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WRAPPIN IT UP: LSU wins, 31-10

Hey everyone. You may or may not want to read this stuff. A former Facebook friend said tonight that I've had a "chip on my shoulder since the Chizik hire."

Man, I wonder if we're all on the same planet sometimes.

  • Auburn had 193 yards of offense. Yes. I also thought it was more like 100.

  • Auburn ran 61 plays.

  • Wideouts caught two passes.

  • Auburn allowed four sacks.

  • LB Eltoro Freeman, back on defense for the first time in three weeks, finished with 12 tackles. Not too shabby.

  • Chris Todd in 3+ quarters of play: 8-14, 47 yards, 1 INT

  • Neil Caudle in >1 quarter of play: 3-5, 34 yards, 1 TD

  • Joshua Bynes on Freeman: ``Eltoro did what he was supposed to do out there tonight. He had great execution. He was taking one play at a time. He was doing exactly what we asked of him."

  • Gus Malzahn on the situation: ``You get confidence by doing things right and making plays. I still think this offense is capable of being very good. We just have to find a way to correct the mistakes and make some plays to give us momentum."

  • Malzahn on Chris Todd: ``Tough night. We’ll look at the film, look at everybody and see what happens."

  • Malzahn on Neil Caudle: ``I thought he did a solid job. It’s tough for a quarterback to come in that situation."

  • Walt McFadden on the team's psyche: ``We’ve just got to keep communicating, keep fighting and don’t put our heads down. We’ve got to let everybody know we’re here and we’re going to keep playing hard every game."

  • McFadden on what Chizik said afterward: ``He basically told us what it was. He kept it real with us. That team came out and they gave us their all. They whooped our butts. They’re a great team. We have to learn from our mistakes and try to make sure it doesn’t happen next week."

2nd half: Auburn @ LSU

Hey everyone. We're watching -- and commenting on -- the second half of Auburn's game at Louisiana State University.

  • LSU POSSESSION ONE: TOUCHDOWN. Brandon LaFell 17 pass from Jordan Jefferson. PAT kick good. Drive covered 45 yards in four plays.
      LSU 24, AUBURN 0

  • AUBURN POSSESSION ONE: FIELD GOAL. Wes Byrum 24 yards. Drive covered 53 yards in nine plays.
      LSU 24, AUBURN 3


  • AUBURN POSSESSION TWO: PUNT. Auburn burrowed into LSU territory, but the drive faded fast once it crossed mid-field.

  • LSU POSSESSION THREE: TOUCHDOWN. Russell Shepard 70 run. PAT kick good. That's a wrap, kids.
      LSU 31, AUBURN 3

    I'm no longer updating this in real-time because, well, I have to write and I know how this one is going to end.

1st half, Auburn @ LSU

Welcome to the first half of Auburn's game at LSU.

  • AUBURN POSSESSION ONE: PUNT. Auburn had a 4th-and-1 ... then was called for offsides. That's a wrap.

  • LSU POSSESSION ONE: TOUCHDOWN. Terrance Tolliver 14 pass from Jordan Jefferson. PAT kick good. Drive covers 83 yards in eight plays. Auburn was called for three penalties: Pass interference on Neiko Thorpe, personal foul on Zac Etheridge and encroachment on Nick Fairley.
      LSU 7, AUBURN 0

  • AUBURN POSSESSION TWO: PUNT. Three and out. Not much going on there.

  • LSU POSSESSION TWO: MISSED FIELD GOAL. 49 yards. It's Josh Jasper's fault.

  • AUBURN POSSESSION THREE: FUMBLE. Chris Todd sacked from the blind side, lost the ball.

  • LSU POSSESSION THREE: Jordan Jefferson 15 scramble. PAT kick good. Drive covered 17 yards in three plays.
      LSU 14, AUBURN 0

  • AUBURN POSSESSION FOUR: INTERCEPTION. Chris Hawkins got it for LSU. It was a really nice catch and a really poor decision on the throw.

  • LSU POSSESSION FOUR: FUMBLE. Jordan Jefferson fumbled at the two (caused by Zac Etheridge) and Craig Stevens recovered in the endzone.

  • AUBURN POSSESSION FIVE: Four-and-out. Nothing going on. Todd is indecisive.

  • LSU POSSESSION FIVE: PUNT. Jordan Jefferson was pressured for the first time.

  • AUBURN POSSESSION SIX: Auburn was moving, got into a 2nd-and-19 situation (on another Chris Todd fumble) and it was over.


  • AUBURN POSSESSION "SEVEN": Philip Pierre-Louis fumbles the punt return and LSU recovered.

