Wednesday, November 30, 2016
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Auburn got up by 18 in the first half, then that lead dwindled to 5. Auburn then got up by 15+ in the 2nd half, then that lead dwindled to 5. Then Auburn beat USC-Upstate 90-83.
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Auburn continues to climb in national rankings
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Auburn continues its climb in the national polls, using Saturday's 40-29 win over Ole Miss to claim its fifth straight victory to jump to No. 11 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the coaches poll released Sunday. The Tigers, ranked 17th in the coaches poll ...
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Like this here site, football is the lifeblood of the south. Whether you know the ins and outs of a Cover 2 or just like watching cheerleaders, you are a football fan in some way. And regardless of your knowledge, somebody taught you what you know or taught you what it means to be a fan.
Now we know that Auburn isn’t going to Tampa for the National Championship Game this year, but I think every single one of you reading this wouldn’t mind going to it. And I know for a fact, every single one of you reading this would love to watch it from a suite in Raymond-James Stadium.
Thanks to AT&T, you may have the chance.
It’s simple (for AT&T customers). All you have to do is share with AT&T who made you a fan of college football by posting on Twitter or Instagram and tagging #MadeMeAFanContest. You can also enter by submitting your story on MadeMeAFan.com, for a chance to win one of two remaining trips to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship in Tampa, FL.
One winner will be picked this week another will be picked next week. The official contest ends at 11:59pm ET, December 11, 2016.
No Purchase Necessary. The Contest is open to existing AT&T postpaid wireless customers who are legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia who are 18 or older (19 in Nebraska and Alabama and 21 in Mississippi). Ends 11:59pm ET, December 11, 2016. Void where prohibited. See Official Rules for additional eligibility restrictions, prize descriptions and complete details. Must be an AT&Tpostpaid wireless customer to enter. Subject to complete rules.
This post was made possible through my association with AT&T. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of AT&T.
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The latest College Football Playoff rankings has Auburn football just one spot ahead of Florida, which could determine who goes to the Sugar Bowl. The latest College Football Playoff rankings are very crucial in determining which SEC team will go to the Sugar Bowl, and Auburn and Florida are neck-and-neck. If the highest ranked SEC […]
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Accused Toomer's Corner tree fire starter Jochen Wiest request for return of passport to be decided next week
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Accused Toomer's Corner tree fire starter Jochen Wiest request for return of passport to be decided next week
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How is the squad looking?
Auburn comes back state-side with a second place finish in the Cancun Challenge, and with each game this team plays, we find out more about who they are and what they could become. The early parts of the season are like unwrapping a Christmas present extremely slowly. With each rip of wrapping paper, you begin to understand what your mom bought you. Is it a pair of socks? Or is it that BB gun you’ve asked for three Christmases in a row?
We are still finding out if Uncle Bruce has bought us fans a pair of socks or that competitive basketball team we have been asking for. We know more about them, but still not quite enough.
Auburn was trounced by Purdue 96-71. The Boilermakers hit 17(!) three-pointers in this game. Auburn was just not very good. Bryce Brown has spent the last two games disappearing, which isn’t a good look from your best three-point shooter.
Danjel Purifoy is still setting the scoresheets on fire. Scoring 22 against a taller, more physical Purdue team is notable. After the Purdue game, Purifoy was leading the team in points, threes made, assists, and was second on the team in rebounds and usage rate. He is a special player.
"To go ahead and win this game and try to be nationally ranked on Monday, you've got to have special," Bruce Pearl said. "We didn't get special out of the coaching staff and we didn't get special out of the players." Well, not to disagree with Pearl here, but he got special out of Purifoy. Danjel could have played better, I guess, but not much better.
Mustapha Heron had a solid game and is continuing to develop into the go-to guy for this team. He is also leading Auburn in rebounds as a shooting guard. He should look Spencer and Smith in the eyes after each practice and just remind them he is out-rebounding them. As a freshman.
Against Upstate, Auburn struggled to put nails in the coffin of the Spartans, winning 90-83. Auburn was up by as many as 18 in the second half, but held on to only win by single-digits. There were some nice plays by the Tigers, and Jared Harper continued to look like a blur on the court. He is becoming my favorite player to watch because it just looks like he has a different gear than everyone else. He runs past fast players like they were running in sand.
