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Friday, December 23, 2016

Auburn Takes Two & Basketball Hall of Fame Tour

A road trip for the ages. 

Prior to the start of this trip coach Bruce Pearl said the next two games would be a good barometer, a gauge if you will, as to just how far this team has come. Or, how far it has yet to go.

Game one saw the Tigers take on a 2016 Final Four team in Oklahoma. 

The victory came on another fantastic finish. The celebration was to be short lived because Auburn had to travel to UConn and be ready to play in just two days. The Huskies have claimed no less than Four National Championships.

Coach Pearl's post game comments were very joyful as you might expect. Pearl also reminded the media that this team won two games on the road while not playing a very good brand of basketball. 

I can't think of a better Holiday gift than knowing Auburn basketball is good again. Just how good is to be determined. 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dunans Buzzer Beater Victory

Auburn's T.J. Dunans had been in a slump of sorts to start the season. He just kept grinding. Working as hard as anybody on the team, Dunans slowly eased out of the quagmire. Hard work pays off.

This video courtesy of

This video courtesy of John Evans

The last second win came on a busted design play that Coach Chuck Person "drew up." Coach Bruce Pearl told the media.

This video courtesy of

A Young Team Now Even More So

Coach Bruce Pearl has stated from the start that this would be a very young Auburn basketball team. Those who follow along closely can attest this team has all the characteristics of a young team. Inconsistency being the easiest tell tale of evidence. 

Beating a good Texas Tech team one day, playing a highly ranked team in Purdue closely for the first half, and being blown away in the second. Then losing to a lowly considered Boston College in front of a national TV audience. And lately trouncing a usually tough Coastal Carolina 117-72. 

These young men are very talented, and will make a big run in the SEC this season. Will it be enough to make the annual NCAA basketball fun fest known as March Madness? Time will tell. This writer has every confidence that yes, they will be dancing come March.

Another piece to the puzzle was added this week. Austin Wiley, a highly ranked recruit, and son of former Auburn Basketball greats Vickie Orr and Aubrey Wiley. "That legacy is vast. Orr was an All-American and 1992 Olympic bronze medalist. Austin's father, Aubrey Wiley, led the SEC in rebounding in 1993-94." from the AUfficial website.

A young team that became even more young this week has increased it's basketball prowess. It's now even better than before. Thanks in large part to Bruce Pearl and his incredible staff. 


Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Sugar Bowl Memory

Toomer's after an Auburn vict'ry

As we await the Sugar Bowl, this bowl game does bring back some memories of my first year at Auburn in 1972.

Auburn and Oklahoma last met in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1972 in New Orleans at Tulane Stadium. Both teams were ranked in the top 5. Auburn lost to Alabama 31-7 in the last game of the season and finished with a 9-2 record. Oklahoma lost to Nebraska 35-31 who went on to defeat the Crimson Tide 38-6 in the Orange Bowl. Nebraska was undefeated and was crowned the National Champions. Yes, there was a time when Nebraska dominated college football.

This game featured two great quarterbacks. Pat Sullivan of Auburn and Jack Mildren of Oklahoma. I was a fan of both players and Jack Mildren went on to play defensive back in the NFL for the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots.

Jack Mildren of Oklahoma  had a career day at quarterback. He ran the ball 30 times for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns. Oklahoma had 439 rushing yards and only 11 yards passing. They had a back named Greg Pruitt and they ran the "Wishbone" offense. Pat Sullivan did throw for 250 yards, but Auburn only had 40 yards rushing. Harry Unger, one of my classmates scored two rushing touchdowns in this game for Auburn. Auburn lost 40-22 giving Oklahoma their first Sugar Bowl win since 1950.

Of course, I am hoping for a better outcome at this "Sugar Bowl". I do expect a good offensive effort by Auburn, if all key players are healthy.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Bowl Prep Part 2: Running Back U

photo from Facebook

All day long we can talk about Auburn Running Backs. I can throw accolade after accolade, with out  being over stated, just how good they are. Auburn is after all Running Back University.

After the loss of Roc Thomas to transfer, and Jovon Robinson to dismissal, Auburn relied heavily on Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway.  Johnson was rated the #2 Athlete in the country. Pettway meanwhile was rated a consensus 3 star out of Prattville, Alabama. 

After Johnson sustained an injury early in the season Pettway became the bell cow at RB. He delivered an impressive 1123 yards on a 6.1 yards per carry average. 

On the season Pettway only lost a total of 14 yards on 185 attempts. All in just 9 games. A staggering set of statistics that would indicate just how effectively Auburn ran the football with Pettway. 

Johnson meanwhile, playing in 11 of the 12 games gained 881 yards on 173 carries for 5.0 yards per carry. 

Combined the two top RB's gained 2,004 yards.

 Throw in the other participants and Auburn's line looks like this:
12 games with 599 attempts and a total of 3,342 yards gained at 5.6 yards per carry. Scoring 32 Touchdowns on the season via the ground game averaging 278.5 rushing yards per game.

True Freshman Kam Martin had extensive game experience this season playing in 10 while gaining 340 yards with a 7.3 yard average per carry.

Gus Malzahn maintains that Auburn is a run first play action team. With the ratio being 599 rush attempts and only 262 called passing plays I'd say he intended to prove how much Auburn was a run first team.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Future of the Auburn Defense

Well, another "Iron Bowl" has been played and Auburn came out on the losing end for the 3rd straight year. I am just as disappointed with the outcome of this game as the rest of the Auburn fan base. Of course, I am in Birmingham these days caring for my mother so this loss stings a little more than usual since Tuscaloosa is about an hour down the road and I tend to see a lot of Crimson in this town. The record for this rivalry now stands at 46 wins for Alabama, 35 wins for Auburn and 1 tie. I think that most of us will agree that the Auburn defense played well enough to win this game; however, they were just worn down by being on the field too long due to the anemic offensive effort. It is difficult to win a football game if your opponent keeps the ball for over 40 minutes.

Auburn is now waiting to hear where they will go bowling and it could be raining "sugar". Auburn will know their destination after the SEC Championship game next weekend. Auburn could be playing Oklahoma and we will finally get that game that should have happened in 2004. 

I wanted to look at the future of the Auburn defense. Auburn is currently ranked number 21 in total defense in the NCAA. Auburn will be losing the following defensive players:

1) Montravius Adams, Carl Lawson, Maurice Swain and Lawrence Devaroe on the defensive line. 

2) Josh Holsey and Johnathan Ford will be leaving the defensive backfield. 

3) T. J. Neal will be the only linebacker that is leaving.

Auburn will return another solid defensive unit next season. I am going to assume that the junior players will remain at Auburn 1 more year.

1) The defensive line will have Marlon Davidson, Dontavious Russell, Derrick Brown, Andrew Williams, and Jeff Holland.

2) The linebackers will be Darrell Williams, Richard McBryde, Deshaun Davis, Tre Williams and Montavious Atkinson.

3) The returning defensive backfield will be Javaris Davis, Stephen Roberts, Tray Matthews, Carlton Davis, Nick Ruffin, Markell Boston, and Daniel Thomas.

The "hard" 2017 defensive commits for Auburn are: Tadarian Moultry (ILB), Kenney Britt (ILB), Carlitos Gonzalez (S) and Jordyn Peters (S). 

I will just have to hope for some offensive improvement next season to support this defensive unit. 


Bowl Prep & Analysis Part 1

Schmid Elementary honored at JHS

Randy Comer and I have decided to take sides. No, we are both pulling for Auburn. Always have. Always will. 

He will rate and relay his opinions of the Auburn defense, while I take the offense. Seems I have the tough task, at least from the discussions on social media the day after the Iron Bowl.

Some of the items I will go through include position play, statistical analysis, and overall scheme. 

Let me preface all of this discussion with this very clear point: I am not a qualified coach. My entire coaching career consist of one year of Pee Wee Football. The powers that be asked me not to come back. There you have it.

According to the experts, the biggest difference in the SEC and the rest of college football is along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. 

This is where we will start. 

Auburn started the season with Xavier Dampeer at the Center position. After a leg injury against Louisiana Monroe, a switch was made to allow Darius James to play Left Tackle.

Austin Golson returned to Center where he played during the 2015 season.

In several games this season the number 2 unit, as Coach Malzahn calls them, were able to gain significant playing time. Against teams like Arkansas, and Mississippi State. This is in fact, important. 

Even after a dismal performance in the Iron Bowl, Auburn finished the regular season 6th in the country in Rushing Offense. The Passing Offense finished 112th. Leaving me with at least a partial understanding about why the Tigers finished 49th in Scoring Offense. 

The Tigers also finished 35th in Sacks Allowed at 19 total. Compare that to Troy at #1 who only allowed 6 sacks all season. Not all of that falls on the offensive line. As we will discuss later.

Auburn ran the ball 599 times this season for a whopping 3,342 yards. Good enough for a 5.58 yards per carry. They converted 42.51% of their 3rd downs.  The Tigers offense was 71 for 167. On 4th down the percentage isn't as big. 38.89% while converting 7 of 18 attempts.

The offensive unit scored 387 points in 12 games, had 5,391 yards of offense with 861 plays. At one point in the season someone released a statistic stating 84% of Auburn's offensive production came via underclassmen. This is a very young Auburn offense.


Auburn Hobbles Away From Iron Bowl

staff photo from Vanderbilt game

It was brutal watching our Tigers in the latest Iron Bowl. Still, Auburn was in the game had they been able to figure out how to move the ball offensively.

Special teams play was great. The defense was stellar, at least in the first half. A big surprise was Daniel Thomas who played in relief of Rudy Ford.


