Auburn panel: LSU week

Published 12:44 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

Grade Clint Moseley’s performance (A-F) in two quarters of relief work Saturday. And if you’re the coach, who is your starting quarterback next week?

Bill Meador: I’d give Moseley a C+. He did some things well and provided a spark. Moseley would have to get the nod to start, as Trotter had his opportunity in 6 games and Auburn has floundered as of late.

Jonathan Jenkins: C+. Musical chairs is not a full-contact sport. Two-quarterback systems do work and have for decades. However, at some point, the media and the Auburn coaching staff have to realize: 1) they are not

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working together to field a team, 2) there is only one Cam Newton, 3) the AU staff is paid to coach, and 4) the media is paid to speculate.

Rick Dunn: Relative to the situation that he was put in, I would give him a “B.” There is a part of me that says that we should start Trotter, primarily because of the fact that he has benefited from the majority of the reps and playing time all year. Also, he has been put in some tough spots by play calls and lack of protection. The problem is that, in my opinion, he responded poorly to those situations in each game since the MSU game. Moseley is an unknown quantity to most of us. I honestly hate to sound so negative, but we can no longer say the same about Trotter.

The Auburn defense gave up less than 200 yards against Florida.

What is the most significant change you’ve noticed from the defense of

the first few weeks in the season to the one that’s took the field the

past several weeks?

Bill Meador: It does appear that the Tiger D has gotten a little better and is playing tougher against the run. Let’s remember that Arkansas has NO running game and AU couldn’t stop their pass. Florida is totally discombobulated at quarterback and couldn’t throw effectively, so Auburn was able to focus on stopping the run.

Jonathan Jenkins: With only two returners in August, the AU staff needed to find out who were the practice players and who were the gamers. It will take

5-6 weeks before the season statistics actually improve, but the last three games have shown who the gamers are.

Rick Dunn: I am very excited about the recent performance of our defense. I believe that their improvement is the product of several elements. The greatest improvement has been the play of the defensive line. The next element has been tighter coverage by the secondary. There are two contributing factors to our earlier struggles; youth and a change in defensive sets. The players are becoming more comfortable with their assignments and even appear to be improving their technic. They also seem to be playing with more pride. We should continue to get better and then be really strong for the next couple of years. (Back to Auburn football.)

Most “experts” predicted Auburn to go 0-5 through a murderous

October stretch, but here they sit at 2-1. What do you attribute that

change in fortune to?

Bill Meador: The 2 wins have come against teams that have struggled mightily at quarterback, as has AU. I believe the Tiger defense is coming along and that is very encouraging.

Jonathan Jenkins: All along I’ve thought that Auburn could go 3-2 through this rough stretch although I actually got South Carolina and Arkansas crossed up

in my predictions. With LSU and Ole Miss left in this part of the season, 3-2 is very likely. When you are the defending national champions, you play with pride as did Alabama in 2010. Experience level isn’t up there, but determination is.

Rick Dunn: We are better than most expected and the two teams that we defeated were not as good as they had anticipated. I understand the arguments against Auburn this year. I’m not certain that we are truly a top 20 team. However, there is an unquantifiable element associated with this team that is a product of our success last year, the leadership that the coaches are providing, and the support of the Auburn Family. These guys expect to win every game. There is no doubt that positive expectations bring, if not a victory, a better than anticipated result.

Auburn faces its biggest test Saturday in Baton Rouge. What chinks

in LSU’s armor have you seen this season that Auburn has an

opportunity to exploit?

Bill Meador: LSU looks like a steam roller in most facets of the game. They seem to have all the pieces to the puzzle. Quarterback appears to be the most average position, but he just doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. Maybe AU can force LSU to predictable plays.

Jonathan Jenkins: Chinks? In my opinion, this LSU team is much more solid than its 2003 and 2007 predecessors. Loads of talent? Not really. These Bayou Bengals just rarely make mistakes on offensive and are stifling on

defense. The only chink might be the Mad Hatter himself.

Rick Dunn: I honestly to not see any true weakness in LSU’s team. That being said, I think that we can win. We must pass for more than 150 yards and rush for at least 125 while holding LSU to 250 yards of total offense. We must also force two turnovers while giving up only one, virtually split the time of possession, and convert on at least 40% of our 3rd down tries. This is a tall order. While it is not probable, I am certain that it is possible.

Who is your pick to win this weekend?

Bill Meador: I love Auburn, but I just don’t see a win here. I hope they can keep things close. I think AU finds a little offense but still loses 34- 28.

Jonathan Jenkins: Although my heart is screaming Orange and Blue, my good sense says: LSU 31 Auburn 10.

Rick Dunn: Auburn wins 20 – 17.