AUBURN, Ala. — Patrick Miller’s status is still in a holding pattern.
“Not for sure yet,” Gus Malzahn said Tuesday when asked about Miller’s availability.
The Tigers’ starter at right tackle for the first five games of the season has sat out the last two weeks with what has only been described as “off field” issues.
That means Avery Young is the presumptive starter at right tackle for the third straight game. Malzahn lauded the redshirt freshman’s play, and noted Young wasn’t in optimum condition heading into last Saturday’s game against Texas A&M after suffering an ankle injury the previous week versus Western Carolina.
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“We were worried about him being ready and he wasn’t quite 100 percent Saturday, but he played with a lot of guts,” Malzahn said. “We ran behind him in the fourth quarter a lot. He did an excellent job.”
A pair of backups in the secondary might also be game-time decisions for Saturday’s game. Mackenro Alexander left last week’s game in a neck brace for a stinger.
“He’s doing better,” Malzahn said of the true freshman safety, who has seen time behind Robenson Therezie at the “Star” position. “We expect him to be back.”
Kamryn Melton, meanwhile, is “day-to-day,” Malzahn said. The true freshman is dealing with a leg injury that occurred during the second half of the Western Carolina contest.
Nick Marshall earned tepid praise from Malzahn as the signal-caller continues to progress with zone-reads. “There are things he is definitely getting more comfortable with,” Malzahn said. “He was very calm during that game, he was very confident, but there are still some areas he needs to improve on and he knows that.” The search for a No. 1 receiver continues. And Malzahn is fine with that — for the moment. “Ideally you want to have a guy that's kind of your go-to guy in certain situations and we're doing it by committee,” he said. “All the guys we’ve had have made plays for us. (But) that’s one of the areas we do need to get better on.”