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Auburn 63, Furman 31

Hey everyone. Well, that wasn't an interesting game.

Auburn was totally dominating the game to lengths I haven't seen since 2004. Then the second-team defense goes in the game and Furman kinda-sorta built a kinda-sorta challenge.

I mean, the Paladins scored four touchdowns during the second half. That Auburn defense wasn't the Auburn defense you know.

Anyway, here's what jumped out at me:
  • Furman was 0-for-7 on third down during the first half.

  • Furman had zero rushing yards in the first half.

  • Auburn had 30 first downs to Furman's 15.

  • Auburn finished with 655 yards.

  • Anthony Gulley was Auburn's leading rusher with 77 yards (on five carries).

  • Furman head coach Bobby Lamb: ``We obviously could not stop Auburn in
    the first half, their pace of the offense gave us trouble even though we
    worked on it all week in practice. They were hitting on all cylinders
    and they were very difficult to defend. Chris Todd was making so many
    great decisions, getting the ball spread around and going 17-for-18 with
    only one incomplete pass. They made some big plays."

  • Auburn WR/TB/CB Anthony Gulley: ``“I did not play with the offense all week, I played with the defense. Coach told me after the half that he was going to put me on offense, so I ran a little reverse and then he put me in the backfield. It was great to score a touchdown, especially since it was the first of my career.”

  • TB Ben Tate: ``“It was a great day. We came out and did what we were supposed to do. We really played well as a team. Everybody had their head in the game and there’s nothing else to say. We did what we had to do.”

  • S Daren Bates: ``"It's big for us. We need everyone to step up for Zac (Etheridge). People are going to have to fill in some places. It's good to be able to have some more people with that experience with the two games left on our schedule. They will be tough matchups for us."

  • Bates on painting "ZAC" on his left arm: ``I just wanted to … show him that I love him and I still want to be out there with him."

  • D'Angelo Benton, who caught six balls on Saturday: ``I feel like nobody can stop me now. I've got my confidence all the way up now so you all are going to see a lot from me."

  • Ted Rüf on Gulley and Auburn's defensive needs: ``We're searching everywhere. We're looking under every rock, every nook and cranny, trying to find some more guys. We're just so thin right now. He's an emergency guy. It looked like he did some good things out there."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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Furman @ Auburn, 2nd half

Welcome to the second half of this scintillating game.

Please enjoy.

REFRESHER: Auburn led 42-3 at halftime.

  • Furman first possession: TOUCHDOWN. 6 run. They were stopped on third down, punted, PPL fumbled the punt and Furman took control at the AU 6. Oops.
      AUBURN 42, FURMAN 10

  • Furman second possession: TOUCHDOWN. 19 run. Drive was prefaced by an Eric Smith fumble. Oops.
      AUBURN 42, FURMAN 17

  • Auburn third possession: TOUCHDOWN. Eric Smith 2 run. Drive covered 81 yards in 9 plays.
      AUBURN 49, FURMAN 17

  • Auburn fourth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Anthony Gulley 13 run. Drive covered 62 yards in 8 plays. Auburn now has 592 yards of offense.
      AUBURN 56, FURMAN 17

  • Furman fifth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Some dude scored on a 1 run. Drive covered 69 yards in 6 plays. Yummy.
      AUBURN 56, FURMAN 24

  • Auburn fifth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Anthony Gulley 50 run. Drive covered 61 yards in 3 plays.
      AUBURN 63, FURMAN 24

  • Furman sixth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Some Dude 17 pass from Another Dude. Drive covered 71 yards in 10 plays.
      AUBURN 63, FURMAN 31

Furman @ Auburn, 1st half

Hey everyone. OK, so a moment of self-disclosure. I thought this game started at 1 p.m. I was surprised to see the band out at 12:20 p.m.

Um. Yeah. That's on me.

It's Furman week. So what?

There are no significant roster changes to report. It's a beautiful day here at Jordan-Hare -- sunny, 70ish, not much wind. Sorry you're not here.

