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  1. aubiefifty

    sbnation: 2018 Preview Auburn football preview 2018: Sturdy, speedy, and a reckless schedule Bill Connelly 12-16 minutes Bill C’s annual preview series of every FBS team in college football continues. Catch up here! Malzahn enters as the assistant dean of the SEC. Only Nick Saban has been a head coach longer. (Kentucky’s Mark Stoops entered in 2013 too, but we’ll say the tie goes to Malzahn because he has more wins.) Logically, this makes sense. He’s been around in a business that tends to be the opposite of long-term. But intuitively ... this is Auburn, right? The school that shoved Gene Chizik out two years after a national title? Auburn doesn’t do stable, right? In truth, Auburn is one of the steadier jobs among its peers. Chizik aside — his four years were a whirlwind replete with a hostile welcome, a title, and a fall off a cliff — this job tends to stay in the same person’s hands for a while. Tommy Tuberville, Terry Bowden, and Pat Dye stayed for an average of 9.3 years. Doug Barfield lasted five despite a .500 record, and Shug Jordan lasted a quarter-century. Malzahn is one of only seven to hold the full-time job since World War II. There’s drama, mind you — plenty of it — but changes are rare. Despite long tenures from Bear Bryant and Nick Saban, Alabama has employed nine in that span. LSU: 12. Georgia: also seven. There’s a chance, then, that Malzahn is only getting started on the Plains. And that’s a great thing in basically all ways but one. In five seasons, Malzahn has beaten Saban-era Alabama twice — the only other active coach to have done that is Urban Meyer — won two SEC West titles and a championship game and made one national title game. Based on preseason AP rankings, he’s exceeded expectations three times and finished in the postseason top 10 twice. This is all with what might be the hardest average schedule in the country. Adjusting for opponent, he’s finished 13th or better in S&P+ four times. The only environment in which this isn’t a massive success is one in which Saban is your chief rival. Saban has two national titles and five top-10 finishes in the same time period. The way 2017 played out was particularly cruel. Auburn beat No. 2 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama to wrap up a division title and rise from 14th in the CFP rankings to second. The Tigers were positioned to become the first two-loss team to reach the Playoff and trailed Georgia by just six heading into the fourth quarter of the SEC title game. But Georgia scored twice ... and then Auburn had to watch one main rival (the Dawgs) play the other (the Tide) for the title. The Tigers then lost to UCF in the Peach Bowl, too. But hey, at least that meant UCF could antagonize Bama. It was the latest rough finish. Auburn lost three of four to end 2016, four of seven in 2015, and four of five in 2014. Back-loaded schedules keep changing how we view AU’s seasons. The 2018 Tigers face three teams in the projected S&P+ top six, all away from home, and two — No. 6 Georgia and No. 2 Alabama — come, as usual, in the last three weeks of the regular season. There are four other projected top-25 teams as well. Auburn is loaded, mind you. The Tigers are projected fifth and return quarterback Jarrett Stidham, his top five wide receivers (though a couple are still trying to come back from knee injuries), and a majority of the two-deep from a defense that has ranked ninth or better in Def. S&P+ in each of coordinator Kevin Steele’s first two seasons. The run game requires retooling, but running isn’t generally one of Malzahn’s issues. This is going to be ... a pretty Auburn season, in other words. The Tigers are going to have a chance in every game and should go at least 9-3. But I guess that only matters so much if Saban is lifting another trophy afterward. Offense Stidham’s first season after a transfer from Baylor was sketchy at the start and finish, but amazing in the middle. Over the first two and last two games of the season, he completed 58 percent of his passes at 10.4 yards per completion with a 114.1 passer rating. Over the 10 games in the middle: 71 percent, 13.8 per completion, 169.4 rating. He also averaged 5.4 yards per non-sack carry over just enough rushes to punish defenses for over-pursuing the running back. He was brilliant against Georgia (the first time) and Alabama, too. With Stidham, Auburn improved from 44th to 10th in Passing S&P+. Jarrett Stidham (8) and friends Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports Considering the following, it is quite conceivable that the Tigers could improve further: Wideouts Ryan Davis, Darius Slayton, Will Hastings, Eli Stove, and Nate Craig-Myers return after combining for 187 catches, 2,602 yards, and 17 touchdowns. Stove also rushed 30 times (mostly on jet sweeps) for 315 yards and two more scores. Stove and Hastings suffered torn ACLs early in the offseason, but indications are that both are on schedule to be healthy by at least the midway point of the season. Stove is an important horizontal weapon, but so is Davis, who more than doubled any other player’s receptions total with 84. Slayton (22.2 yards per catch) and Craig-Myers (17.8), meanwhile, are two of the SEC’s better vertical threats. And with sophomore Marquis McClain and three four-star freshmen (Matthew Hill, Anthony Schwartz, and Seth Williams), plus maybe some cameos from cornerback Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn’s got one of the most loaded receiving corps even without the two ACL victims. The sack rate can’t get much worse. Auburn ranked 94th in Adj. Sack Rate, as Stidham sometimes proved a little too willing to hold onto the ball. Tackles Austin Golson and Darius James are gone, which can’t help, but Auburn thrived even with some sacks, and junior Prince Tega Wanogho did start seven games. This isn’t likely to become more of an issue. Coordinator Chip Lindsey’s first season saw an aerial shift in the run-pass ratio, but most of that was because Lindsey trusted Stidham on passing downs. On run downs, Auburn still ran, even with an injured RB stable. Backs Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway combined to miss 11 games (nine from Pettway, two from Johnson), and their