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.
Kerryon Johnson shows his toughness
Kerryon Johnson played decently in Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU on Saturday night.
OK, he played pretty well. The sophomore rushed for 93 total yards, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. He also caught some passes. Four to be exact, for 68 total yards. But his stats don’t tell the full story.
The truth is Kerryon Johnson played great in Auburn’s win. He may not have scored any touchdowns, but he did something more important — he made LSU defenders feel his presence.
LSU is known for its hulking defensive talent. They always, no matter what, seem to have a physical, giant, talented and kind-of-scary defense (and that doesn’t even include how, er, confident they are).
But none of that mattered to Johnson; he simply carried on normally. Or, as Auburn coach Gus Malzahn put it at his press conference Tuesday afternoon, “I thought Kerryon Johnson was a full-grown man. He was physical as I’ve ever seen. He was running with passion. He broke tackles. They’ve got a lot of guys who can really tackle. It was a really physical game.”
There were questions at the beginning of the year whether the unproven rusher could handle the physicality that comes with SEC play. He’s answered any doubts.
Don’t believe me? Check it out.
No running back in the SEC has forced more tackles on runs than #Auburn's Kerryon Johnson so far — he's forced 17 on 77 carries this year.
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) September 27, 2016
— Justin A. ⚽️ (@J_A_Moss) September 25, 2016
— KM Johnson (@kristamj87) September 25, 2016
- AL.com columnist Kevin Scarbinsky writes about how Jochen Wiest isn’t like Harvey Updike.
- The War Blogler reviewed the LSU game, in which he says Auburn did enough to win.
- College and Magnolia’s @Peggyrossmanith writes a beautiful thank-you note to Les Miles after he was fired following the Auburn-LSU game.
- Auburn senior writer Jeff Shearer writes about Jason Campbell being honored as an SEC legend at this year’s SEC Championship Game.
Fashion Focus & photo captions
Malzahn wore a baseball cap for the first time in Auburn’s win over LSU. On Tuesday afternoon, Malzahn sported this straw hat. The hats might be working for the head coach, but he doesn’t look very pleased with whatever he’s watching in this picture.
Submit your photo caption in the comments section and you might be shouted out on an SEC Country Facebook live.
Tuesday practice scoop: Hat pic.twitter.com/HgF83clGhU
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) September 27, 2016
Another change for Malzahn (and a top-15 list)
Malzahn handed over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee in the LSU game, and it worked so well the head coach plans to apply the same method for the rest of the year.
At his weekly presser, Malzahn said it was refreshing to be strictly a head coach again. His players took note of his changed demeanor.
Senior defensive back Rudy Ford said in the week leading up to the LSU game, Malzahn was more relaxed. He even played music at times.
Here are 15 song suggestions for Malzahn to dance his happy heart out to as the Tigers prepare for Louisiana-Monroe.
*Note: Some of them include the word happy and others just make you smile.
1. Happy, Pharrell
2. Don’t Worry, Be Happy, Bobby McFerrin
3. Sha-La-La (Make Me Happy), Al Green
4. Happy, Ashanti
5. If It Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow
6. Shiny Happy People, R.E.M.
7. I Believe In A Thing Called Love, The Darkness
8. Beautiful Day, U2
9. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Marvin Gaye
10. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
11. I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas
12. (I’ve Had) the Time of My Life, Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
13. Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson
14. What A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
15. Dog Days Are Over, Florence and the Machine
I can’t teach Gus anything about dancing, but if he needs any help, it looks like this Auburn fan can.
— Lakin Eddy (@lmeddy17) September 25, 2016
Brains and brawn
Sean White has had kind of a tough year so far. He competed for the starting quarterback job through Auburn’s fall camp. Then he won it, but not really. He was rotated in and out of the game against Clemson and even a little bit against Texas A&M in Auburn’s SEC opener. Things have finally started coming together for White, but he’s still perfecting the art of scoring touchdowns with his offense.
All of that doesn’t even begin to touch on his classes or schoolwork. Some college football players choose easy majors so they can just focus on the game and getting to the next level.
White, on the other hand, chose to study in Auburn’s College of Business. That means economics, finance, calculus … and I can’t go further because I feel sick.
White manages to succeed in the classroom, too. Check out this feature.
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) September 27, 2016
Happening on the Plains
Women’s soccer has been recognized a lot in the War Eagle Wakeup posts on SEC Country.
Now, they’ve been nationally ranked. Congrats to Auburn women’s soccer!
— Auburn Soccer (@AuburnSoccer) September 27, 2016
This isn’t just another Auburn football weekend. It’s homecoming. That means there’s a parade, a concert, a cake race — all kinds of great activities happening in Auburn. You can find out more information and plan your weekend here.
There’s also the usual game-day activities, including tailgates and Tiger Walk (if you can’t make it to Tiger Walk, be sure to head over to the Auburn Insiders Facebook page to check it out from your couch!)
Happy Homecoming Week! There are many opportunities to bring alumni, families & fans together this weekend
— Auburn University (@AuburnU) September 27, 2016