Back in the regular swing of things, happy Monday, friends...
Not much changed up top so the 3-0 Tigers are still sitting fifth in the coaches and media polls, and, as the headlines have drilled home, remain the highest ranked team without a first place vote. The SEC has seven other schools in the top 20 of both polls. Auburn will play all seven of them later this year.
Rhett Lashlee's "we didn't execute worth a crap" was perhaps the line that rang the loudest in Sunday's coordinator press conferences. Also saying "we didn't play Auburn football," the OC wasn't too rosy about the performances he saw last week. One positive note he did let slip was about the learning experience that the team may have got from a game like this, as opposed to if they'd gone into Manhattan and ran away with things. Phillip Marshall, as usual, is to thank for the full videos, as is Jay Tate.
Lashlee also touched on the injury that's hampering Sammie Coates, saying he was slowed on Thursday, but got through it fine and is getting better.
Ellis Johnson was much more complimentary of his defense, however. P-Marsh notes that through halftime of the Arkansas game, the Tigers had allowed 151 yards on the ground. Since then, it's been just 107 yards on 83 carries.
Charles Goldberg wrote about Johnson's secondary including four players (Stephen Roberts, Nick Ruffin, Trovon Reed and Derrick Moncrief) at one time who never played a defensive snap for Auburn last year. Johnson talked a lot about the performances of some of these fresh faces in Auburn's defensive backfield.
Joel Erickson's Statistically Speaking shows Auburn's offensive slowdown, but the highlight is obviously the defense, which now the 11th best in the nation against the run, 13th in scoring and is in the top 25 in total offense allowed. Some of the more drastic changes were the red zone D's rise from 64th to 8th on the heels of two missed field goals and a pick, and the net punting being gashed, dropping from 6th to 101st.
On the numbers topic, early lines for the La. Tech game have Auburn around a five touchdown favorite.
The O-A News ran a roundup of some of the non-football results of the weekend, including some heartbreak from the footie pitch and continued good play from the women's golf team.
The AL.com NFL roundup highlighted several Auburn players who took part in the League's showdowns yesterday. Eagles rookie Cody Parkey continued to impress as he made three field goals, including one from 51, and had five of eight kickoffs go for touchbacks.
As most will know by this morning, former Auburn and Tennessee Titan kicker Rod Bironas died in a Saturday night car accident in Nashville. He was 36 and only recently married to the daughter of Terry Bradshaw. Jay Tate ran a good column about Rod's time with Tommy Tuberville.
And finally, the New York Times published an interesting article about women in sports journalism and their collective voice growing stronger since the NFL's domestic abuse scandal has accelerated its downward spiral.