The hindsight bias around the Auburn football program is strong after Saturday’s 13-7 loss to Georgia, where injured quarterback Sean White struggled.
While some have come to the defense of White, plenty have criticized Auburn’s decision to start the injured quarterback, who had been deemed too hurt to start the previous week against Vanderbilt, only to come in after halftime and save the game. Even White was critical of himself after not telling the coaching staff that his injury worsened over the course of the game.
But former Auburn coach Pat Dye isn’t buying that line of logic. In a column for Scout.com, Dye came to the defense of Auburn’s decision to start White.
“If you have never had to make those decisions on the sideline during a game, don’t say you know what it’s like,” Dye wrote. “When the tough decisions work they are called great ones. The week before the Tigers brought Sean White in at halftime and it was called a great decision. They brought him out Saturday as the starter and it didn’t work and it has been called a bad decision because the Tigers didn’t win on Saturday.”
Also in his column, Dye draws parallels between that game and his game against Georgia in 1986. In that game, Auburn was favored but quarterback Jeff Burger threw three interceptions and the Bulldogs pulled off the 20-16 upset.
Dye also recalled what happened next.
“Two weeks later Burger made a play on fourth down vs. Alabama,” Dye wrote. “If he doesn’t make it we get beat.”
Dye coached Auburn from 1981 to 1992, winning four SEC titles and amassing a 153-62-5 record.