AuburnFamilyNews.com: Players of the First Half of the Seaon

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Players of the First Half of the Seaon


Offense, defense, freshman, top play. You name it, we got it.
The infighting is terrible. We can’t agree on anything. Except for the fact that we’ve got a top ten team on the Plains, nobody can compromise on how it’s happened. Which player on offense has been the key? Dunno. Which defensive player has been the linchpin? Could be a couple of different guys. Newcome? We’re even more divided.
We’ll just let you read the arguments for each side.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2017
Ryan Sterritt
It should be our uber-efficient quarterback or our 12 TD running back, right? Well... Until three weeks ago, neither of those guys were doing much of anything. So what happened? Casey Dunn happened. The offensive line has been rock solid since he stepped in at the end of the Mercer game.
Son of Crow
Stidham. He has been on ESPN’s best QB of the week list three times this season already and was #1 two weeks in a row. Once the O-line started giving him time, and the plays were called to give him confidence, he started decimating defenses.
Chris Nano
RB, Kerryon Johnson - he's the most electrifying RB on the roster and he's such a great, smooth runner
James Jones
Stidham. I really want to say Kerryon, but Stidham is what gives this offense the juice.
AU Nerd
Kerryon Johnson. His ability to finish things off at the goal line has been critical to offensive turnaround along with fact he's getting healthier has meant we have a more explosive run game. This offense really runs through him.
Jack Condon
I don’t really see how it can’t be Jarrett Stidham. We heard nothing but praise for him in the offseason, and now that he’s settled into the offense, it’s all been warranted. Even if Sean White had earned the starting job, he wouldn’t have been able to hit the types of lengthy throw Stidham is connecting on, and Stidham’s got so much charisma that it seems the team is rallying around him.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2017
Ryan Sterritt
I think this has to go to Carlton Davis. Remember how highly we thought of him after 2015? After an iffy 2016, Davis has been elite this year. He's consistently grading out as one of the best DBs in football, and almost every time the ball gets thrown his way (which is rare), he makes a great play on the ball. It's almost like he heard all of our constant pleas over the last few (okay, 10) years for the corners to just turn around!
Son of Crow
Carlton Davis is going to be a millionaire next year.
Chris Nano
CB, Carlton Davis - he shuts down every single WR he gets matched up against
James Jones
Holland. Y'all we haven't talked about having to fill Carl Lawson's shoes since the beginning of the season. We're talking about one of the best rookies in the NFL right now, and we haven't really missed him. That's a thing that is happening.
AU Nerd
Jeff Holland. I fully expected defense to take a step back with the big reason being AU unable to replace Carl Lawson's production. You could argue that Holland has been BETTER at times this season than Lawson but at least he's filled his shoes admirably. I think he's in for a big game Saturday.
Jack Condon
Cast another vote here for Jeff Holland. The guy’s been out of control and nearly unblockable on the defensive front, and he’s only going to eat more and more over the next couple of weeks with the relatively poor offensive lines coming up. Even when he doesn’t get the sack, he’s been great at pressuring the quarterback and screwing up timing across the board for opposing offenses.
FRESHMAN OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2017
Ryan Sterritt
Funnily enough, Auburn really hasn't relied on freshmen this year. A quick scan through the roster and all I really saw was guys that have looked decent in mop up duty, but haven't played much outside of that. That being said, Malik Willis has been stepped up BIG time so far. After enrolling early and figuring he would just be redshirting, he has been a really nice surprise as the backup quarterback after Sean White was kicked off the team. I know a lot of Auburn people were holding their collective breaths with regards to the QB depth, and we still haven't seen him pass much, but it looks like he can for sure run that read option.
Son of Crow
Noah Igbinoghene has been dynamic when he gets the ball in his hands. I am hoping there are more chances for him in future games.
Chris Nano
CB, Jordyn Peters - very impressed with how this young man is carrying on, he's been good in coverage all year long
James Jones
Nick Coe. He's a redshirt freshman, so I'm counting it. The "rabbits" d-line package has been amazing this year.
AU Nerd
Nick Coe. He's AU's 5th starter and can pretty much do anything. He's got 1st round potential down the road.
Jack Condon
Dang, there are a couple of directions you could go with this. Iggy and Devan Barrett have been nice additions on offense, showing the incredible speed that we can’t wait to see in more action moving forward, but I have to agree with the others above me and say that Nick Coe’s the guy. He’ll be a bonafide SEC star next year, and a sure-fire draft pick the next year.
PLAY OF THE FIRST HALF OF 2017
Ryan Sterritt
I'm not sure what the "best" play has been, because there have been a lot, especially the last three weeks. But I think I have to go with the Wildcat Reverse to Slayton in the MSU game. Remember, it was only 7-3 at that point, and on 3rd and short, everybody and their cousin knew that wildcat meant KJ up the middle. But with the handoff to Ryan Davis, the flip back to Stidham, and a big time throw deep, I think the jaws dropped on every Auburn fan in the country. Since that play, the offense has been in "break tendency" mode that we've wanted for years. It's carried over since then, too, but to me, that signaled the return of Gus's "high school" offense. And I love it.
Chris Nano
Will Hastings putting a double move on the Mississippi State CB and Stidham finds him for the long TD.
James Jones
Nate Craig-Myers's touchdown against Missouri. The game wasn't really in doubt, but I was sitting in the endzone he strolled into after hauling this one in. The entire play was a beauty to behold from the endzone.
AU Nerd
That touchdown pass to Darius Slayton is probably my pick. It showcased everything I wanted to see from this AU passing game from accurate throws to elite WR play. If AU can start making plays like that consistently opposing defenses are in some real trouble.
Jack Condon
Give me the deep ball from our own end zone against Mississippi State that went to Eli Stove. It was ballsy, and completely against what we would’ve done last year or the year before. Chip dialed it up, the protection was tight, and gave Stove time to run a route all the way across the field. Stidham hit him right at the end of that cross, and completely flipped the field. Boom.


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