What was missing from the party was the Auburn offense. The very offense that got them into position to possibly make the playoffs with only November in front of them.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Whether it was injuries or not, the coaches need to figure out where the team goes from here. 

Clearly our depth at some positions on offense is not what we had hoped for this far into the campaign. 

Figuring that out will be paramount for the coaching staff. I am glad it's not up to me.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Auburn Soccer Advances Again

This Auburn team has exceeded any of my reasonable expectations. Currently on a three game  winning streak, Auburn has qualified for the NCAA Quarterfinals. The Elite 8. It's the "first time ever" in Auburn Soccer history. 

The Tigers hosted South Alabama in the first round and dispatched a good Jaguar club 4 nil. Then in the second round at Gainesville, FL Auburn took down UConn 4-1. All that stood in the way of the Sweet 16 were the Florida Gators.

Auburn had defeated the Gators earlier in the season in another "first time ever"  in Gainesville. 

The Tigers will play The Southern Cal Trojans at 3:00 PM Central Time on Friday November 25th. You can watch the Live Stream here:

War Eagle!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

All Hands On Deck!

Auburn Marching Band entering JHS. staff photo

Auburn lost to Georgia in a way unlike any we have ever seen. It was an unusually ineffective Auburn offense that performed in Sanford Stadium last weekend. The likes of which are mind boggling.
Zero offensive first downs in the second half. 0 for 7 on 3rd down conversion attempts in the second half. It seems unfathomable yet the facts hit home like a hammer. 
Not much we can say that hasn't already been covered by the Auburn beat writers and the national media.
"We aren't going to make excuses" said Gus Malzahn after the loss. "We got our butts kicked out there." 
Really difficult to discern if UGA played well above their season tendencies, or Auburn played that poorly. Whatever the reason, Auburn must find a way to rebound. 

The upcoming game with Alabama A & M should allow the coaches to come up with some sort of game plan that might be effective against Alabama the next week. 
It's all hands on deck.  At one point in the season, we saw that nearly 80% of Auburn's offensive output was achieved by Redshirt Sophomores and younger. That being the case, we will have few experienced offensive players participating Saturday.

War Eagle!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Auburn Football: Every Day: Episode 9

This Is Auburn Basketball: 2016 Signing Day

If you haven't heard by now, Bruce Pearl and the Auburn basketball program went out and snagged a Top 5 basketball recruiting class. The early signing period went as well as anybody could have dreamed. 

Watch the video below, and get caught up in Coach Pearl's excitement.

War Eagle!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Best Auburn "Orange Jersey" Football Game

Here is a short video on the time that Auburn wore the orange jerseys to get you ready for the "South's Oldest Football Rivalry" on Saturday afternoon. I was fortunate to attend the 1978 Auburn/Georgia football game that ended in a 22-22 tie. Auburn was not expected to win and Georgia was headed to an SEC Championship. I was helping one of my professors work at one of the gates to the stadium and he told me to go watch the game.  The Georgia players were in a state of shock as the Auburn players entered the stadium in the orange jerseys.

Of course, there was no social media at the time and there were only a few channels on TV so it seemed that it was just me and the rest of the Auburn and Georgia fans that were able to witness this incredible football game in Jordan-Hare stadium that afternoon. All of the players on both teams were exhausted at the end of the game and the Auburn fans gave the Auburn players a standing ovation.  

War Eagle!

Auburn Volleyball Highlights vs Ole Miss

Monday, November 7, 2016

Auburn Soccer || NCAA Tournament Reaction

Breaking The Hex(s)

Gliding In. Staff photo
I was thrilled about the opportunity to watch this game in person. The last few games I attended were nail biters, or a loss. I had predicted a blowout. Whew! Was I wrong?! Again!

The good news:
 Auburn once again won on an early kickoff. Gus has found a way to have this team ready for the early games. What ever it is, I hope he keeps doing it. 

 Vanderbilt came into Jordan Hare Stadium riding a two game win streak over our Tigers. The Commodores left with the loss. AU 23 Vandy 16 was the final.

I was shocked as John Franklin III took the field to start the game for Auburn.  I realized that Sean White must have been bruised a bit from the Ole Miss game the week before. 

In the limited passing plays that were called, JF3 went 2 for 4 at just 9 yards total. Franklin threw a screen pass to Kamryn Pettway that would have been a 1st down. The play however was negated by a penalty against Vandy that Auburn accepted. Thus it goes down as "no play."

Another pass that would have resulted in a first down was dropped by an Auburn receiver. 

From my perspective, I thought the pass play calling was limited. The reasoning as to why, is known only to the coaching staff. Of course, I could be wrong. Your thoughts on this are welcome.

Sean White played the second half, and Vanderbilt had a hard time stopping the Auburn offense. The Commodores got some much needed help from the SEC officials. At one point, I yelled: "Maybe you should at least watch a football game, before you try to officiate one." 

