This is a bit late, today, because I'm in El Paso for training. I had most of the morning off, but used it to meet up with an Army buddy I deployed with in 06-07, so I'm recapping this now that I'm back in the hotel and before my final bit of training.
I like to see Gus Malzahn joking. That usually means he's relaxed and things are going well. So, his line about getting Pettway some media training for telling the truth about wanting to run over tacklers is funny and a good sign, to me.
He spoke about Pettway and Sean White and the way they've elevated their game over the last few weeks. It really has been something to behold. It's hard to believe Pettway is almost at 1000 yards and he's really only recorded carried in 5.5 games. As for White, I can't believe I'm saying this (and I hope I don't jinx it), but is it crazy to think that he could end up All-SEC at the end of the season? He's not going to have the attempts or total yards that some quarterbacks will have, but his accuracy numbers and ability to make plays when he needs to rivals any other QB in the conference.
It's good to know that everyone is going to practice today. It still wouldn't shock me if Tre Williams, Javaris Davis, and Tony Stevens are held out of the Vanderbilt game. I really don't think Auburn will need Williams or Davis against the Vanderbilt offense, and the other receivers can step up in Tony Stevens' absence. As for Malik Miller, it's great to hear he's moving around, but with Stanton Truitt's performance at WR, I don't think we need to try to bring Miller back too quickly. Redshirt him and keep him around. With the way Pettway is playing, he may go pro after this year (he's a redshirt sophomore, after all), so we'll need that bruising back that Miller can be.
On Vanderbilt, they definitely have one of the tougher defenses in the conference. They're impressive and should be a good test for Auburn. Now, having said that, they've also only played other SEC East teams, so far, and not ones with the greatest offensive prowess. They did beat Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State - which is impressive - but they gave up well above their average in points/game in those. So, I do think Gus is confident his offense will be able to put points on the board. Still, he has to be diplomatic.
Finally, how about the subtle shade thrown at Muschamp? I'm guessing that while maybe there's not real animosity there, there's no love lost, either. When asked about South Carolina's win, Gus specifically mentioned he's happy for his good friend Bobby Bentley on staff, there. Maybe I'm reading too much into things, but it sure seems like a shot to me.
And now, to the Tweets!
Gus Malzahn is here for his presser. "Real happy with the way our team responded, coaches responded" against Ole Miss.— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016
Malzahn is here, calls Vanderbilt a very disciplined team, says the Commodores don't beat themselves.— Joe Whelan (@WhelanABC3340) November 1, 2016
Malzahn call Vanderbilt RB Ralph Webb "one of the better offensive players in our league." https://t.co/RElxUcXnpj— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on Vandy game: It's an early kick. We're going to have to be awake and ready to go. (Fans and sportswriters, too)— John Zenor (@jzenor) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on Kam Pettway "he's a real weapon right now"— Jason Caldwell (@ITATJason) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on when the offense clicked: "Probably LSU was the first time where, hey, we have a chance if we can get the ball in the red zone."— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016
Malzahn says Kamryn Pettway was moved to TB in spring & "picked up right where he was in high school" - https://t.co/QsxEBkCh1g— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) November 1, 2016
Sean White "played an outstanding game" at Ole Miss, Malzahn said. Called his 3rd-and-13 run "unbelievable." https://t.co/RElxUcXnpj— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) November 1, 2016
"He's really starting to establish himself in this league and starting to be a very good QB in this league." - Malzahn on Sean White— Maria Martin (@Ria_Martin) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on Kam Pettway running style: ''He really likes looking them up and running them over'' #WarEagle— Chris Renkel (@Chris_Renkel) November 1, 2016
Kamryn Pettway said that he loves inviting contact and running people over. Malzahn jokes "We need to get him some media training"— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016
Malzahn with praise for Pinson Valley grad Zach Cunningham, "He's one of the best defensive players in our league."— Joe Whelan (@WhelanABC3340) November 1, 2016
Gus Malzahn: "Only thing we talked about is Vanderbilt, you look ahead in this league you get burned" not one word on rest of schedule— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) November 1, 2016
Vandy only allows 15 points per game in SEC play. Malzahn: "They've got a real defense."— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016
RT Robert Leff is "playing his best football" as a senior, Malzahn said https://t.co/RElxUcXnpj— Josh Vitale (@AUBlog) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on Malik Miller: "He's jogging now. He's trying to get healthy." He had surgery a month ago. Says he's doing "very well."— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016
Gus Malzahn: Everybody is going to practice today that's usually a good sign, answering questions about Tre Williams, Tony Stevens injuries— WarEagleExtra (@wareagleextra) November 1, 2016
Malzahn on Muschamp's win over Tennessee: "He's got Bobby Bentley on staff, one of my good friends.... I'm definitely happy for them."— Nathan Deal (@NattyD13) November 1, 2016