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JMR last won the day on October 24 2016

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  1. If you go to War Eagle Sports Radio, they have an android app you can download for free.
  2. Coach's Corner: Auburn vs Oklahoma.... In one of those anomalous events that comes along only now and then, an 8-4 Auburn team will play in the Sugar Bowl as the Southeastern Conference representative, facing Oklahoma, the champions of the Big Twelve. This will be the 83rd Sugar Bowl, and game time is 7:30 on January 2nd. The first round of the College Football Playoffs will be in the books by then, with those games scheduled for New Year’s Eve, so college football fans across the country will be searching for quality games to watch as the 2016 season winds down. In my obviously biased opinion, this game will be one to watch. In the minds of most fans, myself included, this one is mostly about OU’s high-powered offense vs Auburn’s strong defense. The Sooners come into the game averaging 44.7 points per game. They’ve won 9 games in a row since being beaten handily by Ohio State back in September. Since that loss, led by junior quarterback Baker Mayfield, the Sooners lead the nation in completion percentage, passing touchdowns, and yards per pass attempt. Over the last nine games, Mayfield has competed 73.5% of his pass attempts. Through that same nine-game stretch, wide receiver DeDe Westbrook (6-0, 176) leads the country in receiving yards (1,311), yards per catch (23), and receiving touchdowns (16). Despite missing the final game of the season with an injury, Westbrook has 74 receptions this season. With their very impressive passing game stats, it’s tempting to look at OU as a somewhat typical Big 12 air-it-out offense. That’s not really accurate, as the Sooners can run the football very well. Running backs Samaje Perine (5-10, 235, Jr.) and Joe Mixon (6-1, 230, R-Soph.) average a combined 256 rushing yards per game. Perine averages 5.7 yards per carry, Mixon 6.8. Mixon has also caught 32 passes this season. The Sooners generate explosive plays both through the air (Westbrook has 12 TD catches of 40 yards or more), and on the ground (Mixon has 10 runs of at least 30 yards this season). Part of OU Offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley's method is to spread the field as widely as possible, pulling defenders far away from the box to facilitate his running game, much like Baylor has done in recent years. Defensively, OU is a 3-4 base, and not quite as “big” as most of the defensive units Auburn faces during the regular season. They have given up a lot of yards this season, and rank 89th out of 128 FBS teams in total defense, 119th in pass defense, giving up 4.6 yards per rush attempt, and 7.2 per pass attempt. They do rank second in the Big 12 against the run, although I’m not sure defensive stats in that league mean much. Against Texas Tech, the OU defense gave up an astonishing 854 yards of total offense, a game OU won, 66-59. The Sooners do have an effective pass rush, led by outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (6-2, 245, Jr.). Okoronkwo has 9 sacks this season. As for “how they’ll play it”, OU will likely set out to establish a running game with Perine and Mixon, and if they’re able to establish that, incorporate play action passes. If Auburn is able to defend the run with 6 in the box, the numbers in the AU secondary should help control the Sooner passing game. If AU has to drop another defender in the box to stop the run, OU will gain an advantage downfield, and Mayfield will open up the big play passing game. The OU offensive line is talented, and executes pretty well in the run game; they are not particularly effective in pass protection. Although he pushes the ball downfield very well in the passing game, Mayfield will not be using 5 and 7-step drops, for protection reasons. The OU attack is more of a get-it-out-quick scheme than a deep-drop pocket-passing scheme. Mayfield is athletic enough to move around and extend plays, and he is excellent at keeping his eyes downfield while doing that. Defensively, OU will obviously focus on stopping Auburn’s running game. Not unlike the situation for the Auburn defense, the Sooners will try to stop the run with 6 in the box. Their history through this season suggests they won’t be able to do that effectively, and will have to bring a seventh….and possibly even an eighth….defender down to stop Auburn’s power running attack. If that happens, and Sean White is healthy enough to throw effectively, Auburn will have opportunities to open up the passing game some and get the OU defense off-balance. I expect Auburn to be able to play power football against a somewhat lighter OU defense. If the OL is executing well, OU will be forced to add numbers to the box, and if AU can execute a decent passing game, they’ll have a chance to keep up with the Sooners’ big play offense. Finding a rhythm in the passing game may prove difficult for Auburn, as OU held their last three regular-season opponents under 50% completion percentage. All of the Sooner defensive backs who play regularly are 6-0 or 6-1, so they have good size in the back end. They do start a freshman corner, and a freshman OLB. Special teams are advantage Auburn in terms of kicking, and advantage OU in returns. The OU kicker (he’s also the punter) is 11-for-15 on field goals this season, with a long of 39 yards. He’s 0-for-3 from 40 yards or more, and averages 40.8 as a punter. Westbrook is a threat as a punt returner. He’s only returned 4 this year, but averages 19.8 per. On kickoff returns, Westbrook has averaged 28.4. Mixon is the primary kickoff returner, and averages 23.5. There has been lots of media commentary on the fact that the bowl games outside of the playoffs are “meaningless." In terms of international trade agreements, treaties, and alliances across the globe, that’s probably true, and likely applies to the playoff games as well. But in terms of college football, players, fans, and alumni, a classic bowl like the Sugar Bowl is never meaningless. The players will remember the experience for the rest of their lives. OU Coach Bob Stoops has been very outspoken for a few years now about “the hype surrounding the SEC”, and he’s won his last three games against SEC teams, including a huge win over Alabama in the Sugar. Gus Malzahn could really use a win in this game to establish in Auburn people’s minds that the program is truly back on track after a poor start to 2016, and the two losses at the end of the year were more about injuries than about the status of the program. As for recruiting, the momentum of a win over a so-called “blue blood” program like OU (which has had 14 10-win seasons in 18 years) might sway a recruit or two. So, I don’t see “meaningless” at all. It’s the end of the season, it’s one of the “classic” bowls, and it’s Auburn Football, so I’ll be watching anxiously and intensely. Obviously, if you’re reading this, you will be as well! WAR EAGLE!!!
