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Bummer I missed an active night

I was listening to the swell "zeroes + ones" segment on Sirius' Left of Center channel tonight.

Hey, it beats singing Milli Vanilli to myself as I roll past Jasper.

I'm tired. I'll chat with you all tomorrow.

(New thread: YES!)

That's a wrap from Oxford

I'm not going to drop the BANHAMMER on anyone.

Ron eased back. So has Chris. No problems.

I'm now leaving the press box here in Oxford, Miss., with plans to make it back to Montgomery no later than 10.

I don't think I can make a campfire work tonight. I started today in Tupelo at 8 a.m. I'm too old for all-nighters.

So peace and love to all.

(I will be checking back with the blog, though, so I'll work through any questions you have once I return.)

Postgame reaction

  • On if he saw this kind of season coming: "I knew we were going to struggle. I put us in a bind early in the season. I think we'd have gotten a couple more games along the way had we been doing what we're doing right now. It's kinda like we're in the third or fourth game with the offense."

  • On the players' ability to eschew the Tuberville-needs-to-be-fired talk: "This team is not playing for me. I don't want them playing for me. I want them playing for Auburn. That's what it's all about. Coaches go and come. Our coaches work very hard. I'm not putting any pressure on the coaches. I want theses players to play for themselves and their school."

  • An unsolicited rant after being asked a question about Chris Slaughter: "We don't have a playmaker. There's nobody will will step out there and be that playmaker. Everybody's trying to wait on everybody else. We've got some good guys. Sooner or later, someone has to step up and make that big play and give us a lift."

  • On if the team quit last weekend: "They did play all the way through last week. It's ridiculous to say these kids have quit. These are Auburn kids who work hard. They put in more time than most people do in a full-time job -- just to play a sport. They're trying to win every game they play."

  • Asked if he's worried about getting to a bowl: "Next question."

  • On if he 'throws up his hands in despair': "Not really. This game we moved the ball pretty well. We got a little bit of momentum going in the second half. But like I said it's the same story -- I know you've heard me say it -- we shoot ourselves in the foot, and it's mostly my fault."

  • On being thrust into a difficult offensive environment: "Yeah, it's kind of unfortunate instead of starting off at the beginning of the year when we were doing OK -- we were still struggling -- it's kind of unfortunate that I get thrown in now and try to take this team over and lead them. But like I said, I've been waiting on it all year, waiting for my opportunity to go in, and I've just got to do a lot better. Today, I got a little bit better. I felt like I was in a groove here and there. The turnovers -- I can't do that. I don't want to take anything away from Ole Miss. They did a great job on offense, a great job on defense, but if I'm throwing it right to them, I'm giving it to them."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

AU-UM postgame

I'm downstairs interviewing people, but feel free to post your thoughts here.

I'll get a campfire up and rollin' once I return.

Fourth quarter, UM 10-7

We're discussing the fourth quarter of Auburn's game at Ole Miss.


Third quarter, UM 10-7

We're discussing the third quarter of Auburn's game at Ole Miss.

  • OLE MISS 10, AUBURN 7: Ben Tate 27 run. Nice drive. What can you say? Kodi Burns hit Chris Slaughter for a 37-yard gain on the first play. No resistance, no problem.

Second quarter, Ole Miss 3-0

We're discussing the second quarter of Auburn's game at Ole Miss.

AU -- 7 carries, 3 yards
UM -- 8 carries, 50 yards

AU -- 14 plays, 28 yards
UM -- 16 plays, 68 yards

  • OLE MISS 3, AUBURN 0: Josh Shene 33-yard FG. Auburn's defense was caught on a blitz mid-way through the drive and gave up a 19-yard run. That was the key play.

  • OLE MISS 10, AUBURN 0: Shay Hodge 3-yard catch from Jevan Snead. The drive started with less than two minutes remaining on the UM 22. Auburn's defense simply yielded ground at a surprising rate, giving up long runs and passes.

First quarter, 0-0

We're discussing the first quarter of Auburn's game at Ole Miss.

  • The team's top two LCs, Jerraud Powers and Neiko Thorpe, are out. Dee Hood is playing that position today. I have no idea who is playing behind him today.

  • Big Snacks Berry is starting at RG.

