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Spending time together away from the football field is one of the best ways to become a more successful team on the gridiron.
That being said, it’s only appropriate that the Tigers go bowling before they go Sugar Bowling.
Sophomore Kerryon Johnson detailed Auburn’s team bowling events during his time with the media this week. From what the running back said, the competition usually escalates quickly.
Johnson said the best bowler within the program — with no stipulations about his playing time in mind, of course — is head coach Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn echoed that statement on the way out of his media availability on Tuesday evening.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
?| What's bowl practice without a little competition on the lanes?
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) December 22, 2016
Daniel Carlson’s shining moment
Junior kicker Daniel Carlson did a bunch of amazing things on the Plains this season.
You might even be tired of hearing about all of his awards and accomplishments at this point. But still, even weeks after the regular season ended and weeks to go before the postseason bowl game, there’s still a spotlight on Carlson.
Carlson’s trick play against Arkansas State in September was all it was cracked up to be. It was perfectly executed and proved to be an ideal shot for nearby photographers. It was Carlson’s first-ever score, made possible by a great toss from Tyler Stovall. Malzahn, who was being heavily criticized for an array of things following Auburn’s season-opening loss to Clemson, even got a little credit for the planning and play call.
Take another look at the play:
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) December 21, 2016
Undoubtedly the best part of this trickery were the quotes that followed. You may have seen some of these in stories, but this is the recap of the best Carlson quotes following the trick play:
- “Yeah, I do (feel vindicated scoring finally). Definitely. It’s been three years that I’ve been here. I’ve tried to convince them (the coaches) that I could hopefully do it, and I guess they finally trusted me, so I’m excited about that.”
- “I’ve never carried the ball in my life. Besides punting, that’s the only time I’ve ever touched it with my hands.”
- “I didn’t believe it (the call) at first. It was kind of a check call.”
And the best thing about this top play? Carlson will be back for more in 2017.
10 New Orleans restaurant options
In an effort to help Sugar Bowl-goers prepare for the overwhelming feelings they are sure to have when faced with endless delicious options, I’ll virtually explore randomly selected New Orleans restaurants for the next 10 weekdays leading up to the Jan 2 game.
After a quick glance at the menu, I’ll provide a general depiction of the restaurant, information you might need to find it and a suggestion of something we’d like to select off of the menu.
Restaurant: Blue Oak BBQ
Type of food: BBQ
Address: 900 Carrollton Ave., New Orleans, LA
Phone number: (504) 822-blue
Menu options: Snacks, fresh pit BBQ, specialty sandwiches, sides
What I would order: Beef brisket plate with Brussels sprouts and roasted garlic mac ‘n’ cheese
Yelp review: “It took us around 40 minutes, start to finish, and by then there was a nice line of people waiting to order. I highly recommend this place as having some legit BBQ in New Orleans, which we really need in this state. From reading online reviews, they appear to have something special here, and with their consistent product and catering menu, I can see them being very successful for a long time.” — Mark S., Baton Rouge, La.
- Auburn writer Jeff Shearer wrote about the Tigers’ 2005 Sugar Bowl and those players’ impressions of the 2016 team.
- Wendell Barnhouse of fanragsports.com says this is what to watch for in the Sugar Bowl.
- AL.com says Auburn’s top draft prospects haven’t considered sitting out of their Jan. 2 matchup against Oklahoma.
- Auburn senior writer Charles Goldberg wrote about the newest Tigers who practiced this week: Jarrett Stidham, defensive back Malcolm Askew and linebacker KJ Britt.
- SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk continued the countdown of top Auburn football players, recognizing Carl Lawson.
Happening on the Plains
A happy, happy birthday, Mr. Dunans
TJ Dunans dropped in a career-high 21 points on his 24th birthday on Wednesday night.
In addition to a top-scoring effort, Dunans also helped the Tigers add a meaningful win to Auburn’s postseason résumé as Bruce Pearl’s team beat Oklahoma, 74-70.
Dunans’ performance came just two days after he hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, which was just an added bonus.
— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) December 22, 2016
FINAL | #Auburn def. Oklahoma, 74-70.
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) December 22, 2016