  • Auburn first possession: TOUCHDOWN. Darvin Adams 6 pass from Chris Todd. Drive covered 50 yards in six plays. No penalties. Big play was a 26-yard pass to Tommy Trott down the middle. There were four Furman defenders right there. I have no idea how that ball got through. Fannin returned the opening kickoff to the 50.
      AUBURN 7, FURMAN 0

  • Furman first possession: FIELD GOAL. 23 yards. Drive covered 51 yards in 12 plays. Three of them were runs. It's quick passing, crossing routes, quick throws into the flats. Over and over.
      AUBURN 7, FURMAN 3

  • Auburn second possession: TOUCHDOWN. Ben Tate 9 run. Drive covered 80 yards in 8 plays. Todd completed three consecutive passes -- to Eric Smith (3), Smith (10) and D. Adams (20). Then he gained 12 yards on an option keeper. Not too shabby.
      AUBURN 14, FURMAN 3

  • Furman second possession: Three-and-out.

  • Auburn third possession: TOUCHDOWN. Mario Fannin 24 pass from Todd. Drive covered 73 yards in 5 plays. Tigers finish the drive with two long passes -- one to Darvin Adams (21 yards) and then the throw to Fannin.
      AUBURN 21, FURMAN 3

  • Furman third possession: Three-and-out.

  • Auburn fourth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Darvin Adams 23 pass from Chris Todd. Drive covered 55 yards in 4 plays. Two big plays -- a 30-yard run from Fannin and the scoring pass to Adams. It's gettin' ugly.
      AUBURN 28, FURMAN 3

  • Furman fourth possession: Three-and-out.

  • Auburn fifth possession: TOUCHDOWN. Darvin Adams 41 pass from Chris Todd. Drive covered 71 yards in 6 plays. Auburn now has 345 yards of offense and Todd is 12-for-12.
      AUBURN 35, FURMAN 3

  • Furman fifth possession: I'm not paying attention to Furman possessions anymore.

  • Auburn sixth possession: Finally a Furman stop! Auburn's drive dissolved at the AU 32. Todd had his consecutive completion streak ended at 14. Kodi Burns dropped a pass.

  • Auburn seventh possession: TOUCHDOWN. Ben Tate 5 run. Drive covered 56 yards in 5 plays. It's not even competitive.
      AUBURN 42, FURMAN 3


Dyer commits to the Tigers

Hey everyone. Our friends at, who have ace reporter Jeffrey Lee on the ground in Arkansas, are reporting that tailback Michael Dyer has committed to play football at Auburn.

Dyer stands 5-foot-8 and weighs approximately 200 pounds. He is Arkansas' all-time rushing leader with 7,566 yards and 74 touchdowns.

``Coach (Gus) Malzahn is a really good coach and I respect his offense a lot. I know he would do really good things," Dyer told "People promise good things, but I have a great idea that he would do the things that he says he will."

ESPN lists Dyer as the nation's No. 1 prep tailback. and rank Dyer third.

More to come on this development.

Photo credit:

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Radio Appearance in Progress

Hey everyone. I will be doing my weekly segment on SuperSport 930 out of Jackson, Miss., in a bit. That extravaganza ended around 9:30 CST.

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

I hope you enjoyed it. I sure did.

Le Chat: 2 p.m. CST

Chattin' and Stattin': 2 p.m.

Hey everyone. Let's hold a Cover it Live-style chat this afternoon at 2 p.m. CST. I like the CiL deals because I can actually answer everyone's questions.

Campfires get chaotic at times and I miss good questions. I don't even see them as they pass by. I feel shame when that happens. Much shame.

What: Chat
Where: Here
Who: Me and You and Everyone We Know
When: 2 p.m. CST
formal or scrubs

Taking stock

Hey everyone. While I sit here waiting for the fine fellas at Jimmy's Car Stereo to repair my failing Sirius receiver, let's roll out an Auburn stock report.

We did this several weeks ago, but things have changed.

