Auburn Football: Five Tigers Key to an Iron Bowl Victory Over Alabama

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Aug 30, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers quarterback Nick Marshall (14) awaits the snap during the third quarter against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Shon Coleman

Coming into the 2014 season, one of the biggest holes the team faced was filling Greg Robinson’s left tackle spot. You don’t just call “next man up” to replace the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, though Shon Coleman appeared to be a quality stand-in.

However, the sophomore has gone through plenty of growing pains this season.

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  • “What I can say is that Shon did not play very well last night and he knows that, especially in the pass protection,” Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said the day after the Tigers’ 34-7 loss to Georgia gave the team a two-game losing streak. “The last two weeks he’s struggled a little bit.”

    Coleman has been called for several holding penalties and multiple false starts this season as a result of poor footwork and lack of focus. Simply, he has been far from the dominant force Robinson was against some of the top pass rushers in the SEC.

    In particular, Mississippi State’s Preston Smith and Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett gave Coleman fits. It’s no coincidence that Auburn lost to both teams.

    But, Shon Coleman is talented enough to step up and play better. There’s no better time to do so than against Alabama in the Iron Bowl because Crimson Tide linebacker Xzavier Dickson and the rest of the Alabama front seven will provide the biggest test of the season for Coleman and the offensive line.

    Next: Sammie Coates