Auburn won as Gus said, while "facing adversity." 
Video courtesy of Auburn Plainsman

Now all of the Tigers focus is on Georgia. This game has been tabbed by CBS as one of their two game lineup. " The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" will be the marquee game set at 2:30 Central Time. 

Impound the 'Dawgs! 


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Auburn/Vanderbilt 2016

I was hanging out at Pepper Place in Birmingham talking to other Auburn fans on Saturday morning listening to the Auburn Network when I heard the news about the starting QB change for Auburn. You could tell that Rod Bramblett, Stan White and Ronnie Brown were all surprised to hear the news just like the rest of the Auburn fan base. Of course, no one had heard any news of an injury to Sean White in the Ole Miss game so I just assumed that Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee were going to give John Franklin some playing time. Of course, Auburn does have a tendency to start slow at the 11:00 A.M. games so I was not surprised that the game was closer than the talking heads had predicted. Also, Vanderbilt has a good SEC style defense and their QB just happened to get a "hot hand" in this game.

Here are some of my observations from this game.

1) It was obvious that John Franklin was given a limited play book when he did start at QB on Saturday. He ran the ball 7 times for 59 yards and passed 4 times and completed 2 passes for 9 yards. The Auburn offense needed a boost in the second half so Sean White started and led Auburn to their 6th straight win this season. It is evident that the Auburn offense has been built around Sean White's abilities and he does know where the receivers are located on the field. If he was injured you could not tell by his play on the field. 

2) The referees are still not calling targeting consistently. Deshaun Davis was ejected early in the game for hitting a Vandy receiver. This ejection was a huge blow for Auburn's already thin linebacker unit. I have seen similar hits in other SEC games that could have been targeting, but were not called. Players just need to learn to pull up before making the hit. It does appear that targeting will continue to be a judgement call just like pass interference.

3) Kamryn Pettway rushed for 173 yards and has now entered the 1,000 yard rushing club at Auburn University. He did have a 60 yard run late in the 4th quarter that would have been a TD, but was stopped after having an apparent leg injury. Auburn was unable to score a TD and a 35 yard field goal attempt was blocked that would have put Auburn ahead by 10. 

4) Josh Holsey had another key interception with 36 seconds left in the game that ended Vandy's attempt to win from Auburn's 30 yard line.

5) Tre' Williams was injured and Deshaun Davis was ejected early for targeting which left Auburn thin at the linebacker position. Montavious Atkinson and T.J. Neal came in and played well. T.J. Neal, the graduate transfer from Illinois made a critical stop on a fourth and one on the Auburn 38 yard line in the first quarter and finished the game with 5 tackles and 4 assists. Darrell Williams led the defense with 9 tackles and 2 assists.

6) Darius Slayton is destined to be a great receiver at Auburn. He did catch a nice 21 yard TD pass from Sean White in the third quarter that put Auburn ahead 17-13.

Auburn's "Amen Corner"  for this season continues with a game with Georgia in Athens. Auburn has lost the last 4 games in Athens so it is time for Auburn to put a complete game together and win to even this series. It is called the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalry" and Georgia leads the series 56-55-8. These teams first met on February 20, 1892 and was played in Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It was at this game that the team cheer "War Eagle" allegedly started. I did witness one of the best football games between these two teams in 1978 when Auburn tied Georgia 22-22 and prevented them from winning the SEC title. Auburn wore orange jerseys in this game.

War Eagle!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Auburn/Ole Miss Halloween Football Game Summary

It was another exciting Auburn/Ole Miss Halloween football game. Despite the records of both teams when they do meet, you can just never predict the outcome. I can still remember that Auburn was supposed to lose this game according to the talking heads of the various sports networks at the beginning of this season. I actually made notes on this game to ease some of the stress from watching the back and forth offensive plays by both teams. I just had a feeling that Auburn and Ole Miss would give the fans 4 full quarters of college football as I waited for the game to begin on Saturday. The reports that I received indicated that the "Grove" was festive as usual prior to this game. This game is a good example of why an SEC team must have a good running and passing game to win consistently in SEC.

Here are some of my observations on this game.

1) The Ole Miss coaching staff did their homework on the Auburn defense and Chad Kelly proceeded to throw a series of short passes to combat the Auburn pass rush. The Ole Miss receivers were open for much of the first half, but Auburn made adjustments in the second half and Ole Miss only scored one touchdown. Chad Kelly ended the night with 465 passing yards. As Cole Cubelic pointed out last night, there have been 8 other notable QBs who have thrown for 400 yards when playing Auburn and lost.

2) It was obvious from the start of the game that Auburn planned to run plays with a heavy dose of running and some passing. Auburn ran a total of 74 plays(52 rushing and 22 passing) to 90 plays for Ole Miss and finished with 247 passing and 307 rushing yards.

