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Jason Caldwell Mailbag Column 7/12/19

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Jason Caldwell's Friday Auburn mailbag column

ByJASON CALDWELL 

 

m5guy: Jason - do you know if there has been any movement at all on the FOF since the "committee" was named? In your best guesstimate what time frame are we looking at from the "first shovel ceremony" to total completion once a facility is decided on. I am afraid this will be a 3-4 year deal at best.

I think they are moving forward in the planning stages of  exactly what will be built, but how things change with an interim president is anyone’s guess. In my opinion I think it would be at least the spring before they could begin to put a shovel to dirt and with something of that magnitude I would guess January of 2022 would be a target date to move in. South Carolina’s facility took around two years to build and I would imagine it would be similar for Auburn once they get started.



 

AUTiger2008: Jason- of the incoming freshman, who, in your opinion, is ready to make an immediate impact week 1? Thanks!

I assume we are including the early enrollees in this question so I’ll start with Bo Nix, D.J. Williams and Owen Pappoe. I think all three of those guys are going to be ready to play and help the Tigers when they step on the field against Oregon. A wildcard for me is Colby Wooden. If the Tigers play Nick Coe inside at tackle they will need someone else to step up at end and Wooden could be a dynamic player coming off the edge.

 

 

tcb4au_Scout: Jason,would like Marks opinion too,if possible,2 q.b.system,if we don't have an unGodly amount of injuries say Joey and Bo combine for 2900 yards passing and 650-725 yards rushing and the defense holds strong can we win 10-12 games, including bowl game with this schedule

I think if Auburn’s quarterbacks combine for 3,500-plus yards of total offense that would be a great start to success for the Tigers. In the end it would probably come down to turnovers and how many touchdowns they produce, but if Auburn is moving the ball like that and the defense lives up to advance billing this team could definitely win 10 games. I expect the running backs to put up some good numbers so if you add that into those numbers for the QB’s that would be impressive.

Mark noted the last time the Tigers had similar production at the quarterback position was in 2017, a 10-win season, so he believes those type of numbers would give the Tigers a chance to get into double figures in the victory column, but added that is one of numerous factors that determine winning/losing.

 

 

wtbtiger: What is your over/under for points and yard gained against the ducks?

I expect Auburn to score 24-27 points in the opening game against Oregon. It is tough to have a huge first game offensively with the defenses having so much time to prepare for what they are expecting to see. Throw in that the Tigers will have freshmen at the most important position on the field and I would be surprised to see Auburn score 30-plus right out of the gate. As for the yardage, it’s just a shot in the dark, but I would go somewhere around 400 yards with 225 passing and 175 rushing.

 

 

wtbtiger: Do you think there is a bias toward Bammer with the SEC office being located in Birmingham? Would you like to see the office moved?

I don’t know that there is a direct bias, but when you have the home offices in Birmingham for so long it just makes everything look very questionable when things go a certain way. Because of that I would like to see them moved and I believe Nashville would be a great place to have the SEC offices moving forward. The biggest issue and why it won’t move is because of the rent deal the league gets to keep the offices in Birmingham. SEC pays $318,000 a year compared to $1.5 million for Big 10 and $6.9 million for Pac 12.

 

 

Tiger82: Which of the rule changes do you think will have the most effect on games this season, targeting, overtime, and blocking for kickoffs (and maybe other that I can't think of)?

I think the one that is going to have the most impact is going to be 15 yard penalty on forcible contact on blindside blocks. While some of those are obvious and easy to call, there are going to be a whole lot of close calls in that area and where they occur could take back some big plays for offenses around the country. I think it’s going to be a big issue. I don’t think the OT rule is going to be a big deal considering it takes five overtimes before the battling two-point plays comes into existence.

 

 

southgeorgiatiger: How are tickets selling for the Advocare Classic? For the Oregon and Auburn ticket offices? I'm guessing we'll have more fans there than Oregon…

I haven’t asked lately about ticket sales from an Auburn perspective, but looking on Stubhub the lowest prices are in the $30 range. That’s not bad considering we’re still almost two months away from the game. I would expect it to be a very good crowd for the opener and probably closer to 50/50 than people expect. Oregon comes into this season with a whole lot of excitement and the Ducks are looking at this game as the one to put them in the national championship hunt if they can beat an SEC team. I expect to see a lot of Ducks with Auburn probably having a slight majority.

 

 

AUTiger2008: How do you see the starting QB competition playing out? Do you expect Gus to name a starter and stick with him until he has reason not to? Or do you see this battle continuing into the season with each getting their share of reps the first few games?

I think they’re going to get both quarterbacks game action and see how they perform under pressure situations. I think we’ll see a starter named, but I think the actual battle will go several games into the season. With all that being said, if the named starter comes out and leads Auburn to touchdowns on the first two or three drives of the game then we may not see the second guy. 

 

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AUTiger2008: With a talented but crowded backfield how do you foresee carries being split? Do you expect any transfers? Do you think we end up redshirting MAR?

For years we have talked about the need to divide the carries in the Auburn backfield a little better. We saw the beginnings of that in the bowl game win over Purdue and I think it’s going to carry over in 2019. Boobee Whitlow is going to be the main guy, but there are so many other options that I believe we’ll actually see three different guys play a significant role this season. That would be very different, especially with both quarterbacks capable of making plays on the ground as well. If the Tigers truly play three different backs on  regular basis, I think it would make the offense stronger down the stretch. I think it’s going to be tough for Mark-Antony Richards to make an impact this season, but if you see him getting into the action that means the coaches believe he’s really special. As for transfers, in this era of college football I almost expect it to happen at some point.

 

 

AUTiger2008: With the returning talent we have this year's defense could be one of the best in the nation. However, we also have one of the nation's toughest schedules. By seasons end, do you expect we will be a Top 10 defense?

With Auburn’s schedule this season if the Tigers finish in the Top 10 in either total defense or scoring defense it would mean this team would have a chance at big things in 2019. The talent is there to be very good, but if they can take the next step and be dominant then it will be a fun year to watch.

 

 

7COMMENTS

Auburn2532: Chandler Wooten has played sparingly these past 2 years. How good can he be?

I believe Wooten is going to have a really good year . He’s got athleticism and the size to really excel in Auburn’s system and with two years under his belt he looks primed to come into his own beside K.J. Britt in the middle. Wooten really had a strong spring until getting hurt in the A-Day game. He’s ready to go full speed for fall camp and I think he’ll be one of the rocks for this defense because of his maturity and knowledge of the game. Wooten is normally going to be in the right place, which is huge for a defense.

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If they really do rotate the backs. I wonder how they’ll do it? Does everybody just get one series each and just rotate like that?

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15 hours ago, Sizzle said:

If they really do rotate the backs. I wonder how they’ll do it? Does everybody just get one series each and just rotate like that?

I'd expect situational substitution there, down, distance, position on the field, game situation and so forth.. We have never been much on substituting just to give a back some rest or to give another guy some carries.

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