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AU vs. South Florida: It's big, all right

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AU vs. South Florida: It's big, all right

Posted by Phillip Marshall, The Huntsville Times September 05, 2007 3:22 PM

It wasn't scheduled to be a "big" game. It was scheduled to be a decent test that would result in a victory over a team from a BCS conference.

But Auburn's game against South Florida on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium is a big one indeed. A win could and probably would send the Tigers to Gainesville on Sept. 29 with a 4-0 record, a top 10 national ranking and growing confidence.

A loss to South Florida wouldn't mean the season was lost. But it would raise all kinds of questions, most of them troubling, as a schedule that includes road games at Florida, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia unfolds.

And it would be a big mistake to think that South Florida does not have the wherewithal to win at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Bulls have some big-time talent on both sides of the ball.

Auburn's defense, it would appear, is good enough to beat South Florida and to give the Tigers a chance against pretty much anyone. The offense? It must get better in a hurry.

The defense isn't good enough to go on the road and shut down the teams the Tigers have to play. In last week's openers, Florida scored 49 points, LSU 45, Arkansas 46 and Georgia 35. They aren't likely to have those kinds of numbers against Auburn, but they'll score points.

Last season, the Tigers survived on defense and kicking. That's not going to keep happening forever.

If Auburn's offense doesn't soon find a way to hold up its end of the bargain, this season could take on a very grim look even before the leaves begin to turn.


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Posted by mdberry on 09/05/07 at 4:32PM

Mr. Marshall,

As always, thanks for your outstanding coverage and information. Regarding the South Florida game, I realize that many Auburn people including the coaches and players say they are taking them seriously. I wonder if most of the fans realize just how good this team is?

They have had signature wins each of the last two years, defeating both Louisville and West Virginia. In your assessment, is South Florida the second best team in the state of Florida right now; trailing only the University of Florida, but slightly better than FSU and Miami?


From Phillip M.: It's hard to say if that's the case because I haven't seen those teams yet. My guess would be they don't have the depth those teams do, but I could be wrong about that. We'll all know more after Saturday night.

Inappropriate?  Alert us. Post a commentPosted by runinred63 on 09/05/07 at 5:05PM

Has the starting lineup changed at all for Week 1? What's the over/under for the number of touches Fannin gets? ;)


From Phillip M.: I think the only lineup changes will be those that might (or might not) be made necessary by injuries. I'd put the over-under on Fannin at 10.

Inappropriate? Alert us. Post a commentPosted by shackelford on 09/05/07 at 5:52PM

Mr. Marshall-

The lost player in all of the questions that have been going on all week is Sen' Derrick Marks. How exactly did he grade out ? I haven' t heard anything about him over the week and I know he had a good camp. I was also at the game and saw him play it looked like the second half they had him at tackle when he was in...... was he just gassed and could go or slightly injured. Thank you sir!


Phillip M.: Sen'Derrick played end for the most part, but played tackle in pass-rush situations. That's been the plan all along. I am told he played well.

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