Auburn, Ala.--There have been sweeping changes on Auburn's offensive line from opening night through the Vanderbilt game on Saturday and there may be more on tap this week as the status of junior center Jason Bosley is unknown at the moment after he injured a knee late in the second quarter in the win over the Commodores.
Without him in the second half, Auburn turned to left tackle and true freshman Ryan Pugh at center with senior King Dunlap coming in to replace him. While the offense didn't perform as well in the final 30 minutes, Coach Hugh Nall says at least they got a chance to work together in a game in case they're needed this weekend at Arkansas.
"He's doing fine with it," Nall says of how Bosley is taking his injury. "He's doing as good as he can do. It's one of those deals where we will know a lot more in the next 48 hours or so.
"The only positive, and there is a positive, is that he (Pugh) did get in and that group had a chance to work together a little bit," Nall adds. "Needless to say we dropped off some. We didn't perform near as well as we had been."
As an overall unit, Nall says the offensive line had its moments, but didn't perform as well as he would have liked in all phases of the game. While Bosley and Tyronne Green graded out the best, Nall notes everyone still has plenty of room to grow.
"They did okay," Nall says. "I thought the assignment grades were really high. The technique grades were not as good as I hoped they would be, but we did some good things early. The little things are not what they need to be, hat placement, footwork, pad level at times, but they played hard which was fun to watch."
Dunlap had a chance to get back in action for the first time in two weeks as he played in a series in place of Pugh and then full-time at left tackle when Pugh moved to center. Not playing up to par early in the season, Nall says Dunlap was better in his time against the Commodores.
"I thought he did okay," Nall says of Dunlap. "He made some good blocks. I thought he hustled down the field and did some good things. Once again, I thought the whole group did some good things, but we've got to get better and get better in a hurry."
This week Nall says Pugh will get plenty of work at center and right now his plans are to get him ready to play the position against Arkansas. "It just depends on what happens with Bosley," Nall says. "The game plan now will be to put Pugh at center and go on down the road."
Center is not a position foreign to Pugh as that has been his focus since arriving at Auburn and up until three weeks ago when he made the switch to left tackle. Nall says Pugh has plenty of work at center under his belt, but just not much game action.
"I have been trying to get him anywhere from 12 to 20-something reps a day at center," Nall says. "It just depends. Some days are more and some are less. Each week he's been getting reps at center every day.
"I think it's just a matter of getting reps and being in there and everybody hearing him make the calls with that group," Nall adds. "He has been working at center with the second group all this time. He just hasn't worked with the first group all that much. I just think it's a matter of getting reps with that group."