Redemption Time For Jeremy Johnson
It was good to see Jeremy Johnson smiling again and having fun on the field before, during and after Auburn’s win over Texas A&M on Saturday. I was one of the few to be able to see it, but there is a huge tunnel leading down to the playing field for the visitors at Texas A&M and when Auburn exited the locker room to head down for the start of the game Johnson was the first guy down the hill for the Tigers.
Showing poise early in the game and connecting on several key throws, Johnson calmly directed the offense and was a strong leader on the field for Auburn. Something that stood out to me was his efficiency in running the offense. With his experience in the system the Tigers looked in control from start to finish and his play was a big reason why.
Who knows what the next few weeks hold for this team and the quarterback position, but Johnson showed he’s good enough to win games in this league and that’s a huge step in the right direction for the junior from Montgomery.
You can see it in the eyes and the body language of Auburn’s defensive players and it grows with every passing week, they believe in Will Muschamp and what they are doing on that side of the ball and that was never more evident than Saturday night.
Watching Justin Garrett and Carlton Davis talk about each of their interceptions and give Muschamp and his staff the credit only confirmed what I knew already--very few coaches can get their guys prepared as well as Muschamp and it’s a matter of the guys making the plays when presented the opportunity.
For the first time in a long while Auburn is now making those plays.
As the seconds clicked down Saturday night I couldn’t help but think back to the last few years and the difference already in what we’re seeing from Auburn’s defense and those teams. No question in my mind that Muschamp has the Tigers on the right track and with young guys like Carlton Davis, Tim Irvin, Nick Ruffin, Stephen Roberts, Tre Williams, Byron Cowart, Jeff Holland and others already getting quality experience the Tigers could be poised to take even more steps forward in the future.
Let’s Get Physical
Auburn’s offensive line continues to improve its play with the latest outing against Texas A&M the best performance of the year for Coach J.B. Grimes’ group. Rushing for 311 yards and controlling the line of scrimmage for 60 minutes, the Tigers showed they are a team capable of running the football and more importantly running the football with a lead late in games.
The play of Shon Coleman was particularly impressive considering how much he struggled one year ago against Texas A&M and defensive end Myles Garrett. With the offense lining up and running the football and having success on first downs it kept Garrett from pinning his ears back, which helped Coleman’s job tremendously. Even when Auburn threw the ball, however, Johnson was rarely pressured, giving him time to make the right read and throw time and time again
With more speed rushers coming in this weekend with Georgia and a physical defensive line from Alabama waiting in the regular season finale the Auburn offensive line must continue to improve, but through nine games this group is much, much better than it was to open the season and that’s very positive for the Tigers.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood
It was fun to see Jovon Robinson continue to grind out the yards on the ground for Auburn’s offense with his second big game in a row for the Tigers. After going through so much to even get to Auburn in the first place after first signing with the program and being forced to go to junior college, Robinson said it hasn’t been easy to sit and watch for much of the 2015 season but he believes it may be the best thing for him in the long run.
That’s an impressive attitude to take and one that should help Robinson in the long run because football, like life, it filled with details. Doing the little things are just as important or sometimes more important than the finished product, something Robinson has learned this fall as an ankle injury set him back early in the year. Forced to remain patient and wait his turn Robinson is finally where he has dreamed of being and he’s not about to slow down now.