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GAME DAY Oct. 22 vs. No. 17 Arkansas 5 p.m., ESPN


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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Thursday, October 20, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE 4

PAGE 8

PAGE 6 Plainsman Picks

PAGE 10

Auburn looking for redemption after 4OT heartbreaker a year ago

Depth charts for both teams

Offense turns its attention to ‘scrappy and gritty’ Arkansas defense

ADAM SPARKS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Montravius Adams greets Auburn fans at Tiger Walk before the game against Mississippi State.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

WEST

EAST SEC

SEC

OVERALL

OVERALL

# 1 Alabama

4-0

7-0

# 15 Florida

3-1

5-1

#6TexasA&M

4-0

6-0

#18Tennessee

2-2

5-2

# 21 Auburn

2-1

4-2

Kentucky

2-2

3-3

# 25 LSU

2-1

4-2

Georgia

2-3

4-3

#17 Arkansas

1-2

5-2

Vanderbilt

1-3

3-4

# 23 Ole Miss

1-2

3-3

SouthCarolina

1-4

2-4

MississippiState1-2

2-4

Missouri

0-3

2-4

Standings

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Thursday, October 20, 2016

REDEMPTION

One year after drop-filled four-overtime heartbreaker, No. 21 Auburn looking for redemption against Arkansas Sam Butler

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

The bye week is over. Auburn got a much-needed break, a chance to bandage up and pivot into the second half of the season, but up next on the docket is No. 17 Arkansas, a team that’s riding a tidal wave of emotion after a thrilling win over Ole Miss. It’s the first game Auburn will play as a ranked team since the third game of 2015. It’s also the first crack Auburn gets at Arkansas since the Tigers’ heartbreaking four-overtime loss to the Razorbacks in Fayetteville last year. Dropped passes were the thread that caused Auburn to come undone that game: the Tigers let eight balls hit the ground, including one by Ricardo Louis that would’ve scored a touchdown in the fourth overtime. There are undoubtedly unpleasant memories associated with that game for Auburn, but the Tigers aren’t letting it cloud their preparation, even if there is a little bit of the revenge factor added in. "Well, there's no more added motivation,” said offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee. “We, obviously, and again, give them credit, we didn't execute to the level in the areas we needed to to win that football game. They had a lot to do with that. From that standpoint, yeah. We need to kind of redeem ourselves to some degree.” Auburn has put itself in prime position to reverse that outcome this year. Sean White has found his groove behind the wheel of the offense — he ranks ninth in the country in passing efficiency, connecting on 69.7 percent of his passes in the first six games. And his receivers, who couldn’t make the catches when it counted a year ago, have been an asset. So what changed? The JUGS machine, for one. Lashlee said the receivers had been on the automatic pass-throwing machine ‘probably more than we ever have.’ And Kodi Burns, in his first year as Auburn’s receivers coach, has been the other major contributing factor. “Yeah, Kodi, he pretty much gets on us about that a lot,” said senior Tony Stevens. “He really got on it in the spring. He said when he came over here that receivers aren't going to drop the ball. He's been doing a lot of ball drills with us. That plays a big part in it, too. Coach Kodi has been doing a good job.” Auburn opened the week as a two-score favorite over Arkansas, but the Razorbacks clearly weren’t bothered by the 7.5 points Ole Miss was favored over them by a week ago, so being the favorite shouldn’t matter. What will matter is playing sound, efficient football, and

FILE PHOTO

Ricardo Louis didn’t want to move after Auburn dropped the game ­to Arkansas — literally and figuratively — in four overtimes last year.

above all else, executing. “They did a good job last year,” Lashlee said. “Credit them for keeping us from executing at the level we needed to to win the football game. That’s our challenge this week: They are what they are on defense; we are what we are on offense. I think both sides know that to a large degree, so I think it’s going to be who plays the best and executes the best, and catching the football is part of that.” And should the game come down to a last-minute drive — as it did at the end of regulation a year ago — White, and his

receivers, won’t be fazed. “Sean, the one thing Sean did last year that I think helped him grow a little bit was that 2-minute drive,” Lashlee said. “You know, we're down by 3, we've got 57 seconds to go. We even got a penalty and had a 10-second runoff. He hits two big passes to get us in range to kick the field goal. And then, in overtime, we score a little bit here. “So that was kind of, I think, when he grew up in pressure situations. That's when you knew the moment's not going to be too big for us.”


