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Something to Prove in 2019

By on July 22nd, 2019 in Football, News 4 Comments »

Three preseason All-SEC selections Nick Coe, Marlon Davidson, and Derrick Brown are big reasons why Auburn feels good about 2019 (photo: Auburn Athletics)

SEC Media Days are in the books, and it’s only 40 days till Auburn faces Oregon at AT&T Stadium in the Advocare Kickoff Classic in Dallas, Texas. Not surprisingly, Gus Malzahn said at Media Days that the top priority heading into the 2019 season will be the quarterback battle between redshirt freshman Joey Gatewood and true freshman Bo Nix.

Even with the prospect of a rookie quarterback leading the team, Malzahn  has exuded a cautious confidence about the upcoming season. He even went so far as saying the Tigers had “a chance” to win a championship, “if” they can win some close games. “I don’t think every team in our league can say that,” Gus said. “But we have a chance.”

There are several reasons for the coach’s enthusiasm. First, whoever wins the QB race will play behind an experienced line. All five starters are returning from 2018, including Rimington Trophy nominee Kaleb Kim. Couple that experience with Boobee Whitlow and Kam Martin at running back and an experienced receiving corps that knows how to block, and you have the potential for a productive offense.

Special teams look strong as well with two preseason All SEC picks in kicker Anders Carlson and punter Aryn Siposs

However, the real excitement about the 2019 Tigers lies with the defense. Under defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, the Tigers have been a top-15 scoring defense the last three years. And, Gus thinks they can be better in 2019. In fact, the head coach said they could be the best defense in his 10 years of coaching on the Plains.

As with the O-line, the defensive line will be full of veterans from 2018 with three preseason All-SEC selections. All but one starting defensive lineman will be back, and the second unit maybe just as strong as the first. “We’ve got a lot of experience [and] a lot of really talented guys on defense, specifically up front,” Gus said. “The strength of our team is up front. That’s a good thing in this league.”

But probably the number one reason for feeling good about Auburn’s chances in 2019 is the Tigers are hungry. 

After a disappointing 8–5 season, Auburn ended on a high note with a 62–13 blowout of Purdue in the Music City Bowl. Gus says the bowl victory gave the Tigers an exciting feeling about a do-over in 2019. “I think that momentum has really carried over. They’re a real hungry team, and I feel like they have something to prove.”

4 Comments

  1. AUglenn says:

    Winning the close ones will definitely be the key to having that “chance.”

  2. WDE7385 WDE7385 says:

    War Eagle, everybody!
    The count down clock is on the wall. August 31, 6:30 can not get here soon enough.
    Defense seems to be as good or better than ever before.
    Proof will be in the pudding, as the saying goes, on the offense.
    Yes, the “chance” is there. I believe the team is talented enough to get a championship. Let’s see how well that talented is utilized.

  3. Orangeblood says:

    First of all, good luck Jared in the NFL.

    But if I could sum up his season in one word it would be.. “overthrown”.
    How many times did he overthrow receivers, that would have been touchdowns, that probably would have won games.

    So good luck in the NFL, hate you didn’t stay for your senior year, learn to hit the deep ball. But I think he may have been passed on the depth chart by Gatewood.

    Secondly… OL Calvin Ashley. Too bad you transferred. You would probably be starting this year. Or at least the first man up in the rotation. Auburn could really have used him this year.
    OL may be good but it ain’t real deep.

    Third, how come AU couldn’t find Malik Willis a position running the ball, he is fleet of foot. He may not have been SEC quarterback material. But he would have been really quick out of the slot or on jet sweeps.

    Lastly, I think the tigers have a great team this year. Hopefully we’ll complete well against our west rivals. Looking forward to Gatewood playing.
    I think he’s going to be an absolute beast to stop.

    And if Hastings and Stove come back full speed, AU is going to be really hard to defend. If…. the QB can distribute the ball own time….with receiver in full stride.

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