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, here with you every morning, Monday through Friday.
We’re starting off Friday morning with the most obvious news.
Junior kicker Daniel Carlson was named a semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award this week. Carlson has brought new meaning to the term automatic and proved key once again in the Tigers’ win over Ole Miss.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) November 3, 2016
Carlson probably deserves some type of Halloween-themed award as well. Turns out, the kicker is responsible for one of the best costumes of the year.
No flying here
And then there are more unexpected stats from this season.
Defensive back Josh Holsey didn’t have extremely high expectations for the season. The redshirt senior has suffered two torn ACLs and has made two grueling comebacks.
Holsey hasn’t let his injuries stop him. He’s been clutch this season with interceptions against Clemson and Ole Miss — two of the nation’s best QBs in Deshaun Watson and Chad Kelly. He’s also helped the Tigers record 46 pass breakups this season, which ranks third in the nation.
It’s remarkable considering Holsey has dealt with an injury that changes the way athletes move forever. And he’s overcome those circumstances twice. Holsey has two more home games left to play but it’s safe to say his reception at Auburn’s senior day will be something special.
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) November 3, 2016
There’s still lots of football to be played in 2016 and really it’s just getting interesting. The College Football Playoff rankings were released this week and there are rivalry games looming.
Still, it’s cool to know Auburn will play Washington in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to start the 2018 season. The matchup will be the first meeting between the two.
— ChickfilA Peach Bowl (@CFAPeachBowl) November 3, 2016
- AL.com’s Kevin Scarbinsky pointed out one key thing about head coach Gus Malzahn’s tenure at Auburn.
- Auburn writer Jeff Shearer wrote about Philip Lutzenkirchen’s influence on tight end Jalen Harris.
- USports’ Sami Harb asks if winning out would put Auburn in the College Football Playoff.
- Gridironnow touched on the surprising fact that Vandy leads the all-time series with Auburn.
- ESPN staff writer Sam Khan Jr. listed 10 things to watch for in the SEC this weekend.
- College and Magnolia’s King of Crow wrote about history repeating in the matchup against Vanderbilt.
Happening on the Plains
Basketball season is officially here. The Tigers open against Montevallo on Friday night.
That'll be the theme for Auburn's Bruce Pearl in exhibition game against Montevallo at 8:30 Friday night. Video pic.twitter.com/ZjvJA6uW8K
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) November 3, 2016
Coach Bruce Pearl has been open about his team’s progression. Auburn is undersized and young, but they are going to play fast to make up for any shortcomings.
Freshmen have come in ready to help change the culture of the Auburn program, which takes another step when the ball is tipped tonight.
Pearl is one of the best hype men in college basketball and he does a great job of connecting his team to the community and Auburn students. He’s continuing that trend on Friday night. The men’s basketball team will play a double header with the women’s volleyball team.
The Tigers are taking on No. 18 Kentucky, and Pearl is calling for fans to come down to Auburn Arena to support both teams before the football weekend really begins.
— Auburn Volleyball (@AuburnVB) November 3, 2016
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The Auburn women’s basketball team was picked to finish 6th in the SEC and Brandy Montgomery was named preseason All-SEC.
— Auburn W Basketball (@AuburnWBB) November 3, 2016
SOCCER: The women’s soccer team was busy on their day off in Orange Beach, Fla. They volunteered at an SEC youth clinic.
Auburn gave back to the community in its off day, instructing at a youth clinic put on by the @SEC.
— Auburn Soccer (@AuburnSoccer) November 3, 2016
Auburn will play Arkansas at 6 p.m. Friday night in the SEC Tournament semifinal. You can catch the match on SEC Network.
TENNIS: Meanwhile, up in Queens, New York, Allie Michaud advanced to the round of 16 at the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.
Game day preparations
You could argue that every weekend there’s an Auburn home game is special, especially during this time of the year, but that’s really the case this weekend because it’s Military Appreciation Day on the Plains.
— AHS Veterans Project (@auburnveterans) November 4, 2016
There are players on Auburn’s roster from Military families, which makes this day even more significant. Secondary coach Wesley McGriff actually served in the army.
Earlier this week defensive back Josh Holsey provided some insight into what McGriff shares and tells his players to motivate them.
— Ryan Black (@RyanABlack) November 3, 2016
Fans are being asked to wear Navy for the Tigers’ game against the Vanderbilt Commodores. You probably don’t want to miss a minute of pregame action Saturday.
Navy. Commodores. Military Appreciation. War Damn Serendipity. https://t.co/hMLs9KeKnt
— Auburn Elvis (@AuburnElvis) November 3, 2016
After you lay out your best Navy outfit for the game, you can take this quiz (courtesy of the Auburn twitter).
Know your #Auburn vs. Vanderbilt trivia? Take our quiz!
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) November 3, 2016
Countless Auburn players have made critical plays and shared in the Tiger’s success to this point in the year. The case could easily be argued that more than five players could be listed as choices, but based on recent games this is the list to choose from.
So to this point in the year…