Auburn football: Close your eyes, envision Tigers scoring lots of points on huge plays

Is Saturday the day Auburn unleashes more Anthony Schwartz? (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Is Saturday the day Auburn unleashes more Anthony Schwartz? (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /

Remember when you were a kid and daydreaming was part of the daily routine? It could be about anything. Well, the adult version around here includes Auburn football.

Surely you’ve done this: Imagined how a game could play out for Auburn. It always ends in victory with some sort of highlight-reel play or plays (although no version of one of my daydreams ever included something resembling the Kick Six).

The game last week against LSU did not begin the way anyone wanted. Auburn received the kickoff and on its third play from scrimmage, Jarrett Stidham threw an interception and LSU turned it into a touchdown and 7-0 lead.

Nope, that’s not how we drew it up on our head.

But this is how we’re drawing up Saturday night against Arkansas. So close your eyes — better yet, get someone to read this to you while you close your eyes — relax, and enjoy the result.

Auburn wins the coin toss, defers to the second half.

Arkansas, first possession: Run for no gain, incomplete pass, sack for loss of eight yards. Punt.

Auburn, first possession: First down from the Auburn 40. Stidham hands to JaTarvious Whitlow on first down for four yards. Tigers line up quickly in the same set, but this time Stidham fakes the handoff to Whitlow and throws a strike to Anthony Schwartz for a 55-yard touchdown with 14:06 left in the first quarter. Auburn, 7-0.

It’s always a bonus to score the first points in the opening minute of the game. 

Arkansas: Run for short gain. On second down, Ty Storey throws over the middle and Javaris Davis picks it off at the Razorbacks’ 45 and returns it to the 30.

Auburn: On first down, Stidham hits Asa Martin on the wheel route for a 30-yard score. Auburn, 14-0.

Arkansas: This time, the Hogs get a first down, then a second. But the only reason that is a part of the daydream scenario is to give Auburn more field to work with when it gets the ball back. After two first downs, Arkansas punts and Ryan Davis calls for a fair catch at the Tigers’ 12.

Auburn: It looks like Schwartz is going to get the ball on the jet sweep; instead Whitlow gets the carry and runs through a huge hole and is dragged down near midfield. It’s tempo time. Whitlow runs again (that’s predictable, right?) and gets five yards. Auburn gives Arkansas the same look, hands it to Whitlow who inches forward before tossing the ball back to Stidham. Darius Slayton is wide open down the middle of the field. Rod Bramblett exclaims: “Touchdown, Auburn!!!” That makes it 21-0 with six minutes to play in the opening quarter.

Fast forward to late in the second quarter. Auburn leads 31-0 and just forced another Arkansas punt. Tigers ball at their own 8 with 1:48 until halftime. 

The old Auburn goes conservative, runs the ball and, if it gets near midfield, pushes the up-tempo button and tries to squeeze in a field goal attempt. But not today. Not in my mind.

Gus looks across the field at his friend, Chad Morris. He sees the defeat in the Arkansas sideline. For a second he thinks that the gentlemanly thing to do would be sit on the ball, run out the clock.

So he inserts Malik Willis in at quarterback. Willis is the dual-threat guy. Auburn is going to run the ball.

On first down, Willis runs the read-option, but instead of handing the ball to Kam Martin or running it himself, he drops back and unleashes a bomb — haven’t we all wanted to see how far that kid can throw it? — and as soon as he lets it go, everyone in Jordan-Hare Stadium stands. But he’s out-thrown his receiver. There’s no way Schwartz catches up to that. Until Schwartz kicks it into that gear no one else in the stadium has. He snags it on the other side of the 50 (that was 55-plus yards in the air, folks) and cruises to the end zone. Auburn, 38-0 at halftime.

My attention span is gone from there. My work is done. Auburn wins and puts up gaudy numbers in the process. 

Stidham tops 300 passing yards. Whitlow hits 100. Schwartz goes for 100-plus. The defense swarms and shuts out the Razorbacks by keeping them out of the end zone in the final minute when Richard Jibunor hits Ty Storey just as he throws the ball and Smoke Monday intercepts it.


Just like I dreamed it up.