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Giving Ole Miss a perspective

Parrish Alford, a Friend of The HABOTN who covers Ole Miss for the Tupelo newspaper, asked me to answer a few questions for his blog's enthusiasts.

I figured ... maybe the HOTTIES have some interest in what they find notable and how I answered their questions.

Q: Houston Nutt has downplayed his past with Gus Malzahn, but is this one pretty emotional for Gus?

A: I don't think Malzahn gets emotional about that kind of stuff. Is he a fan of Houston Nutt? Absolutely not. Malzahn wasn't running Arkansas offense during the second half of 2006, people know that, and that season was a pretty bitter pill for a college neophyte to swallow. Malzahn will be motivated this weekend, but I don't think it's because of Nutt. It's because Auburn's offense has been decaying of late and his reputation is at stake.

Q: Has the SEC schedule been the primary factor in Auburn's decreased scoring through the last four games, or are there more issues in play?

A: I think schedule is the primary reason. Auburn's schedule is nearly a seamless hierarchy -- with easy games early and the toughest (Alabama) at the end. These SEC teams employ shrewd defensive coordinators and use fast players on defense. That combination is taxing Malzahn from an intellectual standpoint -- and he doesn't have enough talent/speed to simply overpower people. That's why Auburn is struggling. Players and coaches keep talking about "execution." While that's been an issue, I don't think it's the primary issue.

Q: I've heard it speculated that there will be lean times ahead for Auburn, because Nick Saban will get all the recruits he wants in Tuscaloosa. What's your take on that theory?

A: Auburn has competed for decades -- and occasionally dominated -- by signing a relatively small percentage of Alabama-based players. Unlike his predecessor, Gene Chizik has elected to challenge Alabama for several in-state kids this year. Will it work? We'll find out in early February. Still, most of the Tigers' most coveted recruits are from other states. I don't expect Auburn's overall recruiting effort to slide backward under Chizik's watch.

Q: Ole Miss has been pretty good at disrupting passing quarterbacks this season. What's pass protection been like for Auburn?

A: Auburn exhibited excellent pass protection through the first seven games, allowing five sacks during that span. LSU sacked Chris Todd four times last weekend. I tend to think the Tigers will struggle against Ole Miss' front seven, which I judge to be quite good.

Q: Tracy Rocker was highly regarded for his ability as a defensive line coach while with Nutt for six seasons. How has Auburn played defensively this season across the board, but specifically along the defensive line?

A: Auburn is undermanned at tackle. That's just how it is. There isn't much depth and the guys Rocker plays aren't special. Antonio Coleman, the team's franchise defender, hasn't affected games as everyone expected. Is that regression on Coleman's part or is that a result of Ted Roof's remarkably basic system? Auburn has no depth. It generally plays with no reserves at linebacker or safety. One reserve cornerback is available. Roof plays conservatively as a result. It's a pretty lackluster enterprise right now, though I think it will improve quickly once new signees infuse more depth and speed.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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


Blogger Dear Leader said...


12:25 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...


12:27 PM  
Blogger WDEwg said...

How bout the fact that Coleman is also playing one hand tied behind his back? Could that be part of his "regression"?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Tied behind his back?

12:31 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Nice Q&A.

12:32 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Yeah, I definitely agree about Malzahn. He doesn't strike me as a vendetta guy.

As for the schedule, there's no doubt the last half of the schedule is tougher than the first half, but while LSU is a step above anybody else we've played, Arkansas and Kentucky don't strike me as teams any better than a Tennessee, West Virginia, or maybe not even a Miss. State team.

For whatever reason - people adapting to Malzahn, the offense woes in general - we've just struggled the last few games.

12:40 PM  
Blogger shesaid said...

You better watch it WDEwg. Don't sass The Jay, bro. One-way ticket to banhammer.

12:49 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Where is everybody? We got a big game on Saturday. Let's get excited.

Everybody let's get it up for two bits...

