It’s LSU Week, which means it has been a pretty busy week around the football program, so here we are to check in on all the latest happenings on the Auburn beat this Wednesday. Be sure to click over and show some love to our friendly neighborhood beat writers because, as always, the reporting is all theirs: Andy Bitter, Jay Tate, Charles Goldberg, and David “Don’t-call-me-Andrew-Gribble” Morrison. Let’s get it:
– In case you haven’t noticed, it’s LSU Week. Mike Dyer has noticed, as he said yesterday. “[The upperclassmen] were a little more focused today, which made everyone’s focus a little more high. Seeing the juniors and seniors on the same page, going until the whistle blows, running off the field and all these things today. It was kind of like, ‘Hey, this is real serious right now.’ They’re just making sure we all know that.”
– Speaking of Dyer, he seems to be back to 100% and ready for LSU, which is good, because we’re going to need him. He said he injured his knee last week lifting weights, and since then he and the coaches have just been patient and cautious with it, and now it’s completely healed. “This week I’ve been getting treatment and everything’s fine. I practiced a lot more today and I got to stretch it out.” He’s ready to go. To quote: “I’m ready to go.”
– Of course, the quote of the week came from Dyer, when asked about when Bo Jackson pulled him aside and gave him a pep talk before the game last Saturday. “When he says something to you, you’re like, ‘OK, that’s what I’ve got to do.’ I mean, it’s Bo Jackson.”
(One last thing on Dyer; How sweet was that long touchdown run of his in the 4th last week? You know he had to be bummed about being injured and missing some time against his home-state school, but he got in there at the end and made a long touchdown run anyway. Something for the family back home to brag to the neighbors about.)
– Lots of calls back to last year’s 31-10 beat-down loss in Baton Rouge. Coach Malzahn said that in that game, Auburn was “embarrassed”. Mike Berry said it was “definitely an embarrassment”. Ryan Pugh called the game a “complete debacle”. Needless to say, everyone is hoping things turn out a bit differently this year.
– Interesting take from Lee Ziemba on the outcome of some of LSU’s games so far this year. Pretty much everyone talks about the luck LSU has had in those close games. But Ziemba makes a very valid point: “That says they must be a close team like we are if they’ve been winning like we have. They must be as willing to fight for each other as the guys are here. It’s a testament to the guys they have there and the coaches.”
– Aairon Savage, according to his dad, will be out six weeks with the broken ankle he sustained last week against Arkansas. He, as well as the rest of us, is hoping he could be back for the Bama game, but will definitely be back for a bowl game. Here’s hoping. Get well soon, Savo.
– As per Andy Bitter, Mike McNeil will step in at FS to fill in for Savage. Freshman Demetruce McNeal will back him up. Everyone’s favorite walk-on Ikeem Means will stay at SS and back up Etheridge.
– The other major injury in the secondary was to corner T’Sharvan Bell. Chizik says he’s day-to-day. If he can’t go on Saturday, and there’s a good chance he won’t be able to, the next choices at nickelback are Chris Davis or Anthony Morgan (Gulley), but don’t be too surprised if they try sliding Means or McNeal over there, either.
In other words, Coach Lolley and Coach Thigpen have their hands full trying to tape together the secondary this week.
– As a quick programming note, Auburn’s trip to Ole Miss next week has its kickoff set to 5pm CT on ESPN2.