AU @ Ole Miss pregame

Hey everyone. Great day here in Oxford: Clear skies, temps in the upper 60s or low 70s. Perfect for a game of tackle football.

Here are some shots from inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Please enjoy them.

**You can click on them to see a slightly larger size.**

That's Morgan Hull kicking a 50-yarder in warmups. He made this one.

Here are the on-the-field speakers Ole Miss uses during pre-game. The stadium music is standard top-40 stuff. These speakers blare hip-hop music. Apparently, some fans were unhappy when the hip-hop was being played throughout the stadium, so this is the compromise. I found it odd.

Auburn has a little mat on its sideline for all 11 players presumably to stand on? I've never seen it in use, yet it's always there. Maybe it's a tradition? Anyway, here I am on No. 10, which is my favorite number under 12.

This is from the Ole Miss sideline ... looking toward the top of the screen from a TV perspective.

This is Mario Fannin (white) and Harry Adams (blue) returning simulated kick-offs.

Here is the press box, where I'll be working today. Lots of blue in that picture.


All we have are the embers

Thanks for another successful campfire.

We want to give special thanks to our celebrity guests: Jon Gruden, Jim Fyffe, President Bush and Joshua Moon.

See you all tomorrow LIVE from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

I expect to get things rolling around 11 a.m. CDT.

The cup runneth over

I'm making a new thread here because you know how things get after 200 posts.

Campfire a.k.a. "Ask An Auburn Beat Writer" tentatively scheduled to begin right here at 10 p.m. CDT. Allegedly. I'm still in Montgomery right now.

Looking at AU @ UM

Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping by on a fine Friday; a spooky one. I also want to compliment the HOTTIES for providing so much support, both on the blog and on the Campfire, for our newest Ring of Fire members. Our warm community is what distinguishes us.

SCHEDULE UPDATE: Since Auburn is on the road, that means I'll be holding the traditional "Ask an Auburn Beat Writer" segment tonight. We were doing this before Campfires came along ... but it's basically a Campfire in disguise. Live chat. Questions answered. Etcetera. So come kick it with an Auburn Beat Writer. I'm thinking 10 p.m. CDT.

OK. Here is today's content:

Advantage: Ole Miss
Auburn enjoyed more consistent play out of Kodi Burns last week, but UM's Jevan Snead is a much more refined player. He has a great arm, knows how to use it and can run in a pinch.

Advantage: Ole Miss
It's unclear what Auburn has here. Ben Tate played only sparingly against West Virginia and Brad Lester is struggling with a knee issue. Ole Miss has a decent tailback in Cordera Eason and intriguing elements in Dexter McCluster and Enrique Davis.

Advantage: Ole Miss
Auburn has two playmakers in Rod Smith and Tommy Trott. The Rebels have watched McCluster excel in a variety of roles. Shay Hodge and Mike Wallace are legitimate players as well.

Advantage: Auburn
Ole Miss has the best player here in Michael Oher, but Auburn has plenty of talent. Have the Tigers been good? Not really. Still, I believe this group is on the verge of a breakthrough. It could happen tomorrow.

Advantage: Auburn
This could go either way. Peria Jerry is an outstanding tackle and a lot better than most people realize. With that said, Sen'Derrick Marks and Tez Doolittle are excellent players as well. Throw in Zach Clayton and the Tigers have plenty of brawn.

Advantage: Ole Miss
Auburn's linebackers didn't play well at West Virginia last week, missing tackles with surprising frequency. Ole Miss doesn't have the same amount of depth or talent, but their guys are playing more consistently right now.

Advantage: Auburn
The Tigers suffered some serious busts in the defensive backfield at WVU. Still, this is a talented group. Jerraud Powers says he's better after playing half speed with a hamstring injury last week and Walt McFadden has been a bright spot.

Advantage: Ole Miss
Josh Shene has connected on 12 of his 13 field-goal kicks. Mike Wallace is a great kickoff-return guy. Auburn has the advantage at punter, but the Rebels seem to have a legitimate leg up here.

Advantage: Auburn
Tommy Tuberville has his faults and the program doesn't seem all that healthy right now. Still, this coaching staff has made a lot of correct calls through the years. I like Houston Nutt a lot. He's great as the lovable loser, but the Rebels are a favorite today. Nutt is less effective that way.