Two bits, four bits, six bits a dollar...

12:57 PM  
Blogger shesaid said...

Sorry E-Bro. I tried the slow clap last night and got crickets. Don't waste your breath...or fingers.

12:58 PM  
Blogger WDEwg said...

Sorry. He can't grab folks with one of his hands. He's said that he can't be physical with folks the way he normally was. I read that to mean his production could suffer do to that injury (not necessarily scheme issues).

Not sassing. Just asking the question. If I didn't get banhammered for asking Jay to change "gashed and gutted" from the Arkansas recap to "not succeeding to the level they would have hoped" or whatever he changed it too- -then I doubt this would warrant banning.

12:59 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

I remained undeterred shesaid.

...all for Auburn, stand up and hollar...

1:00 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Worst Cheer in History!!!!!!!

1:03 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

track 'em Tigers, just like beagles...

1:04 PM  
Blogger michael said...

Jay, you really think the schedule is the main reason for the downslide? You really think Kentucky and Arkansas are just that much better than Miss St and Tennessee? I must respectfully disagree.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

I love Two Bits as much as I love "Livin' on a Prayer" :)

1:04 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Eddie, you're a great guy but I want to say, you're standing on the tracks and the train's coming through butthead.

1:07 PM  
Blogger coosa said...

Nobody knows the location of the dry seats?

1:09 PM  
Blogger diggerforAu said...

JGT Good Q & A, answers are about as accurate as one can get from the outside looking in.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Just Like Tigers....

1:11 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

Good answers, Jay. I do think you characterize Auburn well.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Coosa- I do not know for certainty, but I can almost assure you that is above row 50.

1:12 PM  
Blogger §teveFC said...

michael, I think Arkansas and Kentucky are better when we played them and MSU and UT were when we played them. While other teams have improved, we have not.

1:14 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

What I would say to that Steve is that UT beat UGA 45-19 one week after we played them. They had given Florida a good battle two weeks before we played them.

I'm still sticking with the whole "we're just not playing well right now" story. Hopefully that changes on Saturday.

1:17 PM  
Blogger missinit said...

Sorry Eddie.............

but I love Two Bits! The late 60's and early 70's gave it a workout. I love old fashion, traditional things....kind of unique since old is out and hip is in with most of the young people today..

I know, I know, it's very old school, but you know what??????

IT WORKED!!!! It's simple, it's to the point, it's tried, it's true and it ain't broke!!!!!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Jet Plankton said...

Let's look at the schedule this way ... it's not only who they are, but when you play them.

Arkansas ... on the road ... at 11 a.m. ... after a road game ... makes that a tough game.

Kentucky ... sandwiched between a loss ... and LSU ... and a better team than we imagined.

LSU ... not a place this team was to go to and win.

Kentucky is the killer ... everything else is relatively (said in relative terms) understandable.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Jet Plankton said...


1:23 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Eddie, I went to a concert in Nashville the other night with my daughter. During the encore, all the previous performers came out on stage with Hanson and sang "Livin on a Prayer!" I thought of all you Hotties that love that song so much. Let me tell you, the kids at the Wild Horse Saloon were rockin it!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Eagle, Hey!

1:23 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Missinit- Let me rephrase my thoughts on it. Two Bits is not Auburn, it's any team. It's generic. My high school did it and i'm pretty sure every school i've ever been that had athletics. My wording was too strong, but it's definitely my least favorite because it can be done at any school. Trackem' and Bodda Getta are great because they are original.

1:25 PM  
Blogger E-Bro said...

Keep up the good work folks. I'm hittin' the road for a quick trip to Huntsville.

War Damn Eagle!!

Beat Ole Miss!!

1:26 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Kathy- Was that the Hanson concert? If so, i'm surprised Bro's and my sister wasn't there. She usually never misses a Hanson concert within 3 hours of Chattanooga.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Jet Plankton said...

