Auburn Family News: April 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

General News. 'A family environment' at AUSPY Awards

They danced, they sang, they laughed at each other’s blooper videos. In between, Auburn student-athletes honored their best and brightest Monday at the seventh annual AUSPY Awards at Auburn Arena.

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W. Soccer. 'A family environment' at AUSPY Awards

They danced, they sang, they laughed at each other’s blooper videos. In between, Auburn student-athletes honored their best and brightest Monday at the seventh annual AUSPY Awards at Auburn Arena.

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General News. AUSPY Awards Honor the best and brightest of 2016-17

The Auburn Athletics Department honored the best in athletic and academic achievement for Athletics teams and individuals during the Spring 2016, Fall 2016 and Winter 2017 seasons.

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Q&A with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey: NCAA recruiting rules changes, football staff sizes, more

No proposed update 'right now' to expand SEC's 'serious misconduct' policy

There currently is not a formal proposal to expand the SEC's "serious misconduct policy" during the league's annual Spring Meetings next month.

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No proposed update 'right now' to expand SEC's 'serious misconduct' policy

There currently is not a formal proposal to expand the SEC's "serious misconduct policy" during the league's annual Spring Meetings next month.

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Baseball. No. 5 Baseball hosts Troy for final home midweek tilt

Fifth-ranked Auburn baseball hosts Troy Tuesday at Plainsman Park in the final home midweek game of the season. Auburn’s No. 5 ranking this week by Baseball America is its highest since being ranked No. 5 on 4/14/2003.

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Q&A with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey: NCAA recruiting rules changes, football staff sizes, more

Live updates from UAB's campus, where SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is holding a Q&A during the APSE Southeast Region meeting in Birmingham.

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Q&A with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey: NCAA recruiting rules changes, football staff sizes, more

Live updates from UAB's campus, where SEC commissioner Greg Sankey is holding a Q&A during the APSE Southeast Region meeting in Birmingham.

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Top 5 Ga. QB Williams back on the market

Jarren Williams has backed off of his longstanding verbal commitment to Kentucky and a handful of programs are now in the mix for his services.

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Josh Anthony Named SEC Baseball Player of the Week

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Auburn third baseman Josh Anthony has been named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week. The league office made the announcement early Monday. The redshirt junior received the honor for his performance in the Tigers series win over No.11 Arkansas.

The Columbus, Ga. native was 2-for-2 in stolen bases and was a terror at the plate for Razorback pitching. He was  9-for-12, batting .750 for the week with three doubles, a homerun, nine RBIs and six runs scored. He went a perfect 4-for-4 in Sunday’s series clinching victory over the Hogs.

Anthony joins Keegan ThompsonWill Holland and Davis Daniel as the fourth Auburn player to be honored by the SEC this season. Congrats to Josh and …

War Eagle!

The post Josh Anthony Named SEC Baseball Player of the Week appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Greg Sankey: Postgame confrontation between Florida coach Tim Walton, Auburn's Haley Fagan 'shouldn't happen'

Greg Sankey said last month's postgame pushing exchange between Auburn softball shortstop Haley Fagan and Florida coach Tim Walton "shouldn't happen."

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Monday Football & Baseball Tiger Tidbits

Auburn football, baseball, softball and other sports are included in Monday's edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers and AUTigers.com.

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Baseball. Josh Anthony named SEC Player of the Week

Auburn baseball junior third baseman Josh Anthony was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Week Monday following a stellar four-game performance including a blistering series with No. 16 Arkansas.

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Football. 'I'm all about winning' - Leading tackler Tray Matthews wins Mike Kolen Award

Tray Matthews’ A-Day highlight happened before the game, when he received the Mike Kolen Award from its namesake for leading the Tigers in tackles last season.

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Auburn baseball's Josh Anthony earns SEC weekly honor

Josh Anthony was 11-for-16 with nine RBI as Auburn went 3-1 last week.

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'I'm all about winning' - Leading tackler Tray Matthews wins Mike Kolen Award

Tray Matthews’ A-Day highlight happened before the game, when he received the Mike Kolen Award from its namesake for leading the Tigers in tackles last season.

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Spotify playlists are the new frontier in Kick Six trolling of Bama fans

When it comes to reminding Alabama fans of the Kick Six, the creativity of Auburn fans knows no bounds.

And now, thanks to a recent meme (and what I’m sure are amazing songs like Keep Them by A Forest, Off by Trash Panda, and The Field by Kitaro), Spotify playlists.
 “I was sitting in class and saw a tweet on Twitter where someone posted an ‘I made a playlist for my ex’ and it had a funny quote in the songs,” says the Auburn student behind the playlist, Cameron Adams. “That tweet idea has been a popular meme recently, so it’s not 100 percent original. It wasn’t hard to think of the idea, it came straight to my head. The Kick Six is my fondest memory at Auburn so it was an easy concept to tweet. But it took about 15 minutes to find the songs and put them in order. It was time well spent in my human resource management class.”


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Anthony Heating Up Like the Weather

Josh Anthony talks about his first season with the Auburn baseball team and his recent improvement as a hitter.

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Auburn Baseball Notebook: SEC Week 6

Auburn baseball continues its steady climb upward following another big series win over the weekend with the Tigers now No. 5 in Baseball America and No. 7 in D1baseball polls.

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Jason Caldwell's Monday Morning QB Column

Auburn baseball and softball are both pushing for regional host sites as we hit the stretch run in the 2017 regular season.

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Auburn baseball makes big jump in national polls after taking series against Arkansas

Auburn took two of three from Arkansas over the weekend to improve to 12-6 in SEC play.

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Why offering preferred walk-on opportunity at Auburn to Alex Medary was special to Herb Hand

A decade after Dr. Max Medary helped save Herb Hand's life, the gregarious offense line coach offered Medary's son, Alex, an opportunity to be a preferred walk-on at Auburn.

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Why offering preferred walk-on opportunity at Auburn to Alex Medary was special to Herb Hand

A decade after Dr. Max Medary helped save Herb Hand's life, the gregarious offense line coach offered Medary's son, Alex, an opportunity to be a preferred walk-on at Auburn.

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Link sAUsage: 24 April 2017

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

BASEBALL

Well, how 'bout them Tigers! Auburn continues to roll through the SEC schedule with yet another series victory over yet another really good team. And they did it, again, without one of their ace pitchers available for the weekend. If Josh Anthony isn't the SEC Player of the Week, then the SEC is just stupid.

Just because: let's revisit the highlights of Friday night's blowout:

SOFTBALL

The ladies also won their series although they came up short of the sweep that they probably should have gotten against South Carolina. Kaylee Carlson pitched a lot of innings over the weekend, although the biggest thing for Auburn going forward may be the emergence of Ashlee Swindle who pitched in Makayla Martin's place Saturday afternoon.

The season has been a bit tougher than what we're used to, but the SEC is a very tough league and Auburn is still very much in the hunt for a national seed and hosting a Regional and Super Regional (should they make it that far).

FOOTBALL

Did you miss last week's 'CROOTIN' update? Well, go back and read it just in case!



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Auburn returns top 3 running backs for key position of strength in 2017

Break down of Auburn's running backs following spring practice

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Auburn returns top 3 running backs for key position of strength in 2017

Break down of Auburn's running backs following spring practice

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Mostly Cloudy today!



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Auburn Baseball Is Proving to SEC How Dangerous It Can Be

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The best surprise  to come out of Auburn this spring has been a rejuvenated baseball program. And Auburn keeps on rolling along as the No.10 Tigers defeated No.11 Arkansas in a three game home-stand over the weekend in what was possibly the biggest series at Plainsman Park in the past seven years. 

Sunday’s game marked the second time this season that Auburn has won a series without one of their starting pitchers. The Tigers had to play Arkansas without starter, Casey Mize who was held out due to a sore shoulder. Just a week ago, Auburn beat South Carolina without the team’s other ace, Keegan Thompson, who was also nursing a much used throwing arm.

But that’s what makes this team so special. The difference in a good team and a contender of any sport, is solid depth. That’s certainly been the case with Auburn this season. Every time the Tigers face a test, someone steps up.

In Sunday’s game that player was senior Andrew Mitchell who came on to pitch the final five innings, giving up a run on three hits, as the Tigers beat the Razorbacks 11-6.

Offensively, the Tigers had 10 extra-base hits, on a season-high 16 hits including eight doubles and two homeruns. Josh Anthonyled the charge. He was 9-for-12 for the series with seven RBIs. 