Auburn struggled with another big, physical 7 footer. The Tigers don’t have a ton of size, but they have to learn how to defend a big body down low. Between Spencer and Smith, we have “defensive” specialists who need to learn how to bang. We can’t have a bench player for SC Upstate score 20 on us just because he is 7-feet tall.
Auburn has played it’s last home game for more than a month, and will now play on the road against rival UAB in Ballingham* on Saturday. This game could trip the Tigers up, because the Blazers return an experienced team and are well-coached. Auburn had a tough time with the Blazers last season, and it is always tough to play a rival on the road. Auburn will have to defend Chris Cokley, a 6-8 junior forward who makes it go for the Blazers. He leads the team in points and rebounds. They also will have to figure out how to score around William Lee, a 6-9 forward who is averaging three blocks per game. On the bench for the Blazers, is a 7 footer from France named Thomas Smallwood, but he doesn’t play too much, so maybe the Tigers will be OK.
Things I think about this team
I think Auburn is still playing like a young team. Not closing out games, like the two against Texas Tech and SC Upstate, is a hallmark of young basketball teams. Pearl has to keep coaching these guys that the other team isn’t just going to quit because Auburn got up by 15.
I think they Auburn is starting to play really good turnover-forcing defense. Auburn scored 20 off of turnovers in the last game. If the Tigers can be a team that forces turnovers, it will hide their inexperience and make their lack of size a non-issue.
Things I know about this team
I know this team is offensively challenged when Heron and Purifoy are on the bench. Those two play the most minutes on the team, and are first and second in Usage. Heron and Purifoy have Usage percentages of 18.7 and 15.8, respectively. That stat was calculated before the SC Upstate game, but it shows you how important they have been to this team. If you don’t know what Usage percentage is, it is a stat that calculates the percentage of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor. Those two are on the floor a lot, and account for nearly 35 percent of the Tigers’ plays. To be honest, when I calculated the stats, I was surprised that number wasn’t higher.
Things I want to see
I want to see more out of Horace Spencer. Auburn needs him to be a factor. They need him to finish alley-oops, to rebound, and to block shots. Currently, his blocks and rebounds per game are down from last season, and that needs to change. Auburn is undersized at the block, and Spencer is going to have to play out of his mind for the Tigers to have a chance in conference, much less on the road at UConn coming up. As good as Heron is, it really isn’t a good thing that he is leading the team in rebounds. That title should be Spencer’s. When your coach compares you to Dennis Rodman, you can not be out-rebounded by a freshman guard.
*don’t know if that’s a thing, but it should be.
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Auburn basketball scored the most points it has all regular season in a 90-83 win over USC Upstate on Tuesday night at Auburn Arena. Other than the exhibition game where Auburn basketball scored 96 points against Montevallo, the 90 points scored in the win over USC Upstate Tuesday night are the most they’ve scored all […]
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It’s not the alumni magazine. But an alumna did put the word Auburn on a magazine (prop) Elizabeth Webber in a September episode of General Hospital.
“I started asking around, wondering if I could get some Auburn pennants for the set at Jake’s bar,” Compton told the real Auburn Magazine in 2009. “It got cleared by legal, and when the first episodes of karaoke night aired, lo and behold, the Auburn pennants were in every shot. I thought it was the coolest thing.”
h/t Nancy Travis Conner.
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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet
Auburn Basketball played last night. The Tigers improved to 5-1 with a 90-83 victory over USC-Upstate. I could probably look up when the last time Auburn was 5-1, but I'm too lazy. I can also probably guarantee it hasn't happened much, lately.
Peggy has written some fantastic things here at College and Magnolia. This week's Undercover Barner is one of her best, and if you don't read it then you should feel very bad about yourself.
The Promised Land is out there. It's not Tuscaloosa, though, that's for sure. Dr. Z traveled to Tuscaloosa and has some thoughts on the Iron Bowl and more.
