Auburn blows chip shot field goal, win
Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 24, 2002
Now we know how Wile E. Coyote feels. In case you didn’t know, he’s the poor sap who can’t catch the Road Runner. We had a chance to make a chip shot field goal, and beat Florida in &uot;the Swamp&uot;. Everything was in place. BOOM! We blew ourselves up. The field goal was blocked, and we lost in overtime.
The blow out was on in Gainsville at the end of the 3rd quarter on Saturday night. The underdog Tigers were playing without their star player, Carnell Williams, and trailed by 16 points. To say that things didn’t look too good for Auburn is an understatement. Despite these obstacles, we rallied behind the play of two second string players, R.B. Ronnie Brown and Q.B. Jason Campbell and got ourselves in position to win the game. Unfortunately, Damon Duval’s game winning 23 yard kick with 25 seconds left in the game was blocked. What a shame, the Tigers showed too much heart to go home losers.
Up to this point in the season Ronnie Brown had been Auburn’s version of the Maytag Repair Man. You know the guy who keeps waiting and waiting and waiting, but never gets the call. Ronnie got the call on Saturday, and stepped up big time. Brown, who replaced Carnell Williams, rushed for 163 yards and one touchdown. He also caught a 54-yard pass from Jason Campbell to tie the game late in the 4 h quarter. Just like in the Syracuse game, Jason Campbell stepped in and saved the day for Auburn. He was 5 for 7 for 95 yards and one touchdown, and ran for 13 yards and two two-point conversions. The stats only tell part of the story, it was his cool demeanor and leadership that brought the Tigers back.
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A different Auburn team will take the field against L.S.U. this weekend. We will have a new running back, a new place kicker and possibly a new quarterback. Carnell Williams has been lost for the year with a broken ankle, and that will be a tremendous blow to our offense. He was having an All-S.E.C. year and basically carried our offense in many games. The blow will be lessened by the emergence of Ronnie Brown in the Florida game. Running in the place of &uot;Cadillac&uot; will not be easy, but it is obvious that this guy will be able to tote the load too. Damon Duval is 4 for 10 with three blocks this year as our place kicker, and that is why he is being replaced by Phillip Yost, a former All-U.S.A. Today High School kicker. I hate to see this happen to Damon because he is the same guy who kicked three game winning field goals (Vandy, Miss St, Florida) last year. That was last year Damon. What have you done for us lately’? There is still no word on who will be our starting Q.B. in the L.S.U. game. Jason Campbell is the obvious choice for the fans, but the coaches seem hesitant in giving him the job. They contend that he doesn’t have a full grasp of the offense. Yeah right. All you have to do is look at the scoreboard. When he plays, we score. When Daniel Cobb plays, I get a bellyache. It’s really quite simple. Unfortunately, our coach is no genius (I’m intentionally not mentioning the fake punt he called with the ball inside the Auburn 10 yard line at the end of the first half). When the so called &uot;turnip truck&uot; dropped Coach Tuberville off at Auburn in 1998 it obviously backed over his head a couple of times before it left him.
It’s revenge game number three for the Tigers this week, and it couldn’t be a more crucial game. The West Division leading L.S.U. Bengal Tigers come to town fresh off of convincing wins over Florida and South Carolina. The Bengal Tigers are 6-1, and are ranked 10th in the U.S.A. Today/ESPN poll. They have the top-rated defense in our league, and a strong running game. It’s worth noting that they have some injury problems too. They will be playing in Auburn without their starting Q.B., Matt Mauck, and their starting T.B., LaBrandon Toefield. The Auburn Tigers will be 4 point underdogs at home this week, and it would be a great time for an upset.
Will Auburn come back strong after two straight losses? Can we win without Carnell? Who will our starting quarterback be? Questions, my friends. Nothing but questions. I’ll have all the answers next week. War Eagle.