Auburn? The Tigers Are In 2013 Form

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Auburn Being Auburn

Auburn is rapidly becoming the buddy you have that can take any piece of trash and somehow unlock your car door from the outside when you lock your keys inside it.

If there are ways to be found, late, Auburn will find them. Sounds a lot like 2013, to be honest.

It first started to show in the second quarter when Kansas State yanked ahead, 7-3. At that point, it was pretty obvious … either wake up and flex some muscle, or this turns into a game you’re lucky to get out of.

So Auburn did what Auburn does, which ended in a smooth 40-yard touchdown pass by Nick Marshall to Ricardo Louis. Typical Auburn.

Part of the story will be about missed opportunities, which happened to both teams but magnified themselves more for Kansas State, which couldn’t seem to find the inside of the goal posts with a GPS-strapped hummingbird if you lined the insides of them with enough sugar water to drown a hippo.

But you can lament all you want about missed opportunities, dropped touchdown passes, botched special teams play, penalties, or anything of the like. Often, it just comes down to the end. What can you do when it has to be done? That’s what makes the great moments in sports. It’s what makes the legends the legends, and everyone else just “pretty damn good.”

So naturally, as these things tend to go, it came down to that one possession.

Auburn got the ball back with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, needing two first downs to win the game. However and whenever the Tigers planned on getting them, those were the stakes. Both teams know the stakes going in.

The Tigers got their first first down (it looks terrible to write) with ease. The second came down to a third and long after a timeout. Do you run the ball and munch on more clock? Do you roll the dice and throw it?

Even in the NFL, it’s a hotly debated topic, as we saw on Monday Night Football when the Indianapolis Colts were nursing a lead late and chose to throw on third and long, only to have the pass intercepted and lead to an eventual loss. The situation was different, obviously … the Colts were in field goal range … but the logic was the same. You convert, you win.

How do you roll the dice?

For Auburn, why would there be any question? You throw, and you throw past the marker because you’re cool and smooth in the clutch, like if Robert Horry was a college football team.

And throw the Tigers did, Nick Marshall sealing it with a picture-perfect toss down the left sideline for about 30 yards that put the game on ice. Say any negative things you will about the Tigers … but Kansas State is tough, fundamentally sound, and gave all it had tonight, and Auburn still reached deep, calling a play with sack to win the game.

Kudos to the players who make the plays. Kudos to Gus Malzahn to have the undercarriage to call the play. Typical Auburn.

If it wasn’t so entertaining every time, it’d get really old. But it doesn’t. Auburn wins again, late. Because that’s what Auburn does these days.