Aug 28, 2013
LaDarius Owens is getting the start for Auburn at defensive end on Saturday (Todd Van Emst photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn needs a lot of receivers for his fast-paced offense, and proved it Wednesday in an Auburn depth chart that includes four starting wide receivers, a tight end and an overall starting offensive lineup that includes 13 starters.
The formation and the call will really dictate the starting 11 that will go on the field when Auburn meets Washington State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
The depth chart, the first of the fall, features a starting lineup on offense that has only one senior — H-back Jay Prosch — as well as eight juniors, three sophomores and a redshirt freshman. The defensive lineup, counting co-starters, features six juniors, four seniors and two sophomores.
The defense shows a shakeup at end where Craig Sanders and LaDarius Owens are the two starters. It's a promotion for both, partly due to the fact that returning starter Dee Ford is out with a knee injury and Ken Carter has been slowed by a injury as well.
Kiehl Frazier, who began fall camp vying for the starting quarterback job, is listed as the No. 2 boundary safety behind starter Josh Holsey.
Eight of the offensive starters started the final game last year, though one of them started only that game and another started only two games. The offensive line combined for 42 starts last year.
Six of the defensive starters are returning.
Brandon Fulse and C.J. Uzomah are listed as co-starters at tight end. Uzomah and Sammie Coates are listed as co-starters at one of the wide receiver spots. The three other starting wideouts are Jaylon Denson, Quan Bray and Ricardo Louis. Their backups are Fulse, Trovon Reed and freshman Marcus Davis.
The depth chart reaffirms junior college transfer Nick Marshall as the starting quarterback. He's backed up by sophomore Jonathan Wallace and freshman Jeremy Johnson, both listed as the No. 2 quarterback.
The offensive line will be anchored by center Reese Dismukes. Greg Robinson is back as the starting left tackle and Chad Slade returns as the starting right guard. Alex Kozan will start at left guard. Patrick Miller will start at right tackle.
Angelo Blackson will be one of the defensive tackles. Either Jeff Whitaker or Gabe Wright will start at the other defensive tackle spot. The backup tackles are freshman Montravius Adams, junior college transfer Ben Bradley and JaBrian Niles for defensive line coach Rodney Garner.
"Coach Garner is going to rotate a lot of guys, especially when you're playing against a team that's going to throw it a lot or could throw it a lot," said Gus Malzahn. "You've got to have depth, being the first game of the year. That'll be very important."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: