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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Late night notes: Dyer's knee feeling 'pretty good'

Running back Mike Dyer walked into the media room with a large ice pack strapped to the outside of his right knee, but the Auburn freshman said he had a good practice Tuesday and is feeling “pretty good.”

Dyer was limited last week in practice after hurting his knee in the weight room. He didn’t practice until Thursday.

He played sparingly against Arkansas but still managed 53 yards on six carries. He ran for a 38-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“It was good during the game,” he said. “Just make sure that you stretch it, keep moving it so it won’t be stiff.”

Dyer said the team is being cautious with him this week.

“They’re just making sure that everything goes right,” he said. “They don’t want to push it too far, you know, try to slow me down too much. But it’s the job of the coaches to make sure everything’s done well and in a good way.

“This week I’ve been getting treatment and everything’s fine. I practiced a lot more today and I got to stretch it out. I’m ready to go.”

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Here are some other notes and quotes from Tuesday's round of late interviews:
  • Before he ran out of the tunnel Saturday, Dyer was pulled aside by Tigers great Bo Jackson for some last-minute advice. Jackson had been at meetings all week, talking about how he expects Auburn running backs to play. “He’s just one of those guys who loved playing here, loved being here and loves to help us when he can,” Dyer said.
  • Dyer said when a former Heisman Trophy-winning running back talks to you, you listen. “When he says something to you, you’re like, ‘OK, that’s what I’ve got to do,’” Dyer said. “I mean, it’s Bo Jackson.”
  • Auburn hasn’t faced a punt returner quite like LSU’s Patrick Peterson all year, and it knows it. “He’s in a league of his own now,” Tigers head coach Gene Chizik said. “He has a great first step; he has a great ability to make the first guy miss. He’s one of those guys who don’t come along very often who have a knack for doing it and he does it well.”
  • Peterson leads the SEC and is fourth nationally with a 21.1-yard punt return average. He returned punts for touchdowns against North Carolina and West Virginia. “The key really is getting good punts, getting the ball real high in the air so he doesn’t have time to work,” Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake said “And just covering, getting off the guys that are trying to block you and getting down the field fast.”
  • A lot of big hits for the Auburn's special teams last week. Don't think it doesn't help. "It really energizes the team, especially when we stuff them behind the 20 consistently," Blake said. "It's very contagious. Everyone wants to be that guy making the big hit and making the play behind the 20. That's our goal every time we kick the ball off."
  • Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s desired number for plays in a game is 80, a mark Auburn hasn’t hit once this year. The Tigers did manage to score 65 points against Arkansas, however. “You call it even,” Malzahn deadpanned. Malzahn’s offense is based on tempo, meaning the more cranked up it gets, the more plays it will run. But the Tigers haven’t hit their goal yet. They had 78 against South Carolina and 73 against Kentucky but otherwise haven’t topped 70. “Well, whatever gives us the best chance to win is what we’re going to do,” Malzahn said. Does it bother him not to hit that number? “Not if you win,” he said.
  • How good is LSU's defense? "Their stats speak for themselves," center Ryan Pugh said. "They’re probably the most athletic, fastest, physical group that you’ll play every year. They’re always well coached. They play hard and physical."
  • "It’s the most talented defense we’ve seen, no doubt about it," Malzahn said. Called the defensive line the best Auburn will face. He said LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis is "one of the best in the business."
  • How does he know? Oh yeah, last year. Auburn lost 31-10 and had 193 yards of offense. "They whipped us pretty good," Malzahn said. "They were extremely talented on defense just like they are this year and we had some deficiencies. A lot of our deficiencies were being exposed at that time of the year, but you have to give those guys credit. They got after us real good."
  • "LSU was just a complete a debacle at LSU as far as offensive line play," Pugh said. "We didn’t look like a very unified group. We didn’t play up to our capability, and the score showed it. The score wasn’t close throughout the game and we never got anything going on offense. That game was hard to watch, but the best thing to do is go back and watch and learn from it."
  • That loss came at the end of a stretch where Auburn lost to Arkansas and Kentucky. The LSU game might have been the worst. "Nobody likes to be embarrassed," Malzahn said. "That was a stretch that we were definitely embarrassed, our offense was."
  • Dyer said he's noticed the older guys more focused this week after what LSU has done to them the past two years. "They were a little more focused today, which made everyone’s focus a little more high," he said. "Seeing the juniors and seniors on the same page, going until the whistle blows, running off the field and all these things today. It was kind of like, ‘Hey, this is real serious right now.’ They’re just making sure we all know that.”
  • Peterson plays cornerback too. Malzahn had high praise, calling him "maybe the best in the country. He’s extremely talented, got great ball skills. He’s one of those confident guys, good tackler, has great instincts. He’s a great player."
  • Malzahn said defenses have thrown a lot of different looks at the Tigers this season. "We’ve seen a little bit of everything," he said. "We’ve seen zero with blitz, we’ve seen stay back, keep everything in front of them. We’ve seen just about everything this year.”
  • You would think Malzahn would take some great pleasure out of beating Arkansas, where he was a coordinator in 2006 before leaving under dicey circumstances. He was 0-2 against the Razorbacks until Saturday's game. "I'm a lot more concerned about us here along the journey," he said. "And to be honest with you, it was just another game as far as this season goes. I don't really too much get into that. ... You can't. ... At least I can't."


AUsome04 said...

AB, Chizik may not be a great interview but the rest of these guys sure make up for the lack of substance. If we get this one down this weekend that'll be three revenge games down with two more to go. War Eagle

MikeP said...

Fingers crossed on Dyer's knee being 100% Saturday. We'll want the 1-2 punch of Dyer-McCalebb at full strength for LSU.