Mitchell said, “It (the win) shows we are a pretty good team. We take two of three both weekends without one of our best pitchers. It just shows when we have all three (starting pitchers) how dangerous we can be.”

This team continues to prove they are a good team and can be dangerous. But will they make it to the NCAA Tourney in Butch Thompson‘s second year at the helm? All indicators say they will.

The Tigers (30-12) probably needs to win six more SEC games to host a regional. And if they can win eight or more they will most likely be selected to host a Super Regional.

Auburn has now won five of six SEC series and are tied for second in the West with Arkansas (32-10). They are a game behind Mississippi State. If the Tigers can win next weekend against the Bulldogs, they will most likeky take over sole possession of first place.

The post Auburn Baseball Is Proving to SEC How Dangerous It Can Be appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Baseball. Auburn Baseball Notebook - April 23

No. 10 Auburn hit six home runs on the week as the second-half power surge continued and the Tigers picked up three win to move to 30-12, 12-6 on the season.

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Baseball. Plan B: Andrew Mitchell's pitching, Josh Anthony's hitting, lead Auburn to series win

When Butch Thompson listed “TBA” as Sunday’s starter for the Arkansas series, he knew no matter who started, he would need to rely on Auburn’s bullpen.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Baseball. No. 10 Auburn baseball hammers 16th-ranked Hogs

Josh Anthony had a career-best four hits with two doubles and three RBI as No. 10 Auburn baseball defeated No. 16 Arkansas 11-6 to take the series Sunday at Plainsman Park.

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Hog-Tied: Auburn Takes Down Razorbacks

Auburn got a strong performance from Andrew Mitchell out of the bullpen and 10 extra-base hits to take down Arkansas 11-6 on Sunday.

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W. Tennis. Alizee Michaud selected to SEC All-Tournament Team

Alizee Michaud was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Tournament Team after leading Auburn in its run to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. On the weekend, Michaud posted two ranked singles wins and a ranked doubles victory.

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ITAT HD: Thompson Talks Series Win Vs. Hogs

Auburn Coach Butch Thompson talks about his team's Sunday win over Arkansas to clinch the series for the Tigers.

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The Auburn Softball Team faces adversity and takes another SEC series



This Auburn Softball Team continues to amaze me. They are findings ways to win after losing several key players last week. As you have probably read, senior shortstop Haley Fagan, sophomore starting pitcher Makayla Martin and freshman Brittany Maresette were arrested last Thursday morning for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. All three have been suspended from the Auburn Softball Team indefinitely and I commend Clint Myers for his action. They have already missed 3 games. Of course, if these girls were starting SEC football players, the punishment would have most likely been a half game suspension against a lesser opponent. It appears to me that it may be time for the NCAA or the SEC to impose a consistent drug policy for both women and men in all sports. This will be an expensive life lesson for each player.

Game 1

Auburn won this game against South Carolina 2-0 and Kaylee Carlson picked up her 22nd win. Auburn had 5 his and no errors. Kasey Cooper and Victoria Draper each had 2 hits. Kasey Cooper had a double and 1 RBI. Victoria Draper had 2 stolen bases which both led to runs. Alyssa Rivera continues to impress me with her play in the field and at the plate. She had a single in this game and now has a hit in 11 straight games. 

Game 2

Freshman Ashlee Swindle from Jasper, Alabama got her first career start and a win for Auburn by pitching a 2-0 shutout and only allowed 2 hits. She pitched 5 1/3 innings and Kaylee Carlson was put in for relief. It will be up to Ashlee and Kaylee to pitch Auburn to the NCAA playoffs unless Makayla Martin is allowed to return to the team.
Alyssa Rivera and Kendall Veach each had 2 base hits and Victoria Draper got a hit. Kendall Veach had a solo home run. If Victoria gets on first base she is always looking for the steal with her speed. 

Game 3

There is little to say about this game and the highlights only belong to South Carolina

 Auburn lost this game to South Carolina 3-0. Auburn played this game early this morning to avoid the rain. Auburn only managed two hits and Kaylee Carlson did not seem to on today. Auburn had 3 errors and Carlee Wallace had a throwing error to third base that allowed a run to score.

Auburn will meet Alabama State in Montgomery at Lagoon Park this Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.  Mississippi State comes to Auburn next weekend and I will be at the game on Saturday after the "Bo Jackson" bike ride festivities are over.

Enjoy the week!



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Auburn Baseball vs Arkansas Series Recap: Tigers Take Another SEC Series!

Down an ace pitcher, Auburn still picks up a big series win over one of the top teams in the conference!

Wow, what a weekend! The Tigers' bats went insane and Auburn came away with yet another SEC series victory.

Game 1: Auburn 15-2.

Auburn's pitching from Keegan Thompson and Casey Mize has been fantastic all season long. Friday night, Keegan was again on fire and boy did he have an offense to back him up.

Thompson pitched six complete innings, allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, no walks, and 7 strikeouts against the Razorbacks. You hate to see any runs on the board, but when the offense puts up double-digits, then 2 runs is nothing.

Most of the runs for Auburn were scored in the 1st and 3rd innings. The Tigers went through the order twice before the 3rd inning was complete. Daniel Robert homered in the first and Josh Anthony hit the first homer of his Auburn career in the 3rd as a part of the run onslaughts. Anthony's home run led to one of the best moments of the night in the team's "silent treatment" reaction.

The Tigers led 13-2 at the end of that inning and added 2 more in the 5th with a Dylan Ingram home run for the Tigers' 3rd on the night.

Calvin Coker came on in relief of Keegan Thompson in the 7th and allowed 2 hits in 3 innings, striking out 3 and walking none, though he did hit a batter in the 9th.

Over the last few games, we've really seen Auburn's bats come alive. To chase an ace pitcher like Arkansas' Blaine Knight from the game in 2 and a 1/3 is very impressive. The Tigers have knocked out ace pitchers early in multiple games this season. If it all comes together consistently in the 2nd half of the SEC season, then boy this could be a lot of fun.

Game 2: 3-7 Arkansas

Game 2 started in a similar fashion to Game 1, as the Tigers got on the board with 2 runs in the 1st and 1 in the 2nd for the 3-0 lead. Davis Daniel pitched well for yet another game, but Auburn's bullpen woes and at times stagnant hitting once again came back to haunt the Tigers.

Daniel allowed the Razorbacks to tie the game at 3 in the 3rd inning. He was pulled after the 5th inning and replaced with Andrew Mitchell. Mitchell earned the loss for this game as walked 3 batters and gave up 2 runs in the 6th. That was all Arkansas would need, though, as their bullpen did an excellent job of shutting the Tigers down. Auburn had chances to make a mark in the game. At one point thanks to walks and hit-by-pitches, the Tigers had the bases loaded. Unfortunately, they couldn't do anything with it and the Razorbacks took Game 2.

Game 3: Auburn 11-6

Auburn's batters came back with a vengeance Sunday afternoon in a back-and-forth game that ended 11-6 in the Tigers' favor. Josh Anthony went 4-5 with multiple multi-base hits and RBIs to lead the Tigers' offensive explosion. Meanwhile, Andrew Mitchell bounced back from his rough inning Saturday night to pitch 5 innings and only allow a single run.

Arkansas got on the board first in this one with a run in the 2nd inning. Auburn quickly responded with a 2-run Luke Jarvis home run and a 2-run Jonah Todd double to take the 4-1 lead. The teams traded runs in the 3rd before Arkansas tied it up in the 5th. Auburn again took the lead 6-5 in the 4th and held it there until the 7th inning when Arkansas tied the game for the last time.

Auburn blew the game open in the 7th after Josh Anthony scored 2 on a double to left field. A Bo Decker double then scored Anthony for the 9-6 lead. In the 8th, Dylan Ingram hit one off his own face (on the scoreboard that is) for a solo home run. After Luke Jarvis doubled, he was then driven in by yet another Josh Anthony double to reach the final margin of 11-6.

Ryan Watson started the day for the Tigers, pitching 3 innings before being replaced by Calvin Coker. He lasted an inning before being replaced by Andrew Mitchell, who closed out the game. He allowed only 3 hits and 1 run. He really only had one bad inning and shut the Razorbacks down completely in the 8th and 9th to earn the win and get the Tigers the series victory.

The Way Forward

This weekend proved one big thing for Auburn's hitters: when you come against them, you better bring your dirtiest shit. If you give them balls over the plate, they are going to destroy you. That's what happened Friday and Sunday as Auburn exploded for a combined 26 runs on those two days. And, when you're hitting like that, it gives a ton of confidence to your pitchers.

