GUS MALZAHN (PHOTO BY JASON CALDWELL)

Inside the Auburn Tigers' Jason Caldwell shares his thoughts on the Mississippi State match-up with Auburn.

Mississippi State and Auburn will get together this weekend in an important ball game for both teams. Our good friend Jason Caldwell of Inside the Auburn Tigers was kind enough to provide some insight into how things look from the Auburn point of view in this week's installment of The Other Huddle.

1. How would you describe the Auburn QB situation? Sean White returns as the starter, but with John Franklin in the mix and Jeremy Johnson out, it appears to have been a challenging situation.

Caldwell: Improving would be the word I would choose to describe Auburn’s quarterback situation after five games. Coming from the first game against Clemson when three different players took snaps, settling on Sean White the last four weeks has allowed the offense to begin to develop an identity. While it wouldn’t be surprising to see speedy John Franklin get some snaps in some form or fashion this weekend, White has taken over as a leader on the team and that has helped to stabilize the offense.

2. Montravious Adams looks like he's having his best year. What are you guys seeing from him?

Caldwell: There is no question the former five-star defensive tackle is playing his best football right now as a senior for the Tigers. Showing some signs of improved play last season, Adams has shown the consistency this season that he’s been lacking. It doesn’t hurt that Carl Lawson is back on the field and healthy, giving the Tigers a pair of players that offenses must account for.

3. Auburn seems to always have receivers, but there doesn't look to be a Sammie Coates or Duke Williams on this team. Is it more of a by committee approach this year or can Tony Stevens be the bell cow?

Caldwell: While there’s not one guy that has taken over at wide receiver, Auburn is probably more talented at the position from top to bottom than the Tigers have been in years. Tony Stevens has finally delivered on his talent this season and with true freshman Kyle Davis improving weekly, Auburn has some big-play threats to go along with solid slot guys like Marcus Davis and Ryan Davis inside.

4. Pass protection appears to have been an issue for the Tigers allowing 13 sacks. What's the issue there?

Caldwell: It has been a multitude of things so far. Probably some of the issues have just been because of talent. Facing Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU already means some quality defensive linemen to handle. Some of the issues have been because of predictable play calling that put the Tigers in too many third and long situations. They have improved in recent weeks, but this is not a group made to handle too many obvious passing downs at the moment.

5. It looks like Auburn has had some injuries at RB. What's the health situation like now and how has the team adjusted to losing Roc Thomas and Jovon Robinson?

Caldwell: Not only did Auburn lose Roc Thomas and Jovon Robinson, but 1,000-yard rusher Peyton Barber turned pro early as well, leaving them without their top three backs from a season ago. Fortunately sophomore Kerryon Johnson has stepped up in a big way after a promising freshman season a year ago. Now 15 pounds bigger, he’s a more physical back and combines with 235-pound bruiser Kamryn Pettway to give Auburn a pretty solid one-two punch. Auburn lost backup Malik Miller this week because of knee surgery, so there’s no proven depth behind the top two however so staying healthy is a must.


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