In this week's Auburn football notebook, sports writer Harrison Tarr opines on what the loss to Florida means to Auburn moving forward.
The loss to Florida is history. Therefore, it’s time to start pondering the important questions: What does that game really mean for Auburn?
Last weekend was not a must-win for the Tigers; however, the loss is going to make the road ahead significantly more difficult. As stated in last week’s Notebook, Auburn still has to play LSU in Baton Rouge, Georgia, and Alabama.
The difference in the outlook between this week and last week? Now, the Tigers will likely have to win out if they want to keep their playoff dreams alive. There is a chance that should the team go into Baton Rouge and lose in a close one, Auburn could find themselves playing in Atlanta in December; however, they would need a significant amount of help. With one loss, the only way for the orange and blue to control its own destiny is to win out.
Now, what do Malzhan and his squad have to learn from the Florida game?
If handled properly, the loss to the Gators can be used as an excellent model as to what not to do every week. There are the obvious adjustments that need to be made; play calling was not what it has been through the first five games.
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The offensive line struggled against a very talented Florida defense. A true freshman quarterback struggled in a hostile environment. The on-field list goes on and on; however, there is also room for improvement within the intangibles of the game.
No one can coach composure, patience or communication. Each of those traits must develop on their own. The unfortunate truth about this, though, is that if Auburn truly wants to make a deep run in 2019, the mental aspects of the game are going to have to come together sooner than later.
The Tigers would have much preferred to pull a win out of the swamp, but that game must now go in the rear-view mirror. The team should be ready to make a statement Saturday in Fayetteville against Arkansas.
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