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Ch-ch-ch-changes!!!!!!!!!! Just in time for Ole Miss!

By on October 2nd, 2013 in Football, News 6 Comments »
6_281593 - Equae and Wright

Well, we are going in to the Ole Miss game with a week off… and coaches are doing what coaches are paid to do.  Evaluate. And reconfigure the lineup to ensure the best people are on the field.  And that is exactly what Gus Malzahn and his staff have done on the Plains.

I wish I could report monumental changes… like a new QB that could actually hit a receiver in stride or a linebacker who could melt steel with their fiery stare… and then rip flesh off with their tackles.  But alas… I cannot. Sorry folks. The bench is bare at Auburn. But you knew that already.

But there is news to report:

The biggest news? On defense. Now starting at defensive tackle… after more than three seasons at Defensive end… Nosa Eguae.  Last year… he had 4 tackles. Odd you say? Well not so.  This occurred because apparently junior Angelo Blackson, widely considered the team’s best tackle has been moved off the two deep charts completely. Demoted.  I have no idea what got him in the dog house… and considering who the defensive line coach is… that is one heck of a house to be in. 

Gus’s comments about Nosa?  “He’s a guy you can count on. He’s going to do what he’s coached to do,” Malzahn said. “That has a lot to do with it. He’s a veteran guy. He’s played a lot of snaps. He’s one of the few guys from our 2010 championship team that played. He’s an experienced guy who we can count on. We’ve played a lot of guys up front. We’ll continue to play a lot of guys up front.”

Other big news?  On Offense – Brandon Fulse has taken over the “5” /utility receiver position previously manned by Jaylon Denson who suffered a season ending knee injury during the game at LSU. His understudy? Melvin Ray.  Ray is an interesting fellow because like Corey Grant he signed at bama in 2008 but walked on at AU in 2011.

Toney Stevens and Sammie Coates at “9” receiver.  The news?  Stevens is a freshman.  He made his first career catch at Baton Rouge two weeks ago.  He is 6 foot 4 and 190 pounds.  This action is exactly what Gus has wanted… he has been searching for playmakers.

Off the depth chart completely with no explanation:  Chris Davis and Craig Sanders.  Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson said that he expected all of his major contributors to be ready for Ole Miss.  Regardless, it’s surprising that these two are not in the lineup. But dollars to donuts they play this weekend.

Other’s not making the two deep roster?

Ricardo Louis is nowhere to be seen.  Coaches say that he has tremendous upside but he definitely isn’t maximizing his opportunities so far this season. Regardless, the sophomore is tied for the team lead with 11 receptions.

Can we expect anything different this week besides these changes?

The Rebels are a spread team without a true power back, so the Tiger’s defensive needs are a bit different than usual.  Look for Dee Ford, Ladarius Owens, Eguae and Bradley to be on the quick side trying to disrupt Bo Wallace’s throws.

No changes at OL or LB.  One of the team strengths so far this year is the offensive line. And that is true after four games. The OL is getting better game by game. And that is important for a young team.  And Ellis Johnson still has maintained a generally favorable opinion of Jake Holland, Kris Frost, and Cassanova McKinzy.  I think this is mainly because there is no one else available to play at the SEC level. These young men are the best we have.

This game is going to test these young Tigers.  If our defense can’t get to Wallace… expect a long, long day on the Plains.  Ole Miss will have their way and win by +7.  But if this defensive front can get to Wallace… and rattle him at least… and then, if our offensive line can open up  running lanes for the backs to get our running game established,  then we are in a competitive match. Auburn might be able to pull off a win and secure its place in the middle of the pack.  And after 2012 that would be huge.

War Eagle! Beat Ole Miss!

6 Comments

  1. AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

    Good write up WDE. I agree, if Auburn can’t contain Wallace it could be a long night. Tigers need to control both lines of scrimmage and Marshall needs to have a good night.

  2. sparkey sparkey says:

    Sanders and Chris Davis have to be banged up still-especially Chris Davis. If he’s not, Ellis Johnson is out of his mind like he is for leaving Holland in and having him penned in as the starter. I’m sorry it’s stupid and I don’t want want to hear about the whole lining up crap-Holland is not a genius on the field either. He also is always out of position himself so if he is, then he’s not able to line up other guys either. Frost and McKinzy are good and Flowers would be good given the chance. Garrett is getting better and better and Owens seems to be coming into his own. I hate that he couldn’t get the linebacker position because he could’ve been something special at linebacker. He’ll never make it to the next level as a defensive end though.

    I think you’re not being fair to Marshall with how often the receivers drop the ball. When Marshall does him them in stride, they drop the damn ball. You can’t say Marshall is never good, because that’s simply not true. Now, he’s not anywhere close to consistent and I don’t think he’ll ever be consistent but to act as if he hasn’t had some really outstanding plays throughout the season is not at all accurate.

    Outside of that about Marshall and the fact that Davis and Sanders are still hurt, this is a great write up sir!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      I can’t argue with you about receivers not catching balls. But i do ask where you think i have been unfair to Marshall? I never said he is “never good”. Marshall is supposed to be an SEC QB… the truth is he is the best we have. I have tried to point out to you and others this is indicative of where AU’s program is at right now after Chizick.

      WDE

  3. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Equae’s quickness and skills from a defensive end back ground should bring some good pressure on Wallace from the inside. But I agree with you … what happened to Blackson? Could we take from Malzahn’s remarks that he hasn’t been doing what he’s told to do by Garner ie. “(Nosa is) a guy you can count on. He’s going to do what he’s coached to do.”

  4. domaucan1 domaucan1 says:

    Thanks for a great writeup, WDE. This game WILL be a test for these YOUNG men. I’m sorry to repeat myself but, having been born and raised in Baton Rouge, I was not exposed to Auburn until I first set foot on the campus in 1963. From that day on, I became an Auburn man. I consider all Auburn men and women as my personal friends and almost as family.

    I suffered through Shug’s dark days, Barfield’s consistent losses, Dye’s final demise, Bowden’s debacle, Tubby’s failures and finally the top of the mountain BCS Championship under Chizik, only to have the bottom fall out, for many reasons, in ’11 & ’12. The last two football teams have been close to the worst that any of us have experienced.

    We MUST support these young men as they try to rebuild Auburn football. Football is a team sport of eleven men. Please dear readers refrain from criticizing any individual when the entire team is not up to our idea of excellence. The coaches are paid handsomely to evaluate the talent available and to say a coach is out of his mind for playing someone is ridiculous.

    We just don’t have the star athletes that some of our opponents have and won’t for a couple of years. After seeing the fight that these out manned and out weighed men put up against LSU, I’m very optomistic about the future. It will take time but Auburn will be the Power of Dixieland again. And , NEVER FORGET:

    IT’S GREAT TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER !!!

    WAR EAGLE !!!

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  5. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    Stating the obvious here but about Marshall, it will be interesting now that we are in week 6 (game 5) to see if he will be incremental in our winning or losing to Ole Miss… IMHO, he’s had plenty of reps by this point to become a positive factor in our success. If we lose (and we won’t but for the sake of arguing) and NM plays average, I wonder what the Sunday morning conversation around the breakfast table will be…

    I predict NM will step up and be an incremental piece of this team beating the bears. It appears as though our coaching staff has an open policy for anyone who wants to grab the reigns and lead this team…

    Good write up and thanks for the update on our depth chart. Now I won’t have to scream at the TV wondering why guys aren’t dressed out… WDE