Auburn caps off the biggest turnaround in CFB with an SEC Championship

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Congratulations to the 2013 SEC Champions — the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers throttled Missouri 59-42 to cap off the biggest turnaround in college football. Here are a few takeaways from the game:

High-scoring affair: Isn’t it only fitting with what we’ve seen in the SEC for 2013 to have a shootout in the SEC Championship? The league has certainly taken a turn for offense, where defense used to be the moniker. Both teams combined for 101 points, 1,210 yards and 52 first downs. Simply unbelievable, and I was surprised by the lack of defense on the country’s biggest stage.

Auburn running game: Is there a team in college football that can stop it? Missouri had been solid all season and had only been allowing teams to rush for 119 yards per game, and they couldn’t sniff it. Auburn ran right through the top defense in college football in Alabama last week for almost 300 yards. The Tigers ran for 544 yards and seven (seven!) touchdowns against Missouri. Tre Mason and Nick Marshall get all the ink, but the Tigers’ offensive line was dominant, opening gaping holes against Missouri.

Tre Mason: Mr. Mason powered the Tigers for an SEC Championship Game record 303 yards rushing and punched in four TDs. Bo Jackson was watching on the sidelines, and he had to think Mason reminded him a little bit of himself. The only time Mason got tackled all night was by the referee. Did Mason do enough to earn a trip to New York for the Heisman? You have to think he did. What a performance!

Enough to persuade votes? This Auburn team is much better than the team that lost to LSU earlier in the season. Will 12-1 and SEC Champs be enough to persuade voters over an undefeated Ohio State? The Buckeyes are going to have to play some serious football tonight against Michigan State in order to not get jumped.

Missouri adjustments: For most of the night, Missouri played a three-man defensive front, and Auburn would just hit them on the outside for a big play every single time. When Missouri made an adjustment, they played a four-man front and brought their linebackers to the line of scrimmage and sold out to stop the run. And it worked, but Missouri continued to show its three-man front. And they paid for it. I was really surprised Dave Steckel didn’t throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at Auburn’s rushing attack. At some point, you have to bring eight or nine into the box and just dare Marshall to throw it, right?

Special Teams: As anticipated, Auburn’s special teams made a huge difference. Punter Steven Clark kept pinning Missouri deep in their own territory, and place kicker Cody Parkey hit a career long 52-yard field goal. Also as expected, punt returner Chris Davis returned some nice punts to around the midfield range. Thanks to special teams, Auburn won the field position battle for most of the game.

DGB: What an animal Dorial Green-Beckham is. His coming out party was against Kentucky, and he torched Auburn’s secondary for much of the night. He caught six passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 24 yards per reception. Auburn did, however, play him strong down the stretch.

Photo Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

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COMMENTS

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  • I’m glad all the predictions were wrong. I’m fully convinced Auburn is the best team in the country.

  • well done Auburn Tigers. I’ll be pulling for Michigan state to win. Still need SEC team in the National Championship. If you get there Auburn, you have got to beat Florida State. Go get them! MIZZOU! !!

  • Auburn actually earned this game. Good for them. I’m equally as interested to see how Auburn or Ohio State stacks up against FSU. One thing is for sure at this very moment: I REALLY wish UGA would hire Pat Narduzzi. Anyway, congrats to Auburn.

  • Got to say, had a great time with the Auburn fans here in Atlanta. I didn’t like the way the stadium showed the Alabama screwup like 7 times to fire up their fan base. Not that they needed it. The 3 play rushing attack was incredible except for a late TD from a 4thon our own like 12. Man I can’t believe we scored 42 and lost. What a show though. Both teams were out eating and celebrating our teams and rooting for MSU. What a great experience, thanks War Eagle

  • Some defense actually being played by Sparty. Not much in the SECCG.

  • 2 things:
    1) Glad we got Auburn when we did, would be tough to beat them now, even if it was in Tiger Stadium.

    2) The initiation period is over, and I’m ready to accept Mizzou as a true member of the SEC.

    Geaux Tigers, all of them.

    • I agree with #2 big time. My hating on Mizzou ended when they shut us down for most of our game in their Columbia. I think over the course of this season and with their turnaround they’ve shown that they definitely belong here.