TB Ben Tate: The kid has been a terror this year, running through defenses like never before. Where would the Tigers be without him? We all knew he was good. I had no idea he was good enough to be a top-tier guy like this. He has established the benchmark for tailbacks in this offense: He's big enough to handle business by himself and fast enough to burn lax defenses.

WR D'Angelo Benton: Remember when we talked about him constantly for a solid month? I try to avoid that kind of reflection. He's now three years our of high school, which led many observers (including me) to believe Benton could contribute immediately. Trooper Taylor said Benton was running with the first-team offense two weeks before the season opener. What happened? I have no idea. Benton has zero catches.

LB Joshua Bynes: Love or hate what he brings to the field, Bynes plays with maximum effort. You know he's giving everything out there on every snap. He's a smart player. He rarely makes organizational or intellectual mistakes. Auburn's defense may be an overall disappointment, but that has nothing to do with Bynes. He's maximizing his potential.

CB Neiko Thorpe: Let's get this straight: Thorpe has not played poorly this season. He's been at least adequate, save for a difficult/unlucky performance against Arkansas. I just sensed in August that Thorpe was poised to have a break-out season where he emerged as one of the SEC's top five corners. He's not there just yet. I still believe he'll be a top-tier player, but he's fallen short of my expectations this season.

Assistant coach Jeff Grimes: He's still coaching well along the offense front and his recruiting role is vastly underrated. He's playing a major role in the recruitment of OL Eric Mack and a pair of big California linemen in John Cullen and Roszell Gayden. If he gets two of those guys, Auburn's recruiting haul will gain significant prestige.

Assistant coach Trooper Taylor: I know. You love the guy. I understand why. He's ebullient, showy, eager and says everything you want to hear. I watch him more during gameday now and I can't help but wonder why he's involved in defensive huddles. Or chats among defensive backs. I understand that he's Mr. Enthusiasm and all the towel waving gets kids fired up. Still, I have not been floored by Auburn's wideouts this season. I'm not seeing much progress. Terrell Zachery and Darvin Adams have been good. Does anyone else excite you? D'Angelo Benton is MIA. I haven't seen much out of Emory Blake or Tim Hawthorne or ... anyone else. I'm also of the opinion that Grimes and Tommy Thigpen are just as important when it comes to Auburn's recruiting enterprise.

Zac Etheridge video, 11/3

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

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Etheridge speaks

Hey everyone. Safety Zac Etheridge just stopped by the complex to meet with his teammates. He also spoke with reporters.

  • He is walking fine. He is wearing an invasive brace that keeps his head firm and connects to his chest/back. It's pretty intimidating. His mother said Zac will be in that for at least three months. That's 24/7.

  • Etheridge was highly complimentary of Ole Miss tailback Rodney Scott. Etheridge called over there to speak with Scott, but he was in class. The conversation instead was with Houston Nutt.

  • Etheridge said he plans to play football again next season.

  • His official injury is a cracked C-5 vertebrae and a few damaged neck ligaments.

  • He was paralyzed initially. Within a minute or two, though, he was able to wiggle his toes. All feeling was restored within an hour.

  • Zac on how it all went down: ``We all know I was paralyzed for a little bit. Just laying on the ground, it felt weird not being able to control your body. I have to give my hats off to Rodney Scott. It's a blessing that he didn't move. I talked to Coach Nutt today about the situation. I've just got to give my hats off to Rodney Scott. If he would have moved, I wouldn't be here today. I'd still be laying on the hospital bed. It's just a blessing that I'm even able to walk again today."

  • On being able to play again: ``That was probably the first question I asked. They said, 'Don't worry about anything. You'll be fine.' I was like: Will I be able to play again? At first, the doctor (said) that they don't know. After we got some pretty good results from the MRI and the X-rays and the CAT scan, things look like I'll be able to play again."

  • On what he has learned from the experience: ``You never know when your last play will be. You never know what's going to happen in life. I'll be fine. I told all the guys -- I'll be fine even if I'm not able to play football again. I will still be around Auburn. I will still be an Auburn man."