Kick 'em in the butt Big Blue!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

1:32 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Yes Eddie, it was Hanson. It was my daughter's 5th Hanson concert. We even traveled to Myrtle Beach for one of their concerts! I have to say their music now is much better than their music 10 years ago, mmmmmmmbop!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Kathy- When I first saw a Hanson video I thought they were all girls. Seriously.

My Sister has probably been to 10+ if I had to guess.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

I'm surprised Tyrik was made available for the interview. It was a good short read.

1:38 PM  
Blogger scottie burns said...

the Tyrik Express said wha???

1:47 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

Someone get the pads...



I'm sorry, this thread has flatlined.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Ole Miss is going to know what pain is come Saturday. We will win because we have to.

2:39 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I hope you are right Sean.

Ole Miss needs this win as well though.

2:49 PM  
Blogger michael said...

You sold my dead bird to a blind kid?

2:49 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

it died with the multiple Hanson references, it will kill a blog fast, Ive seen it happen..:)

2:52 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

PDWT- LOL, literally.

2:55 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...


2:55 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

I just checked sporting news and, and one to three people on their panel picked us to win. So there are some that still think we can turn it around. If we dont this weekend then I suspect we dont get mentioned again until the bama game only as fodder.

2:57 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

Sporting News also said Dyer canceled his press conference to announce his decision. who knows I am bored....zzzzzzzzzz...

Speaking of songs at the game, who's tired of that ohha ohha song, the techno one they now play at every stadium, high school, college...that song has become the pet rock and macarena of our time. Someone please kill it.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Nervous jhag said...

yaaaay go team

3:00 PM  
Blogger scottie burns said...


3:01 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

I just bought the teeth Kodi Burns lost the other night on Ebay. It will go great with my collection. I plan on sitting in my curio cabinet right next to Erica Ramseys tape recorder.

3:11 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

Ok, lets get a hand count. Who is going to go see Michael Jacksons movie "This is it" ?

3:12 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

I just ordered my Phil Snowe ring tone.

3:16 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

Alabama Headlines:

Take and Bribe as mayor go to jail-Birmingham mayor.

Paddle young boys with your pants off-get off free-Mobile judge.

Makes me proud to see justice.

3:17 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

My wifes cooking stove top stuffing, whos coming over?

3:18 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

This has become a blog for my inner ADD thoughts....

3:18 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

Who thinks the Office has suffered since Jim and Pam got together?

Who thinks Jim from the Office will never star in a good movie because he will always be Jim?

Who thinks Stanley and Andy should get more lines on the Office?

3:20 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

They say the enviroment will be saved if we eat less beef and the cows will have less gas to produce methane that destroys the ozone.

So cows didnt fart years ago? Its a new thing?

3:21 PM  
Blogger LuvAU41 said...

Excellent answers, Jay G! It's nice to hear your perspective on Auburn's situation.

3:21 PM  
Blogger patdyeswildturkey said...

I saw Paranormal Activity at the movies last weekend, very freaking scary, like Blair witch project, very low budget but scary as hell. Its no Michael Jackson movie where you pay $10 to watch Michael rehearse to songs you have heard before but it was pretty good.

3:23 PM  
Blogger michael said...

pdwt - I think the office has been as good as ever with the development of the Jim and Pam thing. I have never cared too much about that part of the story anyway, so it has made no difference for me.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

Tell him no Michael, tell him, Not Dwight.

3:26 PM  
Blogger michael said...

The Blair Witch Project was perhaps the least scary movie I have seen in my entire life. It was not even Disney kid movie scary.

3:28 PM  
Blogger LuvAU41 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

The least scariest movie I ever saw was "Wrong Turn." It is also, quite possibly, the dumbest.

3:29 PM  
Blogger michael said...

There was a really dumb suspense movie a couple of years ago with Stephen Dorf and Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone. It was really ridiculously bad.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Jet Plankton said...

PDWT ...