3) Kamryn Pettway continues to impress with his running talent. He had 230 yards rushing and it was apparent that the Ole Miss defensive players wanted no part of trying to tackle him as the game progressed. Mr. Pettway now has 933 rushing yards and did not even play against Clemson or ULM. He is a third year sophomore so we will be able to see him run for another year before he plays on Sunday. 

4) Kerryon Johnson rushed for 41 yards and 2 TDs and seemed to be recovering well from the ankle injury. 

5) Auburn finally used the tight end when Jalen Harris caught his first career pass on a 15 yard touchdown play. He was wide open on this play and walked into the end zone after the catch. I am told that this play is called "Fight Song".

6) Sean White played a great game and seemed to be calling audibles at the line. He seems to be reading defenses well and knows where his receivers are located. He finished the game with 247 yards passing and 27 yards rushing. 

7) Daniel Carlson is the best kicker that I have seen play at Auburn. He had 4 field goals and the longest kick was 47 yards. Some of you probably know that both of his parents are Alabama grads and he was not offered a scholarship by Alabama. I am just happy that he chose to play at Auburn.

8) The Josh Holsey interception with 7:21 left in the game was a turning point in this game. Auburn then proceeded to score another TD with a run by Kerryon Johnson.

9) The goal line stand in the second half was another critical defensive play. Ole Miss had the ball on Auburn's 3 yard line and they were stopped on a fourth and 1 by Devaroe Lawrence. 

10) Tray Matthews led the Auburn defense with 11 tackles and Deshaun Davis had 10 tackles.

A quote from Hugh Freeze last night. "They're one of the better teams in college football." They're going to be a tough out for a lot of people."

War Eagle and enjoy the ride!

Auburn Wins The War in Oxford

Saturday nigh in Oxford, MS the Auburn Tigers were in a war with Ole Miss. 

On the home team sideline, there was an experienced, quick and accurate gunslinger in Chad Kelly. In front of the second largest Ole Miss crowd in its history, Kelly led Ole Miss in a furious battle to salvage some respect and their season.

Auburn doesn't have an experienced gunslinger on it's offense. Not just yet. So the Tiger offense relied on a heavily armored battering ram to weaken the Ole Miss troops, and come home with the victory. 

Kamryn "Bubba" Pettway rushed for 236 yards on 30 carries. A Top 10 best rushing performance in Auburn history. 

Auburn outscored Ole Miss 40-29 in a wild western division showdown that saw the Rebels run 90 offensive plays. 

Video provided by

There were lots of heroes in this game. Several fan favorites had shining moments. Joshua Holsey and Jalen Harris to name just two. 

Holsey intercepted a Chad Kelly pass in the second half and returned the ball 47 yards where he was forced out at the Ole Miss 25 yard line. Setting up the Auburn offense with the opportunity it needed to to effectively put the game away.

This took a total team effort, and great leadership. Auburn had both tonight. 

War Eagle!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Auburn vs Ole Miss by the Numbers

Auburn leads this series with a 29-11 record versus the Rebels.

At Vaught-Hemingway, Auburn is 10-3

The last meeting: Ole Miss won 27-19 in 2015.

Auburn has won three of the last five and seven of the last ten.

Auburn averages scoring 27 points versus the Rebels while allowing an average of 14.

Largest margin of victory by Auburn in Oxford: (2004) 35-14.

Ole Miss is 1-3 in the SEC and 3-4 overall.  Ole Miss has one conference win over Georgia and non-conference wins over Wofford and Memphis.  The Rebels have conference losses against Alabama, Arkansas and LSU, coupled with a non-conference loss to Florida State.

Chad Kelly leads the SEC in passing with 2,067 yards on 153 completions out of 246 attempts, a 62.2% completion rate.

Evan Engram has been Kelly's favorite target, catching 40 passes for an SEC leading 605 yards.

Auburn is third in total offense in the SEC at 3,507 yards while Ole Miss is sixth at 3,180 yards.

Auburn is the leading rushing offensive team in the league while Ole Miss is the passing leader.

Auburn is averaging 302.86 rush yards per game (ranked first) while Ole Miss averages 148.86 yards per game (ranking them next to last).

LSU held Ole Miss to their lowest points output of the year last weekend with 21 points.  Ole Miss has averaged giving up 41 points in their four losses.

Auburn Football: Bowls, Playoffs, & The Future

The resurgence, for lack of a better word, of the Auburn Tigers football team has some folks talking about the future. 

Questions buzzin' around social media involve opponents toward the end of our schedule, playoffs, and a media favorite, Bowl projections. 

My first inclination is one of excitement. I am as happy as I can be that Auburn is playing good football. I also understand the season is already halfway over. So why exactly should I jump ahead to a game that comes at or near the end of our schedule?

Those games will come. Relish in the fact that all seems well, and be thankful they are.

I say we need to take one game at a time. Next up is Ole Miss. 

As for the playoffs, two things need to be considered. 
One, so far, no team with two loses has made the final four.  

