Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; in SEC Rivalry, Dawgs Get Tigers by the Tail and Don't Let Go

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

College Smackdown; in SEC Rivalry, Dawgs Get Tigers by the Tail and Don't Let Go

Article excerpt

Byline: Trey Dennard

Nov. 14 was a perfect football day in Athens. Not a cloud in the sky. The crispness of fall was in the air, and the entire day passed without a hint of wind. The day was especially nice for me, because for the first time in a long time my family joined me at the game.

With all the different sports, activities, school and work schedules, trying to coordinate three days together is tough. And as you may or may not know, I live in a divided house. My wife is an Auburn grad, but don't worry, I raised my children right. So for most of this oldest-rivalry-in-the-SEC weekend, we had mom outnumbered three to one. That is, until my nephew, Dillon, a freshman at Auburn, tracked down our tailgate and made it three to two.

Well, the Dawgs topped their oldest rival for the fourth consecutive year, winning 31-24 after falling behind early. After the first nine minutes of play that felt like nine hours, the game had all the makings of a good old-fashioned woodshed blowout.

Auburn had scored twice, and we had negative yardage. Auburn had the ball again and was driving. Our defense looked like, well, like it has looked so often for the past couple of seasons. Our offense was, well, just horrible, moving the ball backward with each possession in those first excruciating nine minutes of play.

And then it happened. The Dawgs hunkered down. Offense ran the ball right up the gut. The blockers blocked, and we punched the Tigers right in the mouth. Then we threw passes and completed a 50-yarder to a freshman. We were back in the game.

The defense stiffened, and we stuffed the Tiger run game. We sacked their quarterback, broke up passes and even posted a couple of interceptions. The Junkyard Dawgs had come home.

Then when we kicked a 50-yard field goal and added another score from the red zone, we led 17-14 with the third quarter winding down. The Tigers moved within striking distance, but again the Junkyard Dawgs defense stiffened, so the Tigers banked on a field goal. …

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