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This and That on a Frosty Thursday

By on March 15th, 2018 in Basketball, Football, Softball 5 Comments »

Just three weeks till A-Day!
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! It has been an interesting week at Auburn. The football team completed one practice in full pads and heads into spring break. The men’s basketball team heads to San Diego to play in the NCAA Tournament. Men’s baseball has taken off this season with a fantastic start, while the softball team struggled against SEC competition at LSU.

     Auburn will take on Charleston Friday evening in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The game tips off at 6:30 PM CDT and will be televised on the Tru-TV Network. I’ll have to look that one up. I’m sure it’s somewhere in my cable package. Check your local listings. Auburn could have had a better draw, but it could have been worse. Charleston is a pretty good team that doesn’t beat itself, but I am not sure they have seen a team as speedy as this Auburn bunch is. As long as Auburn moves the ball and doesn’t just get into quick-brick-throwing mode, I think the Tigers will be fine. Should Auburn win, they will play Sunday at a yet-to-be-determined time against either Clemson or New Mexico State.

Spring Practice notes after the jump!

     I suppose the most intriguing bit of news from spring drills in football is word that walk-on tight end Tucker Brown is now taking snaps at center. Rumor is that offensive line coach J. B. Grimes is having to start from scratch to put a line together and teach fundamentals. We’ve seen this sort of thing before, from Grimes, who is not afraid to throw younger players out there and feature them while benching veterans who don’t buy in. One need not look further back than 2013, when sophomore left tackle Greg Robinson went from obscurity to a first-round NFL draft pick.

     There is a bit of concern on the defensive line. Presumed starting tackle Dontavius Russell was involved in a truck accident this week and dislocated his thumb. There is no word yet on how this will affect Russell in practice although I imagine that the staff will put a big bubble cast on that thing, and Russell will be out there anyway. The first day in pads, this unit really had its way with the offensive line, I’ve heard. Lots and lots of talent returns, and these guys seem motivated.

     One area where competition is fierce is at running back. Auburn has been through a ton of them in recent years, and this year must replace Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway, both early entrants to the NFL. Word is that Auburn has 5 candidates for the starting job, and they will be a lot more live than in previous springs. My take is that Auburn has guys that can run well. My guess is that the team will start the guy who takes care of the ball, not to mention the quarterback. We’ve seen that Auburn would rather settle on one guy and ride the hot hand. I have to snicker at recent “by committee” talk. Sure, we’ll see lots of rotation on A-Day. By September, Auburn will have settled on one guy or will be in a whole lotta trouble at running back. Competitors this spring are, in no particular order, Kam Martin, Devan Barrett, Malik Miller, Asa Martina and JaTavious Whitlow.

5 Comments

  1. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Mystery to me who will emerge at RB but I liked what I saw last year from Malik Miller. Also will need a good line in front of whoever gets the nod and while I liked Herb Hand and thought he was a good man, the O-Line had issues on his watch. So I’m glad to see J.B. Grimes back on The Plains.
    Hoping to see basketball make it to at least the sweet 16.

  2. WarSamEagle WarSamEagle says:

    I would think a combination in the backfield, at the same time, would be KamMartin and Malik Miller with Martin getting the majority of touches.

  3. audude audude says:

    Running Backs all must, MUST, protect the QB if they want to see the field. I think that’s what we learned last year. You may be able to run like a rabbit but if you can’t pick up the blitz….see ya.

  4. dyingculture dyingculture says:

    I don’t know much about Whitlow, but he intrigues me the most because of all the backs, he is the one who fits the prototypical size and speed of an AU power back.

  5. sparkey sparkey says:

    I do not for one second buy that blitz pickup BS for us riding one back like we do. Gus can’t help himself. He will run another guy into the ground again this year and the Gustapo will make excuses for him yet again about his best player being hurt therefore his offense can’t run like it can.

    For one thing, we give the RB too many carries too many times in a row. Many of the injuries we have seen happen over the years did not even strike our RB’s down with contact. You can’t run the same play 7-8 times in a row in the SEC and do hurry up no huddle. That simply doesn’t allow the RB to catch his breath and his body becomes more susceptible to injury. We are especially natorious for giving the running back the ball after he just had a three to five tackle breaking 35-65 yard run again two or three more times with no huddle at the goal line.

    That is before we get into how many carries they get every game. Additionally, how we wait so long to run another player when we are winning comfortably. Against Clemson, we kept the same RB in there damn near the whole time and you can’t give up anymore sacks than that. We need two backs that get 15-18 carries a game with a third guy that is a change of pace and gives them both a breather and we need to use the depth we have there.

    You don’t believe me, well then watch the next poor back get run into the ground yet again and we will be making excuses about injuries. Funny, we are the only team that is constantly ending the season with our star running Back beaten down like he is. Gus, where did you go? You don’t even use RB’s for jet sweeps anymore. Your OMAC and Corey Grant plays are gone. When we run it five or six times straight with no pass in site, there is no excuse to use our star runner the whole time. NONE GUS!