HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Reboot. That's the opportunity given to Auburn's football team since it salvaged a win against San Jose State, the last of five pretty uninspiring performances. The Tigers were off Saturday. They'll play a rare Thursday night game, at Kentucky, this week. Those dozen days between games are the most important stretch Auburn football has seen in a long time. It needs a U-turn, and it needs it now.
Gus Malzahn and Will Muschamp didn't all of a sudden forget how to coach, evidence to the contrary. Now they need to coach better than they ever have. Malzahn made an addition by subtraction move by cutting ties to receiver Duke Williams, who seemed to be a spoiled, undependable teammate. Auburn needs to find stability at quarterback, whether it's the mega-talented but mistake-prone Jeremy Johnson or the youngster Sean White. A long pass that bounces off a defender's helmet and goes for a touchdown wouldn't hurt, either.
It's not X's and O's nearly as much as playing better basic football and somehow instilling some confidence and toughness where it's lacking. Time to drag up the old 'all in' philosophy of the previous coaching regime. A friend who once played in the SEC and still follows it closely said to me the other day, 'You know who's going to mess up somebody's season? Auburn.'
After Auburn's own messed up first half of the season, that sort of optimism is tough to sell to a cynic. But we all know how much better things work after a reboot. Here's Auburn's chance. Here's Malzahn's chance.