I don't watch The Office and can't take the Jim guy seriously in anything anyway. I remember seeing him in the movie with Clooney and Renee Zellweger, who when compared to Jennifer Aniston set off a brouhaha months ago on HABOTN.

I'm a big fan of the Hanson Brothers. I loved Slap Shot. I wonder if Jay G aspires to be Dickie Dunn.

3:43 PM  
Blogger LuvAU41 said...

Where is everyone? It's Friday eve!

3:43 PM  
Blogger Comm'r of Flesh Wounds said...


Your bird's not dead ... it's just resting.

3:43 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

As far as The Office question goes, I don't think the show has dropped off.

I also think Stanley needs a bigger role as does Creed.

3:49 PM  
Blogger J. Kev said...

Jay G will get some bonus Jackson radio love at 5:15 with our afternoon guy, Ben Ingram.

And don't forget "Hatin' with Jay G" at 9:05 tomorrow.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Thursday Night Live tonight.

Be there or be rectangular.

Would you all be interested in a CiL chat after that? Or Campfire?

4:23 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

That Q and A had all the substance of a campfire only it involved pros on both ends (no offense to the hotties).

4:24 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...


4:24 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Of course! Two votes. Two different ideas.

4:25 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

Hey..I finally saw one of the new 27 inch iMacs today. Sweeeeeeeet!

4:27 PM  
Blogger WarEagleRK said...

I will be rectangular at the Joe Bonamassa concert tonight, so I'll miss out on the fun.

However if I were here, I'd vote for the CiL, it is much easier to follow if a lot of people are involved.

4:29 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

Whenever I take part in a Puppet Hour, I'm always reminded of this.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I have asked Julianne Moore to attend tonight's festivities.

I'll let you know what she says.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Jim in Scranton said...

I'm hurt, Jet. Really hurt.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Jet L. Pato said...

I don't think Ole Miss is all it's quacked up to be.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Jet L. Pato said...

Jim ...

I'm sorry. My advice: ride the cash cow 'til she bucks.

4:38 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...


My workplace just took delivery of a Mac Pro desktop, powered by dual 2.93 Ghz Quad-Core Xeons, with 16 GB of RAM.

It's, ummm, kinda fast.

4:39 PM  
Blogger FSJ said...

Yeah..when I have several grand lying around I'll get one of those Freep..


4:42 PM  
Blogger michael said...


4:53 PM  
Blogger michael said...

And just like that, this Puppet Hour is OVAH!!!

5:00 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Jim? Where have you been, homes?

It's been months.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Campfire most definetily.

The office still is very good. More lines should go to creed and Toby. I love the show.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

Dang, so much for taking my son to see his first AU SEC game! My wife just called and told me that he has a fever of 101. I sure hope he's better in time to do a little trick-or-treating Saturday night.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

when is the campfire?

6:18 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said...

I assume it's at 7:00 CDT, but don't know for sure.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

Rain all day Saturday in Auburn? Why am I not surprised?

6:35 PM  
Blogger Scott Chocolate said... has rain chances in Auburn at 50% for Saturday. Given this year's gameday weather thus far, that's probably the same as 100%.

6:40 PM  
Blogger AU MikeyC said...

I am coming up from Mobile tomarrow. So Kathy stop the rain.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I wish I could Mikey.

6:46 PM  
Blogger FearlessFreep said...

Very sad story on NEWSHOUR right now about concussion-related dementia amongst former NFLers.

Featured former Baltimore Colt WR John Mackey.

6:48 PM  
Blogger AU MikeyC said...

anyone going to the block party tomarrow night?

6:49 PM  
Blogger scottie burns said...

JIM IN SCRANTON LIVES! congrats on the nuptuals homes.

Julianne Moore....nice.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Kathy said...

MIkey, I won't be in Auburn until Sat morning.

6:58 PM  
Blogger BinOBA said...

won't make that ole miss game, wedding reception got booked, hopefully the iron bowl and one more is in my future....

7:00 PM  

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