  • LSU POSSESSION SEVEN: FIELD GOAL. 32 yards. Josh Jasper has no problem with it. Drive covered 22 yards in six plays.
      LSU 17, AUBURN 0

Welcome to Tiger Stadium

Hey everyone. We have arrived here at LSU's Tiger Stadium, where a lot of people are outside drinking heavily.

Heard on my way in: ``We've finished the Absolut. Now it's time for Seagram's."

  • Eltoro Freeman is starting at weak-side linebacker.

  • Hot Carter is starting at strong end.

  • Anthony Gulley now is wearing the No. 8 jersey.

GAME DAY: Auburn @ LSU

Hey everyone. Welcome to Game Day No. 8. Your Auburn Tigers will play at spacious, old and loud Tiger Stadium in a matter of hours.

The game will be televised by ESPN2. It'll be in HD, too.

I'm planning to head out around 3:30 p.m.

Here is my guide to Le Game:



When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.

Current Line: LSU by 7.5

Opening line: LSU by 8.

On the air: TV – ESPN2. Radio — WLWI-FM 92.3, WMSP-AM 740


1. Auburn is a team in limbo right now. Wins in the first five games
provided confidence that coach Gene Chizik's ideas worked. The
offensive clicked. Defensive problems were a real issue, but gobs of
points soothed the pain. Now the offense is in the tank. Auburn scored
a single offensive touchdown against Kentucky last week. It seems that
opponents have learned how to defend Gus Malzahn's offense. Everything
this team aspires to accomplish this season rests on its ability to
score points. Fourteen is not enough. Fourteen won't be enough.

2. Chris Todd should be on a milk carton. Auburn fans have seen this
story before -- the hyped quarterback starts off strongly then fades
badly at in October. Is this 2008? The problem then was Todd's
shoulder, which finally because a season-ending nuisance. Will that
happen again? Todd says his shoulder is fine. Chizik says the shoulder
is fine. So does Malzahn. Still, facts are facts. Todd has missed at
least a dozen straightforward throws during the past two weeks. If
that trend continues, Auburn will struggle to win more than six games
this season.

3. Auburn's defensive struggles are overstated. When Chizik hired
Malzahn and promised to create the same frenzied offense seen at
Tulsa, defensive regression was all but assured. The Tigers no longer
are a ball-control team. The defense's job is tougher now. Touchdown
prevention was the theme prior to 2009. Now it's all about touchdown
management -- simply slowing the touchdown flow. It's unfair to say
the Tigers' defense choked against Kentucky. It allowed 21 points.
That's supposed to be enough.

4. Auburn has become a sociological experiment of sorts during the
past three weeks. A 5-0 start stoked expectations well beyond where
they should have been. This is a flawed team and has been a flawed
team all along. Then came the loss at Arkansas. The home loss to
Kentucky. Now message boards are loaded with discussions about
Chizik's worthiness, Malzahn's ability and Ted Roof's competence.
Those three guys are working with the same 77 scholarship players and
running the same schemes. If Auburn finishes 6-6, some will say it was
a disaster. I'll say that's one game ahead of what I predicted in

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn vs. LSU defensive coordinator
John Chavis

Malzahn's offense is crippled. The substantive pass plays that
characterized the Tigers' first five games have all but disappeared.
The problem? Part is quarterback Chris Todd, who suddenly is
struggling to make routine throws. Another element of Auburn's problem
involves strategy. Arkansas and Kentucky used few blitzes and played
reactive defense, which suffocated Auburn's offense. Receivers who had
been open during the first month now have defenders in tow. It's up to
Malzahn to devise new twists that expose that defensive strategy.
Chavis, who managed several excellent defenses at Tennessee, surely
will follow the blueprint provided by Arkansas and Kentucky. Malzahn
now must evolve.


Tommy Trott
TE, 6-5, 245, Sr.

Trott has been one of the most intriguing player-development stories
of the past 10 years. He arrived at Auburn as a ready-made receiver
who couldn't block. Over time, he has become a major blocking asset.
He is a major reason why the Tigers' rushing attack works so well.
Defenses have allocated more resources toward shutting down Gus
Malzahn's deep-pass emphasis, which means areas behind the linebackers
are open more often that before. That could create an ideal
opportunity for Trott to emerge as a passing-game threat. He has the
hands to make plays. He seems to understand the offense well. The only
obstacle seems to be Malzahn's infatuation with wideouts Darvin Adams
and Terrell Zachery.


1 -- Number of players who signed with LSU out of an Alabama high
school. (Dothan native Josh Williford plays offensive line.)

2 -- Number of linebackers (Craig Stevens and Joshua Bynes) who
already have more tackles this season than in all of 2008.

