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Talking Points: on Gus Malzahn and Monte Kiffin

  • What exactly did Gus Malzahn do that was so successful against Monte Kiffin? He ran his offense. One specific: he was focused on getting Tennessee out of its five-man front and into a four-man front against which Auburn could better run the ball. How did he get that fifth guy out of there? The article doesn't say (I don't think -- another hurried morning), but I'd guess that the explanation uses the word "spread."
  • Perhaps there should be some progressive discipline for chop block repeat offenders:

Wes Brown, Auburn's latest victim, is fine and taking the high road. Unlike me. 
  • Also not taking the high road is whatever Vol fan sent Trooper Taylor a taunting letter last week and forging Lane Kiffin's and Eric Berry's signatures to the thing.
  • Well this is distressing. When I said on the podcast last night that I thought that the offense had actually improved over the 2008 version but that it was just hard to see among the comedy of errors, I had not yet read John Adams's Sunday column saying the same thing. If I have time to write tonight, I'll take a look at the actual numbers and post them tomorrow morning, but the main point is that although it's quite understandable to pull out the archived reactions of 2008 and hit "play" when Jonathan Crompton's falling down alone in the backfield and the receivers are trying to catch passes with their helmets, it might be getting in the way of seeing some actual improvement.
  • John Adams also recaps Tennessee's receiver woes from the departure of Ahmad Paige in the spring to yesterday's release of Brandon Warren. Warren's dismissal, by the way, wasn't just for his sideline outburst Saturday but, reading between the lines, for a much longer "show of emotion." Translation: ongoing attitude problem. Now we're just looking for the other three to four players that make up the infamous "five percent."