Auburn has now won multiple SEC series against Top 15 competition. They've done it twice without an ace pitcher. They knocked off South Carolina without Keegan Thompson and now Arkansas without Casey Mize. That's downright amazing. It also speaks very highly of Butch Thompson that he would pull an ace pitcher in a series this big in order to protect that pitcher's arm. His confidence in the rest of the team that they can still get the volume done should be a huge boost to the team's morale and confidence in themselves, as well.

At the plate, Jonah Todd, Luke Jarvis, Jay Estes, and Daniel Robert have all been on fire this season. We wondered how they'd replace last year's production, and we've had that question answered definitively. Josh Anthony - whose fielding has been spectacular at 3rd - finding his bat this weekend and increasing his batting average by .40 in what is sure to be a SEC Player of the Week performance makes them even more dangerous.

We've long since realized it, but this series just reinforced it even more: this is a very good Auburn baseball team. They're built perfectly for a deep postseason run, too. We'll see what happens when we get there, but right now we're watching the best Auburn baseball team in nearly a decade. It's at least the best since 2010. It may be the best since Hal Baird was patrolling the dugout.

Auburn will face Troy in a midweek game Tuesday at 6:00 pm before traveling to Starkville for yet another series against the team leading the SEC. We'll see if they can knock off the league leader two weeks in a row as they take on the red-hot Bulldogs who just swept Alabama this weekend.

I have every confidence that it will be an amazing series. Go get 'em, Auburn!



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Josh Anthony stays hot as No. 10 Auburn clinches series vs. No. 16 Arkansas

Josh Anthony went 4-for-5 with three RBI as Auburn beat Arkansas, 11-6, on Sunday at Plainsman Park.

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W. Golf. Auburn concludes play at SEC Women's Golf Championship

Freshman Elena Hualde and junior Michaela Owen posted even-par rounds to lead the Auburn women’s golf team in the final round of the SEC Championship Sunday at Greystone Golf & Country Club.

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Bo Bikes Bama


The "Bo Jackson Bicycle" ride will be next weekend in Auburn. This was my view from the start last year. There will be a 60 mile ride beginning at 7:30 a.m. and a 20 mile ride at 10:00 a.m. I will be on campus to report on the ride and hang out with the riders. As you may know, Bo Jackson put this annual ride together to raise money for the storm victims after Alabama was hit by several violent tornadoes on 4/27/11. Bo Jackson has raised over $1.1 million for the State of Alabama "Emergency Relief Fund".

If you are in Auburn next weekend, come by the Auburn Coliseum and hang out. You never know who you may see at this ride. I have met Brian Bosworth, Ken Griffey Junior and Senior, Brett Favre and Lance Armstrong. There is a lunch after the ride that is hosted by Chicken Salad Chick and you might just be able to score a t shirt and meet Bo Jackson.

War Eagle and always enjoy the ride!



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No. 10 Auburn baseball vs. No. 16 Arkansas live score updates, analysis from series finale

Live updates from No. 10 Auburn's rubber game against No. 16 Arkansas at Plainsman Park. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

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Softball. Greenwood Laces Two Hits, Tigers Fall to Gamecocks

Auburn drops series finale Sunday afternoon, still claims conference series win on the road

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Tigers Can't Sweep Gamecocks

Auburn's hitters were stymied on Sunday in the final game of a series at South Carolina.

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Auburn Softball vs South Carolina Series Recap: Tigers Take Another Series.

It's not in dominating fashion, but the Tigers just continue to win.

Off-field issues failed to derail the Tigers once again as they took yet another SEC series on the road against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks may be the worst team in the SEC, but they still may make a Regional. That's how strong the conference is, overall.

Game 1: Auburn 2-0

No Haley Fagan? No problem in Friday night's game. Of course, with Kaylee Carlson - the SEC's leading pitcher in number of wins - on the mound, you don't need much in the way of run production, do you?

Carlson went the distance - which is huge with only Jenna Abbott and Ashlee Swindle to back her up. She only allowed 4 hits, walked no one, and struck out 3 in her outing.

At the plate, Auburn got on the board early in the 1st thanks to a Victoria Draper single, stolen base, and then a Carlee Wallace hit to the pitcher that resulted in an errant throw attempting to catch Draper who then scored. The second run was on a Kasey Cooper double that also scored Draper.

It was a big start to a weekend that was going to be a bit tough from the outset after the recent suspensions. The big question would come Saturday without Makayla Martin on the mound.

Game 2: Auburn 2-0

Ashlee Swindle got her first SEC start against the Gamecocks in Game 2, and boy did she deliver. Swindle pitched 6 scoreless innings before surrendering the game to Kaylee Carlson in the 6th to close it out. She pitched a masterful game, throwing only 63 pitches, allowing 2 hits and striking out 2 batters while allowing no runs. Carlson finished the game off for her.

Swindle's performance was fantastic, but Auburn's performance at the plate was less than stellar. The Tigers left a considerable number of runners stranded - many of them in scoring position - throughout the game. The final innings were a bit stressful at times, but they shouldn't have been if the Tigers had just plated a few of those stranded runners.

The first run of the night came on a bases-loaded walk in the 1st inning. The second was a Kendall Veach home run - her 11th of the season - to reach the 2-0 margin.

Game 3: 0-3 South Carolina

Auburn's batters struggled mightily in Sunday's final game of the series as the Tigers could only get three runners on base in the whole game. A 3-run inning for South Carolina thanks to some defensive issues and an errant pitch by Kaylee Carlson were all the Gamecocks needed to take this one.

It's a troubling trend of Auburn that there are games where they leave everyone in scoring position and there are games were they can't get anyone on base in the first place. Still, a series win is a series win. Carlson was also on her third day of pitching in some form since she threw 2 innings to finish off last night.

It's disappointing that Auburn didn't get the sweep, but they're still in a good spot in the postseason race as the season is starting to wind to a close.

The Way Forward

I was really thinking a sweep could/should be in order for the weekend after Ashlee Swindle picked up the Saturday win. It's disappointing that Kaylee Carlson couldn't get the run support Sunday afternoon to pick up the win.

Phillip Marshall - in a pay-walled article, unfortunately - pointed out something very poignant, though. Runs are hard to come by in the SEC this season for almost every team. Auburn is still in the top 3rd in almost every offensive category even as we wonder why they aren't hitting as well as they were over the last two seasons.

Auburn will play Alabama State in Montgomery Wednesday night before taking on a tough Mississippi State squad in Auburn next weekend in the final home series of the year. All that's left is the MSU series and a road series at Alabama before the SEC Tournament begins. Hopefully, we'll get Makayla Martin and Haley Fagan back, soon. With Martin - and a possibly more confident and strong option in Swindle after this weekend - Auburn's pitching could definitely be in a great spot headed to the postseason.



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No. 7 Auburn softball suffers shutout loss at South Carolina

A shorthanded Auburn lineup could not complete the series sweep at South Carolina.

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No. 40 OG Will Not Rush Into a Decision

A handful of Power Five programs highlight the offer sheet for the nation's 40th-ranked offensive guard, Sebastian Sainterling, who is fresh off an in-state offer as well.

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Cam Newton 'getting the mojo back' after shoulder surgery

In re-evaluating his decision to play through a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder during the 2016 NFL season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said "the team comes first."

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Cam Newton 'getting the mojo back' after shoulder surgery

In re-evaluating his decision to play through a partially torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder during the 2016 NFL season, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton said "the team comes first."

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No. 7 Auburn softball vs. South Carolina live updates, analysis from Game 3

Follow along as Auburn tries to sweep South Carolina

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NFL Draft: Auburn's past picks await new members to roll call

Auburn will add at least a couple to its NFL Draft total when the league's 82nd annual player picks are held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

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NFL Draft: Auburn's past picks await new members to roll call

Auburn will add at least a couple to its NFL Draft total when the league's 82nd annual player picks are held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

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Scattered Thunderstorms today!



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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Softball Tigers Projected As National Seed

Auburn is highly-ranked in the initial official forecast of how the NCAA Softball Tournament is on track to be seeded.

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Track & Field, Cross Country. Skeen highlights day two of War Eagle Invitational

Odean Skeen ran 9.98 in the 100 meters to lead Auburn on day two of the War Eagle Invitational on Saturday at Hutsell-Rosen Track. Skeen becomes the third Auburn runner in school history to run under ten seconds in the event.

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Freshman Makes AU Coach Happy

Clint Myers said there was a lot to like from his team's pitching performance on Saturday at South Carolina.