5 -- Number of sacks allowed by Auburn this season, which is seventh
fewest among FBS teams.

7 -- Number of night games Auburn has played this season, which
already is second-most in school history. The record is eight.

9 -- Number of wins, out of its previous 14 games, that Auburn has earned
against teams ranked in the Associated Press' top 10.

92 -- Combined number of career starts for Auburn's first-team offensive line.

553 -- Yards needed for Ben Tate to catch Joe Cribbs (2,815) for
fourth place on Auburn's career rushing list.


I've been wrong during the past two weeks. Totally wrong. My track
record isn't the best, but I still believe Auburn is going to surprise
someone soon. LSU is not a great team this season. Its statistical
markers aren't indicative of a team ranked among the nation's 10 best,
so there will be a correction of sorts at some point. Why not today?
Auburn's defense played OK against Kentucky. LSU's attack is less
formidable. It's reasonable to believe the Tigers could hold LSU to 21
points or less this weekend. Can the offense get itself together long
enough to build four scoring drives? I think it can. Smooth
performances will be rare given Chris Todd's problems, but Auburn will
put everything together at some point. Conditions seem ripe for a
revival tonight.

Auburn 24, LSU 21.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Radio Appearance Forthcoming

Hey everyone. I will be doing my weekly segment on SuperSport 930 out of Jackson, Miss., in a bit. That extravaganza will begin around 9:05 a.m. CDT.

We'll be talkin' Auburn and other stuff. You know how it goes.

Please enjoy.

All we have are the embers

Hey everyone. We had another wildly successful Campfire® on Thursday night.

A total of 355 people attended the chat in all, which is great. Thanks for spending your Thursday night with the HABOTN.

HOTTIES who went the distance Thursday: Nurse Cincy, Eddie, KMO, FSJ, Zimas4Zimeba and jhag, who supports purity rings.

Thursday Night LIVE



4th Quarter

Hey everyone. We're listening to Tiger Talk, coach Gene Chizik's weekly radio show, and watching Florida State @ North Carolina on ESPN.

Please stand and sing.

  • On practice: This team is very resilient. They've always really bounced back. They're really excited to go to Baton Rouge and play there. How can you not be?

  • How is the mood: "This is football. You've got to know you have to take the bad with the good. We've had plenty of good. We move on. You have to have a short memory either way."

  • Season is still meaningful?: ``We still have so much to play for. We're a good football team."

  • Stan from Haleyville, who was at the UK game, wants to know how Chizik handles a team that's short on players: ``We're good. We know we're going to battle 'em every week. We have a football team that I really like. We've got a resilient team."

  • Roy from Atmore, who has no eligibility remaining, wants to know about recruiting: ``We're going to be there."

  • Donnie from Cullman wants to know ... nothing. No question. : ``We have the best fans in the country. You are evidence of that."

  • Now he has a question. He wants to know how calm he is, really, during games: ``I'm involved with pretty much everything. I've hired great coaches. I've got to let them do their job. It's just like when I was a coordinator -- I wanted to be able to do my job. We definitely have dialog going on during the game."

  • Curtis wants his friend Nick to say something to Chizik. Nick says War Eagle. Question was kinda about Trooper Taylor being less active: ``I haven't seen many days when he's slowed down."

  • Facebook question from Matt ... about blitzing: ``We feel good about trying to pressure LSU some. You've got to be very prudent about when you choose to do it and how you choose to do it."

  • Jeff from Dothan wants to know about the team's weak tackling ... and he wants to know why it's happening in the first quarter: ``Our tackling, obviously as we've said numerous weeks, we have to get better at it. We're getting them into positions where they can make the tackles. There's times when we're just overpursuing. We've got a lot of room for improvement."

  • On Aairon Savage: ``He's great. He's a great, great motivator for our kids."

  • On Eltoro: "We're looking forward to seeing him play this weekend."

  • Steve from Hueytown wants to know why Ziemba is jumping offside: ``Great question. Let's not limit that to Lee Ziemba, OK? It's not just him. We've had way too many penalties on both sides of the ball. We do what we need to do to address the problem. The last two games have been penalty-fests. We've addressed that at practice. We've addressed it in team meetings. We've just got to deliver on Saturday night."

  • On the energy at Tiger Stadium: ``This is the SEC. You've got to deal with the noise level. There's going to be 92,000 there and loud and wild and the whole deal. That's what makes the league great."

  • Doug on a cell phone is meandering about the offense and the Meerkat Manor stuff and he believes it causes a momentum change. He says the defense adjusts every time you do it. He also wants to know if Chris Todd can do stuff: ``Chris Todd does a really nice job. Part of that is to rest the defense. We'll get up there ... and we'll slow the game down if we need to do that. We think it's a good thing."

