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The work continues
When Auburn football players and coaches reconvened for practice last week, team members took time to focus on themselves.
Older players returned to the swing of things quickly, while younger players embraced another opportunity to show what they can do.
But in case you’ve been confused by the unseasonably warm temperatures (at least for Auburn fans in the state of Alabama), Christmas, and therefore the Sugar Bowl, is quickly approaching. This means the Tigers will start to turn their complete attention to an Oklahoma team led by a star-studded offense.
Let the fun begin.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) December 15, 2016
Bowl week activities
As hard as Gus Malzahn’s team is working, the Tigers also deserve to have a little fun, too.
Players said the first week back at practice was similar to preseason camp. That’s a time when students aren’t on campus and the team has a little more time to hang out.
It’s also a time when Auburn football players get to be involved in team-bonding activities. Sometimes they’re simple, like a movie night. And other times they’re a little more involved.
There wasn’t much context to go along with this tweet (or a list of who was on the winning squad, unfortunately), but players were involved in a laser tag tournament on Friday night.
It begs the question, which Auburn football players are you choosing to be on your team in this scenario?
— Zach Wade (@zachwade58) December 17, 2016
10 New Orleans restaurant options
The city of New Orleans is known for many things, but food is at or near the very top of the list.
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 10 spots in the Big Easy for the next 10 weekdays leading up to the Jan 2 game.
These restaurants will be listed in no particular order but will have enticing menu options.
Type of food: Traditional Cajun Southern
Address: 930 Tchoupitoulas St., New Orleans
Phone number: (504) 588-2123
Reservations: According to the restaurant’s website, Cochon takes reservations and you can grab a seat at the bar, the chef’s counter and the patio (weather permitting, of course).
Menu options: lunch & dinner, bar, desserts (Check out the menu here)
What I would order: smoked ham hock with pinto beans, apples, sage & jalapeño buttermilk ($26) with the chocolate hazelnut pudding ($8) for dessert.
- ESPN’s Jake Trotter and Greg Ostendorf took an early look at the January Sugar Bowl.
- Brandon Marcello, of 247Sports, listed seven possible candidates to replace defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff, who’s headed to Ole Miss at the season’s end.
- AL.com says the Tigers have started to prepare for their trip to New Orleans after focusing on themselves for a few days.
- Chip Rouse, via Fox Sports and Stormin in Norman, provided another fun fact about the Sugar Bowl matchup.
- Ryan Aber, of Newsok.com, said Ben Powers’ quick rise to prominence has fueled the Sooner’s offensive line.
- Fox Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach said Bob Stoops’ judgment can’t be trusted amidst the release of the Joe Mixon video.
- Brian Brinkley, of kfor.com, looked back at the 1972 Sugar Bowl between Auburn and Oklahoma.
Happening on the Plains
Sunday was a busy day in Auburn Arena. The men kicked off the hoops play at noon and the women followed later in the day. The outcomes were slightly different, but there was no lack of excitement or effort.
After enrolling on the Plains just a couple of days earlier, 5-star center Austin Wiley made his debut against Mercer. Sometimes freshmen play in their first college game and everything you can possibly think of goes wrong. Actually, that’s more typically the case.
Freshmen pick up bad fouls. They are easily confused by offensive and defensive sets. Oftentimes they take terribly uncharacteristic shots and shoot air balls.
Other times you get an ovation when you enter a game. Then you get fouled and score your first college point in two seconds. You play well for the rest of the game. Then, because clearly that’s just not a good enough first experience, your team wins a thriller with a last-second (OK, it was 1.1 seconds) 3-pointer.
Pretty good day to be a Tiger.
Everything wasn’t perfect. Bruce Pearl’s team is still young. The 2016 team will continue to learn and figure itself out as SEC play starts in just about two weeks. Still, Auburn added a key piece in Wiley. There’s plenty more excitement on the way.
— AuburnPix (@AuburnPix) December 18, 2016
And just in case you missed the shot or SEC Country’s coverage of the game:
- Game recap
- TJ Dunans was the unlikely hero (Justin Ferguson)
- Austin Wiley continues famous family’s winning ways in Auburn debut
- Look: Bruce Pearl had a hilarious reaction to the win (Nick Krueger)
Fading away… FOR THE WIN
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 18, 2016
Unfortunately, the ending went a little differently later in the afternoon.
Auburn suffered a disappointing loss to No. 24 Virginia Tech in an overtime game.
RECAP | Tigers drop overtime heartbreaker to No. 24 Virginia Tech — https://t.co/4k5Zf4Bpv9
— Auburn W Basketball (@AuburnWBB) December 19, 2016
Here’s a look at the stat sheet from the game on Sunday. Janiah McKay scored a career-high 28 points in the win, while Brandy Montgomery and Katie Freking also chipped in with big numbers on the day.
Final stats: McKay with a career-high 28, including the 3-point play to force OT. Tigers shoot season high 50.8%. pic.twitter.com/jGkzoCaDpk
— Auburn W Basketball (@AuburnWBB) December 19, 2016