Thursday, October 31, 2013
Auburn Head FB Coach Gus Malzahn
After watching the above video, I get the sense that Gus Malzahn is being extremely careful in what he says publicly. His football team faces an uphill battle from here on out, and every little misstep could lead to disastrous results.
Forget everything you are reading in the media about the Arkansas coach and his statements to the media. Most of that is an attempt at gamesmanship. Coach Malzahn has ice water flowing through his veins and is impervious to such trivial attempts to rattle the Tigers head man.
Much like his predecessor, Malzahn is playing things close to the vest for this game, and indeed for the rest of the season. Let's look at a few media talking points from this week, and I will give you my take on what they actually mean.
Nick Marshall's Injury
Nick is perfectly fine. He is practicing with the team, and by all reports from the players he is doing everything he has always done in practice during game week situations. Jeremy Johnson, the back up QB is also taking reps with the first team squad, as usual. In other words, nothing has changed. I expect to see Johnson in the game, and I expect we will be up by three or more scores late into the second quarter.
The whole discrepancy in game film provided to the Hawgs coaching staff is a ploy. Hoping that Gus and his staff will have to spend some time on that situation, instead of preparing for the trip to Arkansas. Our staff will not be bothered with this one bit, but the media has a field day with this type of non-story material. It gives them something to write about in an otherwise dismal game week.
Do not put too much emphasis on this upcoming game, if the Tigers walk out of there with a victory. The Coaches Poll voters, and the sportswriters who vote on the AP Poll won't. Arkansas has scored a grand total of 7 points during the last two games they have played, and allowed over 100 points to be scored by their opponents. I am not saying this is going to be a cake walk. Any team in the Top 15 of the polls should be able to go to Arkansas and leave with a victory. That is not meant to be disrespectful. It's simply a matter of where that program is right now.
Those three subjects have come up more than anything else on Twitter and in the media blogs from those who leave comments. I fully expect Auburn to win this game. Arkansas has had an extra week to prepare for us, and I expect that they will play with a lot of pride. In the end though, he Tigers are fully capable of taking this victory.
I, for one, look forward to the game, and the challenges it represents. I eagerly await the results of how our young men handle those challenges, and their methods of getting thru those obstacles that will surely present themselves. Fight on you orange and blue!