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W. Golf. Hualde, Murphy lead Auburn in SEC Championship round two

A pair of even-par rounds from freshman Elena Hualde and junior Kelli Murphy paced the Auburn women’s golf team Saturday in the second round of the SEC Championship at Greystone Golf & Country Club.

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Baseball. No. 10 Tigers drop Saturday game with No. 16 Arkansas

Freshman Davis Daniel pitched five innings, but No. 10 Auburn baseball fell 6-3 to No. 16 Arkansas Saturday at Plainsman Park.

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Softball. Swindle Shuts Down South Carolina, Earns First Career Win

Swindle earned her first career win for the Tigers (39-7, 12-5 SEC) in the seven-inning tilt

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M. Golf. Auburn Men’s Golf wraps up play at SEC Championship

All-SEC senior Matt Gilchrest tied for 18th at the SEC Championship, carding a 3-over 73 Saturday at the Seaside Course to finish at 2-over 71-68-73—212.

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W. Tennis. Auburn women's tennis falls to Florida

No. 12 Auburn women’s tennis ended its run in the semifinals of the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament with a 4-2 loss to top-ranked Florida on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn.

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Arkansas Stymies Tigers To Even Series

Auburn dropped Saturday's game 7-3 to Arkansas to even the series with the Razorbacks.

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Bullpen falters as No. 10 Auburn baseball falls to No. 16 Arkansas

No. 10 Auburn fell to No. 16 Arkansas to even the teams' weekend series at one game apiece.

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Swindle Shines In 1st Auburn Start

With a freshman pitcher leading the way, the Auburn softball Tigers posted a second consecutive 2-0 win at South Carolina.

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Ashlee Swindle doesn't allow a run in 1st career start to lead No. 7 Auburn softball past USC

In the first start of her career, Ashlee Swindle was magnificent.

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No. 7 Auburn softball vs. South Carolina live updates, analysis from Game 2

Follow along as Auburn softball tries to clinch a series win at South Carolina

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No. 10 Auburn baseball vs. No 16 Arkansas live score updates, analysis from Game 2

Live updates from the second game of Auburn's three-game series against Arkansas at Plainsman Park. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

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Old Friends, Old Friends

(Author’s note:  My best friend from Auburn lost his mother last week.  I am reposting this old column from four years ago.)

One spring afternoon in the mid-Eighties, having previously seen the invitation painted on the cafeteria windows, I began walking from my class at Haley Center over to Foy Union to sign up for the College Bowl academic competition.  As I started toward Foy, I noticed a fellow of large stature (who naturally stood out from the crowd) about thirty feet in front of me walking in the same general direction.  Oblivious to me behind him, he crossed Thatch Avenue and headed for the back entrance to the cafeteria, the same exact route I was choosing.  I had the strange feeling I was following him, even though there was a long way to go and many different turns on my way.

The fellow in front entered the cafeteria, and turned to go past the backed-up, stacked-up rows of used trays and dishes on the cafeteria conveyor belt, once again seemingly anticipating the direction I was heading.  He turned down the corridor leading to the elevator, again the same way I was headed.  By this time I think that fellow started to feel like somebody was stalking him for some reason.  We both got on the elevator together, both got off on the third floor, and both walked into the small former storage closet that housed the AU College Bowl team, both feeling a little awkward at having made this dance all the way through the bowels of Foy Union.

That’s how I met Bill Jones, the person I call my “best friend from Auburn” and one of the best friends ever in my life.  During our concurrent time on the Plains, we spent many, many days together on College Bowl road trips and at Auburn football games, and way, way too much time in front of the pinball machines and video games in the Foy Union game room.  When I couldn’t make it home all the way to Florida for non-break holidays like Easter, Bill took me to his home back in Montgomery, where I became the proud owners of a second set of parents (I love you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones!).

Our college careers diverged somewhat: I went straight through and got two degrees in accounting at Auburn; Bill continued at AU and finished up a math degree a year later.  I went into accounting and Bill started in software development.  We both moved around different places in the Southeast, always staying in touch and sharing the triumphs and challenges of young single life.

Our social and political philosophies also diverged, I becoming more conservative than ever and Bill leaning much the other way.  Even our interest in and identification with Auburn (both the institution and the football program) would wax and wane, usually at completely different times.

But our lives also criss-crossed so many ways.  We were roommates for a while when I was between jobs (both of us just happened to end up in Atlanta at that time, for different reasons).  Later on, we were even groomsmen in each other’s weddings within the space of a month (not planned, it just happened that way).  And through the years we always shared that bond of being Auburn men, no matter what the extent we self-identified as such at any particular time.

Recently, I was out of work for a year and a half, all through Auburn’s 2010 National Championship run.  Bill and I had both ended up in Atlanta for a second time, again under totally separate circumstances.  So, we got together to watch almost every AU football game that season, with him keeping up my naturally pessimistic spirits during my mostly fruitless job search.  When we each got “snowed in” for the BCS Championship, we kept in touch the whole game via text messages, and celebrated by phone after that kick went though the uprights.  We both observed that that season was the first time in a while that either of us had strongly felt a part of the Auburn Family.

Later, I was the one with the job, while Bill was “in transition” as they say.  On top of that, Bill had a couple of health problems from which he is recovering.  Through all of these struggles, Bill maintains the positive (enough) attitude that has always marked him in his own challenges.

In 2013, I broke my fibula playing Rugby with guys a half and a third my age (“That’s what you get,” said more than one acquaintance, including my beloved bride).  With my right foot in a cast, I could not operate an automobile for the hour-and-a-half commute to my job.  Bill knew I needed face-time at the office, and offered to take me into work two days a week just for gas money.  As Bill’s home was between my home and my office, he basically took on double the time of my own commute, plus, due to the timing of our ride, more time in the snarled Atlanta traffic than I usually spent (well, at least we had some good company).

With me and my crutches and him with his cane, I started to nickname us the “Gimp Brothers” (but then I remembered that scene from Pulp Fiction…).  I thought back to our salad days of yore, when two young guys with a world of possibilities in front of them would ride around singing along with the car cassette player, or would be hollering and cheering during amazing AU comebacks like the 1987 Iron Bowl and the 1990 FSU fumble-rooskie game.  Those two invincible guys back in the past could never picture the “sorry” state in which we now found ourselves—surprisingly still hanging out with each other, but beat up physically (and a little bit mentally) by life.

(I must interrupt these reflections on my friend Bill to tell you of an even more wonderful blessing bestowed upon me.  My wife Eileen, a teacher, was SO looking forward to her week off for winter break in February.  These breaks in the school year are her own personal time to recharge and take care of things.  Bill could not transport me and my cast during the particular week Eileen was off.  Knowing how important getting into the office was to me, this woman effectively gave up her precious break and dragged me into work the whole week, many days killing time—HER time—during my workday on my office’s side of town.  Add to that the days she took off to cart me in several other weeks, and all the personal care she gave me during my time of limitation, and you see why I will always say I have the best wife in the whole world.)

Now, this column isn’t just a well-deserved paean to my friend, nor is it is a mere warm-and-fuzzy piece about our shared Auburn heritage.  No, this is a reflection on an amazing fact that I discovered the hard way (the only way I learn anything):  no matter who you are, life is just too freaking hard to make it well—really well—on your own.  If we are truly going to flourish the way God intends us to flourish, we all need the “human touch” of our friends and family.  In turn, we help our own loved ones flourish with their lives.

That doesn’t mean that we relate to everyone we know in the same way.  Sometimes, out of respect (of one kind or another), one must keep some distance from certain others; the important thing is that the folks who are currently apart must know that whenever either one really needs the other, that temporary gulf will be bridged faster than Bo Jackson could hit the sideline and score.

Everyone meets great friends at whatever college they attend.  I’d like to think the friends we pick up at our time at Auburn are ones of a special type.  As diverse as we Auburn folks are, we already share many things in common that go beyond the eleven young men for whom we scream on autumn weekends—if not the Auburn Creed specifically, then the values and outlook on life that the Creed represents.

So, people, I leave you with this: value the friends you have gained in your lifetime, especially those you found at Auburn.  If you haven’t spoken to one in a long time, pick up the freaking phone, burn some rollover minutes and call them up.  It doesn’t have to be for a reason.  Let’s face it, the clock only runs in one direction, and anything can happen at any time.  For the one thing I have learned from my forty-seven years of walking this earth is that, after all is said and done, the only thing you really have in this world is your friends and family—I mean, that’s all you have.

