Fans had reason to cheer Reese Dismukes and the offensive line after a big start in the win over Arkansas
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Reese Dismukes is still in the middle of things as the center who has started more games than any teammate and who makes the blocking calls for an offense that is constantly on the go.
He's also the rock in an offensive line that has undergone change since last season. One game in, the changes are working out just fine. Auburn ran past Arkansas 45-21 last week, ringing up 595 yards in the process, and will be looking for offense when it takes on San Jose State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium on ESPN2.
Dismukes started where he always started, at center. But, since last season, Chad Slade has moved from right guard to left guard, Shon Coleman has taken over left tackle from Greg Robinson, and Avery Young has moved from right tackle to right guard. Pat Miller is still at right tackle.
"I feel pretty solid about the whole line as a whole," Dismukes said. "I think Shon and Chad are… great players. We've got great players across the board. Right and left side."
The first game was a good test for an offensive line that didn't taking many "live reps throughout fall camp," Dismukes said.
"Obviously, you don't get in game shape until you play a game, so that's big, too."
Dismukes said the offensive line is farther ahead than at the same point last year. "But you'd expect that a year into the system."
"But you've got five new guys working together it's going to take time to get completely jelled and know what everyone is going to do in certain situations that happen on the field,"
Coach Gus Malzahn was pleased enough with is new-look line.
"I thought the communication was good" considering when you move players around "there are going to be some growing pains you’re going to go through with communication.
"Each game, as long as we stay healthy, I feel like we’ll get better and better. You can do so much in practice, but in games you don’t know what you’re going to get and so guys have to make adjustments. I think overall for the first game working beside new people, I felt pretty good. The great thing is that they want to get better, and they have that attitude. If they stay healthy they’ll have chance to be a really good lineup."
Auburn is a 30-plus-point favorite over San Jose State. But Malzahn says he'll play it by the book.
"We're going to do exactly what we feel like gives us the best chance of winning," he said. "We’re approaching this game just like it was last week.
"We’re going to do what we do, and we’ve got to get better. That’s the way we’re approaching it. There won’t be anything that changes or not play these guys as much – no, we’re going at this thing. We’re going to try and get better from Week One to Week Two."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine