Q&A: View from the other sideline
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 23:10
Sean Lester interviewed Will Gaines, sports editor for The Plainsman, Auburn’s student newspaper.
THE BATTALION: What is different about this year’s Auburn team compared to the one that lost a lopsided game to A&M a year ago?
GAINES: The biggest difference between this year’s team and the last is the team’s ability to keep fighting and not give up when they face adversity. Last year’s game against A&M was a perfect example of this. Auburn just gave up against the Aggies and I don’t see that happening this year.
THE BATTALION: QB Nick Marshall missed a week but will start this week. What does he bring to the table for the Tigers?
GAINES: Marshall is a great athlete that keeps defenses on their heels because of his running ability. He also has a very strong arm that can out-throw coverages, but because he has only been on campus since the late summer he hasn’t been able to get the timing down perfect with his receivers.
THE BATTALION: What is the excitement level on campus entering the Top 25 rankings and facing No. 7 A&M?
GAINES: Auburn fans are very excited about this game, especially after the Aggies’ close win against Ole Miss last week. Auburn is ready to show A&M that the way they played last year is not how Auburn football is played. Alabama’s defense. It’s a scary thought when you think about, ‘That’s who we’re going to play next week.’
THE BATTALION: Which program do you think has a better chance of making the national championship game in the next 5-10 years?
GAINES: I really like what Kevin Sumlin has done so far at A&M and the advantage of being an SEC school in Texas for recruiting is scary. But honestly, I think once Johnny Manziel leaves Sumlin will have to start reloading his team, and that may take time. Auburn, on the other hand, has been recruiting very well the past few years and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
THE BATTALION: Who is the better collegiate quarterback: Cam Newton or Johnny Manziel?
GAINES: Manziel relies more on his speed and athleticism, while Cam relied on his size and power. The scary thing about Cam was he could move like Manziel and he was 6 foot 5 and weighed 250 pounds. I also think Cam won more with less talent around him. Because of that I’m going to say Cam, but it’s so close it’s really hard to say.
THE BATTALION: What do you think the final score will be in this weekend’s game?
GAINES: The only way I think this Auburn defense can slow down Manziel is to force turnovers. So far, Auburn has seven interceptions this season and if they want to win this game they will need to add to that total against A&M. Scores are so hard to predict, but I think Auburn wins 42-35.