I realize Auburn was playing New Mexico State for Homecoming, but I liked what I saw from the freshman quarterback on Saturday. Jonathan Wallace’s performance was a breath of fresh air for the Tigers.
I don’t think there is any doubt that Wallace had a positive impact on his teammates. It looked to me like the offensive players were more excited about what was going on and so was the defense.
The freshman quarterback wasn’t perfect, but I was truly surprised he played as well as he did in his first college start. He made some important plays in the game.
One of the most impressive ones was his pass to Emory Blake to convert a third down and long on a play that he changed at the line of scrimmage. There wasn’t a lot of room for him to get that throw where it had to be for it to work. His pass was in the only place it could have been to be successful because the coverage was good.
I also liked the run Wallace made on third down to get Auburn’s first touchdown drive started. He should gain some confidence from how he played on Saturday.
You can tell that the young quarterback has leadership qualities and that was good to see. It was also good to see Auburn’s players having fun out there on Saturday. Football isn’t an easy game to play at this level and it isn’t a lot of fun when your team is not winning.
Around the conference there was a great football game in Baton Rouge on Saturday night. I wasn’t surprised that Alabama came back and won, but I was surprised at how well LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger performed. When he plays like that LSU is one of the better teams in the country with all of that talent on its side of the field.
I am sure all of the things Les Miles did on Saturday night--the gadget plays, the onside kick and other things--were done because he wasn’t confident his team could beat Alabama. If he had left all of that stuff out of it LSU would have probably won the game.
I was a little bit surprised that Texas A&M beat Mississippi State in Starkville by such a large margin. The Aggies finished the game with 693 total yards against a defense that had been playing pretty well this season. That is amazing.
I really like Texas A&M’s young quarterback Johnny Manziel. That kid is throwing the football very, very well. It is going to be interesting to see how he does this week against Alabama.
The SEC has five of the top eight teams in the BCS rankings this week. Texas A&M is rated 15th, but the way the Aggies are performing right now they aren’t far away from being up there with the very top teams in the country.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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