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Gearing up for Week Two.

By on September 5th, 2013 in Football 12 Comments »
Craig practice

Let’s hope Dameyune Craig has thrown these guys a LOT of balls this week!

     War Eagle, everybody! We’re into week two of the 2013 college football season. There are a few big games in the SEC this weekend, but far more cupcakes than last week. All eyes this week in the league are on the big South Carolina at Georgia matchup. The winner of this one vaults ahead in the Eastern Division race. The loser could start 0-2, if it’s Georgia. Also of note is Florida visiting the Miami Hurricanes. Miami pasted FAU 34-6 last Friday night, but that’s probably not enough preparation to face Florida’s soul-squashing defense and ball-control offense.

     Auburn’s opponent this weekend is the Arkansas State Red Wolves, a team the Tigers have played only twice before. In 2006, Auburn hosted the Red Wolves between the Ole Miss and Georgia games, and held Arkansas State to just 177 total yards, in a 27-0 beating. The Auburn offense looked pretty anemic in that one, as they were setting up for dismal 37-15 loss to Georgia the following weekend that wrecked any title hopes for the next three years. In 2010, Auburn played Arkansas State in the opener, and Cameron Newton burst onto the Auburn scene with 171 yards on the ground and 186 through the air as Auburn downed the Red Wolves 52-26. Tiger fans were alarmed that the defense allowed that many yards and points, however.

     This game will kick off at 6:30 PM, Central time, and it will be televised on FSN. Check your local listings, and I hope you don’t have to rely on WatchESPN.com like I did, last week.

     This year’s edition of the Red Wolves could make things tough, but I like Auburn’s chances. Only five defensive starters return for Arkansas State, and they are trying to break in a new starting quarterback, senior Adam Kennedy. He threw only 12 passes in the opener against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, completing 9 for 149 yards and a touchdown. Four Red Wolf runners broke 100 yards against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, but I suspect they’ll run into a tougher defense this week in Auburn. It’s going to be an interesting test for an Auburn linebacking corps that did very little against Washington State. Can they tackle a veteran runner like David Oku? Struggling in this game would not be good, considering the runners they’ll face the next two games after this one, against Mississippi State and LSU.

     Much has been made about Arkansas State Red Wolf receiver J. D. McKissic, who caught 103 balls last season. Against Arkansas Pine-Bluff, he had just two catches for 3 yards. I’d expect him to see a lot of attention from the Auburn secondary, this week. If I’m the Arkansas State coordinator, though, I’d first try to run it on Auburn’s front seven, rather than trying a ball-hawking Auburn secondary too much with a new starting quarterback. Auburn has three of the top four players in the SEC after week one, in passes defended. Robensen Therezie, Jonathan Mincy, and Chris Davis all have three, along with Vanderbilt’s Andre Hal.

     I’d also imagine that the Arkansas State defense, coordinated by SEC veteran John Thompson will try to load the box and slow down Auburn’s running game. They’ll make Nick Marshall prove that he can throw the ball efficiently, and to a receiving corps that can actually catch it. I’ve looked through the SEC league stats, and one thing that’s eye-popping is that Auburn and Alabama are 13th and 14th in the league in pass efficiency after week one. Auburn has the excuse that Nick Marshall had been Auburn’s starting quarterback for two weeks. A. J. McCarron over on the Crimson team was supposed to challenge Georgia’s Aaron Murray for top dog, this year.

     In other SEC action, Arkansas hosts Samford, Kentucky hosts Miami of Ohio (could the Wildcats lose again, here?), LSU hosts UAB, Ole Miss hosts Southeast Missouri State, Mississippi State hosts Alcorn State, Missouri hosts Toledo, Tennessee hosts Western Kentucky (can Bobby Petrino make it two in a row over SEC opponents?), Texas A&M hosts Sam Houston State, and Vanderbilt hosts Austin Peay.

     We’ll have our usual open thread up before the games start Saturday morning, and as always, feel free to chime in! I’ll be at a social event Saturday afternoon and evening, and won’t be available for my usual play by play. I’ll have a pretty dinky Android device on hand, but I’m sure not going to try to post much on that little thing! I’ll be watching, and I’ll have my grades up as usual Sunday afternoon one-ish or two-ish. I should be back for the full treatment of the Mississippi State game!

     War Eagle, and let’s beat those Red Wolves!

12 Comments

  1. restless6 says:

    Petrino for the upset.

    Gators win.

    Cocky wins.

    Auburn wins again!

  2. wareagle3020 wareagle3020 says:

    Acid,

    On your rundown of the schedule this week, Austin peay plays vandy not Tennessee. Just erase my comment after making correction. Hope things are going well for you!

  3. War Eagle Girl War Eagle Girl says:

    I am a little nervous about this game. Maybe hold over feelings from last year……..but Malzhan looked pretty serious yesterday and I think is focused to get these guys to win. It’s really an important game for him and us ~ of course, every game this year will seem important after the debacle last year……. ;)

    War Eagle!

  4. craigheadgal says:

    Actually, Adam Kennedy is a new transfer out of Utah. Phillip Butterfield is the quarterback who has been back-up to Ryan Aplin.

    Looking to watch an exciting game!

  5. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    They say the biggest improvement is from week one to week two, I’m hoping our recievers and LBs improve the most. Hopefully Garret will be back in the fold supporting the run D along with Frost and McKinzy (sorry but Holland should not see the field). As long as we can contain the running game I feel that we won’t have any issues in this one. War Eagle!

  6. LSU Jonno says:

    Good luck!

    Looking forward to an undefeated Tiger Bowl in two weeks. Hopefully Marshal hasn’t found his groove by then!

  7. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    The game is being broadcast on Channel 649-SportSouth HD on DirecTV in my area (Albertville), if that helps anyone. Gonna have to record it, as I will be at work :(

  8. gumptowntiger says:

    So FSN is the same as Sports South?

    • Bren Dekura Bren Dekura says:

      I thought they were two separate channels…. like 77 and 40 (FSN) in Mobile. Only think so because of Braves games.

  9. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..FSN was started by Ted Turner as SportsSouth in the 1980s, I think Fox bought ‘em around 1996 or so, and rebranded them “Fox Sports South.” I think Fox tried to kind of standardize all their regional brands a couple of years ago, and the FSN name replaced most of their regional networks. It’s still on analog basic Charter Cable, which dominates Birmingham suburbs where I live.

    …..FSN is channel 29 on Charter’s dial.