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

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Behind enemy bylines Arkansas edition Matt Vigoda, sports editor at the Arkansas Traveler, answered a few questions from The Plainsman ahead of Auburn's Top 25 showdown with Arkansas this Saturday. 1. Auburn and Arkansas have something like a semi-rivalry going. Bret Bielema's never been too fond of Auburn, and I'm sure the 4OT win last year was great for Arkansas. How much does the team build upon last year's game for this matchup? MV: I don't think last year's matchup matters. Bret Bielema has been talking about playing with a "1-0 mentality" for every game and that's not something that will change this week. Last year's game will be remembered, but this season both teams are still competing and that's all that matters. 2. Arkansas limped a bit out of the gate with close wins over Louisiana Tech and TCU, but the Razorbacks look like they've started to improve, even in that loss to Alabama. What's been the key to that? MV: Consistency. That's something they didn't have all last season until the final few games. Losses against Alabama and Texas A&M are nothing to be ashamed of. The play of the offense has kept Arkansas in almost every game this season. 3. How has Austin Allen looked after replacing his brother at quarterback? MV: He looks just like Brandon did his senior season, only this is Austin's first season as a starter. He's an incredibly smart player who fits offensive coordinator Dan Enos' playbook perfectly. Allen has been great thus far. 4. What matchups against Auburn scare Arkansas the most? MV: The entire Auburn offense vs the entire Arkansas defense. What has not been a consistency for the Hogs is their defense. With a significant amount of injuries, it's understandable. But leaving receivers wide open and having linebackers miss assignments is not something a Hog fan would want to see. 5. Auburn ranks third in the SEC in rushing, even after a bye week, and Sean White is leading the conference in passing efficiency. How will the Arkansas defense prepare for a balanced attack like the one Auburn's been putting out lately? MV: A balanced attack is Arkansas' worst enemy on defense. It'll be tough to stop White if the Hogs can't put pressure on him. Arkansas defensive coordinator Robb Smith has struggled mightily this season and he doesn't have much time to turn it around. Putting pressure on the quarterback is key. 6. What does each team need to do to pull out a win? MV: As I mentioned in the previous question, putting pressure on the quarterback is key for BOTH teams in this game. White and Allen are very efficient quarterbacks and giving them time to work is bad news for the defense. The team with the most sacks will win this game. 7. Score prediction? MV: Arkansas 35-31.

CONTRIBUTED BY MATT VIGODA


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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

PLAINSMAN PICKS

Emily Shoffit Sports Editor (19-16)

Sam Butler Asst. Sports Editor (22-13)

Nathan Deal

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mississippi State vs. Kentucky (6:30 p.m., SECN)

Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech (7 p.m., FOX)

Auburn vs. Arkansas (5 p.m., ESPN)

Alabama vs. Texas A&M (2:30 p.m., CBS)

Ole Miss vs. LSU (8 p.m., ESPN)

Colorado vs. Stanford (2 p.m., P12N)

Auburn

Alabama

LSU

Stanford

Miss. State

Oklahoma

Auburn

Alabama

Ole Miss

Colorado

Kentucky

Texas Tech

Auburn

Alabama

LSU

Stanford

Miss. State

Oklahoma

Auburn

Alabama

LSU

Stanford

Miss. State

Oklahoma

Auburn

Alabama

Ole Miss

Colorado

Miss. State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma

Sports Reporter (25-10)

Jack Winchester Sports Writer (22-13)

Bailey Rogers Sports Writer (22-13)

Will Sahlie

Auburn

Alabama

LSU

Stanford

Miss. State

Arkansas

Alabama

Ole Miss

Stanford

Miss. State

Sports Writer (29-11)

Carl Ross Guest Picker (6-5)

Oklahoma


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Quarterback: Sean White - 13 John Franklin III - 5 Jeremy Johnson - 6 Running Back: Kerryon Johnson - 21 Kamryn Pettway - 36

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wide Receiver: Darius Slayton - 81 Kyle Davis - 11

Defensive End: Marlon Davidson - 3 Byron Cowart - 9

Sam Linebacker: Darrell Williams - 49 Richard McBryde - 51

Kicker: Daniel Carlson - 38 Ian Shannon - 43

Left Tackle: Austin Golson - 73 Darius James - 78

Defensive Tackle: Montravius Adams - 1 Derrick Brown - 5 OR Devaroe Lawrence - 94

Field Corner Carlton Davis - 6 Marshall Taylor - 26 OR John Broussard - 22

Punter: Kevin Phillips - 91 Ian Shannon - 43

Field Safety: Nick Ruffin - 19 Stephen Roberts - 14

Long Snapper: Ike Powell - 69 Zach Wade - 68 OR Clarke Smith - 53

H-Back/Tight End: Chandler Cox - 27 Jalen Harris - 85

Left Guard: Alex Kozan - 63 Deon Mix - 75 OR Marquel Harrell - 77

Wide Receiver: Ryan Davis - 83 Eli Stove - 12

Center: Xavier Dampeer - 52 Kaleb Kim - 54

Wide Receiver: Marcus Davis - 80 Will Hastings - 33

Right Guard: Braden Smith - 71 Mike Horton - 64

Wide Receiver: Tony Stevens - 8 Nate Craig-Myers - 3

Right Tackle: Robert Leff - 70 Prince Tega Wanogho - 76

Defensive Tackle: Dontavius Russell - 95 Maurice Swain - 90 OR Andrew Williams - 79 Buck: Carl Lawson - 55 Jeff Holland - 4 Middle Linebacker: Deshaun Davis - 57 T.J. Neal - 17

Boundary Safety: Tray Matthews - 28 Markell Boston - 11 Boundary Corner: Josh Holsey - 15 Javaris Davis - 31 Nickel: Jonathan Ford - 23 Daniel Thomas - 24

Will Linebacker: Tre’ Williams - 30 Montavious Atkinson - 48

Holder: Tyler Stovall - 29 John Franklin III - 5 Punt Returner: Marcus Davis - 80 Ryan Davis - 83 Kick Returner: Johnathan Ford - 23 AND Kerryon Johnson - 21

ARKANSAS DEPTH CHART Quarterback: Austin Allen - 8 Ty Storey - 5 Running Back: Rawleigh Williams - 22 Devwah Whaley - 21 Fullback: Hayden Johnson - 32 OR Kendrick Jackson - 34 Tight End: Jeremy Sprinkle - 83 Austin Cantrell - 44 Wide Receiver: Drew Morgan - 80 OR Jared Cornelius - 1 Wide Receiver: Keon Hatcher - 4 Cody Hollister - 81

Left Tackle: Dan Skipper - 70 Jake Hall - 64

Defensive End: Tevin Beanum - 97 Karl Roesler - 96 OR Randy Ramsey - 10

Left Guard: Hjalte Froholdt - 51 Johnny Gibson - 62

Defensive Tackle: Taiwan Johnson - 94 Bijhon Jackson - 78 OR Austin Capps - 41

Center: Frank Ragnow - 72 Zach Rogers - 75 Right Guard: Jake Raulerson - 50 Colton Jackson - 74 Right Tackle: Brian Wallace - 60 Jalen Merrick - 79

Defensive Tackle: Jeremiah Ledbetter - 55 McTelvin Agim - 3 Sam Linebacker: Khalia Hackett - 27 Josh Williams - 21 Will Linebacker: Dwayne Eugene - 35 De’Jon Harris - 8 Middle Linebacker: Brooks Ellis - 51 Josh Harris - 45

Cornerback: Jared Collins - 29 DJ Dean - 2 Strong Safety: Santos Ramirez - 9 Nate Dalton - 15 De’Andre Coley - 20 Free Safety: Josh Liddell - 28 Reid Miller - 38 De’Andre Coley - 20 Cornerback: Henre’ Tolliver - 5 OR Ryan Pulley - 11

Kicker: Adam McFain - 48 Cole Hedlund - 9 Punter: Toby Baker - 37 Blake Johnson - 8 KO: Connor Limpert - 42 Adam McFain - 48 Punt Returner: Jared Cornelius - 1 Drew Morgan - 80 Kick Returner: Deon Stewart - 13 T.J. Hammonds - 6 Holder: Toby Baker - 37 Matt Emrich - 56


Thursday, October 20, 2016

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Thursday, October 20, 2016

OFFENSE

ADAM SPARKS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Kerryon Johnson has returned from injury, but Kamryn Pettway (36) has proven to be a plenty capable runner in Johnson’s stead.

