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Auburn smoothing out the wrinkles before Kansas State
Sept. 14, 2014

Auburn's Rhett Lashlee smoothing out the wrinkles

By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala.  It'll be 12 days between games when Auburn gets around to playing Kansas State on Thursday night, but that's OK with offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
He's been trying to iron out a few wrinkles since the Tigers last played.
"I just think it’s good because you’ve got two games on film now. Now, we can go back and correct things that actually happened in a game," Lashlee said after Sunday's practice.
Auburn's offense has been doing well enough, scoring 45 in the opener and 59 in the second game.  Still, Lashlee said, "when you’re playing an opponent like Kansas State, it’s great to have as much time as you can have to get prepared."
It'll be the first of what may be avalanche of Top 25 games for Auburn. The No. 5 Tigers are at No. 19/20 Wildcats this Thursday, and, going by Sunday's Top 25 rankings, will face six other ranked teams, too.
The Tigers have had time to prepare, but have used the off week differently than last year's open date. Auburn used the first bye week last season to recover from its only regular-season loss… and change things.
"It was a different this year because we knew so much more. We knew so little last year it was like, 'OK, let's just completely alter the direction we're going and go this way,'" Lashlee said. "This year, we already have a pretty good idea of the big picture. 
"There may have been some things we said, 'Hey, we can clean up' or 'We can go this direction a little more in some schemes.' But it's been more personnel driven that we've gotten information that 'this guy can handle more. This guy is ready is to be give a shot. This guy is better in these situations.' That's across the board, not one person. We've probably learned more about the personnel of this year's team and how it fits as opposed to 'we need to start going in this completely new direction.' We already had a pretty good idea of the direction. It's been a bunch of little things that hopefully will show."
Defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said the off week was good because "we had a few people banged up, but I’d say the biggest advantage is we were able to give some young guys a little more attention. That was probably the best improvement, and obviously a little more time on Kansas State."
Lashlee also said…
• Receiver Sammie Coates is expected to play after missing the last game because of an undisclosed injury.
"Sammie is progressing very well. We're still very optimistic he'll be ready to roll," Lashlee said.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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