This is your War Eagle Wakeup. The best way to start your day is right here at SEC Country as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Auburn sports. We’ll share our War Eagle Wakeup with you every morning, Monday through Friday.
You likely woke up feeling kind of … different this morning. That unfamiliar emotional state you’re overcome by? That extra confidence you’re feeling and swagger you’re walking with?
That’s what it feels like to be a fan of a Top 25 team.
It’s been a while since Auburn coaches and players have hopped out of bed with a number next to the team’s name (close to a year, actually). But finally, after two losses to ranked teams, a thrilling win over LSU and a trip to Stark Vegas, the Tigers managed to break into the AP Poll at No. 23.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) October 10, 2016
It’s an even sweeter feeling (arguably, at least) because just a few weeks ago, it seemed completely unlikely. For a quick minute it looked as though coach Gus Malzahn was sitting on one of the country’s hottest seats. But just kind of like sophomore running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson, the Tigers kept forging forward.
There’s still a long way to go, of course. Auburn has several games left to play against ranked opponents (including No. 1 Alabama) and while No. 23 is great, it isn’t the end goal.
However, the bye week combined with the ranking gives Tiger fans extra reason to examine recaps from Auburn’s defeat of the Bulldogs. So, here are a few more highlights for your enjoyment:
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) October 9, 2016
— AuburnPix (@AuburnPix) October 10, 2016
Everyone is guilty
You know you’ve said it.
This season hasn’t exactly been easy on Tiger fans. There’s been complaining, cheering, reflecting on legends, bashing Gus, praising Gus … well, take a look. It goes a little something like this. A special thanks to @CameronMagruder for the video. It’s pretty accurate so far this year.
— Cameron Magruder (@ScooterMagruder) October 10, 2016
The eventual (we hope) dance-off
The football team is full of entertainers, both on and off of the field. Earlier this season we caught defensive lineman Carl Lawson and freshman wide receiver Kyle Davis dancing their hearts out before games. On homecoming, a small group seemingly staged this warmup performance.
Just another day of pre game warmups pic.twitter.com/kr1Kwolcpd
— Lauren Shute (@LShute13) October 1, 2016
But no one is barred from getting their groove on.
"GET JIGGY TRU" pic.twitter.com/atoTbbWdyP
— KD (@KDSZN) October 10, 2016
SEC Country hopes this eventually leads to a team-wide dance-off. Or maybe just a music video. Whatever is the most entertaining option, be on the lookout for the dynamic dance moves of all the Auburn Tigers.
An apology owed
Auburn fans probably need to say they’re sorry. For the first few games of the 2016 season everyone seemed to be asking where Lawson was (kind of like where’s Waldo but slightly different).
Now, the junior defensive lineman is making is presence known — at the embarrassment and suffering of opposing players.
Lawson was named the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week on Monday following the trip to Wade Davis Stadium. Lawson was a huge reason for Auburn’s road win, totaling 3 tackles, 2 sacks and forcing a fumble.
There’s no more looking for Carl Lawson. He’s the one taking down opposing QBs.
— Rodney Garner (@coachg76) October 10, 2016
— SEC (@SEC) October 10, 2016
- Auburn senior writer Charles Goldberg wrote about the Tigers’ quick starts.
- AL.com looked into an Auburn wide receiver who could make a potential position switch.
- Wayne Hester thinks Auburn is starting to look like Auburn again on the football field.
- My colleague Justin Ferguson wrote about Auburn’s FPI rating.
- Mike Huguenot explained why Gridiron Now chose sophomore running back Kamryn Pettway as its SEC Player of the Week.
- College and Magnolia’s Walt Austin highlighted a few players of the game from the matchup against the Bulldogs this past weekend.
Auburn in the NFL
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers faced off in Monday Night Football, minus one superstar. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was sidelined with a concussion. Luckily another former Auburn player stepped up in his absence. Kind of, at least.
And it just happened to be another Cam.
Though Carolina eventually lost 17-14, former Auburn running back Cameron Artis-Payne scored both of the Panthers’ touchdowns, rushing for 85 total yards. The production was an improvement from last week when Artis-Payne only rushed for 12 total yards.
Here are both of the running back’s scores:
Cameron. Artis. Payne.
— NFL (@NFL) October 11, 2016
He's in again!
— NFL (@NFL) October 11, 2016
Former Auburn receiver Sammie Coates also had some comments from his showing in the Steelers-Jets game on Sunday. Coates had his first 100-yard receiving game (139 yards, 2 TDs), but isn’t nearly satisfied.
He’s looked like an NFL star lately, and now he sounds like one, too.
6 REC | 139 YDs | 2 TDs
“If you want to be great, you got to put the work in.”
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) October 10, 2016
Make sure to check out the War Eagle Wakeup on Wednesday for an even more complete picture of what former Auburn players are up to in the pros.
Happening on the Plains
Freshmen seem to have an easy time fitting in on Auburn sports teams. This week, Bri Folds was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.
The weekly honor was the newcomer’s first and Auburn’s 14th Freshman of the Week honor. She was responsible for 3 points (1 goal and 2 assists) in Auburn’s two victories last week.
Folds’ recognition marks Auburn’s 14th Freshman of the Week in program history and is the fourth year in a row that a Tiger has received top rookie honors from the SEC.
Congrats to Bri Folds for being named the @SEC Freshman of the Week!
— Auburn Soccer (@AuburnSoccer) October 10, 2016
Another underclassman won big on the tennis court. Sophomore Brandon Laubser won the Flight 3 singles title in Atlanta on Sunday.
— Auburn Men's Tennis (@AuburnMTennis) October 9, 2016
A striking comparison
Remember Ashley Ward? Maybe not, but you definitely remember the girl who got hit in the face with Daniel Carlson’s kickoff during the LSU game (that’s Ashley Ward). Her hit to the face has made Ward a star, and now she’s even drawing comparisons to a sitcom legend.
Check out this video from the War Eagle Reader.