Michael Val

(who who believes “in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all”)

The post Old Friends, Old Friends appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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Former Alabama high school stars await NFL Draft

Eighteen or so players from Alabama high schools and colleges are expected to hear their names called during the 2017 NFL Draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

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Former Alabama high school stars await NFL Draft

Eighteen or so players from Alabama high schools and colleges are expected to hear their names called during the 2017 NFL Draft, which will be held Thursday through Saturday in Philadelphia.

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Mostly Sunny today!



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Baseball. No. 10 Auburn baseball overpowers Arkansas, 15-2

Daniel Robert, Josh Anthony and Dylan Ingram each homered as No. 10 Auburn baseball took the series opener with No. 16 Arkansas 15-2 Friday at Plainsman Park.

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Track & Field, Cross Country. Eder breaks Auburn record at War Eagle Invitational

Veronica Eder broke the Auburn record in the women’s 5000 meters on day one of the War Eagle Invitational on Friday at Hutsell-Rosen Track. Eder’s mark broke a six-year record previous held by Holly Knight.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Tigers Smoke Razorbacks To Open SEC Series

Auburn got home runs from Daniel Robert, Josh Anthony and Dylan Ingram on the way to a dominating 15-2 Friday night win over Arkansas.

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Softball. Carlson Tosses Shutout, Auburn Takes Friday Night Result

Carlson earned her SEC-leading 22nd win of 2017 in the seven-inning contest

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Friday Football & Baseball Tiger Tidbits

News and notes from Auburn football, baseball, softball and tennis along with track are featured in Friday's edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers and AUTigers.com.

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Josh Anthony leads No. 10 Auburn baseball's power surge in win against No. 16 Arkansas

No. 10 Auburn hit three home runs in its series-opening 15-2 win against No. 16 Arkansas on Friday night.

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After misunderstanding with Auburn, Jalen Cunningham updates recruitment

Cunningham's conversation with Auburn's coaching staff this week cleared up some confusion

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After misunderstanding with Auburn, Jalen Cunningham updates recruitment

Cunningham's conversation with Auburn's coaching staff this week cleared up some confusion

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M. Golf. Gilchrest, Crowe t-10th, Men’s Golf 7th after SEC Championship Day 1

Auburn Men’s Golf senior Matt Gilchrest and sophomore Trace Crowe are tied for 10th after the first two rounds at the SEC Championship, carding a 1-under 139 Friday at the par-70 Seaside Course.

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W. Golf. Women's golf completes round one at SEC Championship

Junior Kelli Murphy shot a 1-over-par 73 to lead the Auburn women’s golf team in the opening round of the 2017 SEC Championship.

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Carlson Shuts Down Gamecocks

The Auburn softball Tigers won a fourth straight game as they defeated South Carolina to open a road series in Columbia.

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Shorthanded No. 7 Auburn softball shuts out South Carolina

Even without Haley Fagan, the top of the Auburn lineup still provided the offense and the Tigers defense was no worse for the wear.

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W. Tennis. Auburn takes down Georgia in SEC Tournament

Auburn women's tennis punched its ticket to the semifinals of the SEC Women's Tennis Tournament for the second straight season with a 4-1 upset over No. 4 Georgia on Friday in Nashville, Tenn. The Tigers will face top-ranked Florida in the semifinal match on Saturday.

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Auburn softball's lineup changes after 3 player arrests

Auburn made changes to its lineup in the wake of Thursday's marijuana-related arrests of shortstop Haley Fagan, pitcher Makayala Martin and outfielder Brittany Maresette, but also got some good personnel news.

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No. 10 Auburn baseball vs. No. 16 Arkansas live score updates, analysis

Live updates from Plainsman Park as No. 10 Auburn takes on No. 16 Arkansas in the first of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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No. 10 Auburn baseball vs. No. 16 Arkansas live score updates, analysis

Live updates from Plainsman Park as No. 10 Auburn takes on No. 16 Arkansas in the first of a three-game series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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No. 7 Auburn softball vs. South Carolina live updates, analysis

No. 7 Auburn opens a three-game series against South Carolina tonight (5 p.m. CT, SEC Network+) in the wake of more off-the-field distractions.

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Friday Football & Baseball Tiger Tidbitsl

News and notes from Auburn football, baseball, softball and tennis along with track are featured in Friday's edition of Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers and AUTigers.com.

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How will Auburn softball cope with latest distraction against South Carolina?

What Clint Myers would give to wind the clock back on a brutal week for Auburn softball

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Auburn Baseball vs Arkansas Series Preview and How to Watch

It's a huge series for the Tigers on the Plains.

Auburn baseball takes to the diamond this weekend in one of the biggest series in a long time. As we've just passed the halfway point of the 2017 SEC baseball schedule, the Tigers are just 1 game behind the 1st place team in the league. That team? The Arkansas Razorbacks. Win the series, and Auburn comes out of the weekend with at least a share of the SEC lead.

They'll probably have to do it without ace pitcher Casey Mize, though. Butch Thompson announced today that Mize is being rested this weekend and the starters for Friday and Saturday will be Keegan Thompson (back in his normal spot) and Davis Daniel. There is no word who will pitch Sunday's game. Butch hasn't completely ruled Casey out for the weekend, but it's likely.

That will make the weekend interesting, that's for sure. I also admire Butch Thompson for making the choice to rest Mize this weekend. He feels ones of his aces needs a rest and he's going to give that to him regardless of the opponent. It speaks to how much Butch Thompson cares about his pitchers and their arms and futures. A bit more than a previous coach who kept putting Keegan back out on the mound in 2015 when he probably shouldn't have.

Arkansas has its share of sluggers. They have 263 RBIs on the season to Auburn's 213. They have five players with more home runs than Auburn's home run leaders. They don't have near as many doubles as Auburn does, but not many teams do when it comes to that stat.

For Auburn, Jonah Todd and Luke Jarvis have had big games at the plate over the last few series. Jarvis hit a grand slam Tuesday night against Kennesaw State in Atlanta. Jay Estes and Daniel Robert have been hitting the ball pretty well, too. Estes and Todd lead the team in doubles with 13 and 12 respectively.

On the mound, Arkansas has some great pitchers and a pretty good bullpen, as well. Auburn is going to need to try to find a way to get the backs going the way they do in the middle of the week to give their pitchers some run support. They'll also need Keegan and Davis Daniel to pitch as well as they did last weekend.

If you're in Auburn and can brave the crowds Saturday when the concert is also going on, this is a big one to get to. There's a good chance you'll be a part of record-breaking crowds in Plainsman Park. Get out and support the Tigers!

How to Watch (it's also in Kevin's Infographic):

Friday, April 21: 6:00 pm Central, WatchESPN/SECNetwork+

Saturday, April 22: 1:00 pm Central, WatchESPN/SECNetwork+

Sunday, April 23: 3:00 pm Central, SECNetwork



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4-Star Likes What He Sees From Auburn

One of the top players in Alabama, four-star Myles Mason from Pleasant Grove has gotten plenty of love from the Auburn Tigers and is enjoying it.

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Jason Caldwell's Friday Auburn Mailbag Column

Talking a variety of Auburn sports in this week's Friday Auburn Mailbag.

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How Will the Arrest of Three Auburn Softball Players Affect Auburn’s Post-Season Play?

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Fresh off of an out of conference win against Kennesaw State, three Auburn softball players were arrested Thursday. The police responded to a call at an address on East Samford Street before arresting Haley Fagan, Makayla Martin, and Bittany  Maresette at 12:47 a.m. All three are suspended indefinitely and did not travel with the team for the series against South Carolina. It is the first arrest for all three players 

Just hours before Haley Fagan made her 44th start of the season as the Tigers’ starting shortstop, Martin earned her 16th win and Maresette make her 17th appearance.

How will this affect the three players futures or Auburn’s post-season play? 

The first thing that should be said is that there is a chance the three will return, though the length of punishment will be the part in question. Auburn Football’s John Franklin, III was arrested last year and missed one game. Franklin is the current boyfriend of  Haley Fagan.

While a third SEC straight championship was unlikely, a strong finish would possibly have secured a position as a host to the Regional and Super Regional tournaments.

Auburn is currently ranked 4th in the SEC behind Florida, Tennessee and Texas A&M. Had the series against Tennessee not been canceled, the Tigers would likely be in the third spot. Many have projected that all thirteen SEC teams will make post season play, so being one of the top ranked teams was important, not only for seeding, but for hosting. 