combined per-carry average slipped from 5.4 to 4.7. They rarely lost yardage — Auburn was ninth in stuff rate (avoiding run stops at or behind the line) — but the explosiveness was minimal. Johnson and Pettway are gone, as are those responsible for 50 of 70 starts up front. Wanogho and guards Mike Horton and Marquel Harrell are back after serving as part-time starters, and UMass transfer Jack Driscoll (20 career starts in Amherst) could be an immediate starter at right tackle if he can fend off four-star redshirt freshman Austin Troxell. There’s still run-game experience. There’s also still Kam Martin in the backfield. The junior got more carries than expected last year thanks to injuries, and his 6-yard average dwarfed that of Johnson and Pettway. (Granted, that average fell to 4.9 without the Georgia Southern and ULM games.) Sophomores Malik Miller and Devan Barrett each saw some action, redshirt freshman Jatarvious Whitlow has been a standout in practice, and there are new blue-chippers who could find time (four-star freshmen Asa Martin and Shaun Shivers, plus Harold Joiner, who could play H-back). It’s hard to be as confident in the depth as we were last year, so it’d be great if the injury bug stopped biting the skill corps. But the top-line talent is awfully strong, especially in the passing game. Darius Slayton Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports The Read Option A daily-ish mini-column on the college football thing of the day, with some other stuff too. By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy. Defense Remember two years ago, when we were all sorts of skeptical about Malzahn’s hire of Steele? Yeah, me neither. Steele has been a revelation. He inherited a top-30 defense, improved it to ninth in Def. S&P+ in 2016, and then improved it to fifth last fall. The Tigers ranked first in Passing S&P+ and first in Standard Downs S&P+. The run defense could have been a little more disruptive, but that’s picking nits. The Tigers did a great job of making you use your weak hand, and they seemed more capable than most of forcing QBs to read unfavorable options on RPOs. This was a standout defense, even in a conference that tends to have plenty of those. There’s not much turnover, but the sterling secondary does take a hit. Steele must find a way to account for the loss of safeties Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts (combined: eight tackles for loss, 10 passes defensed) and corner Carlton Davis (12 passes defensed). Ace pass rusher Jeff Holland is gone, too. Luckily, Steele deployed a huge rotation. Despite those losses, three safeties and two corners return after making at least 17.5 tackles each last year. Junior corners Jamel Dean and Javaris Davis (who could end up at nickel this year) each defensed eight passes, and junior safeties Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas had roles to play. So did sophomore Jordyn Peters. Four-star freshmen Smoke Monday, Jamien Sherwood, and Christian Tutt have all tried to shove their way into the rotation. Jamel Dean Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images There’s nowhere for the pass defense to go but down; the run defense could pick up the slack, though. Holland is the only real loss on the line, and four returnees made at least 4.5 TFLs last year: tackle Derrick Brown (nine), tackle Dontavius Russell (6.5), tackle Marlon Davidson (6.5), and end Nick Coe (4.5). Plus, sophomore T.D. Moultry and Big Kat Bryant, Holland’s most likely replacements in pass-rush situations, combined for five tackles for loss among their 17.5 tackles. Malzahn brought in four-star JUCO tackle Daquan Newkirk, as well. The linebacking corps will be manned by three seniors: Deshaun Davis, Darrell Williams, and Montavious Atkinson. Davis took part in 11 run stuffs, second on the team behind Brown (15). And surprise, surprise, there’s a nice batch of well-touted freshmen and sophomores waiting their turn. Between the returning star power and Steele’s knockout two seasons at AU, one has to give this unit the benefit of the doubt. Derrick Brown John Reed-USA TODAY Sports Special Teams Oh no, All-American kicker Daniel Carlson — who went 10-for-16 on field goals longer than 40 yards last year — is gone. What is Auburn to do? [checks roster] Ah, his redshirt freshman brother Anders was the nation’s top prep kicker and made a 53-yarder in the spring game. Guess that solves that problem. This unit was a bit shaky outside of Carlson. Aidan Marshall and Ian Shannon combined to rank just 113th in punt efficiency, and the return game was unmemorable. We’ll see if that improves with experience. 2018 outlook 2018 Schedule & Projection Factors Date Opponent Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Margin Win Probability 1-Sep vs. Washington 4 -1.5 47% 8-Sep Alabama State NR 64.4 100% 15-Sep LSU 16 11.0 74% 22-Sep Arkansas 52 21.2 89% 29-Sep Southern Miss 94 31.0 96% 6-Oct at Mississippi State 14 4.2 60% 13-Oct Tennessee 79 26.5 94% 20-Oct at Ole Miss 25 9.0 70% 3-Nov Texas A&M 24 13.9 79% 10-Nov at Georgia 6 -2.2 45% 17-Nov Liberty 115 36.8 98% 24-Nov at Alabama 2 -7.0 34% The last six teams to beat Auburn had an average record of 12-2. In two years, the Tigers are 5-8 against teams in the S&P+ top 30 (3-6 against the top 10) and 13-1 against everyone else. The schedule defines AU’s seasons, and the schedule’s usually hard. Malzahn’s sixth Tiger team takes on four projected top-15 teams, all away from Auburn (vs. Washington in Atlanta, at Mississippi State, at Georgia, at Alabama), and hosts No. 16 LSU and No. 24 Texas A&M. So despite a top-five S&P+ projection, AU is given just a 1.4 percent chance of going 12-0. For comparison, No. 2 Alabama has a 14.7 percent chance, and No. 6 Georgia is at 9.1 percent. Still, they’re a projected favorite in nine games and the slightest of underdogs in two others. If the passing game has another gear, and if the defense remains top-five caliber, then the Tigers could be 9-0 when they head to Georgia, and they’ll have a shot at an upset against either UGA or Bama. Auburn’s never boring, and under Malzahn, the Tigers are usually awesome. I don’t see why either of those things would change this fall. Team preview stats All power conference preview data to date.
  2. aubiefifty