Two, currently there are 6  undefeated teams in the Coaches Poll. Not all of which are ranked ahead of our Tigers. However, there are 5 teams ranked ahead of Auburn which only have one loss. The playoff mountain is a very steep climb for Auburn. 

When the CFP committee releases its first poll, then, and only then, can we look more accurately at the "IF"  in Auburn's chances at making the playoffs.

Gus has set all types of records at Auburn, will this be one of them? A fun question to be sure. 

Lets see how it all plays out. 


Auburn Women's Tennis honored for successful season

Monday, October 24, 2016

Auburn Football Review: Arkansas

The latest edition of The Auburn Football Review includes the Top 5 plays of the week. The number one play is red hot.

War Eagle!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A "Hog Roast" in Auburn

This was my view a few weeks ago as I sat in the Auburn baseball stadium thinking about my days at Auburn and just enjoying the view. You can always spot several students studying in the baseball stadium and it is a great place to gather your thoughts. By the way, I suggest that you check out the new "Under Armour" sideline shirts at the J&M Bookstore. I picked up a blue one for game days. All of the Auburn coaches except Gus Malzahn was wearing the shirt in the orange at the Arkansas game last night.

I started  to go to this game, but Auburn always seems to lose to Arkansas when I do attend so I decided to stay home and watch this game on the HDTV at home. I did not hear anyone say that Auburn would blow out Arkansas. The guys on the Saturday morning show in Birmingham stated that the game could be close and that Auburn would win. Of course, the Arkansas players did not begin the day well by going to the Auburn 50 yard line prior to the game and confronting the Auburn players who were in their customary prayer circle. This is sacred ground for the Auburn players and I am sure that this event only added extra motivation for the Auburn players to win this football game.

The Auburn offense could not have played better. Auburn rushed for a record 543 yards which is an SEC record for rushing in a regular season SEC game. My game ball goes to Kamryn Pettway for his rushing performance of 192 yards and two touchdowns.  

At the start of this season, we were all wondering who would be running the football at Auburn after the departure of Jovan Robinson. It does seem that Auburn now has 4 running backs with Kamryn Pettway leading the pack. The  offensive line changes with Austin Golson at center and Darius James at left tackle have really helped the running game and pass protection. Sean White only had to throw the ball 11 times and finished the night with 77 yards passing which did include a 45 yard touchdown strike to multi talented Stanton Truitt. I think that Gus has finally decided on a QB. 

Auburn's defense was suffocating and only allowed 25 rushing yards and 187 passing yards with no touchdowns and 1 interception.  The Auburn defensive line harassed the Arkansas QB, Austin Allen all night long and recorded 4 sacks. I was surprised that Austin Allen remained in the game for Arkansas after the game was out of reach. It was obvious that he was hobbled and unable to throw the football effectively. The Auburn linebackers played well and had 20 tackles. Jeremy Sprinkle, the Arkansas star tight end only had 1 catch for 16 yards. His brother Daniel is a sophomore on Auburn's baseball team. 

Daniel Carlson did not kick any field goals last night, but was 8 for 8 on extra points and continued to kick the ball deep on kickoffs. We will be seeing Daniel on Sunday afternoons kicking field goals in the NFL. He is the best kicker that I have seen play at Auburn.

Auburn will now face Ole Miss next Saturday evening at 6:15 p.m. and I now wonder how many of the SEC talking heads will now pick Auburn to win that game. At the start of the season, no one expected Auburn to compete against Ole Miss. Ole Miss did lose one of their top defensive players last night in the game with LSU and Leonard Fournette had 284 rushing yards against the Ole Miss defense. I am now anxious to see how this Auburn rushing attack performs against the Ole Miss defense. I expect the Auburn defensive line to pressure Chad Kelly which will hopefully result a few turnovers and a win for Auburn. 

This Auburn Football team appears to be on a mission and I do expect some more surprises this season. 

War Eagle!

Brutal Beatdown

It was just that. Brutal. 
Auburn took Arkansas out back behind the woodshed, and whipped them severely.  The final score of 56 - 3 tells only part of the story.

The Tigers rushed for 543 yards, passed for 89 more and never turned the ball over. With 10 minutes to go in the game, Auburn had zero negative yardage plays. Zero. Although the Hawgs held the lead in time of possession, Auburn only punted three times the entire game.

Sean White was 7 of 12 for 89 yards. Efficient once again. 

That defense. My oh my, that defense!

Arkansas only had 25 yards rushing on 31 attempts. I have never seen a team average less than 1 yard per attempt rushing the ball. That is, until Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium. 

The average gain per offensive play statistic is astounding in this game. Arkansas 3.4 yards per offensive play. Auburn averaged 9.2. You read that right.

This was a total annihilation of the Arkansas team, that came out pregame and stepped on the AU logo at midfield and disrupted the pregame prayer circle. That was all the motivation this Auburn team needed.