Auburn won’t immediately miss freshman outfielder Maresette, who as a pinch runner is second on the depth chart behind Bree Fornis. 

However, the other two players absence could possibly sink Auburn’s chances at a run at the Women’s College World Series. 

As has been written before here on Track ‘Em Tigers, Auburn’s offense isn’t what it was in last season’s back to back SEC Championship run. Instead, Auburn has won by being the nation’s leader in double plays and among the very best inside the circle. While Kaylee Carlson (21-2) is the unquestioned ace on Auburn’s staff, Mikayla Martin has been very good as the usual second pitcher in the rotation for three game series. Carlson’s low ERA of 1.26 isn’t much better than Martin’s 2.05 and the two are deadlocked with 88 and 87 strikeouts respectively. 

Auburn’s bullpen has only two other possibilities: long time utility player Jenna Abbott and freshman Ashley Swindle. Abbott has been very good in her six appearances but Swindle has struggled with a 3.82 ERA. Can Carlson handle additional innings or will one of the two relievers have to step into a starting roll? Either possibility dampens the chances of a championship. With Abbott pitching, Auburn will likely look to get Madi Gipson involved, somehow.

While Auburn has a wealth of outfield options, there aren’t many options for the infield and Auburn will likely have to play some players out of position.

Enter the other half of Auburn’s winning ways: double plays. Fagan is the centerpiece of Auburn’s defense and despite having the most balls hit her way, she is fielding at a .948 clip while turning 16 double plays this season.

The loss of Fagan’s bat will certainly be missed as she is fourth on the team in batting average and tied for third with six homers. What will be the expected drop off from Fagan to her replacement? 

After a preseason injury, Whitney Jordan started the entire season in place of Fagan at shortstop. Fagan’s return moved Jordan into a starting role in the outfield but Jordan was simply woeful at the plate and she eventually lost her job. She has the second worst batting average on the entire team with a .121 against non-conference foes. 

It is likely that Kendall Veach will be moved off of first base to the other corner to make room for Jenna Abbott, when she is not pitching. Abbott has played first base on multiple occasions and is the first player off the bench to hit. She is hitting .370 in her 27 at-bats.

Kasey Cooper may move to shortstop. The issue here will be that Cooper does not have the speed or range of Fagan and while she is efficient, she will give up a lot more than Fagan. 

While Auburn softball fans likely have seen the end of another championship run, the biggest loser has to be fifth-year senior Haley Fagan. Not only was graduation just a month away, but the National Pro Fastpitch draft was just four days away and she was expected to be a very high draft pick. 

Auburn takes on South Carolina tonight at 5:30 on SEC Network+

The post How Will the Arrest of Three Auburn Softball Players Affect Auburn’s Post-Season Play? appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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AL.com All-Access: How many in-state players will be first-round NFL draft picks this year?

Up to a half-dozen Alabama players are candidates to be selected in the first 32 picks next Thursday in Philadelphia. Auburn also has one player who could sneak into the first round if everything breaks right.

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AL.com All-Access: How many in-state players will be first-round NFL draft picks this year?

Up to a half-dozen Alabama players are candidates to be selected in the first 32 picks next Thursday in Philadelphia. Auburn also has one player who could sneak into the first round if everything breaks right.

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Big Weekend, Big Challenge For Tigers

Auburn will take on SEC-leading Arkansas this weekend in a three-game series at Plainsman Park.

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No. 10 Auburn baseball seeking bullpen improvement for pivotal series vs. No. 16 Arkansas

No. 10 Auburn opens a three-game home series against No. 16 Arkansas on Friday at Plainsman Park.

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Former QB Jeremy Johnson says he 'used to get miserable' at Auburn

Link sAUsage: 21 April 2017

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

BASEBALL

The Tigers take on the Razorbacks in one of the biggest series in quite some time in Auburn. They'll be doing it without one of their ace pitchers, though, who is resting this weekend. Here's the official site's preview. Ours will be up a little later this afternoon.

BASKETBALL

SECCountry.com takes a look at next year's basketball roster and examines the goals of the team to make the postseason.

SOFTBALL

What a season for Auburn Softball. Everything keeps going wrong off the field, but the Tigers keep winning on the field, somehow. Here's our series preview for the South Carolina series that also includes the story about three players - including two starters - getting arrested for marijuana possession and missing the weekend.

FOOTBALL

CROOTIN'! Yep, we have more recruiting coverage for you as AUNerd continues to kill it with putting out recruiting stories for us. It has everything you need to know and it's free!

Auburn has a true freshman linebacker who may contribute early and often as a Tiger. He missed most of the spring with an injury, but he still used his time wisely and found ways to improve to be ready for the fall.

RPOs are going to be something Auburn fans will see a lot more of this year. Jarrett Stidham is a perfect QB to run them, too. One thing is for sure, it's something that can torture defenses like Nick Saban's, so hopefully, it works out.

If you want some potentially good news (although, I don't know how much I believe it), Gus Malzahn still seems to be pretty confident that Kyle Davis will be back for fall camp.



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NFL Draft: State's first-round streak will continue in 2017

At least one player from an Alabama high school or college has been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft for 13 consecutive years.

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NFL Draft: State's first-round streak will continue in 2017

At least one player from an Alabama high school or college has been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft for 13 consecutive years.

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Sunny today!



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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Former quarterback Jeremy Johnson 'used to get miserable' at Auburn

Jeremy Johnson was Auburn's heir apparent to Nick Marshall before being benched after three games in 2015.

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W. Tennis. Auburn women’s tennis advances in SEC Tournament

Andie Dikosavljevic battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the third set to lead No. 12 Auburn past No. 14 Arkansas in Nashville, Tenn. on Thursday. The Tigers (22-9) will face fourth-ranked Georgia on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

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Jalen Hurts vs. Jarrett Stidham: Which quarterback will be better in 2017?

Auburn Softball vs South Carolina Series Preview and How to Watch

Auburn will - once again - hope to get past some off-field distractions in Softball.

The Tigers are on the road in Columbia, S.C. to take on the Gamecocks this weekend. Unfortunately, two very important starters didn't make the trip with them. Starting shortstop Haley Fagan and starting pitcher Makayla Martin - along with bench player Brittany Maresette - were arrested in the wee hours of Thursday morning on various drug charges for marijuana. All three have been suspended indefinitely.

This is the latest in a string of off-the-field (and somewhat on-the-field in the case of the shoving incident at UF) that Auburn will have to get over. Fagan - who was out most of the last season - will be replaced by Whitney Jordan, who played in that spot last year. Replacing Makayla Martin will be a bit more difficult, though. Thankfully, not as hard as if it were Kaylee Carlson, but it will still be a bit of a burden on freshman Ashlee Swindle and senior Jenna Abbot to try to take up the Saturday role to give Carlson some rest.

ERA Opponent ERA Batting AVG Opponent's BA% Slugging % On Base %
Auburn 1.77 5.93 .288 .221 .468 .415
USC 3.12 4.31 .295 .239 .459 .384

For multiple weeks in a row, the stats haven't really looked that good for Auburn. This doesn't look too awful because Auburn's strength is in pitching. However, there's the whole "Makayla Martin isn't going to be pitching Saturday" thing.

The good news for Auburn is that Kasey Cooper - who, oh yeah, we have to hope can play after taking the ball to the eye the other night in warmups - has been hitting better, Alyssa Rivera has come on strong at the plate, and that Carlee Wallace is still hitting up a storm at the plate. Hopefully, Kendall Veach will get out of her slump, too.

For the Gamecocks, they also rely on two pitchers for the most part. Their ERAs are ok, but not on the order of Carlson or Martin DAMN IT. Ugh. At the plate, their top hitter is Mackenzie Boesel, averaging .348. They're not the best hitters, but their stats are still looking better overall than Auburn's, right now.

This is going to be a tough series for the Tigers as they try to overcome yet more distractions. This is the type of thing that can really test a team. Will they come together even more and get back to the way they were playing last season? Or, will this be one issue too many and cause the season to unravel? We'll find out, soon, I guess.

How to Watch:

Friday, 21 April: 5:00 pm Central, SEC Network+

Saturday, 22 April: 1:00 pm Central, SEC Network+

Sunday, 23 April: 12:00 pm Central, SEC Network+



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Former Auburn guard TJ Lang has found a new school

Lang averaged 4.5 points per game for Auburn last season

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Kyle Davis: Set to return by fall camp

Auburn Football Recruiting: Evaluation Period Has Arrived

The evaluation period has arrived which means coaches will be on the road visiting high schools all across the country to evaluate top prospects.