  • Eric from Facebook wants to know about opposing quarterbacks taking deep drops: ``There are times when their quarterbacks take deeper drops. That's usually on play-action passes. That's also with max protect. For us to be able to pressure these guys, we'll have to be able to do it with our defensive ends in four-man rush and the linebackers in blitz."

  • On Hot Carter: ``He's getting healthier as the days go on."

  • Charles from Homewood wants to know if Auburn does walk-throughs at visiting stadia ... and what they do on Friday nights: ``We have our walk-throughs before we leave on the plane. We try to do everything the same here -- whether it's a home game or an away game. We do the walk-through, we get on the plane and get to the venue. At the hotel, we try to make it very relaxing for them. We try to let them get away a little bit."

    "A lot of people believe you need to take your young guys, the guys who haven't seen it, just so they can get the mystique out of their system. We've talked about doing that."

  • Zeke from north Alabama wants to know why Josh Bynes is slow and why Dee Ford can't play linebacker: ``I like Dee Ford. I'll take that into high consideration."

  • Nick from Webb (?), who is on a cell phone and barely audible, wants to know about Trooper Taylor: "That's probably not the case. He's great for our players. He's an excitable guy. He ain't changin'."

  • Aaron from Tuscaloosa wants to know if Auburn will be wearing home colors: ``We'll be wearing away jerseys. That's what they have told me."

  • Aaron also wants to know about Clinton Durst and why his kicks are ... not that great: ``He's been a little bit inconsistent in the games. That's a fact. He's been kicking well in practice. Inconsistent there, too. You can't pinpoint it to bad kicks. He's had his moments."

  • Phillip from Alabaster was DOA.

  • Steve from Headland, a big fan who loves everything Chizik is doing, wants to know why the tempo has changed so abrupt since the West Virginia game: ``I don't necessarily agree with that at all. Theer are times when we want to go high-tempo and there's times when we have to give the defense a break. It's a team game. You have to take things into consideration. We're going to continue to do what's best for us to win games."

  • James from Opp wants to know why the pocket collapses so often and why Caudle doesn't play much: ``Here's the deal: We're first in the league in sacks given up. I don't think that's quite right, James. Is there pressure? Yes. That's going to happen with every football team. I'm really proud of our offensive line and the running games ... because they're involved with the protections. And the quarterbacks for getting the ball off."

  • On the offensive line: He's just gushing all over the starters and reserves. "I think they've done a phenomenal job. Coach Grimes has those guys playing physical."

  • He's gushing all over the Auburn-LSU series. ``The rivalries are all over the league."

  • Stephen from Jacksonville wants to know why Auburn's punt-return team doesn't give the return man time to move ... and why Todd doesn't find open receivers: "We've done both. We've rushed the punter. We've held up. We've mixed it up. We're just trying to make sure we've got a guy back there who can catch it. On Chris ... I can show you a lot of (passes) he did hit."

  • Phillip from Alabaster, who seems out of breath, is back from the dead and he wants to know why the Wildcat formation doesn't work very well: ``We've got a whole plethora of things we can do with the Wildcat. With the naked eye, it make look like the same runs. We've studied the game film. We don't just haphazardly decide when to run it. It all goes back to execution. If it's not executed well, it's not going to work. We feel good about it."

    "Execution is the name of the game."

  • Bubba from Newville, an Auburn man, wants Chizik to give 'em hell. No question: ``We're going to continue to grow Auburn men."

  • Keith from Dothan, who is glad Chiz is back in Auburn, wants to know about getting up for LSU or something: ``They've been great. When you play the game of football, you've got to move on and have a short memory -- whether you win or lose."

  • "I promise our football team will fight."

  • That's a wrap.

Believe it Or Not

Hey everyone. I received this in the inbox not too long ago and, honestly, I decided to let it sit for a minute. Seems impossible.

Here's what it said:
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn senior Chris Todd is one of 10 quarterbacks that have been added to the watch list for the 2009 Manning Award, the Allstate Sugar Bowl announced Thursday. The preseason watch list was expanded to include players whose play during the 2009 season warranted
inclusion on the watch list.

