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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Auburn played Kentucky in the first round of the SEC Baseball Tournament. The Tigers won this one, and here are the highlights:

Then the Tigers drew LSU. The #1 ranked team in the country. Leading 8-3 going into the 6th inning, things began to unravel.

Auburn is currently facing Florida, and not doing so well.

War Eagle!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Auburn Softball Advances

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Auburn, Alabama you could hear the hit. A mighty a collision to rival the ferocity of those experienced on the other side of campus in Jordan-Hare Stadium. This wasn't football, or even a practice preparing for the distant football season. This was Auburn softball.

The visiting South Alabama Jaguars are a well coached team. They play the game as it should be played. Still, some question whether the slide into home plate was a legal attempt to slide at all. It became evident while watching the replay that Amanda Minahan simply lost her balance while preparing for the collision at home plate with Auburn's Carlee Wallace.

Wallace stood her ground at home plate and took the hit, although she never had possession of the ball. During the collision the true Freshman's head hit the ground very hard. As the 37 minute delay filled inning ended, South Alabama had scored 3 runs to go ahead of Auburn 4-2.

When asked in post game interview about that inning, Kasey Cooper stated  "After the incident at home plate, we were playing for her. We just needed to control and contain them that inning, and we told Rachael, you get us out of this inning, we will win for you."

Win it they did. As the last inning unfolded their injured team mate was in the dugout watching and cheering them on to vict'ry. 

The very next inning Auburn recaptured the lead by scoring 4 runs. Adding an insurance run in the 6th inning, the celebration was on.

This historic run by a gutsy and competitive bunch of girls is moving on in the NCAA Tournament. Auburn will play host to the Super Regional with the opportunity to move onto Oklahoma City in the Women's College World Series.


Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Must Auburn Do: Louisville Cardinals

 2015 Auburn Football Schedule
Date Game Location Time

09/05/15 vs. Louisville TV Atlanta TBA
09/12/15 vs. Jacksonville State TV Auburn TBA
09/19/15 at LSU TV Baton Rouge TBA
09/26/15 vs. Mississippi State TV Auburn TBA
10/03/15 vs. San Jose State (HC) TV Auburn TBA
10/15/15 at Kentucky TV Lexington TBA
10/24/15 at Arkansas TV Fayetteville TBA
10/31/15 vs. Ole Miss TV Auburn TBA
11/07/15 at Texas A&M TV College Station TBA
11/14/15 vs. Georgia TV Auburn TBA
11/21/15 vs. Idaho TV Auburn TBA
11/28/15 vs. Alabama TV Auburn TBA
SEC Championship

We have looked in depth at what these Tigers must accomplish to be a better football team. First we looked at the defense, then the offense.

It's the time of year when the players are working with their strength and conditioning coaches, and participating in voluntary workouts. This is where team chemistry, and trust, the two essential building blocks of any successful team are built.

Like Gus Malzahn, our head football coach, always says "We need to worry about us." Meaning that the players need to work hard on continuing to get better. Improve on the fundamentals, and get in the best physical shape of all the teams they will face.

The schedule, although not as brutal as the 2014 campaign, is still a tough and demanding course in which our Tigers must navigate unscathed if another national championship is to be achieved.

Lets look now at our first opponent of the upcoming football season, the Louisville Cardinals

Date: September 5th, 2015
Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic
Atalanta, GA 

Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
Offensive Coordinator: Garrick McGee
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Grantham
Pertinent Info: Schedule  Roster

The Cardinals run a pro-style run and gun offense that will mimic what we saw when Petrino and McGee were teamed together in Arkansas.The following video shows basically the type of offense we will see from the Cards.

Petrino was once the Offensive Coordinator at Auburn under Tommy Tuberville. In his book titled Orange is Our Color: The Tuberville Years Through Navy-tinted Glasses, Josh Dowdy writes: 

"So in 2002 Tuberville faced the challenge of restructuring, of refocusing. He needed coordinators who could translate Auburn's success in recruiting into more wins on the field." 
Auburn and Tuberville picked Bobby Petrino to run the offensive attack. All that Bobby Petrino had accomplished at Auburn has been overshadowed by his deeds away from Jordan-Hare Stadium. First there was "Jetgate", and later while at Arkansas "The Ride."

We know full well what type of offense Auburn will run, and so too the staff at Louisville.

Arguably, the man with the most success at stopping the Gus Malzahn attack resided in the state of Georgia for four years. Todd Grantham's UGA defenses finished those 4 seasons ranked 23rd, 5th, 32nd, and 45th respectfully in Total Defense.  

Grantham's defenses were particularly good vs. teams on 3rd down. Allowing less than 40% in his final three seasons he was with the 'Dawgs.

What Must Auburn Do?

First the Tigers must not turn the ball over. Fumbles and interceptions will be costly in any game, and Louisville will not need added adrenaline in this game. The Tigers will come into the contest with at least a Top10 ranking, and the Cardinal would love nothing more than to knock off the Plainsmen. Add to that the ACC vs SEC factor, and the hype will give the winner lots of carry into the playoff selections near seasons end.

Auburn must be able to run the football, especially needed is to convert on those 3rd and short situations. 