Remember that stuff about Auburn ending up in the Sugar Bowl? Well, it's looking more likely that the Tigers will be in New Orleans. Auburn is the 2nd highest ranked SEC team in this week's College Football Playoff rankings at 14th. Florida is 15th, though, so a good showing in the SEC Championship could vault the Gators ahead of Auburn.
So, I need someone to explain to me how Jeremy Pruitt - who took over an already great defense - is a candidate for the Broyles Award while Kevin Steele - who took an awful defense and turned it into an awesome unit - is not.
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
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Well here we are as the last week of TET College Pick’em is now upon us! Last week was rival week for many teams and the pick’em selections showed that many were ready to win some scores. All of the sudden we have a new leader as we go into the last week. Teak’s Picks has bullied his way to a commanding lead at 193-28. Another new comer, jamesgaylor, has moved to second place with 190-22, and AUDude falls to third at 190-18. So with that being said, it is apparent that the GOLDEN BO TROPHY will go into the hands of the winner of the final week’s picks. Who will it be? It’s gonna be close!
Here are the top 25 standings going into the final week
|Rank||Pick Set Name||Total||Dropped||W-L|
|13||Dwight and Aubrn||185||22||185-146|
|25||NY War Eagle||178||24||178-152|
The post TET College Pick’em WEEK 13 RESULTS appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.
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Auburn appears to be almost a lock for New Orleans
The second to last College Football Playoff rankings came out, tonight. If you're a fan of the thought of Auburn in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl, then I have great news for you!
The Tigers are ranked 14th, which is the 2nd highest SEC team behind Alabama. Unless Florida (15th) defeats Alabama and somehow jumps all the way up to the College Football Playoff, then Auburn is a lock for New Orleans. The Sugar Bowl is obligated to take the highest-ranked SEC team not in the Playoff. The opponent will be the highest-ranked BigXII team not in the playoff, which is probably going to be the BigXII champion (Oklahoma or Oklahoma State).
Could that still be Florida? Yes, it could. If Florida puts on a good show against Alabama and makes it a very close game, there's always the chance the committee bumps them up ahead of Auburn. I don't see the Gators doing much better than Auburn did, though, and Auburn played them in Tuscaloosa, not Atlanta. If the Gators make a game of it, though, there's definitely the possibility the committee takes that into account and bumps them up one spot over Auburn in that final ranking.
Next up is LSU, who did make a jump back into the rankings, but only to 21st, and with no games left to play, they're not going to jump ahead of Auburn next week.
Here are the full rankings.
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Where does Auburn stand in College Football Playoff rankings heading into final week of regular season?
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Where does Auburn stand in College Football Playoff rankings heading into final week of regular season?
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Dr. Z takes a long strange trip to the C(r)apstone
So I got wrangled into going over to Tuscaloosa for the Iron Bowl circa 2016. The game? Forgettable in every way. More on that later...
The trip over was gnarly. I don’t ever want to hear anyone complain about how hard it is to get to Auburn. I can cruise down 280 at 70ish almost the entire way, and that includes the 2013 Iron Bowl where my buddy drove 80ish the whole way. I-59 from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa is bumper to bumper. We finally got off around the Mercedes Plant and took back roads into town. As an aside, I wonder sometimes what some rich douche in Oxnard or somewhere would think about where his car is made. That being said, none of the Alabama skill players seem to mind their Mercedes coming from the middle of the Alabama countryside.
Tuscaloosa reminds me a lot of Athens GA without the charm. The campus is ok. To me, it seems a little less friendly and a little less authentic than Auburn.
The stadium is cavernous. Along with many of the Auburn faithful, I had upper deck end zone seats. The Jumbotron screens in Bryant-Denny are a smidge small. Admittedly, I’m spoiled due to the Megatron at JHS. At home games, if you sit in the end zone opposite the board, it’s like being in your living room with 87000 friends.
The people there were surprisingly friendly. I accidentally bumped into a 50 something Bammer. We both apologized and he actually wished us luck today. I almost said “Oh, you trying to be a smart-ass?” thinking that he was thinking we had no shot to win, which is exactly the way I thought when Jeremy Johnson was announced as the Auburn starter.
