First thing’s first. You all saw the kerfuffle on Monday after UA release their statement on the 11:00 AM kickoff times. And then Gus Malzahn, unrelatedly, mentioned that he preferred the 11 kickoff times so that he got more time to prepare for the next week’s game.
Cecil Hurt had some strong opinions on that one:
On top of everything, though, is the fact that Gus can’t even math correctly. There’s still only 168 hours in a 7-day span. If all of his games are 11:00 kick-offs, then it’s the same amount of time to prepare.
Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the following week’s game will be back to an afternoon kickoff and he does get those extra couple of hours to prepare, then all it means is that he actually got less time to prepare the week leading up to his beloved 11:00 game. In a two week span, it all balances out.
So yeah. Good thing for Auburn, Gus usually is a better football coach than a mathematician.
-- The offensive line is getting back closer to full strength with interior players Chris Owens and Emil Ekiyor back on the field. Both missed last week’s game, leading to the first start at center for Landon Dickerson at any level of football.
-- Defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe was also back for a second straight practice after missing a few weeks with a leg injury. Saban had good things to say about the freshman’s progress in the defense before going down late in camp.
-- Watching the defensive backs, the nickel formation’s first group had Trevon Diggs and Patrick Surtain at corners, Jared Mayden and Xavier McKinney at safety and Shyheim Carter at Star.
-- The second group in nickel had Josh Jobe and Jayln Armour-Davis at corners, Jordan Battle and Daniel Wright at safety and Surtain at Star. Brandon Turnage was shadowing at corner while DeMarcco Hellams was shadowing at safety.
Your practice notes recap from AYELLE DOT COM. Nothing too out of the ordinary here, but it’s good that Owens, Eboigbe, and Ekiyor are all back on the field.
It looks like Nick is still shuffling things around to figure out the best combination of 5 guys in the secondary. For once, though, it’s nice that the shuffling is due to having 6 starter-quality guys (plus maybe the insurgence of true freshman Jordan Battle) rather than because they lack any experienced options.
It didn’t take long to discover a good working relationship with (Raekwon) Davis, a defensive lineman who shares Dickerson’s passion for competition.
“He’ll tell you he hates me on the field,” Dickerson said with a proud smile. “It’s awesome because we just go at each other every day.”
And can he get in Davis’ head?
“Sometimes,” Dickerson said. “Everybody gets a little frustrated at practice. But it’s nice. Because we practice not reacting physically and causing penalties.”
Off the field, the two are friends and Dickerson agreed with the idea that being hated between the white lines is a compliment.
The NFL player Dickerson admires most is Indianapolis Colt Quenton Nelson, a physical guard who played at Notre Dame. Video of Nelson destroying a Los Angeles Charger defender Sunday went viral this week, a perfect example of what Dickerson strives to be.
Does he play mean? Dickerson said that’s not how he’d describe it.
“I just like to play football how I think it should be played,” Dickerson said. “That’s just playing through the whistle. Simple as that.”
This is a really good piece about Landon Dickerson, and you should give it a read. The more I hear about Dickerson, the more I think that his transfer might have been the most underrated move of the offseason.
The Tide’s home-and-home opponents for the upcoming season include: Mississippi State (Jan. 8 in Tuscaloosa and Feb. 25 in Starkville, Miss.); Auburn (Jan. 15 in Tuscaloosa and Feb. 12 in Auburn, Ala.); Missouri (Jan. 18 in Tuscaloosa and March 7 in Columbia, Mo.); Vanderbilt (Jan. 22 in Nashville, Tenn., and March 3 in Tuscaloosa); and LSU (Jan. 29 in Baton Rouge, La., and Feb. 15 in Tuscaloosa).
Along with its home-and-home contests, the Tide will play host to Arkansas (Feb. 1), Tennessee (Feb. 4), Texas A&M (Feb. 19) and South Carolina (Feb. 29) during the SEC season.
The basketball team has their schedule set, and, look at that, all the times are already announced for every non-invitational game. Crazy. Meanwhile, we’re at the mercy of the TV networks until just a week before for pretty much every football game.
Finally, watch these videos from The Athletic with Nick Saban opening up about many of his personal thoughts and feelings about football and life. Use your lunch break if you have to... just watch them: