Usually a routine Tuesday afternoon press conference with Gene Chizik wouldn’t be worth its own post, but we also don’t usually get a newly solid feel for what Auburn’s planning at one of the highest-profile positions on the field.
And, OK, maybe “solid” is pushing it. Chizik didn’t come right out and say “We’re going to start–and start feeding carries to–Mike Dyer.” But you almost don’t even have to read between the lines, in my opinion:
“Just watching him carry the football in game day in traffic, he doesn’t look uptight or nervous in any type of way. He just runs really natural. … He’s just really assumed his role up to this point.” Will his role expand? “I think circumstances in the game will determine that. We certainly feel confident enough for that to happen.”
The verbatim quote varies a little bit on who you’re reading–“If that’s what his role becomes this week, he can handle it” per Jay Tate, “He’s ready for his role to expand, and the coaches trust him if that were to happen this week” per Justin Hokanson–but the theme is identical: Chizik is ready and willing for Dyer to take over the workhorse role. It’s one thing to get that sense from his quotes about Newton; it’s another for him to come out and publicly admit it. If Chizik’s willing to admit that Dyer could be The Man, it’s an excellent bet that he already is.
You’ll also notice he didn’t say anything about either McCalebb or Fannin other than to demur on whether Fannin would be healthy enough to play. I’m going to keep on hoping that both of those players can maintain an active role in the backfield; Lord knows they’ve earned it, and if Auburn can get back to the Malzahn platonic ideal of running 80 plays a game and handing off 30-40 times, they’ll get to. (McCalebb, in particular, has done nothing to get his carries cut. I know he struggled with his footing in Starkville, but he’s still averaging more per-carry than anyone on the team who hasn’t had a walk-in 70-yard touchdown)
But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t already giddy over the chance to see Dyer get to punish Clemson over the course of 20-25 carries, or if I didn’t think this is the decision that will give Auburn the best chance at victory. Someone’s got to be this team’s Ben Tate. I’m ready to watch that person be Mike Dyer.
Photo by Van Emst.
keys to this game…we need more than 170 yards passing and better than 58% completions.
Dyer needs more than 5 yards per carry…Auburn RB’s need 150 yards.
No fumbles …Stevens to return at LB
Sorry, I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me earlier- -but I just noticed that the stock photo that Tate used of Chizik (I think from last year)- -his wristwatch needs about 7 links taken out of it. Look at that thing. It’s a silver hoola hoop on his wrist. Funny.
Sure wish we would have pulled Lattimore to have a freshman two-headed monster to go with McCaleb’s speed, and Fannin’s receiving. Blakey come on up this year.
I had never noticed that before, but it is fricking GINORMOUS. Is it still like that? Why did he put it on like that in the first place? Did he walk around all day with his forearm angled upward so the watch didn’t just fall off his arm?
So many questions…
Hilarious observation, WDEwg. I’m assuming that’s been fixed by now.
Justin / AubOrange says
Judging by the chain, it looks a heck of a lot like this watch, which I have;
I’m hoping he makes enough money to have a nicer watch than a Fossil, but maybe they just have it for press conferences like that one. That would also explain why they never bothered to get the links removed.
Also, I noticed a while back during Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech that Charles Barkley had a watch that looked very similar —
— but even though it could be possible that it’s the same face on a much nicer watch, that would mean that he’s wearing it upside down. So I guess that’s not it.
Amen. There’s a confidence in his running that is appears absent in the upperclassman.
Justin- I think it’s flipped over like that is the sheer weight of it, and the fact it isn’t snug enough to sit on top of his wrist.
Wasn’t this photo from one of the very first pressers? I sort of thought maybe he panicked on the way to conference and grabbed a watch. The salesman at Zales said “Hey, let me get Ralph to size that up for you, Coach”. Chizik says “No! No time for that. I’ll be late. No one’s going to notice that anyway”.
Except that we do. We DO NOTICE!
Justin / AubOrange says
Yeah, Chizik’s is rolled over backwards because of its size. I was talking about Barkley’s — the face of it is upside down, to where, if it were the same face as that Fossil watch, then when he turned his wrist to look at it it would have 12 o’clock at the bottom and 6 o’clock at the top. So I guess that’s not an Auburn watch.
Unless there’s a very similar story where Barkley is late to Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech and he doesn’t think anyone’s going to notice so he doesn’t let Ralph show him how to put a watch on properly.
Van P in Illinois says
You can tell it’s a nine-day game week when…!
They call Denard Robinson “shoelaces” because he doesn’t tie them. Maybe Gene Chizik is “watchlinks”?
That watch looks like it’s extended out and looping around like a hula-hoop.
Glad to hear Dyer will be getting more carries! I didn’t realize how short he was until the other night. But wow, can he pound the football. I’ve got a good feeling that we come out and make a statement with this game.
Alex P in Smyrna G says
I think we can all guess the angle ESPN will run into the ground during the AU-So Car game.
Yeah- sorry guys for the watch tangent. It’s been a long time to get to Wed of game week, for sure.
Yes Alex- -we are going to get a heapin’ helping of Lattimore v. Dyer, and analyzing who is better than who. Hopefully they will point out that with a shaky Garcia, Lattimore is USCAR’s only hope. With our offense there are enough weapons to not be so predictable.
Here’s hoping that Roof and Co are dusting off the 2009 Iron Bowl game plan for the USCAR game. Only this time, I don’t think Garcia can consistently make game winning throws.
Figured you’d like this piece of my study procrastination, Mr. WBE:
You figure correctly, Patrick. You don’t mind if I repost it sometime this week?
It’d be my honor. Also, in honor of the MSU game– http://i53.tinypic.com/2r7sh74.jpg