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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

From The Office of Dr. Jay Gouge



Dear ,

Tomorrow we will officially introduce Auburn’s new football coach, Bryan Harsin. It’s an exciting time for the Auburn family, one we can all get excited about. We have every reason to be confident about a future where our football team consistently competes at the highest levels and makes us proud on and off the field.

Let me begin by saying thank you to Coach Malzahn for some great “highs” in Auburn football. Coach Malzahn is a man of great character, his student-athletes performed well athletically and academically, and his teams always played by the rules. In every regard, he represented Auburn with class and distinction. Thank you, Gus and Kristi. You are forever members of the Auburn family.

When this process started, I asked Athletics Director Allen Greene to select a small group of Auburn men and women to advise and support him as we looked for a new football coach. We had a singular focus – to find a coach who will succeed in the toughest conference and who will represent Auburn well. Allen and the advisory group aimed high and hit high. They found the right man at the right time, and we welcome Coach Harsin.

We are fortunate to be members of an Auburn family passionate about our university. In the past couple of weeks, we received countless emails and notes with suggestions on selecting our next coach. Let me add that I read every one, and I appreciate your enthusiasm. Every Auburn voice is important.

It is also important to remember that not everything that is reported or posted on social media is accurate when it comes to coaching searches. In fact, some of it is disruptive, inaccurate and malicious. In our coaching search for example, no candidate was told that there were stipulations on who would serve on his coaching staff – not one. Only one trustee, who actually served on the search advisory group, had any part in the search process. Some candidates who reportedly “turned down” the Auburn job were never even offered the job. One candidate that made these statements never even had an interview, much less an offer.

Coach Harsin and I agree on many things and one thing is that much of what you see and read on social media are opinions or statements that are simply not based on fact. I regret that these comments hurt our university and many good Auburn people. Free speech is a treasured American right, but the Auburn family should also have the right to know the facts.

Tomorrow we start a new chapter for Auburn football. We wish to thank all of those who gave their input about our university and our football program, and we especially thank the Auburn family for their enthusiasm, loyalty and passion for our university. Let’s join together as we unite behind Coach Harsin and use this experience as a time of excitement and growth.

War Eagle!

Jay Gogue

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

An Open Letter

 December 22, 2020

To Whom It May Concern,

It is to my horror that I must write this letter to you. Knowing full well the words I have so carefully chosen will fall upon deaf ears. 

My beloved Auburn is in the middle of a crisis, and it pains me to watch knowing the answer is simple, yet very complicated to get to.

You see, we are looking for a football coach. A coach that has a very high IQ and great knowledge of the sport. He must own the mental fortitude to stare deep into the eyes of the enemy, and find the way to victory. Unfortunately, at this time, the enemy is us.

For reasons one could only speculate, the hiring process has become a national disaster. Bringing with it a light on the process that paints an eerie glow of impending doom. How could this happen? Why would anyone want this to happen? Again, I can only speculate. 

It seems we have a leak in our plumbing system, and we are telling the plumbers we interview which tool would work best to repair the leak. In that, we have turned away many qualified plumbers. Even fired the one we had on retainer. 

Or better yet.....

Our carpenter we want to hire has a great plan, including building materials, to carry out what we all want. 

Instead of agreeing to a price, and letting the carpenter work, we are dictating which building products to buy, where to buy the product, and who can work beside him to build the finished product we dream of.

I understand the concept of hiring contractors to do work. You might give the plumber or carpenter the keys to the house, but not the safe where the money is.

I am pleading with the football committee to hire a great contractor, and give him the keys to the house. Let the contractor decide which tools he'll use, and which products.

Then, and only then, will Grand 'Ole Auburn return to glory.

War Eagle!


Klell Lawrence

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Whoopin' Dogs & Takin' Names

Bo Nix
AP photo by Butch Dill
Beat down. Crushed. Destroyed.

I could go on, although I think you get the idea. The way this game unfolded was unlike anything any one of us expected. Auburn flat out handled Mississippi State in J.H.S. for a 56-23 victory Saturday night.

Every mistake the Bulldogs made in the first half was punished with an Auburn touchdown. The Tigers took their first five possessions and scored. 

Everything seemed to work to the home teams advantage. Except the a few suspect rulings on the field, and the dreaded fumble bug. 

Auburn turned the ball over 3 times. All fumbles. With an asterisk, one fumble really wasn't a fumble. It was dubiously ruled a fumble, and the replay booth did not get the call right. 

There are still many things for this team to improve on. 

I would love to see improvement in our pass defense. Some weakness has been exposed the last two games. I mentioned in a tweet during the game that Auburn still has to face some high quality QB's on the schedule. The best teams in particular, Florida, which Auburn plays next week, Georgia, LSU and Alabama are very efficient passing the ball.