Lashlee’s offense turns its attention to ‘scrappy and gritty’ Arkansas team Nathan Deal SPORTS REPORTER

After a rocky first few games, Auburn's offense found new life after offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee took over the playcalling duties, resulting in a 4-2 start and a spot among the best teams in college football. No. 21 Auburn, listed as an early 9-point favorite in Saturday's home game against No. 17 Arkansas, is pleased with its solid start, but the brutal early schedule took a toll on the Tigers. With such a crucial SEC West showdown looming, Auburn used its bye week to lick its wounds. “We got a lot of work with the guys that needed it that were healthy and the guys that were banged up after six games,” Lashlee said. “We were able to be as smart as we could with them and so for this point in the season, six games in, I think we’re in decent shape for the stretch run.” Sunday evening's practice marked the end of the bye week and the beginning of preparations for Arkansas. “(Tonight's practice) was good,” Lashlee said. “We went a little longer with a little better energy than we would have

on a normal Sunday because we didn’t play yesterday, so it was good to try to have a little bit of a jump start on the week.” Sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson, who suffered a right ankle injury against Mississippi State, partook in the Tigers’ Sunday practice. Though his status for the game hasn't been decided, Auburn's confident he'll be ready to roll against the Razorbacks. “He was moving around,” Lashlee said. “He ran the ball some, caught some balls, so it was good to see him out there moving around.” The good news for the Tigers is that the second part of their one-two rushing punch, Kamryn Pettway, can be relied on as an every-down back. His 39 carries in Auburn’s 3814 win in Starkville was the fourth-most in program history. However, Lashlee would prefer to have both of his bruisers. “It’s a day-to-day thing, but after today I feel like he’s got a shot, and just knowing the kid like I do, we’ll see as the week goes on,” Lashlee said. “I'm optimistic still.” This bye week might have had more meaning to Lash-

lee than usual, as he was given two weeks to prepare for his alma mater. Lashlee played quarterback at Arkansas from 2002-2004 and graduated from the university in 2006. Conventional wisdom suggests the SEC’s official slogan for the 2016 season, “It Just Means More,” is particularly applicable here. However, Lashlee doesn't see this game differently from the rest on the SEC schedule. “After you play them for a while, that goes away to some degree,” Lashlee said. “It just so happens it seems to be a pivotal game every year for us.” However, having been on both sides of the series, Lashlee sees a significant trait shared by the Tigers and Hogs. He believes this trait is the reason why most Auburn-Arkansas games — including last season’s quadruple-overtime thriller in Fayetteville — are close affairs. “At Arkansas they take great pride in being tough, in playing hard and just being scrappy and gritty,” Lashlee said. “That’s what we took pride in there, and you look at Auburn, that’s something we take great pride in — being tough, being physical and just playing extremely, extremely hard.”


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

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INJURY UPDATE

Running back Kerryon Johnson’s status for Arkansas still uncertain

Sam Butler

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Kerryon Johnson is back at practice, but his status for Saturday’s game against Arkansas hasn’t been set in stone yet. Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said he was ‘moving around’ at Sunday’s practice. He noted that Johnson ‘has a shot’ to play Saturday, but didn’t rule anything out or commit to making a decision. Tuesday, at his weekly press conference, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn echoed the same sentiments. Malzahn said Johnson would practice Tuesday, and that the staff would know more regarding his ability to play afterward. Johnson injured his ankle early in the first quarter against Mississippi State and didn’t return to the game. Kamryn Pettway picked up Johnson’s slack in his stead, rushing for 169 yards on a bruising 39 carries. Johnson has been the workhorse back, but Pettway proved himself plenty capable to shoulder the load should Johnson’s ankle not hold up well enough to make it to game action on Saturday. Behind Pettway, though, it gets hairy. If Johnson can’t go, freshman Kam Martin is the only true running back on the roster