Todd has completed 106-of-190 passes for 1,443 yards and 12 touchdowns
with just two interceptions this season, while leading Auburn to a 5-2
record. He is ranked 17th nationally in yards per completion (13.61),
tied for 21st in touchdown passes (12) and 37th in passing efficiency
(149.45). His average of 206.1 passing yards per game is No. 4 in the

Todd has established a career high in passing yards three times this
season, with a season best of 287 yards against Ball State. He tied the
school record for touchdown passes in a game with five against the
Cardinals, one week after he threw four scoring passes against West
Virginia. He became the first Auburn quarterback ever to throw at least
four touchdown passes in back-to-back games.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of
the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.
It is the only quarterback award that takes into consideration the
candidates' bowl performances.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Le Chat: 2 p.m. CDT

Harry Adams out

Hey everyone. Just a quick note to say that, yes, Harry Adams has been dismissed from the Auburn football team.

A trusted Auburn official says it's for a violation of team rules.

Adams was a reserve cornerback who occasionally played in place of Walt McFadden. He was last thrust into duty at Arkansas. Asked about Adams' performance, coach Gene Chizik said: ``Average -- at best."

Auburn now has three (maybe four) scholarship cornerbacks on the roster:

Neiko Thorpe
Demond Washington
D'Antoine Hood, who has moonlighted at safety between ankle treatment sessions.

First post: Thursday of Week Eight

Hey everyone. Are you still waiting for Paul Finebaum to drop his big scoop on the air? You know the one: It's supposed to damage Auburn and elicit panic attacks from fans as far away as Guam. It's that explosive. It may have to do with Eric Smith. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe Tuberville snitching to the NCAA?

Don't hold your breath.

People don't reveal scoops until they have them nailed down. For real. So when someone says they have a scoop but will not discuss it, call Sidd Finch, Paul Bunyan or the elusive Yeti for more information.

Radio, in almost all cases, is entertainment. Remember that.

Here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




Big day today for HABOTN interaction. We'll be running a Cover It Live® chat this afternoon beginning at 2 o'clock CDT. That's 3 p.m. EDT and tomorrow in Guam. Please note the time and be there. Represent.

Also, we'll be doing Thursday Night Live here on the HABs. Tiger Talk blawggin begins at 7 p.m. CDT and then we'll campfire during the (sure-to-be-underwhelming) Florida State @ North Carolina game.

Here's what the next few days look like. All times are CDT:

Thu., Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m. (Tiger Talk @ 7 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 23, Flying to Baton Rouge, 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. vs. LSU, ESPN2
Sun., Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 26, OFF
Tue., Oct. 27, 4:30 p.m. (Chizik presser at 11:30 a.m.)
Wed., Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m. (Tiger Talk at 7 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 30, OFF
Sat., Oct. 31, 11:20 a.m. vs. Ole Miss (SEC Network)

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

SEC suspends an officiating crew

Hey everyone. The Southeastern Conference has suspended one of its officiating crews after it was judged to have made an incorrect personal-foul call for a second consecutive week.

The crew that penalized Georgia WR A.J. Green for unsportsmanlike conduct against LSU two weeks ago (a call the SEC rebuked) also made an errant personal foul call in last weekend's Florida-Arkansas game.

Here's the official release:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (October 21, 2009) -- The officiating crew from Saturday’s Arkansas at Florida football game will be removed from its next scheduled assignment on Oct. 31 and will not be assigned to officiate as a crew until Nov. 14, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive announced Wednesday.

“A series of calls that have occurred during the last several weeks have not been to the standard that we expect from our officiating crews,” said Slive. “I believe our officiating program is the best in the country, however, there are times when these actions must be taken.”

Following each weekend, the conference office reviews games from the previous week, using video replays as well as interviews with officials, coaches and administrators.

“While only a few calls have been identified, the entire crew shoulders responsibility for each play. I have taken this action because there must be accountability in our officiating program,” added Slive. “Our institutions expect the highest level of officiating in all of our sports and it is the duty of the conference office to uphold that expectation.”

In addition, there will be an impact on eligibility for post-season bowl assignments for the crew.

More Tidbittage for your brain

Hey everyone. What a swell day here in Montgomery, where it's sunny and 72 degrees. I enjoy days like this.

I was in a bit of a hurry last night, so let's take a deeper look at some things that have been said this week.
  • Gus Malzahn on how he's going to improve things: ``Any time you're with a new offense the first year, you're learning them. You're putting in what you think we can do successfully -- what they can do successfully. Each week, you're evolving to how you think the offense should be. To answer the question, yes. The same thing happened the first year at Tulsa and you've just got to make corrections. It's more about us just executing a little bit better."

    ---->HABOTN says: I don't understand all the talk about execution. I know it's important for the coaches to establish, for the players' sake, the belief that execution always is the problem. Yet, honestly, do you believe that? Do you think Chris Todd would pass better if more attention was paid to execution? Would routes be more open?

