247Sports Auburn affiliate AuburnUndercover’s Phillip Marshall had this to say about last week’s Auburn loss to Vanderbilt.
Gene Chizik is 7-14 in the SEC without Cam Newton at quarterback.
“The glorious days of the drive to the 2010 national championship seem long ago and far away.
You think it can't get any worse, and every week it gets worse. Losing to the worst Arkansas team in decades was bad. Losing to an Ole Miss team that had lost 16 straight Southeastern Conference games was bad. But losing to traditional cellar-dweller Vanderbilt on a day when the Commodores did all they could to give the game away was the worst yet.”
And a quick glance over the message boards on that site gives you the same feeling. Auburn is, simply put, just not a good football team this year. Their lone win was an overtime victory of Louisiana-Monroe, and despite putting up good fights against Clemson and LSU, the Tigers find themselves just 1-6 heading into this weekend’s game.
But if Auburn fans want to hear some words of encouragement, they don’t have to look any further than Texas A&M’s coaches and players. In their weekly press conference on Tuesday, person after person told us why the Aggies aren’t facing your usual winless team on Saturday.
The Auburn offense has cracked twenty points just twice this season, and their offense currently ranks 118th in the country in scoring. Tulane is the only team in the FBS averaging fewer points per game than the Tigers. Yet, according to Jonathan Stewart, they’re a dangerous team.
"From the little bit that we've watched on film we know that they're a very dangerous offense,” said Stewart. “They have athletes on offense and they try to get those guys out in space."
According to Steven Terrell, if a few things go their way, they could start clicking.
"When you lose a player like Cam Newton, that can change a team, but they still have talent,” said the senior safety. “They have great receivers and running backs, they have great talent everywhere but some things haven't gone their way. One of these games it's going to click and you have to be prepared."
Head coach Kevin Sumlin drew a comparison to another team that the Aggies faced who looked like their season was dead on arrival.
"Same thing as Arkansas,” he said. “You see they got it rolling, they have some really good players who looks like to me said they've had enough. Here's a team in similar circumstances. Their backs are against the wall, they've lost some games. This is a prideful programs coming off two years ago winning a national championship."
"We're going to get their best shot. It's very very similar to what I said earlier. A wounded animal is sometimes the most dangerous. These guys have got a lot of pride, really good players, being at home we're going to have to get over there and give our very very best to get out of there."
This is an Auburn team that got completely shut down by that Arkansas team one week after A&M absolutely dismantled them at Kyle Field. It’s An Auburn team that had Ole Miss tied 17-17 at the half but got shredded in the second half to lose 41-20 and give the Rebels their first conference win in 16 games.
But that’s Kevin Sumlin’s biggest challenge this week. He has to get his team ready to play the team that was ranked in the preseason, not the one that’s been on the football field this season. For the team, Auburn has to be a talented team with dangerous players less than two years removed from a national championship, not one of the SEC’s worst teams in every statistical category.
Who knows what kind of Auburn team is going to show up on Saturday night in Alabama, but the Aggies are definitely preparing for a good one.