The recruiting calendar is made up of many different periods that govern what coaches can and cannot do on the recruiting trail. Monday kicked off one of the most important periods of the recruiting cycle, the evaluation period. The NCAA defines the evaluation period as

One hundred sixty-eight (168) evaluation days (216 for U.S. service academies) (see Bylaw 13.02.7.2) (excluding Memorial Day and Sundays) selected at the discretion of the member institution and designated in writing in the office of the director of athletics [as provided in (1) below]:

(1) An authorized off-campus recruiter may use one evaluation to assess the prospective student-athlete’s athletics ability and one evaluation to assess the prospective student-athlete’s academic qualifications during this evaluation period. If an institution’s coaching staff member conducts both an athletics and an academic evaluation of the prospective student-athlete on the same day during this evaluation period, the institution shall be charged with the use of an academic evaluation only and shall be permitted to conduct a second athletics evaluation of the prospective student athlete on a separate day during this evaluation period.

In not so fancy terms, it means coaches can now visit recruits in person at their high schools to evaluate them athletically and academically. It’s important to note that coaches can’t visit prospects at their home, it has to either be at their high school or on an unofficial visit to campus. This is an important time for both coaches and players. For players that are still looking for offers from their dream schools, this period could give them a chance to impress coaches and finally land that offer. For coaches, this period lets them reevaluate their recruiting board and maybe find a player they didn’t really have on the radar or it lets them finally pull the trigger and offer a recruit they have been eyeing for some time.

Most high schools haven’t started spring practice so coaches haven’t been as busy on the trail but that will change in the coming weeks and I expect Auburn to pass out plenty of offers the next two months. Don’t be surprised if some new names that haven’t really be mentioned start popping up. Also, this is not limited to just 2018 kids. I suspect you will see even more 2019 and 2020 offers go out during this time as well.

New Recruiting Rules

Some pretty big changes are coming to the world of recruiting. Last Friday the NCAA announced they were adopting a new recruiting model. Included in this new model is an early signing period, a 10th assistant coach, official visits starting in April, two-year ban on recruiting high schools where you hire a coach for an off the field role and limitations on summer camp. SBNation recruiting master Bud Elliott has some good thoughts on the winners and losers under the new system.

Personally, I have mixed feelings on a lot of these changes. Early signing period can be a good thing but it could also trap recruits with a school who undergoes a complete coaching staff change which could usher in a new system that the recruit is not a good fit in. I get the reasoning behind the high school coach restrictions but it damages future job prospects for coaches at successful high schools. No program is going to want to hire an IMG Academy staffer as an off the field analyst knowing they can’t recruit that school for two years. Overall I think this is a good first step of modernizing the recruiting process. We will see what bumps come along the way and how these changes affect Auburn’s recruiting strategy namely when it comes to kids that are committed but don’t sign early.

Unfortunately, I don’t see any mentions of banning fax machines...

Offers

It was a pretty quiet week for offers. I track offers via Twitter so there’s always a chance I miss something but here are the two new prospects that reported landing a Tiger offer.

  • 3* DT Jalen Cunningham - Earlier this week one of Auburn’s top DT targets in Breiden Fehoko committed to LSU. I speculated on some options AU might pursue. I failed to mention one other instate option and that is 6’6" Cunningham. Honestly, the reason I didn’t bring him up is it appears he is a lock to Alabama. I don’t see that changing with AU offer but we will see.
  • 2019 CB Jalen Perry - Perry is absolutely blowing up this week. The 6’0" 170 lb DB out of Dacula, GA landed offers from Auburn, Georgia, and Iowa State this week. Definitely, a name to track in next year's class.

Other News



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Baseball. No. 10 Baseball hosts SEC West leader Arkansas

No. 10 Auburn baseball hosts SEC West leader and 16th-ranked Arkansas for a three-game SEC series at Plainsman Park this weekend.

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Track & Field, Cross Country. Auburn track and field to host War Eagle Invitational

Auburn track and field is set to host the 2017 War Eagle Invitational on April 21-22 at Hutsell-Rosen Track. 14 teams will join the Tigers in the two-day event, including SEC opponents Alabama and Ole Miss.

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Kyle Davis expected to return for Auburn's fall camp

No 'specific date' when Auburn will name starting quarterback for 2017

There isn't an exact date during fall camp when Auburn plans to name its starting quarterback for the 2017 season.

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No 'specific date' when Auburn will name starting quarterback for 2017

There isn't an exact date during fall camp when Auburn plans to name its starting quarterback for the 2017 season.

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Kyle Davis expected to return for Auburn's fall camp

Davis missed all of spring practices with what head coach Gus Malzahn called "personal business."

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Kyle Davis expected to return for Auburn's fall camp

Davis missed all of spring practices with what head coach Gus Malzahn called "personal business."

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Chilton Auburn Club receives awards - Clanton Advertiser


Clanton Advertiser

Chilton Auburn Club receives awards
Clanton Advertiser
The Chilton Auburn Club prepares for this year's 51st Annual Unsung Hero Banquet on April 27 with a sense of added pride following the club's latest recognition. The club was the recipient of two awards from the Auburn Alumni Association that ...



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General News. 'Keep going' - Music and Miracles Superfest

As much as Stacy Brown enjoyed listening to Kenny Chesney at the inaugural Music and Miracles Superfest last April, the greater payoff happened four months later when she presented a $200,000 check to fund research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

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M. Golf. Corey Maggard named finalist for National Assistant Golf Coach of the Year

Auburn’s Corey Maggard has been named a finalist for the Jan Strickland Award that goes to the national assistant golf coach of the year, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced on Thursday.

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Trio of Softball Players Suspended

Three AU softball players were arrested on Thursday.

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Auburn's Mize "Doubtful" For Arkansas Series

Auburn sophomore pitcher Casey Mize is doubtful for this weekend as the Tigers take on Arkansas in a huge series at Plainsman Park.

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ITAT HD: Thompson Talks Change In Rotation

Auburn starter Casey Mize is doubtful for this weekend, meaning a change in the rotation for the Tigers vs. Arkansas.

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Updated 2017 Top 25 Class Rankings

On Wednesday, Scout's basketball recruiting team -- Evan Daniels, Brian Snow and Josh Gershon -- updated the 2017 top 100. With changes in the player rankings there are changes in the team rankings. Kentucky sits at No. 1, while UCLA and Arizona round out the top three.

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How Chip Lindsey is changing Auburn's offense with RPOs

A Juggernaut in the Making!

A day offensive review

Two receivers, only one defender in the same zip code. Stidham found Hastings on that play, for 50+ yards!
(Photo by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle, everybody! Today, we’ll take a look at what we might expect to see out of the Auburn offense in 2017. In the past decade, when Auburn could run the ball, offensive records tended to fall. When the running game sputtered, the passing game usually could not pull its weight, and the team would tail off into mediocrity, or worse.

     I would be shocked if Auburn isn’t once again very good at running the football. The Tigers should field a solid line, salty lead blockers and Auburn has a very good assortment of running backs, as well as several mobile quarterbacks. Frankly, Kerryon Johnson ran at will on A-day, before an ankle injury. Less-known backs like Malik Miller and C. J. Tolbert did well in the absence of Johnson and starter Kamryn Pettway. However, Auburn will eventually face strong front sevens, like LSU, Georgia and Alabama. When the running game gets slowed down, will Auburn be able to make teams pay through the air?

     We saw a number of positive signs, on A-Day. Route drills that didn’t give receivers or quarterbacks much of a chance in the past, were gone. So many times last year, it seemed like there was one primary read, and if the quarterback didn’t throw that one, receivers would basically stop running. This spring, guys finished their routes, and there seemed to be an actual progression in the quarterbacks’ heads. The second team line could not get to starting quarterback Jarrett Stidham, and if they threatened to, Stidham was able to dump the ball off safely and cleanly. Just as importantly, a lot of first down passes were called. Even on just a 5 yard hitch, it’s a lot easier to grind out a first down from 2nd and 4 or 5, than to make 10 yards on 3 runs.

     It all begins up front, on both sides of the ball. Auburn’s starting unit acquitted itself very well against a dangerous front seven, on A-Day. Center Austin Golson is in his 3rd year starting at that spot, and is a veteran presence. Darius James moved into the starting left tackle spot after several games last season, and just won’t give it up! Guard Braden Smith slides out to right tackle, this season, but it is not a new position for him. He’s played tackle in the past, and should be a dominant player.