  • Malzahn on if Auburn's struggles affect him personally: ``It should motivate you. It should motivate all of us to do better. If we're all competitors, that's what I challenge our offense to do. We've got to step up and find a way to help our team win. That's what competitors do. We're looking forward to this next game. We're looking forward to redeeming ourselves and we've got to find a way to do that against a very good defense."

  • Josh Bynes breaking down Saturday's game: ``LSU is going to run the football first. That’s what they’ll try to establish -- and that’s something will try to shut down to be successful. That’s what you’ve seen all year: A lot of teams that have been hanging with LSU have been penetrating their gaps, stopping their runs. The key to the game is to try to let the quarterback beat us."

  • Lee Ziemba on playing at LSU: ``I don't dread it at all. I don't dread anything, going to play anywhere. That was a good game my freshman year (in 2007). I enjoyed playing there in that big stadium as a young'un . It was unfortunate what happened, but we have a good game plan and we want to down there and show that we're a good team. And show that not only can we compete, but we can beat these guys. We know we can beat these guys."

  • Ben Tate on the possibility of a team-wide emotional meltdown: ``This year we’re a lot more together. We’re a family. We believe in each other and we believe in these coaches. I can’t see us having a big collapse and spiraling down and out of control like we did last year. I can’t see that happening."

  • Michael Goggans on the first thing that goes when a player gets tired: ``It does reach a point where you just get very fatigued out there and your body starts to wear down, but it's more of a mind thing. You know you don't very much depth behind you, so you've just got to go in there with that mind-set, that you've got to push through it. We can't use that as an excuse. We've just got to learn to finish."

Photo credit: Dave Martin/Associated Press

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

Refresher Course: Wednesday

Hey everyone. I hope you're not buying into this talk that Tommy Tuberville is snitching on Auburn or Alabama or South Dakota State or Manchester City F.C. As I said in the blog, think about what you hear. Does it make sense for a coach who is seeking employment to gain a reputation as a snitch?

Plus, you know what Carmelo Anthony thinks about snitchin'.

We'll talk about this more if you'd like. Anybody with a mic in front of them can allege anything. If someone has the goods, they'll spill it. If not, they'll keep quiet fearing that the top will be blown off an exclusive. Either way, claims that a certain radio host has explosive information yet isn't ready to discuss it publicly are a joke. Get real.

Here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




I'll be posting some player tidbits around 3 p.m. Please remember that Thursday will be busy around here: Cover It Live® Chat at 2 p.m. CDT and Thursday Night Live (w/ campfire) at 7 p.m. CDT.

Here's what the next few days look like. All times are CDT:

Wed., Oct. 21, 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m. (Tiger Talk @ 7 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 23, Flying to Baton Rouge, 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. vs. LSU, ESPN2
Sun., Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 26, OFF
Tue., Oct. 27, 4:30 p.m. (Chizik presser at 11:30 a.m.)
Wed., Oct. 28, 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 29, 4:30 p.m. (Tiger Talk at 7 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 30, OFF
Sat., Oct. 31, 11:20 a.m. vs. Ole Miss (SEC Network)

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Video d'Auburn, 10/20

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

Want to see it again? Missed it the first time?


Evening update, 10/20

Hey everyone. Player interviews have ended and, really, I have less to report than expected. It seems the Tigers' losing skid has prompted several players to skip out on interviews.

I'm fine with that and all. It just means less for you to read and discuss.

Here we go:

  • Gus Malzahn on today's practice: ``We had a good, physical practice. The guys got after it and had a pretty good focus. Just trying to get back to basics, correct the mistakes. Obviously we made way too many in the fourth quarter that probably cost us the game. We're just trying to correct that to where it will never happen again."

  • Malzahn, after saying passing problems were a team issue, on how bouncing a pass to Mario Fannin is a team issue: ``Yeah, there's certain plays, obviously, that the quarterback could have played better. He's played extremely well up until the last two games and even in the last two games, there's been things that he did well. What we've got to do is put him in some situations to be successful and make the plays."

  • Malzahn on Chris Todd's shoulder: ``I think Chris Todd is fine. I think any quarterback in the country, Week 8, that's thrown a little bit is maybe going to be a little bit different than the first game and I think he's no different than anybody else."

  • Joshua Bynes on tackling problems last week: ``Making a tackle has nothing to do with you being tired. It’s how you tackle them, the way you tackle them. We were just missing them. We were there. It was: how in the world do you miss them? Is it magic or something?"

  • Lee Ziemba on crowd noise: ``I remember the loudest place I ever played at was Florida my freshman year. That was unreal. I've either gotten used to it or just zoned it out, but you don't really notice it. There's not a big difference between 104,000 and 92,000. It all looks the same and it all sounds the same. It's just loud and you have to concentrate. It's really not that big of a difference."

