Derek Meyer's departure was confirmed in the newspapers this morning but I'm just now getting around to it. You can read three different perspectives on it in the Wichita Eagle, Topeka Capitol-Journal and Omaha World-Herald. On that note, I'm going to expend much less time reading the KC Star and more reading the Wichita Eagle, who consistently picks up stories the Star misses.
In more positive news, incoming wide receiver Deon Murphy told the Manhattan Mercury he hopes to continue the return game success Yamon Figurs started last year. We definitely need it, because on a team with questions on offense, big plays on special teams can be the difference between wins and losses.
Track 'em Tigers, SBN's Auburn blog, reports the Tigers' starting fullback Carl Stewart may not be ready for the opener. That could be a concern for the running game, and I think most would agree stopping the run is our biggest concern on defense. In the same post, we hear that freakishly talented linebacker Tray Blackmon is back and will be roaming the field September 1st.
For my preview of the Auburn game, hit the link. After discussing the game with a friend who is an Auburn alum and avid fan, I get the feeling more than ever that it will be a fairly low-scoring, defense-dominated affair because of the question marks with both teams' offensive lines. Unfortunately, I think Auburn's o-line concerns are primarily limited to the passing game (allowed 35 sacks last year, second-worst in the SEC), because the Tigers ranked fifth in the SEC in rushing offense last year (148.2 yards per game, 21 touchdowns). Couple that with our struggles stopping the run last year (161.6 yards per game) and I fear the Tigers will be able to grind it out, even if they can't give Brandon Cox enough time to throw and our talented secondary blankets the field. We need to hope for turnovers and big plays on special teams.