Ole Miss
Jevan Snead (No. 4)
6-3, 215, Soph.
Last game: 16-of-31 for 192 yards, 1 TD; 5 rushes for 23 yards (vs. Alabama, 10/18)
Scouting report: Snead, a transfer from Texas, has an outstanding arm. He can throw deep balls with authority. He understands how to alter pace according to situation. The problem is that Snead is highly aware of his raw talent and takes too many risks as a result. He has no problem throwing into double coverage because he considers himself capable of making every throw work. He can be a liability in that sense. Snead isn't a fast runner. He is intuitive in the pocket, though, and can escape pressure. He has some great years ahead of him.

QB Kodi Burns (No. 18)
6-2, 205, Soph.
Last week: 13-of-21 for 111 yards, 1 TD; 15 carries for 82 yards (vs. WVU)
Scouting report: Burns was given a chance to play a full game last week and showed signs of progress. He played particularly well during the first half. Burns escaped from pressure at appropriate times. He made several accurate passes on the run. He also showed a refined ability to run effectively in space. Burns looked like a different player in the second half, though, and seemed to lose confidence. That has been an issue for him. Burns has a very strong arm that allows him to throw accurately beyond 30 yards. His mechanics are inconsistent. That's why he struggles to make simple throws at times. Until he learns to repeat his throwing motion, Burns will be limited.

Walter McFadden (No. 6)
6-0, 177, Jr.
Last week: 2 tackles and 1 interception (vs. WVU)
Scouting report: McFadden is a good example of a player who is more valuable than his statistics. The junior has decent speed, decent acceleration and decent size. What makes McFadden so important is his innate understanding of his position. He understands his responsibilities and handles them. He also thinks along with the quarterback, which puts McFadden in good position for interceptions more often than most defensive backs. McFadden takes pride in being available; injuries never have been an issue.

Auburn offense
Ole Miss is a very powerful team along the line of scrimmage. Auburn ditched its passing schemes last week in favor of a more direct running attack, which yielded significant dividends until West Virginia made adjustments. Are the Tigers trying to re-invent themselves as a power team? If so, they'll have to play with more ferocity along the offensive front today. Kodi Burns is best when given a peripheral role, which is what happened during his first-half renaissance last week. When pressed into a leading role during the second half, Burns was less reliable. Auburn needs to rely on its tailbacks to blaze the trail. If that's going to happen, Brad Lester and Ben Tate need to regain their early-season swagger.

Auburn defense

What in the world has happened here? Auburn now has allowed more than 400 yards in consecutive games, which is a far cry from its early-season pace. The problems seem two fold: Paul Rhoads' one-dimensional approach to fronts and a general discouragement. Unlike Will Muschamp, who spent hours searching for new ways to package the same defensive scheme, Rhoads prefers to perfect a few fronts. The problem is that the Tigers have an established defensive identity now and without much variation to throw off opponents, Auburn is struggling to make it all work. Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt is a good strategist, too. As far as discouragement, the Tigers clearly played at a lower level once the Mountaineers pulled ahead by 10 last week. With the team's offense struggling this badly, falling behind seems like a terminal problem.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Radio Appearance (no longer) Forthcoming

UPDATE: The Jackson gig has been scrubbed because of "technical difficulties." Sorry.

I will be doing my usual "Hatin' With Jay G" segment tomorrow on 970 The Fan out of Jackson, Miss. The gig is to begin around 8:25 a.m. CDT.

Kevin B., one of the hosts, is a HOTTIE. He posts as J. Kev.

RoF catch-all

Hey everyone. I thought each new member needed his own thread to distinguish himself, but I'm creating this thread for general discussion.

Thanks for a swell campfire today. Great turnout for such short notice.

We discussed the Tigers' mental state, Tuberville's love for Roy D. Mercer, Prechae Rodriguez's strong work in the CFL and Flight of the Conchords.

A good time had by all.

Welcome new RoF member: WAREAGLERK

Sometimes RK rambles. So what? RK is on target more often than not. No fact slides by without commentary. No innuendo goes by without an explanation. It's poetry in motion; it's the world in a grain of sand.

He may have been gracing us with his presence for only two months, but the Ring of Fire said this was one neophyte who demands old-school respect.