While there are a ton of things I liked in this game, Auburn still has the toughest road to Atlanta in the conference. All still ahead of them. Which matches the Auburn Creed well.

Work. Hard work!

War Eagle!

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tiger's Victorious at Kyle Field 2019 Edition

Auburn took a varied offensive game plan and a stingy defense on the road to victory against #17 ranked Texas A& M Saturday. The Aggie defense was slow to adjust as the Tigers jumped out to a 14-3 lead and never looked back winning by the score of 28-20.

The Tigers defense was very effective against the run. Especially in the first half, as indicated in the chart below.

Chart courtesy of @AUGoldmine 

Auburn's defense didn't allow the Aggie access to the end zone until the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile the offense came out with some different play calling. A creative mix of passes, sweeps, and Run/Pass options were effective in opening hole in the Aggie defense. Auburn took full advantage of it.

One area the offense needs to get better is the deep pass. Nix had multiple opportunities to connect downfield, yet didn't. When that part of the offense gets in rhythm, this will become very difficult unit to defend.

A very good conference win coupled with a solid team performance is what was needed. Auburn did just that.

It's great for the fans to see our Tigers go on the road, and come out victorious. A tip of the hat goes out to Sal Cannella. His perimeter blocking was outstanding, and a huge key in this win.

War Eagle!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

What Can & Can't Happen

photo by: Tiffany Pyle

I will attempt, key word there, to look at the upcoming game at Kyle Field against Texas A&M.

What Can Go Wrong:

If Derrick Brown isn't near full strength, and the injury that caused him to be pulled during the Kent St. game is more serious than we were led to believe. Then someone has to step up and fill that void. If not, the effect could be detrimental to Auburn's chances.

If Prince Tega is still a no show as he was during the Kent St. game, the offensive line will have to shuffled around because, oh yeah,  the injury to Bailey Sharp. It's my assumption that Jack Driscoll will be moved to left tackle, and Nick Brahms will step in at center. That moves the right side of the line outward.
The fourth game into the season is where you would hope the offensive line could start asserting itself strongly. Chemistry having already been established. 

Throw in a few position changes, and a new player inserted and you get a big fat question mark in an area that was already under heavy (pardon the pun) scrutiny.

Auburn's defense has been a little shaky against the pass. If this keeps up, things could get messy in a hurry. 

Kellen Mond is a true threat to run. He's also very capable of keeping plays alive, and thus giving his receivers plenty of time to find an open spot on the field. Auburn simply can not let this happen very often. The results will be a very tired Auburn defense, and a road loss of epic proportions.

What Can Go Right:

The injuries to Derrick Brown, and Prince Tega are very minor, both play, and thus the musical chairs game wouldn't be necessary along the offensive or defensive lines.

Auburn must be able to run the ball effectively in order for the offense to operate at a high level. Continued improvement in this area is a must against SEC opponents. If we see more improvement in the run game, Auburn can make this a good game. 

If Auburn can somehow start connecting on some of the longer pass plays, then good things will happen. The Aggies have a weakness. Their pass defense is not where they would want it to be heading into conference play. If Auburn can exploit that, it could get ugly for the home team.


Auburn could play a flawless game and score 40+ points. I don't see it happening, but....

This will most likely be a defensive battle with a ton of adjustments made by both squads. Who makes them quicker, and better? Who wins the turnover margin? Which team wants it more? 

A loss here doesn't bode well for Auburn with the difficult schedule they still have in front of them. While a win doesn't guarantee anything. 

Texas A&M on the other hand simply can not afford to lose another game. They would stand zero chance at making the playoffs if they lose at home to Auburn.

The Aggies have lost their primary RB for at least this game. 

That makes it Auburn 27 Aggies 24.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

AU-mazing Homecoming

Aubie celebrates another Touchdown Auburn!
photo from:
Gus Malzahn's message was clear. Zero turnovers and run the ball. Auburn did just that en route to a 55 to 16 victory over Kent State for Homecoming 2019. 

The Tigers rushed for 467 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Averaging 7.5 per carry as they fine tuned their rushing game heading into next weeks SEC opener against Texas A&M.

Kent St.    Auburn
Total Yards  321 633
Pass Yards 229 166
RushingYards   92 467
Penalty Yards 05/01/53 06/01/59
1st Downs 19 32
3rd Downs 09/18/19 08/13/19
4th Downs         0-0 01/01/19
TOP 26:37:00 33:23:00

JaTarvious "Boobee" Whitlow led all rushers with 135 yards. Followed by Joey Gatewood, and Shaun Shivers who ran for 102 yards each.

Auburn scored double digits in each quarter, and in true Auburn fashion, put the game away in the 3rd. quarter. 


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Gee But It's Great To Be Back Home

Sunset at JHS
photo by Randy Comer

Good morning everyone and War Eagle!