  • Ben Tate on how the team is reacting to a pair of losses: ``There’s a lot of people upset. Losing two games back-to-back, that’s never good but we just see it as an opportunity. There’s probably not going to be a lot of people that expect us to go down there and do too much. But we can upset them and shock everyone and be talked about again.”

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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


Hello. I hope you're having a nice day.

  • He has arrived.

  • He's looking forward to going to Baton Rouge.

  • "We're still a very good football team. We have a chance to win every game we play."

  • On the passing game: "You can't pinpoint it on one thing. I don't believe in doing that. It's 11 guys. There are a lot of issues in there. We feel very strongly that we're going to get that rectified."

  • On Ashton Richardson, a walk-on, who is the son of a great LSU defender: ``He doesn't ask for anything. He does this because he loves football and loves Auburn. I'm proud for guys like that. He's provided a lot of help on special teams."

  • On LSU: "They're very talented. Big targets. A lot of guys with big bodies, fast guys. And three senior tailbacks. They've done some really good things."

  • On LSU TB Charles Scott: ``It's going to be a challenge for us. We've done some nice things against the run in most games. We've struggled at times. He is a very physical tailback. That's a mentality they live and die with."

  • Chizik has a lot of nice things to say about LSU's defense, too. Same 'ol.

  • On Auburn's run defense: ``It's going to be a challenge every week in this league with running games. Everybody can run the football. At times Saturday night, I was really proud of our defense. There were times when we let it get away from us a little bit. We've got to be able to hold up. It can't be three quarters; it has to be four quarters."

  • On if Chris Todd IS 100 PERCENT: ``Chris Todd is fine."

  • On how things change during the middle of the season: ``There are so surprises now. There is no newness anything. Everything at this point is about who executes better. It's that window of the year where you see a lot of crazy things happen."

  • On Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens: "It affects you with the way you practice. It affects you all the way through the week. It affects you on special teams. There are more who fall under that same umbrella. Two guys like that have been playing a lotta, a lotta football. (Games) 7, 8 and 9 is where you see it. They're tough guys. They can't come out. They don't have that luxury. They don't come out. That's not easy to do."

  • On if Eltoro Freeman will play at linebacker: "He has to earn it."

  • On if his team has lost a step because of the staffing situation: "In some cases. It doesn't matter. That can't be a reason. We have to go out and win football games. The reality is: Yes. It's a really fine line for us right now. We have to be very smart about how we approach every practice this time of year."

  • On if he relishes being the underdog: ``We don't talk about that. It doesn't matter if we're the overdog or the underdog. We don't pay attention."

  • On staying positive: "We're 5-2, not 2-5. Our guys know we have a good football team. Not one of our kids right now is ... we're not going there. Our coaches are very positive. Our kids are very positive. They know the things that help us win and they know the things that don't allow us to win. We're all on the same page. We're all marching in the same direction. We're moving on."

  • That's a wrap.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

First Post: Tuesday of Week Eight

Hey everyone. I know you're geeked about an early Ole Miss game. Should be a doozy at 38 degrees. Or maybe it'll be 65. Who knows?

Us newspaper hacks work several days ahead on some stories. Those of you who get the print edition of the Advertiser know about our Saturday GameDay section, which includes a prediction from moi.

That's due on Monday. Wanna know who I picked? I took Auburn. Here's why: LSU's set of statistics are ugly as can be (how can an SEC offense generate fewer yards than Vanderbilt?) and seem out of line for a team in the top 10. That bubble is going to burst soon. I think Auburn's offense will score 24 and the defense will concede 21.

Am I crazy? Maybe. I just think Auburn will click again at some point. I'm picking this weekend.

As Chizik would say, it'll be a day by day thing. Sometimes Auburn will be pretty good. Sometimes it'll be a mess. It's difficult to predict which team will appear each Friday.

Here's the Auburn situation at this moment:




We'll have BLAWGIN FOR YOUR NOGGIN around 11:25 p.m. That's when we relay almost everything Gene Chizik says at his 11:30 a.m. presser. Some players are available after that. Not many. Most players -- and Gustav Malzahn -- are available after practice. So we'll add a practice report and a video around 9 or 10.

Here's what the next few days look like. All times are CDT:

Tue., Oct. 20, 4:30 p.m. (Chizik presser at 11:30 a.m.; some players available around noon.)
Wed., Oct. 21, 4:30 p.m.
Thu., Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m. (Tiger Talk @ 7 p.m.)
Fri., Oct. 23, Flying to Baton Rouge, 1 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m. vs. LSU, ESPN2

Also, please pick up the Advertiser's print edition if you live around here! Our fine Auburn coverage is only one element of our award-winning product.