Let's all raise our beverage of choice in wareagleRK's honor.

Here here.

Welcome new RoF member: MR. SENSIBLE

Mr. Sensible, aka Sensi, is omnipotent. He archives radio appearances, recounts past blog entries, runs his own wildly popular internet program and still has time to post with the HOTTIES on a regular basis.

He also is one of three people ever to grasp a BANHAMMER. That puts him in elite company ... as if he needed more legitimacy.

Let's all raise our beverage of choice in Mr. Sensible's honor.

Here here.

Welcome new RoF member: PETER FRANKENSCHMIDT

Peter Frankenschmidt once braved Miami traffic and used a wireless device to participate in a Campfire he ultimately didn't see.

That kind of devotion is what we're seeking.

Official RoF stenographer Scottatl had this to say:
Peter, my fellow number cruncher, your time at the HABOTN has seen many more debits than credits. As you may know, coming into the Ring of Fire comes with many responsibilities, one of which is to never be seen in public wearing a sweater vest. And since you live in Naples, you will provide lodging for the 1st annual HHP (Hottie House Party). Thanks Pete! (and congrats)

Let's all raise our beverage of choice in Peter Frankenschmidt's honor.

Here here.

Ring of Fire REMINDER

Hey everyone. Thanks for tuning in to the WMSP broadcast this morning on remarkably short notice. I was called about 90 seconds before the appearance. It was news to me, too.

Please recall that we will induct three new members into the Ring of Fire, which is the most prestigious designation available to HOTTIES, at 2 p.m. CDT today. It signifies a certain level of insight, tenure and HOTNESS that demands inclusion into the finest subset of our happy community.

I must say, there are several HOTTIES deserving of major recognition. Remember that tenure plays a role, too, so if you're feeling the heat and are fairly new to our little haven here ... don't get discouraged. The Ring of Fire Legends once lacked tenure. Look at them now.

See you this afternoon.

Going on WMSP right now

You know where to find it.

All we have are the embers

Thanks to the 100+ peeps who stopped by the warmth of our Campfire on Wednesday night. We discussed William Muschamp's future, broken bones at Houston, bad wings at Hooters and Evan Woodbery's "wiry" figure.

I let you decide topics and this what you chose.

See you Thursday.

Jay Jacobs speaks

Hey everyone. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs, after being inundated with interview requests this week, will provide a statement regarding Tommy Tuberville's future. It will be available within the half-hour.

Here it is:
"As I do with every coach, I evaluate their job performance based on the body of work. That being the case, we will continue to support Coach Tuberville and the program as we always have, and are looking forward to the next four games."
I requested an interview with Jay Gogue, the university president, earlier this week. His assistant, Brian Keeter, essentially declined that request and explained the decision thusly:
"Dr. Gogue and Jay Jacobs will meet with Coach Tuberville when the football season is over just as they have done in the past. In addition, any decisions on the overall direction of the football program or any other Auburn sports program are made at the recommendation of the athletics director."

Your official campfire announcement

The rumors are true.

We will be holding a campfire tonight at 9 p.m. CDT.

Please stop by with your questions, insights and funny innuendo. Maybe your catty line can become The Featured Quote on the front page. S'mores and Yuengling provided to those 21 and older.

Fruit punch available for our younger HOTTIES.

Everything else is up to you.

Football talk, 10/29

Here are some (at least mildly) interesting things I've heard lately.

  • K Wes Byrum on if he feels pressure because the offense doesn't score touchdowns: "A little bit. When we're not putting a lot of points up and you go out there, they need the three points. We need it. We're not getting the ball in the end zone as much and when they fight and get me in range and I don't make it it's kind of tough. It's just something I've got to deal with."

  • Tommy Tuberville on the possibility of not being bowl-eligible: "You can’t worry about all of that, you just keep worrying about getting better. We’re a better team now than we were three weeks ago. I think our offense is much improved and they have a lot of room for improvement and we’ll get better with each practice. I told the team on Sunday and I’ll tell them every day, ‘We want to get better every day in practice.’ That’s the only thing that we can handle. Don’t worry about wins and losses or who we play, whether it’s on television or whether you’re bowl-eligible. None of that stuff is going to make a difference."