  • Cassandra Kelly, Zac's mom: ``The prayers of people and their support has been so wonderful. This has been a tough time for Zac and all of us, but knowing everyone has been there for us made it all possible. Without that, I don't know that I'd have made it."

  • More from Mrs. Kelly: ``I just thank God that everything worked out. And the young man who laid still. If he'd have moved, this would have been worse. All I can say is angels are watching over us. God is still in the healing business. It's been a miracle."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

BLAWGIN' FER YER NOGGIN: Gene Chizik speaks

Hey everyone. It's another week. Let's make it rain.

  • He has arrived.

  • He's excited about homecoming.

  • "We're moving on. We've got more challenges ahead of us. We've got to get back to work, get some things corrected that weren't as good as we felt like they needed to be."

  • On Zac Etheridge: "Zac is, obviously for the season, he's out. He's out of the hospital. He's in really good spirits. Some of his teammates have had a chance to see him. He'll rebound from this. He's made a lot of strides since Saturday.

  • Will he play again? ``We really can't go in that direction (as far as speculation). We're going to take everything day by day. He's walking. He has full use of his arms and legs and things of that nature. He is expected to have a full recovery. That's a bright outlook."

  • On Furman: "It's one of those games where we see some improvement in our game. We have to win the game. After that, we'll have to see where that will fall as far as playing people."

  • On the situation at safety: Demond Washington is going to play there. ``Our goal is to put the four best on the field. That's what we're doing."

  • On how things will work without Etheridge back there: ``There's a communication gap that will difficult to fill. He always knew what we were trying to do within the defense. That was a huge help. Daren -- he'll have to fly solo. He should be ready to do that. It's game 10. It's somewhat of an issue."

  • On how this affects rotations at CB and nickel: "We're going to try to do this with as little disruption as possible. We just have to be smart on not giving him too much stuff. The safety position is going to be his."

  • On D'Antoine Hood, who now is in the real rotation: `You have to be ready to participate. He needs to step up."

  • On what it means for players to see Etheridge in a good situation: ``This football team is vert close. Zac is one of the leaders of this team. It's really important for the guys to see that he's OK. Anytime a family member goes down ... we saw you never leave a fallen teammate."

  • On Travante Stallworth: "He's one of the younger guys who have come on. He's come along. He gets the big pictures. He understands where he can fit on special teams. He's fitting into places right now. He took on some of those places where we'd use Onterio. He's growing up. He's maturing as a football player."

  • On regretting taking the redshirt off any freshmen: ``I think we handled every situation just about the only way we could."

  • On T-Zac's game against Ole Miss: ``That was what we needed -- we needed somebody to do that. He's come on as a wide receiver. He's come on with his blocking. His catching Saturday really gave us an edge."

  • On the timing of Furman and Demond Washington's first game at safety: ``It's going to be a learning experience for him. It's challenging if your first time against Georgia or somebody of that nature. In a perfect world, this is the best time for this."

  • That's a wrap.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

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

Etheridge out of the hospital

Hey everyone. I was out and about in The Gump and not able to create a new blog post until now.

We have been discussing this in the earlier thread, but I figured this deserved its own thread.

Safety Zac Etheridge, who was knocked out of the Ole Miss game, has been released from a Birmingham-area hospital. He collided with teammate Antonio Coleman while attempting to make a tackle during the first quarter Saturday.

Etheridge was taken to East Alabama Medical Center and later was moved to Birmingham for closer observation.

``We're happy to report that Zac has been released from the hospital and
our medical staff is optimistic he will make a full recovery," coach Gene Chizik said.

UPDATE: Neal McCready, my friend who covers Ole Miss for, spoke with UM tailback Rodney Scott today. The freshman was lauded by Chizik and the medical staff for remaining still while pinned under Etheridge.

