The New Kid on the Block. Bart Eddins deserves kudos for his play against Tennessee, but I’ll also give him one for being funny:
Bart Eddins knows a surefire way to get a laugh every time he leaves the Auburn athletic complex.
The longtime backup Tigers offensive lineman will pause as he makes his exit, pop his head into a room full of reporters waiting to do interviews and, despite not being requested, give an amusing excuse for not being able to answer any questions.
“I’m sorry guys, I don’t have time for any interviews today,” he’s said on more than one occasion, drawing guaranteed guffaws from the gallery. He usually follows it up with some sort of urgent homework emergency: “I’m a student and an athlete.”
That’s from Andy Bitter, and it’s worthwhile read. Also worth noting: Eddins said that Renowned Orthopedist Dr. James Andrews’s official diagnosis of his knee was that it was “weird.”
But the Eddins era at right guard might be over before it’s really begun, as Bitter reports:
Malzahn on RG Bart Eddins: “We were very proud of Bart and he will definitely give us depth and help us win games.” Does that make it sound like Byron Isom might be back this week? When asked who worked at right guard today, tight end Tommy Trott just smiled and said he couldn’t answer the question. Read into it what you will.
I was just a tad on the surprised side when Isom sat in Knoxville; I’ll be even more surprised if he sits in Fayetteville. The nice thing is that with Eddins looking serviceable, it’s not the freak-out-demanding situation it was before last week.
Also: Eddins also gave himself a “C” for his play against Tennessee. Seems a little harsh, but that’s the way we want our self-evaluations, right?
Notes from the beat. Well, this doesn’t sound good:
Herring has certainly impressed, especially when his long layoff from heel surgery is factored into the equation, but Eltoro Freeman’s rocky transition to Division I football has been just as apparent.
Freeman got the start at Tennessee, but spent the majority of the game standing alone on the sidelines away from most of his defensive teammates.
“He just needs to keep working,” defensive coordinator Ted Roof said. “It’s a tough position, and because of the depth situation, there is no learning curve, or time for you to season. You’ve got to come play. So, we’ll just keep working him and I’m sure things will work out.”
Obviously you don’t want to read too much into one blip in a daily reporter’s notebook, but the weakside backer position is hurting Auburn badly enough on the field–it would be really nice if it could not hurt them attitude-wise on the sidelines. (Not that we know it is, mind.)
That said, I won’t blame The Toro too much if he’s a little cheesed about the attention being paid to Herring–who, sorry, does not qualify as “a surprise hit” or a guy playing “a vital role” when he’s made a grand total of one tackle in his last two games. Herring was a little better–and I mean a little better–against West Virginia, but I haven’t seen what I’m supposed to be excited about yet–and trust me, I’ve looked.
Not too much from Chizik’s Tuesday presser, but he didn’t rule out Mike McNeil and Nosa Eguae redshirting–with the midpoint of the season this Saturday, I’ll be surprised if a recruit like Eguae who supposedly needed some polishing to start with sees the field.
Daren Receiver-Eater Bates got a round of “where did this guy come from?” stories in the preseason, but now that he’s looking like a solid contributor rather than a guy who’s just asked not to mess things up for everyone else, it’s time for another round: both Bitter and Jay Tate oblige.
Auburn as you’ve no doubt heard will play Kentucky at 6:30 on ESPNU. This frustrates me, not because it’s yet another night game, but because my ESPNU comes across in standard definition despite the fact that when ESPN shows highlights of the game, they’re in HD. Why can’t they just broadcast the thing in HD? (And yes, I would like some cheese to go with my whine. That’d be delicious.)
Also: Ben Tate doesn’t care about time-of-possession, as well he shouldn’t; sounds like the pressure of not screwing things up further for an already-screwed up offense led to Wes Byrum’s screw ups last year; two TDs in five red zone possessions isn’t enough for Gus Malzahn, which, like, duh.
Oh, Vols. Remember B.J. Coleman, the sophomore Vol QB who by all accounts shredded the Tennessee D all spring long, only to be told that Mr. Crompton would be the quarterback anyway (allegedly so the Vols could offer QB recruits a shot at the starting job)? 3SiB offers a good-humored, helpful update on Coleman’s whereabouts:
Our best option at quarterback has the formerly sad sack UTC Mocs at 3-1. Coleman is 79 of 124 (64%) on the year, with 883 yards and nine touchdowns in just four games. Most notably, he has only thrown one interception, and that was in their second game (their only loss). He has a 145.9 passer rating. You do the math.
Seeing as how Crompton would be doing good to match those numbers in D-III … yeah, I’m not sure this was Kiffykins’ best decision.
From the world of the less good-humored, Brian Cook’s This Week in Schadenfreude (easily one of the best weekly features in the entire CFBosphere) highlights a message board post from a charming Tennessee fan:
When I was on my way out of the stadium, after Auburn had the game in hand, this same jackass said, “I hope y’all win the rest of your games.” I told him to go to hell.
Of course you did. In other Vol fan-related news, a few enthusiastic Tennessee supporters sent Taylor and Chizik an array of totally convincing trash-talking letters from “Lane Kiffin” and “Eric Berry.” Sounds like Taylor was a little more bothered by the spread, though. (HT: RTT.)
BlAUgosphere. Here at TWER, the win over the Vols was nice, but some of us wanted blood:
When you create a scenario in your mind, let’s say for example, a 56-10 Auburn win over Tennessee, and then reality, cruel witch that she is, serves you a 26-22 victory, you are disappointed. Not real disappointed because Auburn still won. But it’s like when it doesn’t snow on Christmas. It’s still Christmas, but it’s not the greeting card Christmas you wanted.
Ben’s happy, he really is, but that hate-on he’s got for the Vols is a beautiful and blinding thing.
Elsewhere, Dr. Saturday charts up Auburn’s offensive progress, we’ve got a vintage interpretation of the Auburn Plainsman here at TWER, Kurt Branch compares Auburn’s performance vs. the Vols to Florida’s, and Wire Road and Shug is gearing up for the Arkansas game the way anyone should.
Etc. If you read one thing about the ongoing debacle at Florida St., make it this comprehensive post at Tomahawk Nation … Chris Low says Auburn has the third- and fifth-best running backs in the SEC, which seems about right even if there’s zero separation in the entire top 10 … CFN predicts an Auburn win … On the endless list of reasons the college game kicks the NFL’s ass to the moon and back, coaches who would rather contract a mild case of streptococcus over going for it on fourth down rank pretty highly.