Which is a nice Segway into Auburn’s colossal dumpster fire of offensive game planning. Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee had 2 choices in this game. A: Play it safe with confidence-lacking Jeremy Johnson, hope the offense can eek out enough points so that the defense could keep us in the game, or B: Throw caution to the wind and go with the cocky kid JFIII who has the moxie to make some plays and inspire some confidence into this wounded offense, hit a couple home runs and keep us in it until the end.
Gushlee (the undercover Barner is the bomb, btw. Give her a follow on Twitter) decided to go with option A. And essentially, this was waiving the white flag of parley. Mix that in with the pirouetting (passing) fullback, and well, pardon my French. (seriously pardon all the French).
Auburn’s defense played well in the first half but essentially ran out of emotional gas in the second half after yet another 3 and out. Gus turned it over to JFIII well after the game no longer in doubt, and the kid did pretty well.
So, that leaves Auburn at 8-4, and like the Playmaker said, it is pretty much what we all expected, especially after a 1-2 start. I cannot entirely disagree here, but it is so much more disappointing considering all the ifs, Auburn might be 10-2 vs 8-4. It’s impossible to say, but I do feel like given all the talent on this squad, Auburn should have been much, much better.
The question moving forward is will all this continue? Will Gus be forced to nix Rhett in favor of a different offensive coordinator? Will some of Kevin Scarbinsky’s hyperbole come true and Art Briles will show up and save the day on offense? (I Hope not for a myriad of reasons, none more than Scar-bombs being wrong).
Gus saved his job this year with a miracle run in October. But lose to both big rivals again in 2017, and he deserves to go.
War Eagle anyway.
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Watch: Take a look at Auburn's enormous new scoreboard at Jordan-Hare Stadium
After earning a hard-fought Week 1 win over Louisville at the Georgia Dome, Auburn returns to campus this weekend to take on Jacksonville State in its home opener. Once the fans file into Jordan-Hare Stadium, college football's biggest scoreboard will ...
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At this point in the season, the end of the regular season, you can sort of just go off records. But after a few surprising outcomes this past weekend there are quite a few moves. Oh, and YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHERE I HAVE AUBURN.
1. Alabama (12-0)
Blah, blah, blah.
(Last week: #1, beat Auburn 30-12)
2. Auburn (8-4)
Wow, Auburn loses by 18 to the #1 team in the nation on the road and you leave them right they were? Yep. Because of what you just said, and because when you see what’s below, it doesn’t mean they have to drop below that. Also, Auburn is likely headed for the Sugar Bowl, which goes to the #2 SEC team. So, yeah.
(Last week: #2, lost to Alabama 30-12)
3. Florida (8-3)
Florida was beaten badly by an ACC team. Since it’s the end of the season, and they were done with their SEC schedule last week, I don’t see a reason to move them. Depending on how things go in Atlanta this week, they may move after that.
(Last week: #3, lost to Florida State 31-13)
4. LSU (7-4)
The Purple Tigers beat the Aggies with half a quarterback by two touchdowns. Let’s not forget they lost to Florida last week. Wait, Florida is ranked ahead of them, that must mean it’s a good win. Nope.
(Last week: #5, beat Texas A&M 54-39)
5. Texas A&M (8-4)
The Aggies allowed Trevor Knight to trot out and play a little quarterback on Senior Night and it didn’t work as much as they would’ve liked. It’s been a bad second half of the season.
(Last week: #4, lost to LSU 54-39)
6. Tennessee (8-4)
I have no idea how Tennessee lost to Vanderbilt and moved up a spot. I just re-ranked this thing and it happened again. It doesn’t matter. It’s just another overhyped Tennessee season.
(Last week: #7, lost to Vanderbilt 45-34)
7. Kentucky (7-5)
I know Louisville hasn’t been the same team over the last few weeks, but doing that to the Cardinals on the road is enough for a big jump for the Wildcats. But they couldn’t jump Tennessee because they lost to them just last week.
(Last week: #10, beat Louisville 41-38)
8. Georgia (7-5)
Losing by a point out of conference isn’t going to do much to your SEC rankings on the ol’ Blogle.
(Last week: #8, lost to Georgia Tech 28-27)
9. Arkansas (7-5)
What. Just. Happened? Are you serious right now?
