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.
The National Football Foundation announced a list of 156 finalists for the 27th William V. Campbell Trophy. One of those finalists is senior offensive guard Alex Kozan.
Schools can nominate one person. The candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility and must have at least a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as well as strong leadership and citizenship.
— Auburn Football (@FootballAU) September 28, 2016
- The War Blogler interviewed a publisher from WarhawksReport.com to get a ULM perspective on Saturday’s game.
- Fly War Eagle’s Jake Mastroianni gave out team awards after the first part of the season.
- Army Shea — of Gridiron Now — wrote a Q&A with SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic.
- Auburn writer Tom Green detailed what ULM coach Matt Viator is saying about Auburn and Gus Malzahn.
Also, in case you missed it online or on the giant jumbotron at Jordan-Hare, here’s the team’s official tunnel video for your viewing pleasure.
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) September 28, 2016
The LSU-Auburn game always is a physical matchup and nothing changed this year. Actually, the game might have only intensified.
You’ve probably read about how Auburn’s defense dominated. It limited quarterback Danny Etling and running back Leonard Fournette. The hits were hard, loud and consistent. Here are a few snapshots from Saturday.
— AuburnPix (@AuburnPix) September 28, 2016
Happening on the Plains
It’s almost that time. The start of the college basketball season is around the corner. Actually, it’s closer than that. The Auburn men’s team starts practice Friday. Get excited for all of the entertaining moments with coach Bruce Pearl as the year begins.
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) September 28, 2016
SOCCER: Congrats to Kristen Dodson for being named NCAA soccer’s player of the week. The 5-foot-3 junior scored two goals (2 assists) in Auburn’s win against Georgia on Sept. 25. Three days prior to that she netted two goals in Auburn’s 3-0 win over No. 12 Florida.
— NCAA Soccer (@NCAASoccer) September 28, 2016
Dodson explained to Auburn senior writer Jeff Shearer some of the reasons for her success this season.
— Jeff Shearer (@jeff_shearer) September 27, 2016
EQUESTRIAN: Auburn’s No. 1-ranked equestrian team was on the move Wednesday. The team traveled to UT-Martin for a Thursday meet. We’ll have updates for you on a future War Eagle Wakeup.
— Kennedy (@kennknapic) September 28, 2016
NCAA: Elayna Siebert also gets a congratulations. The softball team graduate assistant was selected as a finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Siebert played softball at Carson-Newman. She was a Daktronics All-American after leading her team to a regular season conference title in 2015. She also earned all-conference recognition three times and was the 2016 Carson-Newman Academic Athlete of the Year.
When Siebert wasn’t leading her team to conference titles, she was a star in the classroom. She was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American (and an accounting major, so that couldn’t have been easy). For four years, she was a Carson-Newman presidential Scholar, too.
— NCAA (@NCAA) September 27, 2016
BASEBALL: Auburn baseball announced Legends of the Plains fantasy camp will be coming to Plainsman Park in November.
The camp is scheduled Nov. 11-13 and will feature former Auburn baseball standouts Tim Hudson, Gabe Gross, Scott Sullivan, Jay Waggoner and head coach Hal Baird.
The camp is open to adults age 21 and older. There will be events including a Friday golf outing, a legends dinner, a social and a breakfast where legends will share some of their fantastic stories.
Then things will get good. Campers will dress out and take to the field for instruction and drills. And last, but certainly not least, there will be a viewing party for the Auburn-Georgia football game.
If you like baseball and Auburn, this basically sounds like an adult’s dream camp. Definitely worth looking into.
— Auburn Baseball (@Auburn_Baseball) September 28, 2016
In the week leading up to the LSU game, Auburn players and coaches repeatedly said they felt they were “close.” They could see the corner they were about to turn that would lead to better outcomes.
Arguably some of the biggest news from the week (so far, at least) is coach Gus Malzahn handing over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
In his Tuesday press conference, Malzahn said he at times was “coaching angry.” He began to notice in Week 1 that he might not be putting his team in the best position to have success if he were to continue calling plays. He said it was “refreshing” to be a head coach and again become more involved in other areas of the team.
Then the players came to the media room.
When asked about Malzahn’s demeanor, the players’ reactions were honest. A couple of them even let out a laugh at how different things had been. They detailed Malzahn playing music, being calmer, and just being more relaxed.
In college sports, a head coach dictates the mood of the program. If a coach is stressed, worried or “coaching angry” that feeling automatically seeps into — however slowly — other coaches and players. Even if the team is able to remain positive for a while, it’s exhausting mentally and physically to combat negative leadership with positivity.
Malzahn’s apparent changes this week could lead the Tigers to have huge success from here out. If players are feeling more relaxed and less stressed about the outcome — of course a win always removes some of the pressure off— they likely will perform better on the field, too. Malzahn’s decision wasn’t an easy one, but it proves that he is willing to put ego aside and do what he believes to be best for the team. It’s an example his players might not necessarily have needed, but one that enforces a team-first mentality, and it could be the exact turning point to bring big change.