Auburn greats, Bret Eddins and Jeris McIntyre, return for the second installment of our Rountable of Tigers Past. Be sure to leave questions you would like for them to answer in the comments section below, or if you consider yourself an Auburn great you can answer the questions in the comments as well.
1. What can a game/win like the one against Clemson do for a team mentally and physically? What were one or two games that you played in that were similar to the Tiger Tussle?
Bret: Mentally, it can give you confidence in yourself and your teammates. Knowing you can take a team’s best and still pull it out when it’s needed is a great feeling, but its one that you have to learn from. We have to use the good and the bad from last Saturday to improve and move forward as a better team in all facets.
Physically, it drains you. The adrenaline and emotion of a game like that alone can wear you out, not to mention the toll your body has taken with all the hitting. Hopefully we got plenty of rest and rehab because with a team like South Carolina coming in we will need to be sharp physically as well as mentally.
I think back to the Syracuse game at Auburn. They had taken it to us the previous season and came in thinking it would happen again. We were able to fight our way back into the game and pull out a victory by playing as a team and not as individuals. I think that game was a great learning experience and growth spurt for that team and those players.
Jeris: The victory against Clemson was huge. A victory like can only help the confidence of a football team. I really think you need games like to show what you are made out of because playing in the SEC, there will be tough games every week. We were down big early in the game and did not panic, so when that happens and the team stays calm, comes together, and wins the football game, you will only gain confidence.
Georgia in 2001 was similar to that game cause we were down early but came together and won the very hard-fought physical game.
2. Being as honest and open as possible, what do you think is the reason the offense has been ineffective for most of the last 5-6 quarters?
Bret: We’ve played two teams that run similar offenses and two teams that had multiple weeks, if not months, to game-plan for us. Also, our players are still building IN GAME chemistry. Seeing how effective we can be in spurts is impressive, but it’s when we can consistently put that kind of play together that we will reach full potential. I have no doubt the team is working hard to get to the highest level they can perform, and when that happens it will be exciting.
Jeris: I think the main reason the offense has not been as effective is because we have not established a run game. If you look at last year when our offense was rolling, Ben Tate was our guy and we established the run with him being our main guy. I think until we get Mike Dyer going and get him the carries to get our run game going, then we will continue to struggle.
It all starts up front, so our veteran O-line should be able to make that happen. Once the run game is going, it will make it so much easier for the pass game, and put the defense on their heels.
3. Do you see South Carolina as a real contender in the SEC East, or do you think the Tigers will expose them? Should Lattimore be getting as much praise as he has gotten, given the level of talent he has played against and the amount of carries he’s been getting? Bret, you could have 100 or so yards if you got the ball 40 times right?
Bret: Right now you have to say they are one of the top contenders in the East. If they can keep playing at the level they did against Georgia, they have a good shot. Hopefully, we can use the Georgia tape to find some weaknesses, but we don’t have too much else to go on. They are a young, but very talented team, and I’m sure our coaches have a great game plan..
I think anytime a freshman comes out and plays with authority you have to give that kid credit. Be it a running back, wide receiver, defensive lineman, or even a kicker. It’s a tough transition, and to see some of these kids do it is always impressive to me. I think early season hype is something the media uses to sell games, but he has certainly looked good the little bit I’ve seen. I’ve enjoyed watching Michael Dyer quickly come of age for us and think seeing these two go head to head will be something SEC fans will all find interesting.
Just thinking about carrying a ball 40 times in the SEC just made me get sore and out of breath so I wont say too much. Anytime a running back gets the ball that much it says a lot about his , but it also says a lot about the guys in front of him on offense and defense. A defense should take that as a pretty big insult if a coach thinks he can run one guy that many times against you and be not only successful, but healthy.
Jeris: Yes, I think South Carolina is a contender in the SEC. They have a good coach and talented players that have played a lot of football in the SEC. Florida does not look as strong as they usually are, so to me, it’s a wide open race.
With Marcus Lattimore, I think he is going to be a great back. He is solid in every aspect of his game. My question is if he can stay healthy carrying the ball that many times. But if he stays healthy, the sky’s the limit for that guy cause he’s only going to get bigger faster and more comfortable.