(Last week: #6, lost to Missouri 28-24)
10. Mississippi State (5-7)
Wow, that was beat down of egg-sized proportions. I’m not even angry. That’s amazing.
(Last week: #12, beat Ole Miss 55-20)
11. Vanderbilt (6-6)
Thank you, Commodores. But you are the most bipolar team in the conference.
(Last week: #13, beat Tennessee 45-34)
12. Ole Miss (5-7)
We can finally say it, and I know they’ve been playing with a backup freshman quarterback, but Ole Miss just wasn’t very good after they lost a 21-3 lead to Alabama. It wasn’t a good year in Oxford, regardless of talent.
(Last week: #9, lost to Mississippi State 55-20)
13. South Carolina (6-6)
Not a terrible year for the Gamecocks, all things considered. Even this beatdown was expected and it still doesn’t keep them out of a bowl.
(Last week: #11, lost to Clemson 56-7)
14. Missouri (4-8)
I know you beat Arkansas, but I still want you out. Get out.
(Last week: #14, beat Arkansas 28-24)
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Auburn coach Terri Williams-Flournoy has her Women’s Basketball team off to a hot start. The Tigers are 6-1 after having opened the season by playing five of their seven games on the road.
On Sunday The Tigers put on an exciting exhibition coming-from-behind to beat Indiana 71-67 for their sixth win of the season. Auburn trailed the Hoosiers 56-39 with nine minutes to go in the game. But the Tigers mounted a furious comeback led by Brandy Montgomery who put in 16 of Auburn’s 32 fourth quarter points. The senior finished with a career high 28 points.
It was classic Williams- Flournoy attacking style of play, as the Tigers scored 17 points off of eight turnovers. In addition, Auburn finished hot at the foul line knocking down 11 of 12 from the free throw. Auburn outscored the Hoosiers 32-14 in the last nine and a half minutes of play.
The effort caught the attention of the Associated Press as the voters placed Auburn at No. 23 in this week’s poll. It’s the first time in eight years for the Auburn Women to be ranked in the Top 25. The last time was in 2008-2009 when Auburn won the SEC title and finished No.8 in the final poll.
The Tigers are back on the road again this week, traveling to Manhattan, Kan. to play Kansas State Thursday in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
The Auburn men (4-1) will be playing in the Arena tonight against South Carolina Up State at 7 CT. If you’re in the area come out and support the Tigers. It will be the last chance to watch the men at home till the middle of December.
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Here we take a weekly look at the performances of Auburn football players in the NFL in week 12 of play. It’s safe to say that it has been a strange season of football across the board. The Cleveland Browns are now 0-12 despite putting up a fight against the New York Giants. What is […]
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Congrats to WarRockEagleChalk for taking Week 13 of the 2016 War Blogle Pick ’em and winning a War Blogle sticker and button. Want any of that? Send me $3 and your address, or just win next week. But let’s be honest, it’s just easier to send three bucks.
If you missed joining last week, you can still join. It may be tough to win the whole thing, but you can still go for the weekly win.
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In a special double-length episode, Van and John debate the current state of the Auburn football program following the loss in the Iron Bowl. Also a visit from The Most Interesting Coach in the World and TONS of Listener Questions.
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News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet
This was Sunday, but there was no way I was going to let my laziness Sunday night (hey, an Army buddy is in town and I didn't feel like doing this late at night) get in the way of reporting on Auburn's awesome come-from-behind victory. 17 points in 10 minutes to win 71-67? That's impressive.
Oh, and with that, Coach Flo's team is now ranked in the Top 25. The Tigers come in at 23rd in the most recent polls.
The men are back in action tonight against USC-Upstate. Tuco has a preview and how you can watch post for what SHOULD be the first relaxing/cupcake game of the season.
Blake has been saying all year long that the talk of getting rid of Malzahn is crazy in the grand scheme of things. He reiterates that statement in this week's TAKES.
Monty Adams is headed to the Senior Bowl. Currently, he's not even in the Mock Draft for SB Nation. They only do the first round, but still. I think a good performance at the Senior Bowl will push him way up some boards and into the first round.