While Louisville is not completely settled on a starting QB yet, 5 different guys threw passes last season for the Cardinal. If the 2010 Arkansas game at Auburn is any indication of Bobby Petrino and his QB's, Louisville will have more than one QB ready to compete on September 5th.

Auburn must win the Special Teams. Kick off coverage, and Punt coverage must be very good to win this game. No breakdowns as in the 2013 BCS Championship game. Louisville will have plenty of speed on these return teams.

Most importantly Auburn has to come into this game with a mental toughness that they are here to win at all costs. Open field tackling is a desire, it's a mindset that the other guy will NOT beat you. Every play is important, every block, every run, every thing!

Accomplish these things and the season will be off to a wonderful start. 

Auburn 47  Louisville 23


Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Must Auburn Do: Offense

Coach Rhett Lashlee. photo via Dave Martin/AP

You would have to be rather picky to ask this Gus Malzahn offense to get better. Since we have a coach that will do exactly that, we decided to take a look at what we think some of those improvements might be.

To know where you're going, you must first examine where you've been. - old cliche'

Scoring: Points/Game35.5
Scoring: Games - Points13 - 461
First Downs: Total314
First Downs: Rushing - Passing - By Penalty172 - 132 - 10
Rushing: Yards / Attempt5.47
Rushing: Attempts - Yards - TD607 - 3321 - 32
Passing: Rating156.79
Passing: Yards2984
Passing: Attempts - Completions - Interceptions - TD332 - 208 - 7 - 23
Total Offense: Yards / Play6.71
Total Offense: Plays - Yards939 - 6305        
Time of Possession / Game     29:52.69
3rd Down Conversion % 52.51%
3rd Down Attempts - Conversions                                179 - 94
4th Down Conversion % 42.86%
4th Down Attempts - Conversions 7 - 3
Red Zone: Success % 87.93%
Red Zone: Attempts - Scores 58 - 51

 Last season our Tigers went along with some decent numbers offensively. At first glance you'd think scoring per game was good. Auburn finished 27th behind three SEC teams and Ga. Tech. Yes, you read that correctly, a Wishbone offense scored more points per game than our HUNH, that was anything but HUNH, for most of the season.

Rushing the ball, at least statistically was good, although down considerably in the ranks from 2013, where Auburn finished at the pinnacle of the football world.

Let's be honest, throwing the football was truly the Achilles's heel of this Auburn offense in 2014. As adamant as Gus Malzahn is about Nick Marshall being a really good QB, Auburn's passing numbers don't lie. 

A 156.79 passer rating, 23 TD's to only 7 INT's, and a total of 2,984 passing yards is a really good season. Inside those numbers one has to wonder why Auburn finished 67th nationally in passing offense. Yards per attempt were quite high at 9.0. The answer may be that Auburn only attempted throwing the football an average of 25.5 times per game, which is the lowest amount of any team in the Top 90 in passing offense. 

Our Tigers had the 6th highest passer rating of all the teams with higher rated passing offense in 2014. That's pretty good considering Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee were calling running plays at nearly 2 to 1. 

However, our QB's failed to produce in the fashion that the coaches predicted. Coach Lashlee had stated prior to the start of the season, he wanted Nick Marshall to be a 65% to 70% completion rate passer. Although Auburn improved from it's 2013 numbers, the improvement was ever so slight. From 60.7% in 2013 to 62.7% 

It is here that I must say I am using total team numbers for the season. Taking into account Jeremy Johnson started the Arkansas game, these numbers do not totally reflect on Nick Marshall.

 Back to the question at hand: What must Auburn do offensively in 2015? 

Almost every pundit in college football is agreeing that Auburn has upgraded it's passing game simply by naming Jeremy Johnson the starter. Johnson has a good strong arm, and has exhibited remarkable touch on several occasions. 

The tigers are returning a very healthy amount of experience and talent at the Wide Out positions, along with nearly every member of the offensive line. Chad Slade moved on to the NFL, and Alex Kozan returns from the injured ranks. Bolstering an offensive line that must be able to control games late into the 4th quarter.

Running Back U has a trio of RB's able to start for most teams in the country. Pass protection by these 3 is a must. Holding onto the football when their number is called is even more important.

The positions that are of some concern are H-Back, and Tight End. Experience is the reason for that concern, there simply isn't any. 

The keys are simple. Fewer turnovers, fewer penalties, be better at 3rd down conversions, and stay healthy. If this 2015 version of Auburn offense can accomplish those key items, the sky is the limit as to production, and points.

War Eagle!

***All stats are courtesy of

Monday, May 11, 2015

New LOGO Opinion Poll

We are ever trying to stay the "Fresh" look at ATB, therefore we commissioned @AURobNY to give us a new look. 

We wanted to insure that Auburn's Ladies were included this time 'round. You can see the addition of Gymnastics, and Softball. Plus, we have Swimming & Diving being represented.

Sadly, we don't have room for ALL of the Auburn sports teams on our new logo. Volleyball, Track & Field, Wheelchair Basketball, and Soccer to name a few.

Do you like the new logo that is pictured at the top of this post? Either way, you can vote in the poll on the right side of the home page. Your opinion matters, and thanks for voting.

War Eagle!

Auburn Softball 2015 NCAA Selection Show