  • LB Chris Evans on being worried about making a bowl game: "You could say that. Coach (Paul) Rhoads just said do like we've done in teh past, just be consistent. The small things we did in the first four games, then it fell off a lot."

  • Evans on the defense's apparent lack of energy: "I would't say we didn't have energy. It's not like we're out of shape. We've got to start playing with a sense of urgency in the second half like we do in the first half, because we come out strong in the first half."

  • TB Mario Fannin on if he noticed West Virginia's defense making adjustments: "I have no idea."

  • Fannin on if he's heard from Ole Miss' Patrick Trahan, a former Auburn player: "I think some guys have. I haven't, but I'm pretty sure he'll be calling pretty soon."

  • Assistant coach Don Dunn on why West Virginia was so effective: "They probably had better quickness and speed than we realized. We didn't do a good job of getting where we needed to be and we missed some tackles. That's basically what happened in the second half. I think we panicked a little bit."

  • Dunn on DT Zach Clayton, who has played all our positions along the defensive front this season: "It's invaluable. We don't have anyone else. We would've had to move a linebacker or bring a kid up off of redshirt and we don't want to do that. It's been a blessing, to be honest with you, that he can do that."

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Getting things started on a Wednesday

Hey everyone. Thanks for making Tuesday the second biggest day in HABOTN history, which is no small feat. Tony Franklin Day, Oct. 8, remains in the top spot. Not bad for a reasonably typical Tuesday.

Auburn will hold an afternoon practice today, which I am told again will be relatively hard-hitting. They've taken that up several notches this week. I am planning to miss this practice session, but will make up for it with throughout-the-afternoon availability, a video and, possibly, an afternoon campfire.

I'll pass along some actual Auburn news around noon.

RING OF FIRE INDUCTIONS: After conferring with a majority of RoF members on Tuesday, our list of new inductees has been set. We will honor them at 2 p.m. on Thursday with a live ceremony here at the HABOTN. We will fete each new member with a unique blog post acknowledging his or her greatness. We'll be serving Yuengling (fruit punch for the younger HOTTIES) and calorie-free prime rib that Tony Franklin recently has developed with his severance package.

THANKS FROM JAY: Big ups for lifting my spirits after the Advertiser's parent company yesterday announced a 10% across-the-board cutback. The HOTTIES are awesome. Thanks for your continued support.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Video report, 10/28

Tuberville speaks, 10/28

This is a (more or less) live account of what Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is discussing at this hour.

  • On Ole Miss: "They were left with a lot of good players. This is basically the same team we've played the past two years. You can tell they're a much-improved team."

  • On kickers: "Everybody but Clinton Durst made their field goals today. We probably won't make a decision on that until game time."

  • 1s on 1s: For the rest of the season, we'll go (1s on 1s) for at least 40 minutes per day. We're doing a lot of things to finding the key to putting four quarters together."

  • On OLs: "One thing we'd like to do is play a few more guys. When you have injuries and you're playing more guys, you're going to run out of juice."

  • On Bosley back at C: "He had a little bit more experience with that. I thought it was a good move at the time."

  • On kickers again: "Wesley is a muscle guy. He's trying to get a little mroe technique-sound. Consistency has been his problem. Clinton and Hull -- they're more technique-oriented."

  • Confidence?: They were excited about playing last week, as they've been the weeks before. The bottom line is that we haven't executed well. We haven't changed that much in terms of what we're doing. In the long run, it has a little bit to do with depth."

  • Struggling: "We're better than we were three weeks ago. We need to get better every day in practice. That's what we can handle. We take it in stride and worry about what we can control."

  • What's wrong with the offense: "We don't have a broad range of offense in right now for Kodi. We have enough in to get the ball down the field consistently. It comes down to Kodi being able to make those reads."

  • Opposing tailbacks > Auburn: "That's really disappointing. Their speed and quickness, we obviously didn't match up with them very well. You have to give them credit for what they did. We didn't get confused. Execution wasn't where it needed to be."

  • Did your team quit?: "We haven't quit yet and we never have quit. Our guys have a lot of pride. Fatigue is a factor in there. People are just looking for excuses. We have no excuse."

  • On Burns' game at WVU: "He didn't do anything fancy in the passing game. He made some throws. He's going to be a good quarterback. We've got to give him some help. It goes to the kicking game. It goes to the defense. Sunday was probably his best practice. He's showing a lot of improvement."