    2018 Fall Camp - Scrimmage 2

    man i just ate
  3. aubiefifty

    2018 Fall Camp - Scrimmage 2

    can anything be said to the auburn media folks to raise the audio level of the folks asking questions? i can hear gus fine but i have no clue on what questions are being asked and it is frustrating.
  4. aubiefifty

    2018 Season Simulation

    wde right back. anytime you comment on any of my posts i will try to give ya a like to build your numbers up.
  5. aubiefifty

    2018 Season Simulation

    at 63 i suck at most games but i love game i ever played............
  6. aubiefifty

    2018 Season Simulation

    i did not like steam at first but when i got hooked into skyrim i changed my mind.
  7. aubiefifty

    Auburn practice report:

    Auburn Football Mike Horton comfortable at center if Auburn needs Updated Aug 13, 8:10 PM; Posted Aug 13, 8:10 PM Auburn redshirt-junior Mike Horton is contending to start at either center or right guard. (Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics) 2 shares By James Crepea Mike Horton is in uncharted territory. The redshirt-junior has never played center in a competitive football game, but with less than three weeks until Auburn opens the season against Washington he is splitting time snapping the ball as the starting center and at right guard. "(Center is) a new position so of course I had to get used to it, but right now I feel comfortable enough to where if I had to in a game I could play it," Horton said. "Practice was good. I liked that they made me do that because it put me in a position where I had to adjust." Horton said his snaps have been "great" and he's comfortable making the offensive line's calls at center if need be. While he'll play wherever the coaching staff needs him to, Horton made it sound as though he's going to end up at guard and Kaleb Kim will start at center. They split time at center during Auburn's first fall scrimmage last Thursday and could do so again during the second scrimmage on Wednesday. Gus Malzahn indicated Horton could still see time at center, but the 6-foot-4, 324-pound lineman made it sound as though he's seen less of that position so far this week. "I ain't really repped (center) too much, but they gave me a couple of reps in the scrimmage and it's been going good. We'll see how it goes," Horton said. "More recently I've just been playing guard, but we'll see how it goes later this week." RELATED: Has a favorite emerged in Auburn's right tackle competition? Kim worked with the first-team during pre-practice drills on Monday, as has been the case for all of Auburn nine practices of fall camp. "He's actually grown a lot," left tackle Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. said. "I believe like with him, too, we've actually got a way to grow and move forward. He's been good, too." The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Kim has appeared in 10 games as a backup during his career, but has ample practice experience. As one of five redshirt-juniors on the offensive line, Kim's part of the same core group with Horton, Wanogho and left guard Marquel Harrell. "Very smart guy; he's very technically sound and I think that that's his biggest asset," Horton said. "That's what will get him the farthest. ... Even though he hasn't played with us in a game, he has before (in practice). We've already worked with him. So it's not going to be a problem. He knows what he's doing; he's good." James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.
  8. Auburn Football Sal Cannella gives Auburn 'different element' at slot receiver with Will Hastings out Updated 7:02 AM; Posted 7:00 AM Sal Cannella could see a bigger role in Auburn's offense this fall with Will Hastings recovering from an ACL tear. (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Ath By Tom Green Two injuries at wide receiver have opened up an opportunity for a bigger offensive role for Sal Cannella. With Will Hastings and Eli Stove both recovering from spring ACL injuries, Auburn has turned to Cannella to help fill its slot receiver position in fall camp. Cannella, who signed with Auburn out of JUCO as a tight end, provides the Tigers with a bigger look than the team has traditionally used in the slot -- something that could give the offense a new wrinkle when it opens the season Sept. 1 against Washington. "He's a bigger guy, so he brings a different element to the game, different route-running, he's a bigger target as well, so it's kind of fun to see him as a bigger guy in that role," receiver Ryan Davis said. "He brings a different matchup problem to defenses, as well, he has some wiggle to him, he has great route-running stuff, so it's good to see him in that role and see him do something different as well." The 6-foot-5, 232-pound Cannella was expected to be a "matchup nightmare" at tight end when he signed with Auburn prior to last season, as the Tigers spoke of expanding the tight end role within the offense. Under offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, the Tigers utilized more tight-end sets last season but did not incorporate the position much in the passing game. Projected Auburn depth chart for Week 2 of fall camp's projected Auburn depth chart for Week 2 of fall camp Cannella finished his first season on the Plains with just three receptions for 31 yards in 10 games and did not see the field in either of Auburn's final two games of the season, losses to Georgia and UCF. For the year, Cannella was targeted just eight times -- receiving just 2.1 percent of Auburn's targets in the passing game -- and touted just a 37.5 percent catch rate, according to an advanced statistical profile compiled by Football Study Hall. Cannella figures to see more opportunities in the passing game this season, according to Lindsey. "Sal is a really versatile guy," Lindsey said. "He has played some tight end, he has played some slot, he has played what we call our big three, which is kind of H-back kind of deal.... Sal has got a chance to help us in a lot of ways. He is a long, athletic guy. He did have a very good spring and he has shown some flashes in the fall. I think he will have a big role for us." Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said receivers coach Kodi Burns will probably rotate a couple of players at the slot position, with freshman Matthew Hill -- who has earned ample praise in fall camp -- another possibility, but Cannella is the veteran most likely to help fill the role held by Hastings (26 catches, 525 yards and four touchdowns last year). So far in fall camp, according to quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Cannella has gotten "a lot of balls" and made "a lot of plays." "Sal's been great," Stidham said. "He's really taking it a step up this fall, I think. He's worked really hard throughout this whole summer and I think he's ready for this season; I think he's going to take another step forward this season, and I think we need him to. He's obviously a big body and can catch well. "He can go up and he can high-point the ball, so he's been doing some really good things as a bigger slot than maybe we haven't had before, so it's kind of a new thing that I think we've added a bit to our offense. He's been doing some really good things, I think." Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.
  9. aubiefifty