     The question marks are at guard, and to a lesser extent, depth across the line. Sophomore Mike Horton is the likely starter at right guard. He was the first guy off the bench, last season, and did a good job. The left guard spot seems to still be wide open. I saw a lot of sophomore Kaleb Kim at that spot, but others played there, as well. Kim is penciled in as the backup center, it’s worth noting. There is some still raw talent in reserve, such as Prince Michael Sammons, Prince Tega Wanogho, and Bailey Sharp. However, unlike much of the past decade, Auburn really doen’t have a cupboard with 12-15 guys that are ready to go. The Tigers will try to shore up the depth with a couple of graduate transfers this fall. From Jacksonville State, center Casey Dunn arrives. From Florida State, the Tigers get guard Wilson Bell. As a part-time starter for FSU, Bell is expected to compete immediately for the starting role.

      I’m sure readers are used to my constant grousing about Auburn’s H-back and tight end depth, so I won’t belabor that, too much. This year actually has better prospects, with juniors Jalen Harris and Chandler Cox. Those two played big-boy ball, on A-Day. Transfer Sal Canella came in and played this spring, as well. He doesn’t seem big enough to play on the line, but as a lead blocker for wide receiver screens, he did a good job on A-Day. He’s also a threat in the passing game, with good hands and decent speed.

     Receiver play the past couple of seasons has frankly hamstrung the offense. Guys in the playing rotation have been selected for their blocking capabilities, and of course, I don’t feel like the route trees were helping them at all. We’ve also seen a number of dropped passes over the past two years. Finally, Auburn had 4 true freshmen in the playing rotation last season, which doesn’t help, either.

     This spring, there is a lot of new material on the receivers’ plates. There are more routes, and there is more complexity. Receivers have to learn option routes, as well. If a slant route is called, and the defender steps inside, into the way, both the receiver and quarterback have to check off to a fade or an out route, instead. Miscommunication could result in turnovers.

     The good news is that all of the quarterbacks that threw on A-Day were trying to hit their receivers in stride. There was an emphasis on ball placement, and I saw a lot fewer drops in warmups. I don’t think I saw ANY drops by the receivers, during the game. Drops were on the backs, this time. Both Nate Craig-Myers and Darius Slayton thrived on catching deep balls, and were fearless. The defense just flat could not cover Will Hastings.

     Auburn has seen a lot of attrition in the running back corps over the past couple of seasons, but still has talent there. Starter Kamryn Pettway feels like he has a legit shot at winning the Heisman. When healthy, he is danged difficult to tackle, to be sure! Pettway was held out of A-Day, and we got to see a good bit of junior Kerryon Johnson, early. KJ is one of those “complete” backs, who is elusive, has speed, can catch, and can block. He’s had to play nicked up for most of his career, and I hated to see him suffer an ankle injury on A-Day.

     I was impressed with all of the backs down the depth chart on A-Day. The guy that impressed me most in this group was Malik Miller. This was another guy that just refused to go down, at times.

     I’ve often said, and I still believe, that a spread offense can’t work without a capable quarterback to distribute the ball. When Auburn has had that, records have fallen. When Auburn doesn’t, the offense really goes into the toilet. In a spread, there are often only 5 blockers in the box. If the outside receivers aren’t going to get the ball, then the defense can cheat, and bring 7, 8 or 9 guys into the box and strangle the whole business.

     I liked what I saw at quarterback, this year. The receivers have been given better plays to work with, and Jarrett Stidham found them running free repeatedly. He showed good accuracy, good recognition, and most importantly, he didn’t put the ball into bad spots. I think he’s really going to have a great fall, and this offense can go far and fast, with all of the talent in the starting spots.

     I remember the wishbone days, and the quarterback was key then, too. Defensive coordinators learned to pack the box, and hit the quarterback, no matter what. And during that era, quarterbacks got worn down. Likewise, in a passing era, frustrated defensive coordinators are going to do the same thing. Blocking with 5? We’ll send 6 or 7. Blocking with 6? We’ll send 7 or 8. Hit the quarterback.

     And so, in a 12 to 13 game season, it stands to reason that the quarterback is going to take some damage. Thus, a team with championship aspirations has to have more than one quarterback, ready to go. The past couple of seasons, Auburn became very dysfunctional on offense, when the starting quarterback was hurt or ineffective. This year, I feel like Auburn has 3 different guys that can move the offense effectively. Even if there is an injury back there this season, I’m confident that things can keep rolling. Jarrett Stidham, Sean White and Malik Willis all showed the arm and the accuracy to keep the passing game going, on A-Day. Let’s hope we don’t end up needing all three, this fall.

The post A Juggernaut in the Making! appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.



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3 Auburn softball players arrested on marijuana charges

Three Auburn softball players were arrested for marijuana possession early Thursday morning, according to Auburn police.

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Casey Mize 'doubtful' for No. 10 Auburn baseball against No. 16 Arkansas this weekend

Casey Mize has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the SEC this season, going 6-1 with a 1.23 ERA in nine starts for Auburn.

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Softball. Tigers Hit the Road for Series at South Carolina

All three matchups can be streamed on the SEC Network+, and heard locally on 95.9 FM and the official Auburn app

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Thursday Football & Baseball Tiger Tidbits

Auburn football, baseball, softball, men's golf and women's golf are included in Thursday's Tiger Tidbits from Inside the Auburn Tigers.

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SEC School Leads the Way for Smith

There is a leader in the clubhouse for 2019 Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna safety, Keontra Smith, who holds a handful of Power Five offers.

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How Chip Lindsey is changing Auburn's offense with RPOs

Chip Lindsey is changing Auburn's offense by increasing the use of RPOs, a deceptive style of plays that have helped spur an increase in offensive production across college football.

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How Chip Lindsey is changing Auburn's offense with RPOs

Chip Lindsey is changing Auburn's offense by increasing the use of RPOs, a deceptive style of plays that have helped spur an increase in offensive production across college football.

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W. Golf. Auburn women's golf ready for SEC Championship in Birmingham

The Auburn women’s golf team will make its 33rd appearance in the SEC Women’s Golf Championship this week at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham. The tournament runs Friday-Sunday, and admission is free.

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Hill Higher On Tigers After AU Visit

2018 four-star wide receiver Matthew Hill says he likes what he sees from Jarrett Stidham and the Auburn offense.

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Threat Back Home Coming Off The Edge

Auburn's Tre Threat is pushing for playing time after a move to the buck position for the football Tigers.

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Auburn's 2 early commitments in newly released 2018 ESPN 300 gives Tigers 3rd-best class in SEC - Derek Tyson (ESPN)

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Auburn football: Tigers giving back in community, stealing wins on the diamond - SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Auburn football: Tigers giving back in community, stealing wins on the diamond
SECcountry.com
In 2009, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs created Tigers Give Back Day. On Wednesday, the university celebrated its ninth annual event. Gus Malzahn and 2 of his senior standouts (defensive back Tray Matthews and center Austin Golson) visited the ...

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2018 Big Man Gets In-Home From Auburn Coaches

Talented big man Javian Fleming got a visit from the entire Auburn coaching staff on Wednesday night.

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Link sAUsage: 20 April 2017

News and notes from the Auburn corners of the Internet

BASEBALL

It's going to be a busy weekend on the Plains with the Music and Miracles concert going on at the same time that the huge weekend series with Arkansas is happening. There have been some changes to parking for the baseball series you may want to check up on.

GOLF

An incoming Tiger was named to Team USA for the 2017 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess Auburn is getting a good one.

SOFTBALL

SECCountry.com took a look at freshman Alyssa Rivera who has come on strong since SEC play began. They tab her as a future star. I'd argue that she's already there.

Kasey Cooper missed her first Auburn game in 135 matches last night after taking a ball to the face in warm-ups. Thankfully, Auburn didn't need her as they knocked off the Kennesaw State Owls 7-3.

FOOTBALL

Gus Malzahn will once again take part in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament. He and Al Del Greco will represent Auburn.

Darius Slayton is reminding a lot of people of former Tiger Sammie Coates. Slayton is definitely fast and can get down the field. He also - as much as I love Sammie Coates - appears to have better hands and be more consistent catching the ball, too.

The NFL Draft approaches! We published something last night about which Tigers are in this year's draft class and where they're projected to go, etc.



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Watch Auburn fans roll Toomer's Corner after stunning win over LSU

  Auburn's stunning 18-13 victory over LSU sent Auburn fans marching to Toomer's Corner by the thousand on Saturday night to celebra...