  • Heaters?: "I knew we had ordered them. I wasn't thinking about that. It wasn't cold enough. When you have players running up and down the field, heat is the last thing you need. That didn't cause us to lose the game, by the way."

  • Offense: "I think the offense is doing a good job considering we've been running this stuff for three weeks."

  • Jerraud Powers and Neiko Thorpe: "They were out there. We'll see how it goes."

  • Prepare for next year: "Nah. There's always a build process. When we were 13-0, we had a lot of young guys in practice. There's never a rebuilding year. We have so many freshmen playing. We'd like to cut back on that."

  • On Enrique Davis: "He'll have to wait his time, but I'm sure he'll have a an opportunity to play this week. I haven't seen a lot of him with (Cordera Eason) in there."


Memo to RoF members

I need email addresses for Ring of Fire members.

I have corresponded privately with a few of you, but I'd like to speak with each of you about the upcoming RoF induction.

If you don't feel comfortable doing that, I'm OK with it.

Email me at

A glance at Tuesday's schedule

Hey everyone. Considering there was no news yesterday, we did quite well to bang out almost 300 comments. Well done.

TODAY'S HAPPENINGS: Auburn has practice this morning followed by player interviews around 11 a.m. Tuberville speaks at 1 p.m. I'm aiming to run a live blog for that 1 o'clock shindig, so you can get immediate reaction to what Tuberville is saying about his team's situation.

I'll follow that with a video (around 3 p.m.) and other stuff.

After some exhuastive research that included a trip to Tijuana, I have made final RoF decisions. We're printing up napkins and monogramming fine china as we speak. That announcement will be made Thursday afternoon, so save the date.

Monday overflow

Another fun day of comments from the well-informed and always level-headed HOTTIES.

We're discussing Brother Oliver, Mike Leach, Crisco cooking oil, how the Tigers did or didn't quit at West Virginia and, of course, Jan Terri.

More commentary to consider

Hey everyone. Not much going on right now in public view. After a two-hour practice yesterday -- which was quite physical, so we're told -- the team is resting today before resuming Ole Miss preparations in the morning.

GENERAL THOUGHT: There has been a lot of discussion about why Auburn struggles so badly during the second half. We all know several issues are to blame, of course, but there is one issue that hasn't been discussed. It may be the most important one.

Nobody owns this offense. Nobody has owned it since Al Borges was fired 10 months ago. Tony Franklin rolled in here last December and installed his stuff to spec, but it's clear that what Auburn used against Louisiana-Monroe (and beyond) wasn't Franklin's system. It was an amalgam of different ideas rolled into one corn tortilla and passed off as an enchilada.

It's not an enchilada.

Now that Franklin is gone, this offense truly is a hodgepodge of ideas. Who is responsible for tweaking it once things stop working? Steve Ensminger has been designated to handle that job. It's almost impossible. He showed during the first half at West Virginia that calling plays isn't beyond him. What may be beyond him -- and this staff -- is understanding how to adjust this hodgepodge offense when the other team deciphers the Tigers' initial plan.

I think that was the issue Thursday. Aside from some fourth-quarter let-downs, I saw an Auburn team that was trying to win. Effort wasn't to blame. West Virginia simply adjusted to what Auburn was doing early. Once the initial plan was derailed, Ensminger and the other offensive assistants didn't know how to fix that.

Again, it's not their offense. There are coaches out there, good coaches, who spend their entire careers perfecting a certain scheme so they can counter any adjustments a defense offers. Auburn has a group of people with essentially no familiarity with the scheme they're running.

It's almost doomed to fail. Here's a look at four things that would allow Auburn to avoid terminal offensive failure:
  • Simply overpowering the opponent
  • Playing a defense that doesn't/can't adjust to the initial plan
  • Having playmakers than rise above the chaos
  • Getting lucky

Imagine being a mathematician and taking over a colleague's complex proof, one that consumes 10 pages of computations, at the mid-way point. What do you do? Carry on where she left off? Start over? That's where the Tigers are right now. It's a mess.