    Auburn practice report:

    Auburn Football Auburn practice report: Reserve WR returns, reserve LB held out, Wildcat debuts Updated Aug 13, 8:41 PM; Posted Aug 13, 3:26 PM By Tom Green Auburn returned to the field on Monday for its ninth practice of fall camp, and with it came the return of reserve wide receiver Marquis McClain, who was last seen in an orange non-contact jersey last week. McClain was back in pads and a blue jersey as a full participant Monday afternoon, though the Tigers did have another player held out due to injury. Reserve linebacker Richard McBryde was in an orange non-contact jersey and no pads as he was being held out due to an undisclosed injury. Other notes and observations from Monday's open viewing window for the media: -- Along with McBryde, receivers Will Hastings (ACL) and Eli Stove (ACL), safety Jeremiah Dinson (shoulder), offensive linemen Brodarious Hamm (knee) and Nick Brahms (leg) and defensive lineman Daquan Newkirk (Achilles) were all in orange non-contact jerseys. -- Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene was also in an orange non-contact jersey, but had pads on and is expected to be close to full-go in practices after being limited with an undisclosed injury last week. -- Running backs coach Tim Horton again worked with the backs on a short-passing drill at the start of practice. The order was slightly altered this time, with Kam Martin first, followed by JaTarvious Whitlow, Malik Miller, Asa Martin, Shaun Shivers and C.J. Tolbert. Miller moved up in the order from last time out, when he was fifth; H-back Chandler Cox did not participate in the drill today. -- Auburn worked on its unbalanced Wildcat offensive line during the viewing window. From left to right, the first team looked like this: Tucker Brown, Marquel Harrell, Kaleb Kim, Mike Horton, Jack Driscoll and Prince Tega Wanogho Jr. -- The second-team unbalanced line for the Wildcat did not have anyone repping on the far left side, but the rest of the line looked like this, from left to right: Tashawn Manning, Nick Brahms, Calvin Ashley, Austin Troxell and Bailey Sharp. -- Both Whitlow and Cox were seen taking direct snaps during practice, a potential early look at Auburn's Wildcat options this season. Cox has not run the Wildcat since an ill-fated interception in the 2016 Iron Bowl. The following spring, Cox was asked about him taking snaps at Wildcat and had this to say: "That's definitely a thing of the past. It was fun while it lasted. We may run it again, I don't know. It'd be cool to do it again, we'll see." -- During 7-on-7 drills, Auburn fielded a first-team defense that featured Markaviest "Big Kat" Bryant at Buck, Marlon Davidson and Derrick Brown on the interior of the line, with Dontavius Russell on the end. Montavious Atkinson and Deshaun Davis were at linebacker, with Quindarious "Smoke" Monday as the lone defensive back. Nick Coe rotated in with Bryant, while Andrew Williams rotated in with Derrick Brown, and Darrell Williams rotated in with Atkinson. -- The first-team offense during 7-on-7 drills saw Whitlow get reps at running back and taking handoffs from Jarrett Stidham. -- The offensive line during 7-on-7, from left to right, had Wanogho at LT, Harrell at LG, Kim at C, Horton at RG and Driscoll at RT. The second-team line had Sharp at LT, Manning at LG, Tucker Brown at C, Ashley at RG and Troxell at RT. -- Auburn added a new walk-on quarterback to the team, Jake Norwood, a pro-style quarterback from Aledo, Texas. Norwood will wear No. 4. Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.
  10. many of the newcomers are challenging for playing time in 2018 . . . What we've learned from Auburn Tigers 2018 preseason camp so far ByBrandon Marcello 12-15 minutes Manage AUBURN, Alabama — Auburn took the day off Sunday to prepare for the final week of preseason camp. Nine practices, including a 100-play scrimmage, are in the books and on Monday the work toward completely figuring out the depth chart will enter the final chapter. We've learned a lot about these Tigers in the span of just over one week. We also know that there have been some surprises, a few question marks left unanswered and some solid info the coaches can count on heading into fall camp, when classes begin on campus Aug. 20. Let's take a look back and share a few things we've learned about the Tigers over the first nine of 16 preseason practices, what it all means and much more heading into fall camp. Auburn freshman receiver Seth Williams on Day 1 of preseason camp Aug. 3, 2018. (Photo: Anthony Hall, 247Sports) Auburn wasn't necessarily caught by a surprise when several freshmen stepped up and showed they’re worthy of playing this season, but the coaches might be caught off guard by how many of the newcomers are challenging for playing time in 2018. You can probably count on receivers Anthony Schwartz, Seth Williams and Matthew Hill finding their way in the rotation somewhere on the field. The emergence of running back Shaun Shivers, a shifty and absolutely blazing player at only 5-foot-7, has been the talk of preseason camp. I fully expect Shivers to have a role on the team, whether it is as a gadget player (trick plays) or as a motion man on offense. Meanwhile, you can expect Schwartz to potentially be Auburn's top jet-sweep receiver as he backs up Darius Slayton as the top deep threat on the team. Seth Williams have been tremendous in the red zone as he uses his athleticism and size to high-point the ball. Matthew Hill has also impressed with some big catches in practices and scrimmage-like situations. Oh, and don't count out receiver Shedrick Jackson, who is the only newcomer at receiver to enroll at Auburn in January and participate in spring practices. Simply put, the Tigers are stacked at receiver thanks to the emergence off newcomers at receiver. Now it's