If you're looking for good news for the bowl game - which is probably going to be the Sugar Bowl unless the committee decides to bump LSU from unranked all the way up ahead of Auburn - then look no further than Chris Low saying Malzahn informed him Sean White will be healthy and back for the bowl game.
Who is going pro early? None of Auburn's players are really saying right now.
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The gap between Alabama and Auburn was on full display Saturday but not just on the scoreboard. Alabama’s true freshman quarterback outperformed Auburn’s senior stand in, Jeremy Johnson. This gap wasn’t an outlier but the continuation of an alarming trend. Consequently there are a lot of numbers being thrown around about Gus Malzahn and the state and direction of Auburn’s program.
Yes, Auburn is 2–6 against rivals Georgia and Alabama for the past four years, and both of those wins have special names assigned to them. Alabama has now beaten Auburn three straight times for the first time since 1990–1992. Misconceptions about Nick Saban being unable to beat ranked Auburn teams or back-to-back Iron Bowls in Bryant-Denny have been put to rest.
The Vegas oddsmakers made Auburn an 18-point underdog, and most fans of both teams scoffed at the idea of a rivalry game with such a spread. Alabama calmly and methodically covered the spread, beating Auburn by 18 points, and Auburn joined all but two Alabama opponents this season to be shellacked by 18 or more. While Saban and the Tide may pay lip service to the rivalry, truth is, this game has become just another outing for Alabama, and that is because of the gap between the programs.
Simply put, Alabama has conquered every conceivable Iron Bowl hurdle, real or imagined, and the gap between Auburn and Alabama showed, first and foremost, at the quarterback position. On one side, a true freshman quarterback destined to head to New York starred for an undefeated team not known for offense, while a team known for its offense couldn’t muster first downs yet again.
There is a gap between Sean White and the Alabama quarterback, but there’s also one between him and the five or six other players that took snaps there for Auburn. Sean White is a good QB, make no mistake, but is his absence the difference between one of the best offenses in the country and one of the worst?
While the six-game winning streak was impressive, put things in perspective: those wins were against teams that are a combined 30–29, and only LSU has a winning conference record. Without a healthy White, the games against Vanderbilt and Georgia were statistically two of the worst performances of Gus Malzahn’s career. Throwing in the Clemson game, you have three of Gus Malzahn’s worst games of his career coming in year four, the year where recruiting and development is supposed to show up.
Development is the crux of the matter, and this looms large over Malzahn. It isn’t just about the current gap between White and other SEC QB’s or the other quarterbacks on the Auburn roster. It extends past the Jeremy Johnson failure in 2015. Auburn has never won a rivalry game with a QB that Malzahn recruited and coached for more than a year. More telling is that with the QB’s he either recruited or developed, the Tigers have scored a grand total of 66 points in the six rivalry games. The vaunted Hurry Up No Huddle Offense is averaging 11 points per contest with Malzahn-developed QB’s, and that is discounting the 2012 season where Auburn scored zero points against its rivals with Scott Loeffler coaching Malzahn’s recruits.
What’s more telling is that Auburn has scored a grand total of three touchdowns in its rivalry games in the last two years, and only one against Alabama, which came on a tipped pass to Jason Smith in the 2015 Iron Bowl. Despite improving defensive play in each of the past three Iron Bowls, Alabama’s margin of victory has grown each year. In other words, for a coach that should be enjoying the fruits of top recruiting classes and the stability that comes in year four, the gap is widening instead of closing.
Many have said that the loss of White and the poor offensive performances should have been expected, and no team should expect a composed offense after losing a starter. That isn’t the case for offensive gurus to whom Gus Malzahn has been compared. Ex-Baylor head coach Art Briles has lost as many as two starting quarterbacks who were among the top in college football in a single year and still won ten or more games. Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury has done the same, as has Washington State’s Mike Leach.
This article isn’t to say that Gus Malzahn or offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee should be fired. Despite the circus that has surrounded the Auburn program about who calls the plays, the fact is that the HUNH offense can and does work, especially with the right quarterback. But, does the right one have to be someone else’s finished product, or can Malzahn and Lashlee close the gap between their ability to recruit and develop and that of everyone else, most notably the program across the state? Something has to change at Auburn, otherwise the widening of the gap that began in 2009 will continue. Admitting a problem is the first step to fixing it, but the story from Malzahn so far remains the same: it’s a young team and the future is bright.
