War damn Wednesday everyone.
We covered Gus Malzahn's presser yesterday here already, but just as a little recap, here's the full video with some notes from Rivals' Bryan Matthews, and a little bit shorter video that isn't pay-walled from AL.com.
Probably his most highlighted quote from yesterday was when he made mention of the criticism of Nick Marshall and the offense so far, saying he's not sure why so much is being made of Nick's supposed struggles this year.
Gus said he's looking forward to seeing more of freshman Roc Thomas (aren't we all?) in his expanding special teams role as well as getting more touches in the backfield.
The head coach also said he's glad the college football world got a chance to see Auburn's forgotten half when the defense shone fairly brightly Thursday night in Kansas. Malzahn and some of the defenders are quoted at The Plainsman looking ahead to their next chance to get better on defense when La. Tech comes to town this weekend.
One obvious bright spot on defense is the continued improvements of Trovon Reed at cornerback, where in the wake of Jermaine Whitehead's absence, he leads the team with two picks and two more pass breakups. Speaking of the suspended senior, Malzahn said there is no change in his status for this weekend and he will not be on the sideline.
We also learned backup O-lineman Jordan Diamond will be out for the rest of the year. While the injury that prompted his surgery wasn't specified, Diamond has dealt with shoulder and knee problems before.
About special teams, Malzahn addressed the weak showing from the punting team, which in one week (albeit very early) dropped from tenth in the nation in net yards to 101st. After bobbling the first punt's snap, the Tigers then gave up 71 return yards on their next three kicks. Gus said he'll be looking to continue to find a niche each of his kickers can fill, sounding almost like a pitching coach when he said he needs to save some bullets in the leg of redshirt freshman Daniel Carlson.
Various reports surfaced recently about Auburn's recruiting of a community college defensive lineman who was dismissed from Georgia after a couple of incidents with the law, including writing bad checks and a domestic violence issue. Malzahn was asked (though not specifically) about having players who have been abusive in familial or dating relationships and said it is a no-tolerance kind of situation for him.
Here's a quick podcast links dump:
Van Allen Plexico and John Ringer's Wishbone is back and discussing the win over the Wildcats.
Phillip Marshall and new 24/7 staff member Justin Hokanson have a podcast up with some focus on the running game's bump in the road.
AuburnSports.com's The Rundown is also up, if you subscribe there. Also for subbies, their commit tracker is updated with this weekend's future Tigers' performances. Notable is five-star Jovon Robinson's 132 yards on a dozen carries and three scores. Laughable is the line of three-star linebacker Montavious Atkins of Fairburn, Ga.: 32 tackles, one interception, 11 receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
For some conference and nationwide chatter, here's a few more reads:
- AL.com looks at interesting numbers and streaks around the SEC
- They also are in on a power ranking poll with a dozen other papers around the country, which highlights their top four and few others, with Kevin Scarbinksy as the B'ham News voter. Auburn is not in the poll's top four.
- ESPN.com's Heather Dinich takes a look at what ailments could potentially turn more serious for the top teams in the land, in which she says Auburn fans should be wary of their offense's down field passing game.
In amazing headline meets former Auburn players news, here you go: Josh Bynes joining Detroit Lions to replace linebacker hurt doing Discount Double Check move - AL.com, 9/23/2014
The Tennessean provided an update on the Rob Bironas story, and it's not pretty.
And to end this morning, Rock Rucker is leaving the Auburn baseball program for Seminole State. It's not a loss of a lot of experience for the Tigers (he's only appeared twice), but he is very talented. Rucker was a Perfect Game first team All-American this summer after his red-hot showing in Florida's summer collegiate circuit. This report says he and Sunny Golloway are on good terms, and that the door is going to stay open for a possible return to Auburn, but he wants to play closer to home at this point in time.