  3. on iTunes and War Eagle Sports Radio. Scouting Report on Auburn vs Oklahoma Sugar Bowl Details: While it does not compare to a college football four-team playoff in terms of national championship implications, the Sugar Bowl matchup pitting the Auburn Tigers vs the Oklahoma Sooners is arguably the second most important SEC team Bowl game. Join Coach John Ray and Doug Dean as they tackle an in-depth analysis of this matchup, which will likely boil down to how well the top-ranked Auburn defense can attack and slow the high-octane Sooners offense led by Heisman trophy candidate OU QB Baker Mayfield.
  4. All I heard on him this year was that he was proving to be "better than most of us thought". I'd guess that whether he cracks the rotation or not probably depends on how he handles the assignment/mental stuff in the spring. He does seem to have the physical ability.
  5. Doc, I don't really have a clue. Like a lot of people, I wanted Corey Raymond, mainly because I like the way his players play. But obviously no one can blame him for staying there (with a pay raise to boot). The coaching world is a very small fraternity, and almost everyone in it is well aware of which coaches are really good at the craft and which are not. I have no doubt Kevin Steele has a short list, in very meticulous order, of who he would LIKE to have, who he thinks he can get, etc. While Gus says "We're in no hurry" to name a guy, that certainly doesn't mean Steele hasn't reached out to the guys on his list, either directly or indirectly, to gauge their interest. Honestly, if it were Gus doing the picking, I'd be a little concerned (hard to trust his judgment lately), but I have strong confidence in Steele picking someone who checks all the blocks on his requirements sheet. Auburn is not reluctant to pony up the $$ required to get the guy they want, so I feel pretty good about the whole thing. All that said, I'm anxious to get that slot filled in time for the sprint to the finish in recruiting. As we all know, just one recruit won or lost can make a difference down the road.
  6. Yeah, we are, E. They asked if they could hold it until tomorrow, since it isn't time sensitive. Thanks for asking....I should have pointed that out!
  7. Y'all will enjoy our analysis of 5-star Jarrett Stidham, and more . . . Holiday Season Brings Big Momentum For Auburn Christmas has arrived two weeks early for Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, as 5-star Baylor transfer QB Jarrett Stidham announced this weekend that Auburn would be the fortunate winner in the fierce competition for Stidham's signature. Then, on the heels of that outstanding news, Malzahn also got a boost at the running back position for 2017, as Kamryn Pettway announced that he had "unfinished business" at Auburn, and would return for the next season. Add to this news the likelihood that Groza Award finalist kicker Daniel Carlson will also return for the '17 season, and things are looking a bit brighter for Auburn as they prepare for a January 2nd matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl. Join Coach John Ray and Doug Dean for this analysis and more!
  8. A smidge of Iron Bowl post-mortem, and a healthy dose of "what next"?
  9. Your memory function was still intact at that point. Don't know who called the pooch kick, or why. I would think Gus has final say on anything outside the norm, so....
  10. I would imagine my thoughts on our not using the TE are pretty much the same as anyone else. It's ridiculous, even "irresponsible". If I recall Stat Tiger's facts correctly (I may not), we've attempted (and completed) ONE pass to the tight end in the past 25 games. If we don't intend to use the TE in the passing game, we should just line up another offensive tackle we do in our so-called "heavy package" when Horton comes in at right guard and Braden Smith moves out to the end spot.
  11. Thanks, muxi! Appreciate it.
  12. an Gus Malzahn's 13th Ranked Tigers Stun Undefeated Bama? Despite well-worn cliche's about throwing the record books out in the Iron Bowl series between bitter archrivals Auburn and Alabama, the favorite has tended to win this game more years than not. With Vegas pegging # 1 ranked and undefeated Alabama an 18.5 point favorite, it does not appear to point toward a major upset this Saturday, November 26th. Or does it? Join Coach John Ray and Doug Dean as they discuss the Tigers' probable narrow path to what at least what experts would call a major upset over Bama. The Tigers will, in fact, be fielding possibly the deepest, most fierce defense the Tide has faced all year, according to head coach Nick Saban himself. But will Malzahn find the formula, even as his offense has been dealt a barrage of injuries, to sustain drives, get Groza Award finalist kicker Daniel Carlson in field goal range multiple times, and find the end zone through the air since this Tide defense rarely surrenders a TD on the ground?