INJURY REPORT: Someone asked for a full injury report, which is a difficult thing to do right now. There are a lot of minor injuries that affect players in different ways. Here's what I know:
  • CB Jerraud Powers, left hamstring (not practicing; injury remains an issue)
  • CB Neiko Thorpe, ankle (not practicing)
  • OG Byron Isom, concussion (not practicing, but should be soon)
  • TB Ben Tate, hamstring (practicing, but still in some pain)
  • TB Brad Lester, right knee (practicing, but still in some pain)
  • DE Hot Carter, left ankle (practicing, but still in some pain)
  • TB Mario Fannin, right leg "twist" (practicing)
  • DT Sen'Derrick Marks, unknown (practicing)
  • DT Tez Doolittle, ankle (practicing)
  • QB Chris Todd, shoulder (practicing)
  • LB Tray Blackmon, right wrist (out)

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Questions? Comments? Post directly to the blog below or email me at

Interesting comment from Don Dunn

Apparently, the top offense and the top defense have been squaring off more frequently in practice these days. So when did this start?

I'll let Dunn tell you.

"(It's) rare this year just because of the philosophy and the way we were doing things earlier on offense," Dunn said. ``Now, we're getting back to doing inside against the offense and doing blitz and things like that that you need to do."

So when did it change?

"Ten days, two weeks ago."

The Tigers speak, 10/26

  • Tuberville said Clinton Durst, the punter, now is kicking field goals. As you know, top kicker Wes Byrum has been off this season. Tuberville seemed willing to use Durst if needed, but he noted that Byrum was good in practice today. Byrum usually is good in practice. The trick is transferring that effectiveness into game situations.

  • They were in full pads today, a break from Sunday protocol, and did some legitimate hitting. Tuberville said they'll take Monday off as usual and resume Tuesday morning.

  • He said Ben Tate is "80 percent" with a hamstring strain.

  • He said Mario Fannin is fine.

  • He said Jerraud Powers (hamstring) and Neiko Thorpe (ankle) attended practice, but did not participate.

  • He said Byron Isom missed the West Virginia game because of a concussion. Tuberville added that Big Snacks Berry, Isom's replacement, played "decent."

  • On Powers: "He was playing on one leg during the second half. Right now, I'd say he's day-to-day. I would expect him to play (at Ole Miss.)"

  • D'Antoine Hood is playing at Powers' spot since Thorpe is out.

  • What Hood needs to improve on: "A multitude of things."

  • What messed up Auburn's defense so badly last week: "Their speed. You have to bring your feet and hips to attack them, not hands."

  • Worried: "We had a lull in the Southern Mississippi game. A lack of confidence wasn't the reason for it. We played pretty darn good defense throughout the season. That past couple of games, we just haven't handled adversity. It's one of the things we're stressing right now."

Weezer/Atlanta update

Hey everyone. I have returned from my weekend in Atlanta with pictures to prove it.

Here we are at the Weezer show. As RK reported initially, the place wasn't exactly full. Not sure why. I know we're in the South and all, but that's still a very popular group. This was their last show of the tour. Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer, said something about how this could be the last Weezer concert of all time. Maybe this was history.

She did a great job through the first five songs or so, but a cover of Pink Floyd's "Time" was enough to kill the rally. She was outtie until the end.

We stopped by the Mall of Georgia this morning and I saw an Orange Julius. I didn't know they still were in existence. Wow. It felt like 1988 all over again. Curiously, the chick at OJ asked us, once she learned we were from Alabama, if we thought Ozark was "a safe city." I said: yes, safe city. She was excited. I have no idea why.

Brief update

Hey everyone. I'm at a Hilton Garden Inn in Duluth, Ga., that has embarassingly slow internet service. I'm not going to even try to read the comments from yesterday. That would take 30 minutes to load.

I'd savor 14.4 right about now.

Anyway, we had a great time at Weezer. My daughter knew several songs, rocked out, made people laugh. That's the goal. Courtney and I had a great time, too, as usual. I'll provide photographic evidence of the endeavor when I arrive in Auburn.

Best part: The Daughter saying: "Angels and Airwaves are boring. Where's Weezer?"

CORRECTION: Tuberville will not speak at 3 p.m. as previously noted. He will be speaking after practice, which begins at 4:30 CDT. I'll summarize what I hear there and what players have to say.

I'll build a video, too, and mingle with the HOTTIES throughout the evening.

See you in a bit.

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