Would you believe that on a rainy night in Starkville, Mississippi, where Auburn dropped their fifth straight SEC game, there would be hope for this program?
Saturday night in Wade Davis Stadium was a tale of two halves, quite literally. After falling behind 24-3 halfway through the second quarter, the Tigers seemed out of it. Anders Carlson kicked his second field goal of the night with four minutes left in the second quarter, and the teams took that score into halftime.
The cow bells were ringing, the rain was falling and the tigers were down 18. It seemed like the start of interim head coach Carnell (Cadillac) Williams’ career was not written with a storybook ending. But what fairytale story doesn’t have a bit of adversity to overcome?
Would you believe that what came out of that halftime tunnel was not a 3-5 team who was down 18 on the verge of losing their sixth game of the year?
Would you believe that despite all the struggles there would be fight left in these players?
Would you believe that Auburn’s defense would completely shut down Mississippi State’s offense for 34 minutes and 23 seconds?
Would you believe that Auburn would score 19 unanswered and take the lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
No. Nobody did; Nobody except 11 coaches and 109 players led by coach Cadillac Williams.
Auburn ended up dropping the contest to the bulldogs 39-33 in overtime, but for some strange reason, there was relief, happiness even, following the game. Coach Williams took the stand and raw emotion poured out of him. With tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, he talked about how proud he was of “his guys”.
“(There were) two things we talked about all week was serve and believe, and I think those guys exemplified that… we didn’t complete the mission… but there’s so many, so many, so many life lessons that these kids learned”, Williams said in his opening remarks.
“This night was special for me”, coach Williams said in regard to what the night was like for him personally, “The whole day just felt right…. The energy was just different, you could see it in those kid’s eyes”.
The positivity continued throughout the locker room as players entered the conference room smiling and in good spirits.
“Being able to just play just relaxes everybody”, Colby Wooden stated about the feel of this team this past week. “Yeah, we dealt with adversity this week, but in a strange way it brought us closer together… There was a different energy. With coach Lac being an Auburn man, he gets where we’ve been and where we’re trying to go, there’s a new motivation and a new breath into us”.
Would you believe that the concrete was poured, and the foundation was laid into a program that had seemed to be without one for more than a season?
Would you believe that a loss on the road would put this team in a better state than it had been in weeks prior?
Only time will tell. However, I can promise that I know the answer given by the orange and blue faithful. Bookmark this game, Tiger fans. Come back to it this time next year.
And for anyone uncertain, unmoved, or confused of how a loss could transform this program, allow me to send you a location for you to see with your own eyes.
251 S Donahue Dr
Auburn, AL 36830
6:30 P.M. CT on November 12.
Come see what Jordan-Hare will look like. Come see what Jordan-Hare will sound like. Come see what Jordan-Hare will feel like. Keep the receipts.