AUBURN - Senior Ryan Shoemaker, who lost his job to freshman Steven Clark midway through the season, will be Auburn's starting punter at Alabama next Friday, special teams coordinator Jay Boulware said after Thursday's practice.
Special teams coordinator Jay Boulware
“We’re going to pretty much go with him for right now," Boulware said. "He’s a senior. Hopefully, he can get out there and do a solid job for us.”
Shoemaker took over the punting duties for last Saturday's game against Georgia and averaged 42.5 yards on two punts in a 49-31 Auburn victory.
AMAZING THROW: Add tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen to the list of those amazed by Cam Newton's touchdown pass late in the second quarter against Georgia. Lutzenkirchen was on the receiving end.
"Cam threw an unbelievable ball," Lutzenkirchen said. "Even after watching the replay, I’m not sure how he got it there. It was a freak play on his part, and I was just on the receiving end of it."
STANDING UP FOR FAIRLEY: Freshman Jeffrey Whitaker wasn't sure he'd heard right when a television commentator talked about fellow defensive tackle Nick Fairley being a dirty player.
"Nick is like one of the most cool, calm, collect dudes you could meet,” Whitaker said. “That’s why it’s funny. I'm like, dirty? No. That’s not right the right word to describe Nick. Sometimes you’ve just got to block out what they say and keep playing.”
Fairley is a finalist for the Lombardi and Nagurski awards. He leads the Southeastern Conference with 18.5 tackles for loss and is second in sacks with 7.5.
DIFFERENT PLAYERS, DIFFERENT RECORD: Gene Chizik was 5-19 at Iowa State in his first two seasons as a head coach. He's 19-5 in his second season at Auburn.
Boulware, who has been on Chizik's staff all four seasons, said his boss hasn't changed.
IRON BOWL FEVER: Sophomore linebacker Daren Bates got his first taste of the Iron Bowl last season. He says there's a different feeling on the Auburn football team when it's time to get ready to play Alabama.
“Everybody knows what’s at stake, knows it’s Alabama," Bates said. "That’s all that’s got to be said around here: Everybody changes. Everybody picks it up. Practice is more intense, more physical, all that type of stuff.”