Our Football Tigers are 2-0 to start the season. While that's not news, it's a very positive start. Are they playing great football right now? No. Are they winning? Yes.

No doubt we'd like to see a much more productive output from our offense, and I think we will this week against Kent State. That said, I recall in the preseason press conference, Gus Malzahn telling us that he was going to lean on his defense early, maybe 4-5 games while the offense matures. 

We have seen flashes of what the future could be, it's just going to take some time. A luxury, Auburn runs out of after this weekend. 

On a personal note: I had been blessed to take a dream vacation. Traveling around the western United States this summer, I was able to visit many of our National Parks, and some other very beautiful places. 

From extreme SE Alabama to Glacier National Park, and over to Coos Bay, OR.

We met tons of nice people. Went to some great small town restaurants. Enjoyed some really nice weather, and made it home safely. 

I don't regret that I made the decision to not post about Auburn while I was gone. Although, I am happy to be back, and look forward to the rest of the season with you.

War Eagle!

Sunday, September 1, 2019

A message from my orange and blue soul

Fourteen weeks ago, we suffered an immeasurable loss to our Auburn Family. Rod and Paula were called home leaving two children, family, friends and the Auburn Family in shock. This is right after in my humble opinion was the most amazing year in Auburn Athletics history.

As the game started yesterday, for the first time in 24 years of marriage, my wife and I sat down next to each other to watch Auburn Football. You see, I tend to scream and get loud but yesterday was not about the outcome it was about being able to share. To share the moments that would be unfolding in the game. We watched the team and the institution we both graduated from and love. A week ago, we got a sobering reality check that we are lucky to even be here sharing this moment.

I was not able to do the 100’s of the tweets during the game, I am not back there yet, giving status, graphics and my opinion (which is only that) about what is going on. I am just not fully there yet, but I did follow my feed by reading what others were tweeting. Al Kotero had to remind everyone football was a 4 Quarter game 😀

The message is simple, and I tweeted it yesterday but wanted to put it in a post, so it did not fly by on a feed. I believe it is that important.

Live the experiences and moments in life to their fullest always believing, hoping and supporting. There will be ups and downs but always, always know that if you believe and are a supporter when things bounce back the triumphs are a thousand times sweeter… don’t take for granted the ability to be here, in the now, with your family and friends sharing in what you love and are passionate about. 
We know it can all change in a second...

Some took to twitter in the first half expressing opinions and feedback, it is absolutely your right to do so. I can tell you as my wife and I sat watching, believing and knowing that we are Auburn, and this is just what Auburn does. We just believed and were supporting our coaches and players for better outcomes, wanting the defense to shake it off and get a stop, and they did. Knowing that they would and could turn it around and that just being able to watch football again was honestly a blessing within itself.

Be positive, believe and supportive. I guarantee you that our players and coaches do not go and get on that field in front of the hundreds of thousands if not millions of fans to fail. They want to win. Positivity breeds positive outcomes. Yes, this may be sunshine pumping, but I will tell you, feel blessed and thankful that you get to share that sunshine today with your loved ones. Feel blessed, we all are to be a part of the Auburn Family.

War Eagle


A couple of game comments and shout outs.

Bo Nix, way to never lose your confidence, you stood there and believed, Gus believes, your Dad believes and not that it matters but I saw you handle yourself in adversity and I believe.

Joey Gatewood, thank you, without you, we do not win. You showed me you are a team player, I am excited to see more of you in the weeks to come.

Boobie, Kam, Eli, Seth, Sal, Spencer, Eli and everyone else way to hold onto the rock!

Big Kat way to run! 

Defense, if they are the best offensive line in college football, feed the next 11 games!

Offensive line, you know what you need to do, get it done! I believe in you all! Be better than yesterday!

Andy Burcham, God bless you and the strength you show, great calls, awesome energy, sending you a big Auburn Family hug.

R.I.P. Rod and Paula

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Every day

I sat down last week and after winning the NCAA Regional against Georgia Tech I reflected on the extraordinary losses our Auburn Family had in the days just before. I still pray for those who were left behind to carry on the family name, honor them and remember them. This however comes with pain and sometimes a want to just have it subside.

This was written last week and the artwork was completed after we defeated North Carolina in the Supers. To see this team and these young men come together behind this coach is truly inspiring.

I hope this captures and is a tribute to all of those who have passed. God Bless and please support and pray for those who need strength to get through the day.

If you have interest in a print, as always just let me know.

War Eagle! AURob

Monday, June 3, 2019

Tigers Win Atlanta Regional Championship

Thanks to some timely hitting and impressive pitching Auburn was able to move on to the Super Regional in Chapel Hill, NC. Our Tigers will face North Carolina.

Steven Williams was the Regional MVP finishing 6 of 13 with a double and a "Walk Off" HR in the first game against Georgia Tech.

Here's how they got there:

War Eagle!