The BBQ roast was on, and the sweet taste was vict'ry.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Lookin' at The Hawgs

With what seems like three weeks of computer problems behind me, fingers crossed, now we can get back to football, and all of the things that happened lately.

Kevin Steele talked with the media ahead of the Arkansas game.

Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee met with the media s well.

Arkansas is usually a tough game for Auburn. This will go a long way in determining how our Tigers perform the rest of the season. 

A win Saturday night gives them HUGE momentum going to Ole Miss the next week. It also shows the critics that Gus has turned this young team around.

Look for more of the same from the offense with Rhett Lashlee & Sean White mixing up the plays, and throwing more than previous games against the Hawgs.

If the passing game works, the running game will have a few huge plays, and Auburn will win. Fingers crossed.


2016 SEC Basketball Media Day

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Congrats Daniel Carlson!

It was A Day 2014 and I was walking back to my car along the "Tiger Walk" trail and a player with number 38 on his jersey and a helmet in his hand said hello to me and we started to talk briefly about my time at Auburn University and I welcomed him to the campus. He told me that he was a place kicker from Colorado and his name was Daniel Carlson. We then parted ways and I wished him well. Of course, this morning Daniel Carlson has now tied the field goal record at Auburn University after another classic football game with LSU. 

Congratulations Daniel!

"Six Kicks" - The LSU Game

I am not the person who made this name. No, I'm not that smart. That honor goes to @EvilCamNewton

In the end, as with most games with our biggest rivals, the games seem to name themselves. 

In 2013 in probably the best college football game of all time, Auburn punt return specialist Chris Davis took a 109 yard gallop through the dreams of our most intense rivals. That game was named the "Kick Six."

This past week we were reminded of the 20th Anniversary of the "Barn Burning" game with LSU, the team Auburn defeated Saturday 18 - 13. 

So it seems when Auburn faces historically big games for its program, the dramatic story lines always make an appearance. Saturday night was no exception.

Daniel Carlson, who Gus Malzahn calls "the best kicker in all of college football" connected on six Field Goal tries. Carlson, who also handles the kickoff duties for Auburn did not allow a single return of any kickoff by placing the deep into, or through the end zone each time. 

If there were any doubt as to Carlson's ability, that should be laid to rest. Daniel firmly planted his foot high atop the running for the Lou Groza Award. An award granted annually to the best kicker in college football.

On To The Game

There were signs of improvement in the offense, and Auburn defense continues to get better each week.

Auburn had more first downs, more drives into the red zone than LSU, and doubled LSU's passing yards. 

Sean White had the kind of game that makes you smile. 19 of 26 for 234 yards and zero interceptions. 

The big sticking point is not getting TD's in the red zone. A problem Gus Malzahn insists will continue to get a lot scrutiny and work in practice. 

The big plus? Auburn wins! That's good enough for me.

War Eagle!

"We're In It With" Our fans

After an amazing win tonight, Gus Malzahn met with the media. 

Some have dubbed this game: The "Six Kicks"

Sunday, September 18, 2016


I was in Auburn on Friday visiting friends and their seemed to be an air of confidence that Auburn could beat Texas A & M on Saturday night as I roamed around the campus. 

My compliments to Full Moon Bar-B-Que for the great turkey sandwich and potato salad. 

I must say that the Texas A & M fans are the best in the SEC West. The ones that I met were complimentary of the Auburn campus and the football team. I really had to question what I was hearing after dealing with the fans from other SEC schools.

Klell and I decided to post our thoughts about the game Saturday night:

Randy: Auburn looked great on the first series and I actually thought that Texas A & M would be in for a long night.

Klell: Auburn's defense was in the Aggie backfield all night. Although they only recorded one sack, the Aggie QB, Trevor Knight had to resort to running and improvising quite a bit. 

Randy: The Auburn offensive line play was average and Sean White seldom had the time to find receivers. He was under stress most of the night and the Texas A & M pass rush seemed to bother him. I could see in his eyes that he seemed to question some of the play calling.

Klell: Kamryn Pettway gained 123 yards on 20 carries and a 6.1 yard per carry average. I was impressed with the way he ran the ball. 

Randy: Sean White is a good QB, but he was a pocket passer in high school. Since Gus Malzahn recruited him, he should be given an opportunity to run an offense that is suited to his playing style. I saw some blocks missed that could have translated into long gains if he had just been given time to throw the ball. 

Sean White had only had 126 passing yards. Tony Stevens had a career high 8 catches for 86 yards.
 As we observed in the Clemson game, Auburn's defense played well enough to win the game, but the offense was anemic. Auburn's defensive line played well and put pressure on Trevor Knight all night long. The defense spent a lot of time on the field since the Auburn offense was unable to move the ball and seemed to bad faced with a series of 3 and outs.

Klell: The biggest item that stands out to me is the Auburn Defense. This unit continues to show improvement. Only a couple missed tackles were evident, but this team has improved in tackling over the past couple of teams.

