Auburn football: Making most of strong-armed QB + 2 talented backs; more pitching dominance
Welcome to SEC Country’s daily War Eagle Wakeup, a rundown of everything happening in Auburn football and Auburn Tigers athletics. Today, we discuss Al Borges’ effect on the Auburn offense and dominating performances on the mound Sunday from Kaylee Carlson and Davis Daniel.
Since Jarrett Stidham threw his first pass this spring, you’ve heard. We even said it in this space last week. Stidham might be the best passing quarterback the Auburn football team has had since Jason Campbell led the Tigers to an undefeated season in 2004.
It also helps that Stidham has a fantastic 1-2 punch in the backfield with Kamyrn Pettway (check back at SEC Country for more on Pettway today from Justin Ferguson) and Kerryon Johnson. Pettway ran 209 times last season for 1,224 yards and 7 TDs. Johnson carried the ball 182 times for 895 yards and 11 TDs. They combined for 19 receptions and 139 yards.
Campbell had a nice little backfield, too, if you remember.
In 2004, Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown lined up in the backfield and terrorized opponents. Williams ran 239 times for 1,165 yards and 12 TDs. Brown ran 153 times for 913 yards and 8 scores. They combined for 55 receptions and another 465 yards and 2 TDs.
That 2004 season also was the first with Al Borges as Tommy Tuberville’s offensive coordinator. It just so happens that Gus Malzahn just hired Borges as a offensive analyst for the Tigers.
It will be interesting to see the effect Borges has from his position. He knows a thing or two about getting the most out of a big-armed quarterback and multiple talented backs.
Three’s a charm
If freshman Davis Daniel can pitch anywhere near the way he did Sunday against Tennessee the rest of the season, the Auburn baseball team will be trouble for opponents.
Already armed with two aces in Casey Mize and Keegan Thompson, Daniel turned in the performance of the weekend. The right-hander tossed 8 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits, 3 walks with 5 strikeouts. Auburn coach Butch Thompson had high praise for Daniel.
“I think Davis Daniel’s eight innings, really that’s as good of a start as we’ve had this year,” Thompson said. “He’s been money for us on a couple of Sundays, a couple of game threes. He was special today.”
The week ahead is a big one for Auburn. Arkansas (29-8, 11-4) visits Plainsman Park for a 3-game series. The Tigers (27-11, 10-5) sit just 1 game behind the Razorbacks in the SEC West.
Kaylee Carlson, so good
Take a look at the SEC softball standings and you’ll notice there is little room for error if you want to remain in the top tier of teams. Florida has been the best team all season — the Gators are 15-2 in league play and 40-3 overall. Texas A&M (11-3) and surging Tennessee (11-3 in SEC with 18 consecutive wins overall) are next, followed by Auburn 10-5.
The Tigers dodged a disastrous weekend by taking the final 2 games of the 3-game series against Missouri after a dismal outing in Game 1 on Friday. In Sunday’s 6-1 victory, Kaylee Carlson responded from losing just her second game of the season with one of her best outings of the season.
How good has Carlson been this season? Very, very good.
Kaylee Carlson’s last 5 starts
|April 2||Georgia||W, 4-3||7.0||9||5||3||3||2|
|April 7||Ole Miss||W, 3-1||7.0||6||1||1||0||7|
|April 9||Ole Miss||W, 3-1||7.0||4||1||0||0||6|
|April 14||Missouri||L, 6-1||7.0||8||6||4||3||4|
|April 16||Missouri||W, 6-1||7.0||3||1||1||2||1|
On the season, her numbers are impressive:
Check out the highlights from her latest outing:
— Auburn Softball (@AuburnSoftball) April 16, 2017
The Tigers play Kennesaw State at home Wednesday before traveling to Columbia, S.C., for a 3-game series against the Gamecocks on Friday through Sunday.
Happening on the Plains
Equestrian: Auburn fell to Georgia for the fourth time this season, losing 9-7 in the NCEA semifinals. The Tigers were attempting to win back-to-back national championships. Georgia beat Auburn twice in the regular season and again 10-9 in the SEC championship.
Women’s tennis: The 11th-ranked Auburn beat Missouri on Friday (Senior Day) but fell to No. 18 Arkansas 4-2 on Sunday. Next up for the women’s team is the SEC Women’s Tennis Tournament in Nashville on April 19-23. The 10th-seeded Tigers will meet No. 7 Arkansas on Thursday, April 20. The winner faces second-seeded Georgia on Friday, April 21.
Men’s tennis: The men ended the season with a loss to 16th-ranked Florida in Gainesville. The Tigers will play in the SEC men’s tournament April 26-30 in Knoxville, Tenn.
- What’s it cost to send your team to the Sugar Bowl? AL.com’s James Crepea has that information and more regarding Auburn’s trip to New Orleans.
- SEC Country’s Benjamin Wolk and Chris Kirschner, who cover recruiting for Auburn and Alabama, respectively, begin a trip around the state of Alabama today to visit with some of the top recruits. Follow them on Twitter and they’ll be posting recruiting updates throughout the week.
- Who knows what recent JUCO commitment Malik Dunbar will do when he arrives on the Plains? We do know this: The kid has serious hops. Check out his commitment story and the highlight you don’t want to miss.
- Despite Jarrett Stidham’s big spring, Sean White isn’t throwing in the towel in the QB competition, according to the Opelika-Auburn News.
- Was it difficult for Greg Brown to leave Missouri after 1 season to join Gus Malzahn’s staff? SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson writes that the decision was an easy one for the Auburn secondary coach.
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