just a matter of figuring out who plays and how much they play in the season opener Sept. 1 against Washington. J.B. Grimes (Photo: Anthony Hall, 247Sports) Offensive line coach J.B. Grimes feels like his inexperienced-but-talented unit is on track heading into the 10th practice of preseason camp. The onus is certainly on the offensive line to produce and be consistent early in the season, especially after former assistant Herb Hand's offensive lines struggled to protect the quarterback and open running lanes for running backs over the last two seasons (Auburn was at or near the bottom of the country in tackles for loss allowed through the first two to three games in each season of Hand's tenure). Grimes is back on the Plains for a second stint as Auburn's offensive line coach and this might be his most difficult job yet. He is still figuring out the right side of the offensive line, but it's becoming clear he feels comfortable with potentially starting Kaleb Kim at center, keeping Mike Horton at right guard and starting redshirt freshman Austin Troxell at right tackle if needed. That's a tremendous development, especially as he, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey and coach Gus Malzahn still contemplate whether to move Horton to center, start former tackle Calvin Ashley at guard and elevate UMass graduate transfer Jack Driscoll to the top of the heap at right tackle. These battles are not over, sure, but the progress over the first nine practices, including a scrimmage, has provided Grimes hope. Nick Coe (Photo: Greg McWilliams, 247Sports) Everyone assumed T.D. Moultry would replace Jeff Holland as the Buck pass rusher, but defensive coordinator Kevin Steele pumped the brakes on that chatter last week. Not only is Moultry not the starter, but he threw a third name into the battle: Nick Coe. Moultry, who backed up Holland last season, could be the next double-digit sack master for the Tigers, but all eyes are on Coe and where he lands. Will Coe, a massive 282-pounder with incredible pass-rushing moves and speed, start at Buck or will he move elsewhere along the defensive line? Perhaps Coe will play three positions this season along the defensive line, leading him to plenty of playing time but not a starting job. And what about Big Kat Bryant? The redshirt freshman is still learning the position, but he is a bluechip talent and he will play this season. He might actually emerge as the starter at Buck. Steele is in no hurry to announce a starter, which makes us believe a lot of rotation could happen at that position early in the season if needed. Either way, Auburn seems to be in a fantastic position along the defensive line with nine of 10 players in the two-deep returning (with the lone departure at, you guessed it, Buck). Arryn Siposs (Photo: Adam Sparks, Inside the Auburn Tigers/, Auburn's desire to figure out the issues with punt and kick coverage (net punting was near the bottom of the country last season) started in the spring and continued into preseason camp. Larry Porter is now overseeing special teams, replacing Tim Horton, who now handles punt returners mostly after being the Tigers' special teams coordinator (in addition to his continued duties as running backs coach). Australian Arryn Siposs has arrived and immediately impressed coaches. Unless something crazy happens, the 25-year-old sophomore will be the Tigers' starting punter. Aidan Marshall has made strides, especially in the weight room by gaining nearly 30 pounds, but Siposs' big leg and maturity will go a long way to improving the TIgers' special teams. The question now is whether Auburn can be explosive in the return game. Should receiver Ryan Davis remain as the primary punt returner, coaches can rely on experience and explosiveness to get the Tigers back into the top 20 nationally in return yards. If not, they will likely turn to Christian Tutt or Matthew Hill. Auburn has usually relied on juniors or seniors, like Davis, to return punts, but if the Tigers need Davis on the field more often on offense, they may go with young potential rather than the sure hands of Davis. JaTarvious Whitlow (Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics) Junior Kam Martin will likely open the season as the starting running back, but don't count on him holding onto the job throughout the season. JaTarvious Whitlow and Asa Martin are bigger and with the Tigers leaning on a bellcow at running back from the midpoint of the season forward in the Malzahn era, you can probalby expect that to happen again. Whitlow and Asa Martin are smooth and powerful runners, and seeing Asa Martin remain in the top three at running back after impressing everyone as an early enrolle in the spring is a great sign. Interestingly, Auburn has entered seasons and games with plans to play several running backs and split carries. Those plans are usually fulfilled early in the season, but are ditched late in the year in the big games. We expect Kam Martin to start against Washington, and while he might get the most carries, watch out for Whitlow and Asa Martin. What happens after Week 3 (LSU) will tell the tale of the season at running back and what the future holds for all three players. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes. (Photo: Anthony Hall, 247Sports) Malzahn made headlines when he said he might break trends and potentially settle on a depth chart, specifically along the offensive line, following the first scrimmage of preseason camp. Well, Thursday came and went, and while he has not talked to the media since, word is jobs are still up for grabs up front, though the picture is becoming much clearer for the coaches. We expect Auburn to continue with battles along the right side of the offensive line, Buck, cornerback, Nickel, punter and punt return through the second scrimmage of preseason camp, which is tentatively scheduled for Saturday inside Jordan-Hare Stadium. If that happens, the Tigers will close preseason camp with an important scrimmage determining jobs and then open fall camp (Aug. 21) after the start of fall classes with a depth chart. Calvin Ashley (Photo: Brandon Marcello, 247Sports) Cornerback Noah Igbinoghene is expected to start on the opposite side of Jamel Dean at cornerback, but should there be a slow in his progress in his return from an undisclosed health issue, then a new player will have to emerge. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele expects Igbinoghene to be good to go in the season opener. Meanwhile, receivers Marquis McClain (undisclosed injury), Ryan Davis and Darius Slayton have worn orange, non-contact jerseys in practices and scrimmages. Davis and Slayton are wearing non-contact jerseys, we're told, to make sure the Tigers' top two receivers are healthy heading into the season, even though they are not injured. Offensive guard Calvin Ashley suffered a scary neck/head injury in the First scrimmage Thursday, but was quickly cleared by doctors that afternoon and returned to practices in full pads Saturday. He is good to go for the rest of camp. Center Nick Brahms is trying out a new ankle brace to help power through some pain related to his recovery from a broken fibula he suffered in the spring. He is expected to begin full-contact drills on game week, which means he should be available for the opener but will not be in line to start after battling Kaleb Kim for the starting job throughout the spring. Nate Craig-Myers catches a jump pass touchdown throw from running back Kerryon Johnson against ALabama. (Photo: Greg McWilliams, 247Sports) Coaches expect junior Nate Craig-Myers to elevate himself to contend and become on of Auburn's top three receivers this season. Craig-Myers had only 16 catches last season, disappeared midway through the year, and then came on strong near the end, especially in the loss to UCF in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. Craig-Myers was a blue-chip prospect out of Tampa Catholic and if he's going to have a memorable season, it needs to happen now because there is a large contingent of freshmen waiting to jump him on the depth chart. This is the deepest and most talented group of receivers Gus Malzahn has had in his tenure. Jarrett Stidham (Photo: Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics) Yes, Jarrett Stidham led the SEC in completion percentage (66.5) and he hit some incredible throws down the field, but the next step for the NFL hopeful is simple: elevate the play of his teammates. The quarterback you might best compare Stidham to is Eli Manning, who made his receivers at Ole Miss much better and, as a result, the entire team was a contender in the SEC. Stidham can and should do the same thing this season, whether it's throwing his receivers open, making better decisions in the pocket and under pressure (he struggled late in the season against the blitz). If he cuts back on the turnovers (a Pick 6 and a pair of fumbles in the red zone in the final two losses last season stick out) and takes advantage of the immense talent at receiver, he will watch players match his level of play, and potentially exceed it, throughout the season. Manning did that at Ole Miss. That's what first-round NFL Draft picks do in college football, and Stidham's arm, presence and leadership matches everything you want. The Tigers will be as good as Stidham because he'll bring everyone up to his level. Oh, and those back-shoulder throws you're hearing so much about? You're going to see that a lot this season. Jeremiah Dinson (Photo: Inside The Auburn Tigers, Auburn had unquestioned leaders with seniors Tray Matthews and Stephen Roberts at both safety positions last season. Matthews was the go-to deep cover man and Roberts was a hard hitter near the line of scrimmage and in the open field. Auburn hopes Jeremiah Dinson and Daniel Thomas replicate those roles, respectively, this season. Dinson was the most consistent defensive player throughout spring practices and continues to be a leader on the back end. Thomas has already proven himself capable of playing strong safety after making his debut as a freshman two seasons ago in the Iron Bowl with two picks. What fans should keep ane eye on are the backups. Jamien Sherwood and Smoke Monday are the top backups as freshmen and the talk is either one of them could be ready to start at some point this season if needed. 247Sports
  11. Auburn Football ................. 'good presence,' maturity to Auburn's quarterback room Updated Aug 12, 10:03 AM; Posted Aug 12, 10:03 AM Former minor leaguer Cord Sandberg has brought a veteran presence to Auburn's quarterback room, even if he's still working to learn the offense and re-acclimating himself to football. (Todd Van Emst/Auburn Athletics) 12 shares By Tom Green Jarrett Stidham wasn't completely sure what Auburn was getting in its newest quarterback, Cord Sandberg, before he arrived on campus for his first practice last Sunday. Yes, Sandberg was a former four-star prospect and rated as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in 2013. However, that was more than five years ago, and in the time since Sandberg pursued a professional baseball career in the minor leagues as part of the Philadelphia Phillies organization, which selected him in the second round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft. "You never know," Stidham said. "A guy who goes and plays minor league baseball for five years and then he does and comes back, you just don't know if he's going to be like, 'Oh, it's just college; let's go through it,' or if he's really going to be locked in to what we're doing and trying to learn the playbook." It didn't take long for Stidham to realize that Auburn was getting the latter, and not the former, when it came to Sandberg. After missing the team's first two practices of fall camp to be in his brother's wedding, Sandberg reported to the program last Sunday. He spent his first two practices in shorts and was limited to 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills his first day. The following two practices -- including Thursday's scrimmage -- he was in shells as part of the team's acclimation period, and then he moved to full-pads in recent days. While head coach Gus Malzahn's early assessment of Sandberg after his first practice was that he's more of a "timing thrower-type," he conceded that Sandberg will understandably have somewhat of a learning curve as he readjusts to the game of football. Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey expounded on that a couple days later, when he noted that Sandberg is knocking off some rust following a six-year minor league career and needs to improve his fundamentals and footwork, among other things. Malzahn expects 'learning curve' for QB Sandberg Former minor league baseball player Cord Sandberg signed will join Auburn in time for the Tigers' third practice of fall camp. Yet while his impact on the field could be minimal this season and climb up the depth chart could be a long way off, Stidham and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey are already seeing Sandberg's impact in the quarterback room. "He brings a really good presence to the quarterback room," Lindsey said. "He's an older, mature guy. He understands about preparation. He really wants to do well. He takes it really serious. You can tell he's here focused on playing well and getting back in the flow." Sandberg's veteran presence, despite being freshman, is already rubbing off on Auburn's younger quarterbacks on the depth chart behind Stidham -- sophomore Malik Willis and freshman Joey Gatewood -- while showing them how to take a more seasoned approach to the position. Sandberg's attitude and willingness to learn has not been lost on Lindsey, or Stidham -- who has stood near Sandberg on the field early on when the 23-year-old has received reps with the offense in practice to help him through certain aspects of the offense. "He's asking me stuff all the time about this play or that play, and it's just good to see him wanting to learn and wanting to get better and that sort of thing," Stidham said. "So, I think as time progresses, he's just going to get more and more comfortable." Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.
  12. Auburn Football How Auburn is approaching the new 4-game redshirt rule Updated Aug 12, 7:15 PM; Posted Aug 12, 7:15 PM Auburn defensive tackles Alec Jackson (92) and Dontavius Russell (95) both redshirted as true freshmen. (Todd Van Emst/AU Athletics) 5 shares By James Crepea Roster management will become easier in some aspects and more difficult in others as teams adjust to the new four-game redshirt in college football. At the very least, the rule change will keep true freshmen engaged, as they'll have a chance to play in multiple games during the course of the season as opposed to spending the year as glorified tackling dummies on scout teams. "The hardest thing about being a freshman is if you're here as a freshman after you get through fall camp school starts and now you're playing," Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. "That's a hard way of life for a freshman, who obviously was recruited at a high level in the SEC and then all of a sudden he's not playing. Everybody's asking him back home why he's not playing. Well, he doesn't know that now. He can't say 'well I'm redshirting' because you never really redshirt until the end of the year anyway, that's when you officially turned it in, but if you hadn't played in the first six games it's probably a pretty good indicator." The short-term benefit of younger players getting a chance to play more and relying less on the players on the two-deep in less competitive situations is obvious, but the long-term benefit will come years down the line in the additional development of freshmen who got to play in four games but still redshirted. Auburn's freshmen offensive linemen and linebackers would've been unlikely to see the field this season due to the depth in front of them, but the new rule will allow them all to play and preserve the year of eligibility. "It gives you a lot more flexibility from a coaching standpoint," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. "You're always thinking about from a depth standpoint too and this could definitely help you as far as that. ... "I think anytime somebody has the idea that they could be playing on the field their attention to detail is going to be higher. Outside of the two-deep, that's really what you go with, but the fact that it will allow you depth I think is a positive." Auburn's coaching staff has discussed how best to utilize the new rule to its advantage this season, with the possibility of wide receivers Eli Stove and Will Hastings each returning from torn knee ligaments chief among the options. Less than five months after tearing anterior cruciate ligaments, Stove and Hastings have each been limited participants during fall camp. It's unclear when they'll return, but the new rule combined with the first impressions Auburn's four true freshmen receivers have made thus far has helped ease concerns at the position compared to the spring. "I think it's a situation that for each person it might fit different depending on what position they play, but I think it allows us some flexibility, especially early in the season to find out 'OK, is this guy really ready to play or not?" offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said. "... Maybe we have to use some guys early in the season until we get those guys back. Different scenarios can play out by position, but I think it's a good rule and I think it's something that will help college football." Steele said there is a plan in place for utilizing the redshirt for defenders, but it will vary. Some players may get more chances early, other may need to develop in practice and play more later during the season. "There's nobody specific yet," Steele said, "it's just a plan of we could do this, we could do this, we could that. So it's important." Then there's always going to be the predicament of whether to burn a players' redshirt, which previously was done by playing one game, but now would mean they're likely proved themselves worthy of playing in a fifth game or more in a season. That would be a good problem to have. James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.
