August 30, 2012

The Optimist's guide to Saturday and beyond

AUBURN -- The first game week of the 2012 season rapidly is approaching.


Saturday can't arrive soon enough.


Anticipation isn't just for fans. Reporters have covering pre-season drills for almost a month now while analyses based entirely on old information were circulating well before that.


Now it's time to see if the changes Auburn made during the past nine months will elicit better results on the field. My guess is that coach Gene Chizik's team will be better in an intriguing, new way: Defense and special teams will carry this group.


It'll be more in turn with old-school Auburn football, which dates all the way back to 2005. Right?


Why are the Tigers on the upswing?


Here's what The Optimist sees as support for his optimism:


The defensive front: Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder has established an entirely new paradigm along the line of scrimmage and it has nothing to do with allowing opponents to dictate tempo.


Auburn will aim to dictate tempo by challenging the offense at every turn. There will be blitzes, sure, but opponents will be feeling heat most of the time regardless. VanGorder will play the guys who get up the field and undermine the opponent's plan.

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