Auburn Football: Silver Linings to an Otherwise Stormy Season

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIOctober 6, 2012

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 22:  Onterio McCalebb #23 of the Auburn Tigers scores a touchdown past Eric Reid #1 of the LSU Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Auburn's rough season got a little rougher on Saturday. The Tigers were defeated 24-7 by Arkansas, another SEC team having a disappointing season. Though the Tigers have fallen to a woeful 1-4, there are a few bright spots this year.

These three players have found a way to shine individually.

Onterio McCalebb

The Tigers senior running back has put his game-breaking skills on display, despite the poor start. If there is a criticism to levy at the Tigers' offensive philosophy, it is the lack of commitment to get McCalebb the ball. He's only had double digit rushing attempts in three games.

One of those games was the Tigers lone win. McCalebb rushed for 128 yards on 11 attempts against Louisiana-Monroe. He found the end zone in that game on a 27-yard run. He also had a 43 yard gain in that game.

The senior also had an electrifying 100-yard kick off return for a touchdown against Mississippi State.

McCalebb is averaging 5.7 yards per carry this season. He is slight of build, but he is the Tigers' best playmaker. He needs the ball in his hands more often. At this point, the team doesn't have anything to lose.


Corey Lemonier

I've liked Lemonier ever since the Tigers' national championship run in 2010. He had two sacks that season as a 230 pound freshman. 

Now he is closer to 250 pounds, and he looks like a 3-4 pass rushing linebacker in the NFL. He has five sacks so far this season. If the Tigers can get him to return to school for his senior season, he will be one of the best defensive players in the SEC in 2013.


Cody Parkey

Coming into Saturday's loss to the Razorbacks, Parkey was a perfect 7-for-7 in field goal attempts. He did miss his first of the season against Arkansas, it was a 49-yard attempt.

Even with that miss, Parkey has been one of the few dependable sources for offense this season. For a team struggling to score, it is good to know that your kicker will at least allow you to come away with some points.


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