Auburn, Ala.--Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik says he likes the improvement he saw in freshman offensive lineman Reese Dismukes from game one to game two.
Dismukes, a high school All-American from Spanish Fort who arrived at Auburn in January as an early graduate from high school, opened the season as Auburn’s starting center, replacing 2010 senior and multi-year starter Ryan Pugh.
In Auburn’s 41-34 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday, Dismukes drew the assignment of blocking two of the better players on MSU’s defense.
“I feel like I played a lot better than I played last week,” he says. “I still made a few mistakes, but I played pretty hard and pretty physical. I can always improve in that area...it wasn’t as hard and as physical as I wanted to play, but I was pleased with how I did play.”
Dismukes says he was more comfortable on the field in game two than he was in the opener vs. Utah State.
“I felt more relaxed,” he points out. “I don’t know if I should be. It was an SEC team and being Mississippi State and their best defensive linemen were inside. Yeah, I was more relaxed and more calm as far as the atmosphere and all of that stuff goes. I just went out there and tried to play the best I can.”
Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes said prior to the game that the Bulldogs featured a strong defensive front that would test his rebuilt offensive front
“I know they have two real good guys and they are projected to go in the draft next year,” Dismukes says. “I just tried to go out there and do the best I could. I got the job done.”
The young Auburn lineman notes that the Mississippi State defensive linemen were trying to trash talk to rattle him on Saturday. The strategy did not work.
“They like to pick on freshmen...whatever,” he says. “If you are a junior and you have got to pick on a freshman and you are supposed to be drafted, I guess that is your problem when you are getting your butt whipped.”
The Tigers had very physical practices on the Tuesday and Wednesday prior to facing Mississippi State. A variety of players say that helped the Tigers get ready for the Bulldogs and Dismukes is one of them.
“We kind of took that over to the game,” he says. “We just have got to do that again this week.”
The next test for Dismukes is his first college road game. His Tigers will play at Clemson this Saturday. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CDT from Memorial Stadium.
Dismukes is expecting it to be a challenge playing on the road. “I am sure it will be pretty hard,” he says. “I haven’t been there and done that yet, but it should be a great experience. I am looking forward to it.”
He says the important thing is to keep working hard in practice to get better. “Now I have to go out this week and correct a few mistakes I did make and keep going.”
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