Randy:  John Franklin did enter the game to add a spark to the offense, but it was too late. An opposing defense does have to make adjustments when he enters the game. The verdict is still out on his passing game and ability to read a defense. He may get the start next Saturday against LSU.

In conclusion.

Randy: Once again, my Alma mater is faced issues surrounding the performance of the football team. Auburn  still has an opportunity to have a respectable football season if they can defeat LSU this Saturday. As a friend told me that the LSU offense is a "hot mess" and we all know that Les Miles is under fire. This game will define the rest of the season for Auburn. If Auburn wins, they could possibly win 8 games. If Auburn loses, the team confidence could be shattered.

Klell: If the 2016 Auburn offense can find it's game, this team can be dangerous. I have a feeling that they are close, but having a terrible time putting it together on the field. Somewhere between the showing against Clemson, and the game vs. Arkansas State is where they are. Lets hope that this week, against LSU they put together a complete offensive performance.

Keep the faith and War Eagle!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Auburn's "First"

It was a night of "First" for this Auburn team. What a night it was.

Auburn's offense got its groove back last night in convincing fashion as it put up 452 yards in the first half alone on Arkansas State on its way to the first victory of the 2016 season. 

We witnessed one of the best catches of the football season thus far. The first of many we should see from Kyle Davis as he leapt high into the air with a DB hanging on one arm. Davis snagged the Sean White pass with one hand.

We saw the first fake Field Goal attempt, and toss to a running Daniel Carlson for a touchdown. Shades of Tommy Tuberville from Gus Malzahn.

We saw the first carries of Kamryn Pettway, and Kam Martin too. 

Auburn finished the night with 32 first downs, 244 yards passing, and a whopping 462 yards rushing for a grand total of 702 yards total offense, while crushing the visiting Red Wolves 51 to 14.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tackling & Shaving: Kevin Steele

Brighter days are ahead for Auburn

Very impressed with the Auburn defensive performance against Clemson. The visiting Tigers were held to just 248 yards passing, and 151 yards rushing. 

Last season Clemson averaged 223 yards rushing and 291 yards passing. 

Deshaun Watson and a group of experienced Wide Outs were held to just 19 points and more importantly zero deep passes for TD's

 Considering the experience Clemson returned offensively, this was an outstanding game by this Auburn defense.

Thanks to for the video

How long does it take to get over a close loss like the Clemson game? Auburn starting prepping for Arkansas State early Sunday morning. 

Lets get ready to whip the Red Wolves, and get better.

War Eagle!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Don't Count Out Auburn, There's Fight in That Tiger

Most of you all who know me know I am a self-proclaimed sunshine-pumper. I am happy with that, too. There are enough critics and armchair coaches. There isn't enough room on the couch for all of the negative opinions, so here are some things that were great from the game Saturday night.

This is in no particular order, except how it pops into my head.

Picture from my personal collection @tatershell
1. The defense. Whoa! Were they terrific or what?  There were some individuals that stood out to me, and I will get to those. I am curious how they will do against other offenses, but I am super impressed with how they played, their energy, and their ability to work as a  unit. The defense played SO WELL that the linemen did not even stand out. They played as a whole. I was impressed.

2. Kerryon Johnson. That kid can play. He is quick, he's a leader, and he's a playmaker.  Give him a little room and he takes a mile. He spoke well after the game. I am proud to call him an Auburn Tiger.

3. Deshuan Davis. Full disclosure here- Deshaun is one of my prayer guys, and I also watched him play in high school. He was injured his senior year and did not play. Auburn redshirted him his freshman year, and then he played some last year. He was ALL OVER the field Saturday night. I noticed several plays he made but then when I watched the AFR, I noticed him even more. Wow!

4. Josh Holsey. What a story there. I was very happy to see him making an interception. He's a fighter and its awesome to see Auburn D getting some takeaways.

5. Carlton Davis- What the heck!!! He was terrific. He may not have always been able to prevent the receiver from catching a pass, but he made sure that player didn't go any more downfield.

6.  Daniel Carlson. I think it goes without saying, but wow that was a long field goal. I know he can kick it longer than that too, but when the camera showed the field view, it looks almost impossible. Not for our Daniel, huh?

7. Stanton Truitt- He moves great. He made some awesome runs and made some plays when it did not look like there was a play.

8. Marcus Davis.  Made some fantastic catches. I think it is his time for a big year.

9. The team. They didn't quit. They got better in the 2nd half. This may not seem like much, but we have all seen teams where once it went back, there was no coming back from it.

10. Cam. In a Bo jersey. 

There were loads of other individual players who made big plays.  Nick Ruffin,  Ryan Davis, Will Hastings,  Trey Matthews, Chandler Cox and more all made huge plays.  

Are there things that need work? You bet.  However, all of that has been said over and over again. Don't count our guys out just yet.