News of the day, 10/2
I was researching Vanderbilt yesterday for late-week stories. That's a pretty good team. In a position-by-position breakdown, I gave VU the advantage at WR and LB. I could have gone with QB as well, but a normal Brandon Cox is a tad better. Vanderbilt is excellent along the defensive front as well. With Quentin Groves out, I thought about giving Vandy the check there. Really, though, Quentin has been the third-best lineman behind Antonio Coleman and Sen'Derrick Marks. Maybe fourth behind Pat Sims. Auburn got the check.
Anyway, beating the Commodores isn't an easy task anymore. I told you last week that Auburn was going to play well down there. Now I'm telling you: Vanderbilt is going to play tough at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
I know. I said no more prognostications. I failed. So it goes.
Here is your weekly "Tuesdays with Tommy" excerpts:
*On seeing famous kicker Al Del Greco in the audience: "Hey, Al. How are you doing?"
*On moving forward: "The challenge in front of us is to get over that game Saturday."
*On practice today: "We didn't have a great practice, so we did a few things to get their attention."
*On needing to improve: "We didn't play a great game. We played a good game. If we had played a great game, it wouldn't have come down to the end like that."
*On injuries: "It's getting pretty serious with the injuries. It's hard to improve when you don't have guys out there in practice. This is a team sport. Guys don't just come out there for a couple of days during the week and be ready to play. We don't have the depth we had earlier in the year."
*On Vanderbilt: "They've had some bad luck. It looks like the luck is changing to their way."
*On Bradley Lester: "He won't start. He'll have a role to play. This is the first game of the season for him. First games are tough because you're usually not in playing shape even though he has been practicing a lot."
*On his team's recipe for success: "We've won around here with kicking and defense for a long time."
(EDIT: Auburn led the SEC in scoring during the 2004 and 2005 seasons.)
*On Rod Smith: "We didn't throw the ball to Rod nearly as much as we should have during the first couple of games."
*On DE Sen'Derrick Marks: "He probably could play linebacker. He couldn't play on the outside, but he could play in the middle. He has a tremendous attitude."
*On the South Florida loss: "We should have won that game."
*On the "interfering with a catch" call during the Florida game. Auburn submitted a formal inquiry into that decision on Sunday: "I usually hear back on Tuesdays, but I haven't gotten (an answer) back yet. I'm sure I'll get a long explanation on that one. I'm anxious to see what they say."
*On his behavior following the call: "I didn't realize how far out on the field I was."
*On not recruiting former Alabama Player of the Year Chris Nickson, Vanderbilt's top quarterback and native of Brundidge: "We weren't looking for that kind of quarterback at that time."
(EDIT: Auburn began recruiting Kodi Burns less than a year later.)
Tuberville created a itty-bitty dose of buzz during the press conference by saying there could be "one or two" changes along the offensive line this week. As Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story: LT Ryan Pugh is really a C by trade, so coaches want to give Pugh some time at center. That means King Dunlap might have a chance to run with the second-team offense this weekend. That's the big change.