The post The Quarterback Gap at Auburn appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.
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Monday, November 28, 2016
Here we take a look at how the College Football Playoff rankings this Tuesday could determine whether or not Auburn football will go to the Sugar Bowl. If you want to see Auburn football play in the Sugar Bowl this year, then you should be glued to the College Football Playoff show on Tuesday night. […]
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After going 1-1 in the Cancun Challenge with a big win over Texas Tech and a loss to a ranked Purdue team, Auburn basketball comes back home to face USC Upstate. Auburn basketball did what it needed to do in Cancun coming away with a resume building win over Texas Tech, and hanging in there […]
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Finally, a cupcake.
Auburn basketball has returned from Mexico and returned to class. Tuesday, they'll return to action against USC-Upstate. While it's dangerous to overlook any opponent, this game is the first one I've felt confident about all season.
You may be surprised to learn that USC-Upstate--the Spartans--come from the upstate area of South Carolina. Spartanburg to be precise. They return ten players including all five starters from last year, but as long-time Tiger fans know, that's not always a good thing. Last year's Spartan squad finished 10-22, 8th of 8 in the Atlantic Sun Conference. This year's Spartans are picked to repeat their eighth place finish.
The Spartans are led by third and fourth team All-ASUN players Deion Holmes and Michael Buchanan. Holmes was named to the ASUN All freshman team last year and is averaging 13 points per game so far this season. Buchanan is a big, strong, senior center who stands 7' 285 lbs. Buchanan currently averages 13 points and 9 rebounds. Auburn needs to get reps against more men like Buchanan before conference play starts.
The computers give Auburn a huge advantage and frankly, they should. Auburn should win this game big and early. Auburn 88 Spartans 55.
How to Watch, Stream, Listen
Time: 7:00pm Central
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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.
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Saturday, November 26, 2016
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That was about as ugly as we worried it might be.
With Sean White out, we knew Auburn's QB situation was going to be questionable. It turned out to be a question of who was going to play QB on any given play.
The first half looked much like the Clemson game, with the first few drives involving swapping QBs on almost every single play. It was frustrating, and it obviously wasn't working, as the Tigers struggled to gain any yards. They were kept in the game only by special teams, the defense, and Daniel Carlson.
Auburn jumped on the board first after a defensive stop when Stephen Roberts ran a punt to just outside the Alabama 20. Auburn's first offensive drive of the game was indicative of the way the rest of the game would go, though, as the Tigers couldn't get anything going and resorted to a Carlson field goal.
Alabama quickly tied it up and took a lead later with a touchdown. Two Carlson field goals (helped by multiple Auburn interceptions, including two by true freshman Daniel Thomas) had the score 10-9. Alabama added a FG before the half to go in with the 4 point lead.
Auburn's defense was gassed by the second half, as they were on the field for somewhere around 2/3 of the game. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts had the first rushing touchdown on the Tigers since the Texas A&M game in the 3rd quarter.
Auburn turned to John Franklin III full-time in the late 3rd quarter, but in spite of a good deep pass to Eli Stove, the Tigers never could convert a touchdown. Franklin's deep ball may be pretty, but his intermediate passes were perhaps indicative of why he hasn't been playing.
Not even Carlson had a great night, as he missed two field goals for the Tigers. You have to think those misses will affect his chances at the Groza Award.
For Auburn, there are going to be plenty of questions as we head into the silly season of college football. I do not think Gus Malzahn will be going anywhere unless he chooses to take another job. More on that tomorrow, but honestly tonight went about as I expected given the QB situation. There are definitely questions, though, and a lot of the future will depend on the QB situation next season and the offensive coordinator/QB coach. We'll see where things go.
Auburn finishes the regular season 8-4 and - believe it or not - still with an outside shot at being the 2nd best team in the SEC depending on how a few other games tonight play out. We'll have to wait a few weeks for the bowl destination, though, with the way the SEC divvies out the bowls under the current agreement.
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