnny still had a huge game (454 yards & 4 TDs passing with 48 yards and a TD rushing) but he threw two INTs. The first of which I put on the paws of one of the TEs - it bounced into the air off his hands....but the second one was Johnny trying to force a ball into an area he shouldn't have.
This is SEC football. This is what we clamored for. When you play with the big boys, you're not going to win them all.....they're all pretty darn good. People forget that Auburn won a NC three years ago so those kids they recruited coming off of that are now RS-So or juniors - their worst finish in the recruiting rankings over the last 4 years is 10th.
I thought that Auburn had the best defense we have faced all season. Their front 4 continually abused our OL and the spy they had on Johnny kept him in check better than anyone else has. As a result, we only converted on 38.4% of our third downs (a season low) and they got off the field.
We had to settle for FGs in a game where we gave up 615 yards of offense. Auburn averaged 7.2 yards per snap. The defense is bad. Way, way, way bad.
Matt Joeckel came in and on his first snap (which was a 3rd & G from the 2) threw a little out route to the TE, which wasn't a very good pass but should have been caught for a TD. We settled for a FG.
Auburn answered with a very fast 7 play TD drive and we went 3-and-out and then Auburn struck again with an even faster 6 play TD drive.
Johnny came back into the game at this point but it was too late and the damage had been done. In a barn burner we scored 3 points on two drives and the opponent scored 14.
We traded TDs and on our final drive, with 1:19 left on the clock and down by 4 points took over at our own 35 yard line.
Johnny found Evans for 19 yards, then scrambled for 6, then found Evans again for 22 yards (how are they not triple covering him at this point?). Then there was an incomplete pass and an 8 yard sack dropping us to Auburn's 26 yard line. We took a timeout at this point with 28 seconds left on the clock.
The next play was literally the play that won the game. Johnny scrambled out towards the left sideline and the horse collared him, clear as day, textbook horse collar. No flag. So instead of a 1st & Goal with 18 seconds to play (which is at least 4 snaps), it was 4th & 13 from the 21.
Here are some interesting facts amidst the doom and gloom....
- We are 16-4 in the Sumlin era and those four teams have accounted for the last 6 National Championships.
- The largest margin of victory in those four losses was the 7 points we lost to 'Bama earlier this year (the four losses have been by a total of 19 points)
- In our two losses this season we scored 83 points and had 1,230 yards of offense
- Johnny had 1,064 yard of offense and 10 TDs