  • GOIN TO THE SHIP!!!!!

  • Here’s what I saw on television tonight. I saw a television crew rooting for one team to win and the other to lose. I saw a television crew second guessing the refs calls, often incorrectly, and refusing to back down when the video showed them to be wrong. I saw a game where the television crew talked like one team was dominating but the other team kept shutting them up by scoring first and re-taking the lead, up till the 42 point mark. ONLY WHEN TIME GOT SHORT DID MISSOURI TAKE THE RISKS THAT OPENED UP THE FINAL MARGIN. Congratulations to Auburn’s O-line, and D-line. but any decent running back could have piled up 303 yards. Auburns passing attack also deserves praise. This might be a strange new concept to some in the SEC but the definition of “getting throttled” has changed. The old close contest 14-7 is the new 48-31 and the new 59-42. Throttling was 21-7, but will now be, 42-14, and 64-21, and we will like it better. Go Auburn, bring home the BCS Championship again. Go Missouri Tigers, a little bit better game plan and execution and you are the next SEC champ and BCS champ. Thanks to all the writers at SDS for a great season of football writing, and to all the commenters here also… THANKS. I’ve been homebound a lot this past year caring for a sick family member and these accounts and comments have been more fun than I can put into words. All my best prayers to your loved ones, signing off till next year, wolf man

    • Prayers for your sick family member, Wolfman. Looking forward to some friendly banter next season.

    • First off…congrats to the Auburn Tigers for their SEC Championship. Second, I sure hope we don’t get any games on CBS next year. Gary Danielson I’d a complete homer for the old guard in the SEC. I had to turn my TV to mute and listen to the radio in order to get fare commentary on this game. I wish the AU Tigers the best at the BCS Championship game and Danielson….take a week off then quit.

      • Tiger, EVERYONE in the SEC hates verne and gary. They just tend to pull more for the favored team and toe that company line. They’re always wrong in their analysis, and they speak nonsense most of the time. We’ve mostly learned to tune them out hahaha. Good game last night though! Yall tore our d to shreds

  • When a running back gains over 300 yards on over 40 attempts. It may be more than announcer bias.? No defense played in the game at all!, I sometimes thought it was a CFL game. Malzhan says we’re playing our best football? Gus your defense sux! Simply ‘outscoring’ your opponent is not the ‘new norm’ in this league. It obviously was this year. Auburn proved that BUT A&M and UGA couldnt score enough. And with an inability to score UF tanked.. Will be interesting to see which team scores the most in Pasedena.

  • Mr. Cooper – long time reader, first time poster (the doesn’t sound cliche at all, right?). Have really enjoyed the commentary on SDS this year. I’ll take this site for SEC updates over ESPN any day. I’m a 3rd generation Missouri alum, wife is a 4th gen, so we’re pretty die-hard, to say the least. Despite a tough loss to an excellent Auburn team last night and the bad loss to SC earlier in the year, do you feel Missouri has shown itself to be a competitive member of the best conference in college sports? Obviously, a championship trophy would’ve done much more to lay everyone’s doubts to rest, but do you think Missouri can replicate its successes this year to become a respected member of the conference going forward? I’d hate to think we’re still regarded in this light: http://www.saturdaydownsouth.com/2012/sec-feedback-bad-conference-expansion/ With A&M’s early success (beating AL, winning the Heisman), I think people more quickly readily accepted them as a member of the conference; has Mizzou reached that point after this season or will it take many more years of success?

    • In my eyes yall have. Especially playing half a season with the backup QB who is really talented! yall tore our d up

    • Thanks for the kind words about SDS. I think this year certainly helped the case for respect with Mizzou. Great season and well-earned respect. Next year could be another big one, too.

  • As a Gamecock fan living in Kansas City, MO, I’ve been prepared to drink the Mizzou kool-aid as soon as they play a complete, solid performance. And I’m still waiting. They’re a good team, but they’re not elite yet (contrary to what the locals think).

    All I really want is for their fan base to recognize that they played Georgia at the right time this year. If Georgia had stayed healthy, Missouri would be no higher than third in the East, and the team goal for 2014 would still be to earn some of that elusive “respect.”

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