Running Back By Committee:
This season, Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb have gotten the bulk of the carries for the Auburn offense with Mike Blakely third in the rotation and Corey Grant still yet to see action.
Despite some limited success the last two weeks on the ground, running backs coach Curtis Luper said the rotation remains the same heading into the LSU game as the Auburn offense looks to keep building a rhythm.
"Yeah, you know, Onterio and Tre still kind of set themselves apart from everyone else,” Luper said. “That is what we expected because they've played so much. They're a pretty good complement to one another. We'll see how it goes.
"We'll play them together at some point, but with them being 170 pounds and 200 pounds, respectively, they're going to need some help,” he added. “That's where Blakely will come in, and Grant will come in and ultimately help him out some. It's hard to play two, but it's really hard to play four."
With Cooler Weather Coming It’s Time For Coates:
Last weekend Auburn redshirt freshman wide receiver Sammie Coates made the kind of impact many have expected of him since he signed out of Leroy High. Catching a "Hail Mary" for a touchdown and also making a spectacular grab on a TD play called back because of a penalty, the talented youngster showed that he’s got the ability to be a playmaker for the Tigers, but wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor said the entire experience was big for the redshirt freshman and the offense.
“Really more for he and Kiehl just confidence-wise, to see the kid make a play, make a couple plays, even the blocks, he did a really good job doing that and he's just got to build on it,” Taylor said. “That gives you more confidence to put the kid out there because now he believes. There's no substitute for experience. There are a lot of kids growing up in that same way.”
Blake All About The Team:
While Coates made the big play it was a quiet game for Auburn’s leading receiver Emory Blake. Thought to be headed towards a huge season as the main target for Auburn’s offense, instead the senior has had a quiet three games overall. Taylor said that might bother some guys, but for Blake it just makes him work harder on the other parts of his game to help the team win.
“He's a team guy,” Taylor said. “He's going to compete and when he gets an opportunity to make a play, he will. If we ask him to block 50 times or run a five-yard route or a 50-yard route, he's all in. That kid is 100 percent team guy. He doesn't get caught up in all that, the things that are being said and what's going on. He just goes and plays. He does whatever you ask whenever you ask him to do it.
“He does a phenomenal job in my room being a leader. Not just when things are good, but when things are bad. You've always got to have those guys that are like the glue. He's definitely one of those guys who keeps things together and talks to the guys, gets a good feel for the temperament of the room. He can tell me the way the rest of them are feeling as well. He's definitely a competitor. Does he want the ball? Yeah, he'd like to have it every play. At the same time, he's also a team player.”
Grimes Expecting More From Dismukes:
After being suspended for the season opener, sophomore center Reese Dismukes returned against Mississippi State and played well, according to Coach Jeff Grimes. That wasn’t the case in week three, however, as Grimes said the quarterback of the line had an off day.
“I thought he came back and played well against Mississippi State,” Grimes said. “This game wasn’t his best and I’m really not sure why. He and I have talked about that and I don’t think it was a lack of effort. It was just a number of technical things that he didn’t do as well as he could, but he’s a smart kid and it means a lot to him. I think he’ll get better and recognize what he needs to do.”
Taming The Beast:
Auburn’s offensive line has perhaps the toughest job of any group on the team this week as the visiting Tigers allow just 47 rushing yards per game and have depth galore. Grimes said that even though the entire LSU defense presents a big challenge for Auburn this week, it all starts up front and it’s up to the offensive line to set the tone.
“Challenge is an understatement,” Grimes said. “They are one of those defenses, you don’t see a weak link. They are good everywhere. They are good in the back end. They are good in the middle with their linebackers. They are good up front.
"I know this, in this league if you don’t handle the four guys up front then what the rest of those guys do doesn’t matter because it’s irrelevant because the play never gets started. We see it as an unbelievable challenge, but also an opportunity to go out there and compete against some of the best in the world at our age.”
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