Dan Mullen held his weekly press conference this afternoon, and there were hot topics a'plenty, foremost among them the offensive line situation. I'll be writing about that group at more length later this week, but here's what Mullen had to say about the O-line, which has lost right guard Tobias Smith for the season to a knee injury and is getting left tackle James Carmon back this week.
I asked Mullen if he'd stick with the lineup from Thursday – when Quentin Saulsberry moved from center to right guard, and redshirt freshman Dillon Day came in at center – and whether redshirt freshman right guard Damien Robinson would be in the mix.
"We're going to try to get our best five offensive lineman on the field," Mullen said. "Damien is in the mix. With James coming back, it's about our best five to put out there on the field. Where we mix and match them will will be as the week and the season progresses."
Let's do the rest of the highlights bullet style, shall we?
• On the 1-2 start: "When we watch the film, we're not sitting there in a panic like, 'Wow, we're way off.' We're not that far off. To be honest with you, we're a couple plays away from being 3-0 and me being completely worried the other way – that I don't know if we're that good. That's the key – to continue to improve."
• On how the wide receivers have played so far: "We're so-so. I'd expect some more out of them, you know what I mean? Especially our older guys that I expect to be playmakers for us with Chad (Bumphis) and Arceto (Clark) and Chris Smith. I expect those guys to be the playmakers more than depending on all of our younger guys that are really still getting used to being on the field."
• On whether RB Nick Griffin, who's dressed out the last two weeks, will play Saturday: "He's practiced for two straight weeks, been ready to go in the game two straight weeks, and fortunately we haven't had to use him. Which is what I wanted. I wanted him to be ready to go play and then try to, when he felt he was ready, to wait another couple of weeks."
Griffin could get in on special teams, but Mullen would like to get the redshirt freshman some carries. Griffin has been coming back from offseason knee surgery.
• On punter Baker Swedenburg: "Baker has been very consistent. You haven't seen him boom some, but we've done a good job in the field position game and pinning teams deep inside their territory. He's got good get-off times and decent hang times with distance. I think he would like more bigger plays, like when we need 60- to 70-yard punts and all of a sudden he booms one."
• Not much to report on the injury front, except that freshman tailback Josh Robinson is out with a sprained ankle. Not that he would've played anyway.