``I wanted to see if he was going to get up first. He was just laying there still," Scott said. ``I looked at him and he wasn't moving or anything. That's when all the trainers came and they told me, 'Don't move because it could affect him more.' I was trying to stay real still. … For a couple of seconds, I guess he was knocked out unconscious. After awhile, after all the trainers got around, he finally said something. It was a bad feeling, but at the same time, I was wondering if he was all right or whatever."

Photo credit: Butch Dill/AP

Auburn-UGA time announced

Hey everyone. Can you believe it's almost time for the Georgia-Alabama finale?

Anyway, Auburn will play in Athens on Nov. 14 at 6 p.m. CST.

The game will be shown on ESPN or ESPN2. Time will not be affected.

Auburn gets two POWs

Hey everyone. Two of your favorite players, DB Walt McFadden and DE Antonio Coleman, have earned Player of the Week status from the Southeastern Conference.

McFadden was judged the league's top defensive player for his work in Auburn's 33-20 win against Ole Miss. Coleman was named the league's top defensive lineman.

Here is what the SEC had to say about Sleepy:
Defensive Back
6-0 • 175 • Senior
Pompano Beach, Fla. (Ely HS)

• McFadden tied a career high with five tackles, along with 1.5 tackles for loss (-5 yards) and two interceptions in the Tigers’ 33-20 upset victory over Ole Miss.

• His first interception was a 29-yard return for a touchdown with 11:25 left in the third quarter to give Auburn a 24-7 advantage.

• McFadden’s second interception sealed the Tiger win, as with Ole Miss driving, he picked off Jevan Snead’s pass at the AU 6-yard line with under three minutes remaining and the Tigers up 33-20.

• He has four interceptions on the season, seven for his career, including two returned for scores.

And for The First A.C.:
Defensive End
6-3 • 261 • Senior
Mobile, Ala. (Williamson HS)

• Coleman recorded five tackles, while tying career highs with four tackles for loss (-15 yards), including two sacks (-11) along with one forced fumble, four quarterback hurries and one blocked kick, in the Tigers’ 33-20 upset victory over Ole Miss.

• The four TFL were the most by an Auburn player since Coleman equaled the feat at Georgia in 2007.

• Coleman’s blocked kick came in the third quarter on a PAT, which was recovered by Demond Washington and returned for a defensive two-point conversion. It was a three-point swing, turning a potential 31-21 AU lead to a 33-20 AU lead.

Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University

Video for your brain, 11/1

I have disabled auto-play for this video.

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Other Chizik chatter from Sunday

Hey everyone. Now that you know about Zac Etheridge's situation, let's look at a few other points.

  • On the behavior of Rodney Scott, the Ole Miss tailback who was pinned under Etheridge: ``I don't know how he knew. He knew (Etheridge) couldn't move. He sat as still as the night lying right underneath him. It was one of the most phenomenal things I've witnessed in doing this."

  • On Onterio McCalebb not playing against Ole Miss: ``We've got to get him healthy, 100 percent. He's not that same guy without that speed -- being able to make those quick cuts. We decided it would be best to rest him."

  • On why Auburn's pass rush was so much better Saturday: ``You're seeing Antoine Carter play better as the weeks go on. He's getting closer to where he was when he left off last spring. You're seeing Antonio Coleman play with two hands now. You're seeing him be more of what he was before he did that to his hand. It's really nice to see him getting some pressure. Even the inside guys -- they're getting some push up front that's critical to the rush."

  • On Eltoro Freeman's play: ``He was productive. As the weeks continue to go and him being consistent in practice, he's going get better. He's active. He's going to show up. He'll get more comfortable … but I'm pleased."

Etheridge is out for the year

Coach Gene Chizik said Zac Etheridge, who was knocked out of Saturday's game with a neck injury, won't play again this season.

``I think everybody is very hopeful for a full recovery as a person," Chizik said. ``In talking with our people, (playing again) is the hope."

Etheridge's Facebook page has been updated to include a picture of him lying a hospital bed wearing an invasive neck brace. It is not a halo-type device. He is smiling.

I'll update with more information as it becomes available.

Photo credit: Mickey Welsh/Montgomery Advertiser

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