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Coffee and Magnolia: 13 November 2014

Auburn stores galore!

Kevin C. Cox

AUBURN FOOTBALL

In his final press appearance before Saturday's game, Gus Malzahn stated the the penalty issue starts with him. Penalties have killed a number of Auburn drives this season that could have made games a lot less stressful. Hopefully Auburn is able to come out fast this weekend and avoid these mistakes.

Coach Malzahn also revealed that WR Duke Williams has not practiced this week. This news isn't exactly surprising. Duke hasn't officially been ruled out for Saturday's game against Georgia, but it is highly unlikely that he plays. I think the earliest we'll see Duke back is the Alabama game.

The Montgomery Advertiser has an article about the slow starts burning Auburn's defense. Auburn's defense played like absolute garbage for the first 20 minutes of the game on Saturday. The last 40 minutes were fantastic. I don't know what it is about this defense that causes them to struggle early, but they need to get it figured out or else Auburn will be stuck in shoot outs on the road at UGA and Alabama.

Life could be tough for the next few weeks for Sammie Coates without Duke Williams on the field, according to Brandon Marcello. I can see what he's arguing to a certain extent, but then they really didn't play the same WR position. Melvin Ray, CJ Uzomah, and Quan Bray will likely still be targeted as Duke was, so it's not like Sammie is going to suddenly become the exclusive target of all the passes.

Regardless of what happens there, it is highly possible - maybe even probable - that Saturday's game ends up as a shoot-out. Georgia's run defense has been less than stellar to say the least. They've been averaging giving up well over 5 yards/carry over the last few games.

Joel Erickson warns that, with Todd Gurley back, UGA's offense is almost at full strength. I may be crazy, but I'm still not all that scared of it. Hutson Mason still hasn't proven he's a great QB, and Mike Bobo has always had a tendency to abandon the run way too early if his team struggles. Plus, Auburn did a pretty good job of shutting down UGA's running game last season when they had Aaron Murray to worry about. Granted, we saw what UGA did to us during the brief time Dee Ford was injured in that game (i.e. the comeback), but I still think Auburn can handle UGA's offense. I hope, anyway.

Mike Marshall's weekly column from Auburn Undercover sounds very familiar. As in it echoes a lot of things you probably read here on this site back on Monday.

AUBURN BASKETBALL

With Matthew Atewe out due to injury for the foreseeable future, Bruce Pearl is turning to a walk-on for depth when needed. Atewe's injury really hurts for the Tigers, especially when you consider the manner it happened in an exhibition game.

Auburn basketball has brought in three new players for next season so far, and are expected to sign at least one - if not two - more. Basketball is definitely going to be interesting on the Plains in the next few seasons.

AUBURN SPORTS

Auburn baseball signed 15 new Tigers who will take the field in 2016. I've never followed baseball recruiting, but that just looks weird that we're signing people in late 2014 who won't play until 2016. Oh well, you learn something new every day!