  13. Auburn Football Projected Auburn depth chart for Week 2 of fall camp Updated 9:00 AM; Posted 7:00 AM 11 Gallery: Auburn's first fall football scrimmage 2018 12 shares By James Crepea Auburn is one week into fall camp following its first preseason scrimmage on Thursday. There have been a few tweaks to the two-deep and many more personnel decisions to be made before the season, particularly along the offensive line. Several freshmen made big first impressions, specifically among the wide receivers, and will clearly be part of the team's plans this season. Here is's projected depth chart for Week 2 of fall camp. QUARTERBACK Jarrett Stidham, redshirt-junior Malik Willis, sophomore Joey Gatewood, freshman Cord Sandberg, freshman RUNNING BACK Kam Martin, junior JaTarvious Whitlow, redshirt-freshman Asa Martin, freshman Malik Miller, redshirt sophomore OR Devan Barrett, sophomore Shaun Shivers, freshman OR Harold Joiner, freshman H-BACK Chandler Cox, senior Spencer Nigh, junior Jalen Harris, senior OR John Samuel Shenker, redshirt-freshman Harold Joiner, freshman TIGHT END Jalen Harris, senior Sal Cannella, junior John Samuel Shenker, redshirt-freshman SPLIT END/X/9 Darius Slayton, redshirt-junior Shedrick Jackson, freshman Kolbi Fuqua, freshman FLANKER/Z/2 Ryan Davis, senior Eli Stove, junior (out with torn ACL) Devan Barrett, sophomore Anthony Schwartz, freshman OR Shaun Shivers, freshman SLOT/3 Will Hastings, senior (out with torn ACL) Sal Cannella, junior Griffin King, redshirt-junior Matthew Hill, freshman Harold Joiner, freshman BIG SLOT/Y/5 Nate Craig-Myers, junior Marquis McClain, redshirt-sophomore (limited Tuesday, missed Thursday due to undisclosed injury - day-to-day) Seth Williams, freshman LEFT TACKLE Prince Tega Wanogho Jr., redshirt-junior Bailey Sharp, redshirt-junior Prince Michael Sammons, redshirt-sophomore LEFT GUARD Marquel Harrell, redshirt-junior Tashawn Manning, redshirt-freshman Kameron Stutts, freshman OR Jalil Irvin, freshman CENTER Kaleb Kim, redshirt-junior OR Mike Horton, redshirt-junior Nick Brahms, redshirt-freshman (limited recovering from broken leg) Tucker Brown, senior Jalil Irvin, freshman RIGHT GUARD Mike Horton, redshirt-junior OR Calvin Ashley, redshirt-freshman Brodarious Hamm, redshirt-freshman (limited due to leg injury from A-Day) Kameron Stutts, freshman OR Jalil Irvin, freshman RIGHT TACKLE Jack Driscoll, junior OR Austin Troxell, redshirt-freshman Prince Michael Sammons, redshirt-sophomore BUCK T.D. Moultry, sophomore OR Markaviest Bryant, sophomore OR Nick Coe, redshirt-sophomore Richard Jibunor, freshman DEFENSIVE TACKLE Derrick Brown, junior Andrew Williams, redshirt-senior Alec Jackson, redshirt-freshman OR Nick Coe, redshirt-sophomore Daquan Newkirk, sophomore (limited with torn Achilles) NOSE TACKLE Dontavius Russell, redshirt-senior Andrew Williams, redshirt-senior Tyrone Truesdell, sophomore Jauntavius Johnson, redshirt-junior Coynis Miller Jr., freshman DEFENSIVE END Marlon Davidson, junior Nick Coe, redshirt-sophomore Derrick Brown, junior Gary Walker, redshirt-junior Caleb Johnson, freshman STRONG-SIDE LINEBACKER Darrell Williams, senior Richard McBryde, redshirt-junior K.J. Britt, sophomore OR Josh Marsh, freshman MIDDLE LINEBACKER Deshaun Davis, redshirt-senior K.J. Britt, sophomore OR Richard McBryde, redshirt-junior Michael Harris, freshman WEAK-SIDE LINEBACKER Montavious Atkinson, senior Chandler Wooten, sophomore Zakoby McClain, freshman FIELD CORNER Noah Igbinoghene, sophomore (missed Tuesday, Thursday due to undisclosed injury - day-to-day) Christian Tutt, freshman OR John Broussard Jr., junior Traivon Leonard, sophomore NICKEL Javaris Davis, redshirt-junior Jordyn Peters, sophomore Jayvaughn Myers, redshirt-sophomore Jeremiah Dinson, redshirt-junior OR Daniel Thomas, junior FIELD SAFETY Jeremiah Dinson, redshirt-junior (limited after shoulder surgery) Jamien Sherwood, freshman BOUNDARY SAFETY Daniel Thomas, junior Quindarious Monday, freshman DIME Jeremiah Dinson, redshirt-junior OR Daniel Thomas, junior Jordyn Peters, sophomore Javaris Davis, redshirt-junior Jayvaughn Myers, redshirt-sophomore BOUNDARY CORNER Jamel Dean, redshirt-junior Christian Tutt, freshman John Broussard Jr., junior Roger McCreary, freshman Malcolm Askew, redshirt-freshman KICKER Anders Carlson, redshirt-freshman PUNTER Arryn Siposs, freshman Aidan Marshall, sophomore Ian Shannon, redshirt-junior HOLDER Griffin King, redshirt-junior Will Hastings, senior (out with torn ACL) Ian Shannon, redshirt-junior LONG SNAPPER Bill Taylor, redshirt-freshman Clarke Smith, redshirt-sophomore KICKOFF RETURN Noah Igbinoghene, sophomore Kam Martin, junior PUNT RETURN Christian Tutt, freshman Ryan Davis, senior Griffin King, redshirt-junior Matthew Hill, freshman James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.
  14. aubiefifty

    2018 Season Simulation

    for those interested these simulation video's are all over youtube if you care to watch any other teams. not real sur about teams outside the sec tho........