***Defensive back Jarrick Williams is "ahead of schedule" in his recovery from a broken bone in his foot but his status is uncertain for Saturday's game. Like White, Williams hasn't played since the season opener.
The senior is Auburn's most experienced defensive back and leads the team with two interceptions, and has played a team-high 122 snaps on defense. He returned one of his interceptions 33 yards for a touchdown in the season opener against Arkansas. AuburnUndercover.com reports, through "knowledgeable sources," Whitehead got into a verbal altercation with a coach and was subsequently suspended.
"I think he's handling it well," Jones said. "He's always been a guy who's eager to learn, takes coaching well, so he's progressing really well." If Brown starts, it would be the third different combination Alabama's used at its two starting cornerback spots in four games. The Crimson Tide opened with junior Bradley Sylve and Jones and followed with Jones and Jackson in the next two games.
KSU's offense may also give a variety of looks that could confuse Auburn's defense. In the end, though, it probably proves too difficult to keep up with Auburn if KSU can't stay balanced. If Auburn jumps to a big lead with its bevy of play-makers, entirely probable, it may not even be possible to voluntarily stay balanced.
"If you think you're going to trick them by putting a bunch of new plays in that your players aren't capable of executing because you didn't practice enough, you're probably not going to do it very well," Saban said. "It's sort of a combination of yeah, let's do a couple of new things that we can practice and rep and get guys good at as well as continue to do the things that we do well, that the players have confidence in and everybody knows how and understands how to block and execute against whatever the other team does."
And if Florida loses this weekend, that lack of faith will not be disturbing, but deserved. But if Florida wins? If indefatigable Gators take the executional brilliance and grit of the 2012 team, and mix it with some of the ingenuity and offensive openness derived from Kurt Roper, and make turnovers happen, and take advantage of a public lack of belief by playing with evangelical fury? Well, hope and faith will have to have a chat. And, more than wanting Florida to beat Alabama, I want that.
But the context with Winston is simple. He was accused of sexual assault in December 2012, though never charged. Another woman allegedly sought counseling after an encounter with Winston. Whether Jimbo Fisher got sick of distractions or feared media reaction or whatever else, at least a partial suspension for a big game is merited. Once you're a quarterback who's been accused of sexual assault, you can no longer tell young pupils at a camp that part of the glory of being a quarterback is coming into possession of "all the women," as Winston did this summer (women as prizes for football players remains an unfortunate trope throughout the sport). And you can no longer climb a table and yell, "fuck her right in the pussy," in public with women nearby, as Winston did Tuesday.
Jeff Driskel is ready this time: He had to enter the 2011 game in relief of an injured John Brantley and things didn't end well. (Jesse Simonton, Miami Herald)