Corner Change

Thursday practices are limited to the media and mostly mental days, so there's not a lot of information to gather as the next game approaches, but there was one interesting tidbit after the short workout.

Playing for Wesley "Crime Dawg" McGriff is strictly performance-based.

If you perform, you keep your spot. If you don't, you lose it.

But there is another scenario that can also alter personnel decisions.

You can play decent and someone else plays a little bit better and they will get the starting nod.

That has happened this week to senior Cornerback Wesley Pendleton, who will be replaced at Field CB by sophomore Senquez Golson against Auburn.

"Senquez is going to start this week against Auburn at Field CB," said McGriff. "He had a great game against Texas A&M and we expect him to continue to grow from that. We expect him to get better and better.

"In this game, you either get better or you get worse and right now he is on the upswing. We are going to feed off of that and let him go."

Senquez Golson
File Photo

Crime Dawg does not believe Pendleton has fully overcome the knee injury he had in August camp.

"He's healthy, but I don't think he has gotten over the injury mentally," noted McGriff. "Sometimes a kid can't get over injuries mentally. I think he will be fine soon. He's a tough kid and he understands he's playing a violent game. He'll bounce back."

Earlier in the season, McGriff moved Charles Sawyer from safety to corner, a move he says has worked well.

"Charles seems like he is at home now. He is making plays for us," said McGriff. "He's a smart kid and one of those guys who can play anywhere on the back end. We feel like we are getting dividends for putting him at corner. It's been a great move for our defense."

Crime committed to playing freshman CB Mike Hilton more last week against the Aggies as a spy on Manziel. Did he help his cause in terms of getting more playing time?

"Mike did an excellent job, a tremendous job. Mike is maturing and has shown signs he is ready to play more, so you will see more of #28 in future games, I'm confident," McGriff stated.

Against Texas, the secondary as a whole did not do well in making plays on the ball in the air. Crime Dawg believes that has improved.

"I thought we did a great job of playing the ball against Texas A&M and I look for that to continue. We know we have a challenge in Auburn coming up. They are going to try to throw the ball vertically and we are going to take it away. That's what we do," he noted. "We are trained to do that and we are going to go out there and hope they throw the deep ball so we can go get it."

McGriff respects both Auburn quarterbacks and expects them to be a handful for his troops.

Wesley McGriff
File Photo

"They may not be as talented as Johnny Manziel running the ball, but they are talented,"' he noted. "Both of them can spin the ball and they have some good guys on the perimeter. The Blake kid is really good. He does a great job running routes and catching the ball.

"No matter who plays QB for them, we have to be ready. They can pinpoint the ball and they have a good system. They have come up short some this year, but that is no indication of the talent they have on their roster."

Random Notes:

* OG Justin Bell will not play against Auburn, so that means Jared Duke and Corey Gaines have to step up. OL Coach Matt Luke said they recognized this was their opportunity to get some PT and as a result, they had their best practice weeks of the year.

* It does not look as if DT Woodrow Hamilton (sprained ankle) will be able to help much this weekend after all. He's still struggling some and the coaches want him fully healed before throwing him back in the fire.

* Slot Receiver Korvic Neat is still not 100%, but he's good enough to play against the Tigers. Look for him to get playing time Saturday.

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