MATTHEW BISHOP / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Kerryon Johnson cuts upfield against Louisiana-Monroe.

who would be able to play since Malik Miller underwent knee surgery earlier this month. Stanton Truitt, who was a slot re-

ceiver but has since been converted to a speedier running back, would be the only ball carrier available. If Johnson can go and is at close to full strength, it could make things easier for an Auburn running attack that’s picking up steam. The Tigers rank third in the SEC in rushing, even with a bye week, and they’ll be going up against an Arkansas rushing defense that leaves much to be desired. The Razorbacks allow 175.9 yards per game on the ground, the 80th-best rushing defense in the country. They also have allowed 17 rushing touchdowns, the most by any defense in the SEC. Getting the ground game going will be crucial for Auburn if they hope to keep the chains moving and prevent an Arkansas offense that holds the ball for an average of 35 minutes per game — the second-most in the country — from getting on the field and bleeding the clock. “It’s definitely important,” said guard Alex Kozan. “When they get the ball to start the game and you look and you get it for the first time and half the first quarter’s over, you really realize that. We need to make the most of every possession and hopefully our defense can step up and not let them control the game clock like that.”


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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Thursday, October 20, 2016

DEFENSE

ADAM SPARKS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Montravius Adams (1) celebrates with his teammates after recovering a fumble and returning it for a touchdown against Mississippi State.

Montravius Adams, Auburn defense look to contain ‘physical’ Arkansas offense Nathan Deal SPORTS REPORTER

Auburn's 4-2 start, featuring rapid improvement on both sides of the ball, has helped erase memories of a mediocre 2015 campaign. The offense has found its identity while the defense has been among the best in the country, which has the Tigers in the Top 25 and feeling good. Next on No. 21 Auburn's agenda? Seeking revenge for arguably the most heartbreaking loss of last season, a 54-46 loss to Arkansas in four overtimes. Defensive tackle and, more recently, touchdown-scorer Montravius Adams knows what kind of challenge awaits against the No. 17 Razorbacks. “In my opinion, I think [Arkansas’ Austin Allen] is a great quarterback, and [running back Rawleigh Williams III], I think he’s second in the SEC in rushing,” Adams said. “They have the offensive weapons. I think it'll be a good test for our defense.”

Under Bret Bielema, Arkansas has earned a penchant for physicality and blue-collar workmanship. The Hogs commitment to a culture of hard hitting has paid dividends, as they've beaten six ranked teams since 2014, including No. 15 TCU and No. 12 Ole Miss this season. While the Razorbacks are still the same physical SEC West foe that the Tigers have become accustomed to, they're far from having a ‘three yards and a cloud of dust’ mentality on offense. “In the last game I watched [Arkansas vs. Ole Miss], they seemed to use a lot of perimeter runs and passing,” Adams said. “It wasn't the same as last year, you know, with a lot of whams and traps. But they still have that in their offense, in their arsenal.” Saying that Arkansas uses a lot of passing now is one way to put it. Allen, the brother of former Hogs quarterback Brandon Allen, leads the SEC with 1,861 yards and 18 touchdowns. However, the Razorbacks’ ground game is still lethal. Wil-

liams, who suffered a neck injury in last year’s meeting and had to be carted off the field, roared through Ole Miss’ defense last week for 180 yards on 27 carries. Adams recognizes the significance of Williams facing the Tigers once again. “That just proves that he's a blessed guy,” Adams said. “That means he’s been doing something right off the field, doing all his rehab. Now to come back with that second chance and to be doing what he’s doing, it's just great to see.” Adams knows his team will be in for a hard-nosed battle, but defensive coordinator Kevin Steele’s mantra of focusing on themselves has instilled the unit with the confidence necessary to exceed the Razorbacks' physicality. “I feel like it’ll be one of those games, just like LSU,” Adams said. “Every day we're going to be physical. That’s what we try to bring to a game every week, to make sure any team that plays us don't want to play us again.”


