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Making the play when the opportunity is there


StatTiger

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Sometimes close games are decided by the littlest moments during the game. The opportunities are often there but slip away because of poor execution or bad luck. It’s during those moments, when good and great teams are separated. The difference between the 2005 and 2009 Auburn-Georgia game was that Auburn made one more great play in 2005 and Georgia made one more than Auburn in 2009.

The play…

georgiamccalebbssweep.jpg

It’s 2nd & 13 from the Auburn 47-yard line, late in the Georgia game. Auburn runs the speed-sweep from the wildcat formation. Just as Onterio McCalebb turns the corner, he runs into traffic. He manages to cut through the traffic but the football is stripped from his grasp. McCalebb is just about to clear into the open, when the ball pops up into the air, which he does manage to regain control. However, he loses site of his positioning near the sideline as he battles to regain control of the football and inadvertently steps out of bounds.

  At the moment, the play picks up 19-yards and a 1st down at the UGA 34-yard line, so it doesn’t appear to be a big deal. Auburn will run 8 more plays after the McCalebb sweep but will fail to score, losing the game, 24-31. Looking from an end zone view, you can see just how close McCalebb was to scoring.

End Zone View…

georgiamccalebbssweep2.jpg

  If McCalebb is not stripped of the football, he probably scores on this play. This is what makes the game so exciting and heart breaking at the same time. You have no idea when that moment will be there and how much it will sway the outcome of the game. Auburn’s 2010 theme is “good to great” and greatness won’t be achieved unless Auburn cashes in on their moments to shine.

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I went nuts on that play, only to have my heart sink through the rest of the drive.  Moments like these should be fewer in 2010 by virtue of being in the second year of the system, aka more experienced.  They better be anyways, not sure I can handle Hawgs, Dawgs, and turds flapping their gums for another year. 

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It's things like this that hurt more than anything... the "what-ifs".  It's like when someone posted on here once about Malzahn saying if we'd have just scored on our third possession in the Iron Bowl, they would've just quit.  Why can't we live in some parallel universe where we get one more thing to go our way in the UGA, Bama, and Kentucky games?

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It's things like this that hurt more than anything... the "what-ifs".  It's like when someone posted on here once about Malzahn saying if we'd have just scored on our third possession in the Iron Bowl, they would've just quit.  Why can't we live in some parallel universe where we get one more thing to go our way in the UGA, Bama, and Kentucky games?

That's why coaches often tell their players to play each play like it's your last play.

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Well hopefully that number will decrease substantially, and Chizik's defensive big-play mindset will get a whole bunch of turnovers like in 2004. Look for Auburn to force a lot more turnovers than they give up in coming years. Chizik knows making big plays on defense and not allowing big defensive plays for opponents is as important as the big plays and preventing of big plays on offense. Yeah I know that sounds confusing. Think about it.

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Well hopefully that number will decrease substantially, and Chizik's defensive big-play mindset will get a whole bunch of turnovers like in 2004. Look for Auburn to force a lot more turnovers than they give up in coming years. Chizik knows making big plays on defense and not allowing big defensive plays for opponents is as important as the big plays and preventing of big plays on offense. Yeah I know that sounds confusing. Think about it.

The 2004 Auburn defense had 25 forced-turnovers, the same as the 2009 Auburn defense.

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