Tuck: FSU-Auburn What If?
There are some obvious plays that stick out if you are an Auburn Tigers fan. A couple of dropped interceptions. A missed field goal. Two poorly thrown passes (first drive and 3rd to last drive where they settled for a FG) that could've been touchdowns. But I watched the game (for the third time) the other night, and a few things really late stood out.
First, what if FSU safety Jalen Ramsey makes the tackle on RB Tre Mason just outside the 10-yard line with 1:19 left?
At that point, Auburn, down 3, is well within FG-range. You'd assume they'd attempt to manage the clock in addition to trying to score for the lead. There are dozens of possibilities but you'd think we'd have either a tied game or Auburn scoring with potentially much less time for FSU to operate with. We may have had overtime. Auburn may have scored with not enough time for FSU to respond. There is no way to know for sure.
Second, what if FSU doesn't get called for a delay of game on 3rd and 3 with 23 seconds left?
The Noles looked obviously rushed to run what appeared to be a QB-counter run that looked destined for disaster. It would have set up a 4th-down play and forced the Seminoles to burn a timeout. A 4th down play certainly would have been interesting to see what the play-call would have been for each side.
And finally, what if Gus Malzahn had been able to get a timeout before the 3rd and 8 that drew a pass interference in the end zone?
We have no idea what the next play would have been and the result. Did Malzahn see something with the formation or not like his defense? Something to think about.
For the winner, there is no real concern over what went right and what didn't. CBSSports had a story that Auburn knew the Noles plays. Doesn't matter much now. But if I am an Auburn player, coach, or fan I struggle with all the what if's. These are 3 that stood out in the final minutes to me.