Good morning, fans of the 2-0 Auburn Tigers.
Joel Erickson's stats breakdown of Auburn's conference and national standing in a host of categories highlights some interesting early-season trends and stories. The most eye-popping is, of course, the set of numbers attached to the offense, particularly the ground game. Auburn has now ran for at least 200 yards in 13 straight games and had a runner hit the century mark in eight consecutive games.
Gus Malzahn's post-game presser was fairly positive, and Phillip Marshall posted the full Q&A. He's also shared a video of Nick Marshall post-game, talking about his improvements and struggles from Saturday's game.
Roc Thomas got his first Auburn carries in the fourth quarter, and scored on his very first touch. After the game, in his first meeting with the Auburn media hordes, he talked about the butterflies he felt heading into his first collegiate playing time.
Sophomore Montravius Adams impressed for much of his time in the game, getting a few key sacks and generally looking very competent at both positions he was lined up at. The Auburn staff seems very excited about the potential of the big, athletic lineman.
Yesterday, defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson spoke about the need to clean up "trashy" plays, but overall said more than 60 of the 77 snaps his guys played were satisfactory. He also touched on the next QB his defense will have to stop, Kansas State's dual-threat Jake Waters.
Both Johnson on Sunday and Malzahn immediately after the game had high praise for Jermaine Whitehead, who had another pick vs SJSU.
Johnson was also pleased to report the defense is dealing with a pretty clean bill of health, and that having this weekend off will be a help to the few nagging injuries lingering around, like Jeff Whitaker's "irritating" knee problem.
On special teams, Auburn looks to be all set at the punt return spot, following Quan Bray's 55-yard houser, and also had a solid kick return.
Erickson shared four points he felt were a little lost in the headlines after the weekend's victory, including optimistic thoughts about linebackers Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy. He also points out that Jonathon Mincy is the only Tiger corner to not screw up a deep ball yet.
Maybe the most fun part of the weekend was the 2004 13-0 Tiger football team being honored at midfield by Auburn, including Tommy Tuberville returning to a rousing ovation. The War Eagle Reader posted video of it, and ITAT has a slide show.
On an NFL Sunday that saw Cam Newton inactive and Ben Tate go down with an injury, a former kicker was the standard bearer for Tigers in the League. Cody Parkey, who only just won the Eagles' kicking job at the end of camp after a trade, was perfect on his two field goal attempts and four extra points, and also boomed a few touchbacks for good measure. Head coach Chip Kelly had high praise for Parkey and his demeanor, though it presumably helps that he isn't Wes Byrum.
SI's Lars Anderson wrote a cool piece at AL.com about former Auburn SID Buddy Davidson and his "iron man" streak of 657 consecutive Auburn games attended, and his quest to keep it growing, so long as he doesn't become a "burden on [his] family."
Finally, a look at a few other Auburn teams that competed this weekend:
- The men's golf team tied for third at the Carpet Capital Collegiate this weekend in Dalton, Ga. The No. 20 Tigers next play in three weeks in Virginia.
- The women's golf team will head to Texas for this week's season-opening "Mo" Morial in Bryan, Tex.
- Auburn soccer won their fifth in a row in the early going of 2014, beating Minnesota 3-1 yesterday afternoon in Oxford, Miss. They host Samford and Milwaukee this weekend.
- Tiger volleyball improved to 3-3 this weekend by besting Florida Gulf Coast. They open up their home season with a tourney this weekend that kicks off against Troy Friday night.