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Auburn vs Arkansas: Interesting facts Compiled by Nathan Deal - Auburn leads Arkansas all-time, 13-11-1. The Tigers lead 6-5-1 in games played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. - Since these teams began meeting annually in 1992, the series has become one of the tightest in the SEC West. The all-time score in the series is Auburn 633, Arkansas 629 — an average score of 25.3-25.2. - The Tigers are 2-1 against Arkansas under head coach Gus Malzahn, winning by an average score of 42-31. - With the Razorbacks ranked No. 17 in the AP Poll and the Tigers ranked No. 21, this is the first ranked matchup between these programs since 2011, when No. 10 Arkansas beat No. 15 Auburn 38-14 in Fayetteville. - The only time Jordan-Hare has hosted a ranked matchup between the Tigers

and Razorbacks was in 2010. The teams combined for 1,036 yards of offense and 55 first downs as eventual Heisman winner Cam Newton led No. 7 Auburn to a 65-43 win over No. 12 Arkansas. It remains the highest-scoring non-overtime game in SEC history. - This will be just the third ranked matchup in series history. Auburn is 4-4 when facing Arkansas after a bye week. The Tigers’ wins came in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2005, while the Razorbacks’ wins came in 1999, 2002, 2012 and 2015. - The Tigers are 5-0-1 when scoring at least 24 points against Arkansas at Jordan-Hare Stadium. - Auburn is 9-11-1 against Arkansas in the month of October, losing the last three dating back to 2011.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

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The Auburn Plainsman: Game Day

OFFENSIVE LINE

Malzahn not ready to make decision on makeup of offensive line yet Sam Butler

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has five spaces on the offensive line he’s trying to fill with six guys. Three of the spots have been the same throughout the year. Alex Kozan, Braden Smith and Robert Leff have held down their spots at left guard, right guard and right tackle, respectively, and there aren’t any signs that will change. The other two spots are where it gets tricky. Xavier Dampeer, who started at center for Auburn’s first four games, missed the previous two with an undisclosed injury suffered against LSU. Left tackle Austin Golson took Dampeer’s spot at center, and ‘sixth man’ Darius James replaced Golson at left tackle. The result was two of Auburn’s most convincing wins of the year, although one came against an outmatched Louisiana-Monroe team. Auburn put forth two of its three best offensive outputs so far in those games, and it’s presented Malzahn with a dilemma as he decided which configuration to go with on

the line. “We’ll get that all figured out here this week, but the good thing ... is that we’ve got six guys that have actually started in an SEC game and won,” Malzahn said. “I think that’s a really good thing as far as depth is concerned. But we’ll make that call later in the week.” James, a former five-star recruit who signed with Texas out of high school and transferred to Auburn two years later, got his first start against Louisiana-Monroe. He likened himself to a ‘utility player’ this year. “I feel like I can go in there wherever they need me at, and whenever my number’s called, just be ready to play,” James said. The transition was made markedly easier by the presence of Kozan, a fifth-year senior who leads the offensive line and generally aided James in his first couple of starts. “It’s really reassuring [having Kozan next to him] cause he’s out there making extra calls, he’s out there telling you what you need to do,” James said. “He’s really helping me play the position.” The inverse is true for Kozan. He’s noticed the improve-

ment James has made, especially as he made the jump from sixth man to starter. “As a run blocker, he’s done better than I expected,” Kozan said. “As a pass blocker, he’s been solid. I don’t think he’s given up any sacks or anything like that. Darius has really been focused on improving during practice, and that’s kind of allowed him to play better in the game.” Regardless of which combination Malzahn, offensive line coach Herb Hand and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee decide to roll out, the confidence won’t waver among them, Kozan, or the other members of the trenches. They believe they’ve got a surplus of capable offensive linemen, all of which are more than capable of sliding into the starting lineup. “I think we’ve got six really good players,” Kozan said. “Darius has really stepped up when he’s gotten his opportunity here in the past couple weeks. So we’re going to have a good, hard week of practice and Coach Malzahn and Coach Hand and Coach Lashlee all make the best decision for the team and I think we’re ready to roll with whoever’s in there.”

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