Ole Miss @ Auburn: Set your alarm clocks

Hey everyone. The network executives have spoken.

Auburn's home game against Ole Miss on Oct. 31 will begin at 11:21 a.m.

Here is the full SEC lineup for that day:

SEC Network -- 11:21 a.m., Ole Miss at Auburn
CBS -- 2:30 p.m., Georgia vs. Florida
FSN -- 6 p.m., Mississippi State at Kentucky
ESPNU -- 6 p.m., Eastern Michigan at Arkansas
CSS -- 6:30 p.m., Georgia Tech at Vanderbilt
ESPN -- 6:45 p.m., South Carolina at Tennessee
PPV -- 7 p.m., Tulane at LSU

Video interviews, 10/18

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

Want to see it again? Missed it the first time?


Auburn Commitment Tracker

Hey everyone. With Ed Christian now committed to the Tigers (for now), let's take a look at what Auburn has ... and how closely it fits what they need.

  • Linebacker
  • Offensive tackle
  • Defensive tackle
  • Cornerback
  • Wideout

OT Shon Coleman, Olive Branch, Miss.
LB Jake Holland, Pelham HS
WR Shaun Kitchens, Atlanta, Ga.
K Cody Parkey, Jupiter, Fla.
WR Jeremy Richardson, Springville HS
LB Jawara White, Troy
LB Jessel Curry, Buford, Ga.
CB Jonathan Mincy, Decatur, Ga.
DE Joel Bonomolo, Fullerton, Calif. (juco)
S Demetruce McNeal, College Park, Ga.
S D.J. Howard, Lincoln HS
WR Antonio Goodwin, Atlanta, Ga.
OG Chad Slade, Moody HS
DL Kenneth Carter, Greenville HS
DE Justin Delanie, Linden HS
LB LaDarius Owens, Jess Lanier HS
DE Craig Sanders, Ariton HS
K Steven Clark, Kansas City, Mo.
OT Ed Christian, Valdosta, Ga.

Offense: 6
Defense: 11
Kickers: 2

QB: 0
TB: 0
WR: 3
OT: 1
OG: 2

DT: 1
DE: 3
LB: 4
CB: 1
S: 2 *I'm counting D.J. Howard at safety.

Gene Chizik speaks, 10/19

Hey everyone. Here's a look at some of the stuff Gene Chizik had to say this afternoon:

  • On the Kentucky loss: ``Tough loss last night against Kentucky. We had our chances to win the football game. We didn't capitalize on those chances. We have to play much better to have a chance to win the game. We'll go back to work today."

  • On opponents catching on to what Auburn is doing: ``They have seen pretty much the gamut from us everywhere -- offensively, defensively. This time of the year, it's about how you're executing."

  • On what happened in the fourth quarter: ``It was a point in the game when we didn't execute. We killed the drives for whatever reason, then we had a few missed tackles when they got the ball back. It put us in a hole. I can't point out that it was fatigue. I don't know that."

  • On mid-season challenges: ``Games 7, 8, 9 in the college season are the most difficult games. There's nothing fresh. There's nothing new. It's just same, repeat. The ones that get lulled to sleep -- this is the point in the year when that can happen. It comes down to execution."

  • On Eltoro Freeman: ``We've got to get him working toward getting a better grasp. He missed a lot of football in two-a-days and early in the season. We have to get him caught up."

  • On keeping spirits high among players: ``This is new for us, this coaching staff. We make it very clear to our guy that we play through all the momentum swings -- the good and bad. The circumstances don't dictate who you are. We had a great week of practice. We had a chance to win the game. When those chances come, you have to take advantage of it. They'll keep playing hard every week. It's not an option."

  • On Chris Todd: ``We have named our starting quarterback. We've also seen him play very well. It's not just Chris. It's our whole team. It’s our offensive line at time. Nobody sees that. It our wide receivers blocking outside. Nobody sees that. He's got to get better."

  • On if Todd's shoulder could be to blame: ``No."

  • On recruiting: ``We've got a good idea of where we need to be. It's really going great."

  • On if wins and losses affect recruiting: ``It can. I don't think right now … with our commitments we've got, in my opinion, it's not going to make a difference one way or the other. Some guys want great opportunities to plays and that's one of the major factors. Everybody wants to win. I feel good about everything right now."

Christian commits

Hey everyone. Our friends at ITAT are reporting that OT Ed Christian, a native of Valdosta, Ga., has committed to the Tigers.

He made an official visit for the Kentucky game.

He is a 4-star recruit.

We'll have more on this as the day progresses.

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