As soon as Auburn’s offense was officially held out of the end zone in its 14-6 loss against Clemson, I asked myself what co-hosting a call-in sports radio talk show in Auburn (ESPN 106.7 FM) on Monday would entail.
In the past, I would have defaulted to defending Gus Malzahn. I’ve deflected blame off him previously, stating he needed more time. I’ve said he needs a different quarterback. I’ve said he needed time to build the defense. Even last week, I held off upset callers believing that he was holding back his offense in the season opener to keep information from Clemson.
After watching Auburn’s disastrous performance on Saturday, I decided I could not defend the man anymore. He has been labeled as an “offensive genius,” but has not been able to field a productive offense against a relevant team since former Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall’s departure after the 2014 season. I’m not calling for Malzahn’s job, but many are, and the current mood of the Auburn fan base is not in a good place.
I spoke to caller after caller on Monday’s show and every single one of them said the same few things. All of them making it very clear that the Auburn offense was an embarrassment. They were all right.
For the first time that I can remember, the Auburn fan base is in unison when giving its feedback of a football game. Even the more positive callers made sure their voices were heard in saying that Auburn’s offensive performance Saturday cannot happen again.
What I found most interesting about these opinions as a whole was that despite the unanimous slander toward the Auburn offensive coaching staff, everyone still mentioned that the Tigers were only down eight points at the end of the game. They all gave credit where credit was due, acknowledging their team’s defense could be one of the best in the country.
But they still feel cheated.
We fell for the Jeremy Johnson hype two seasons ago. We’re still not over that snow job. It continues to make us hesitant about being excited over what looks to be a solid roster this season.
We fear a similar situation is happening now. Jarrett Stidham was billed by local and national media alike as the quarterback to take Auburn football back to a championship caliber. Not yet. Not even close.
After a lackluster performance against Georgia Southern and becoming a laughingstock against the defending national champions, Auburn fans are angry. We’ve been asked to trust the coaching staff and have not been rewarded for our loyalty.
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