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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Articles tagged: Auburn Football

Video appears to show Tennessee coach calling out Auburn’s plays

Tennessee Vols logo

If Jeremy Pruitt can prepare for all of his opponents the way he was able to prepare for Auburn last weekend, he should enjoy a very successful career as the head coach at Tennessee.

Pruitt led the Vols to their best win of the season when they knocked off the Tigers on the road. Late in the fourth quarter, Pruitt appeared to be calling out which plays Auburn was going to run before the ball was snapped. A video of one such play shows him shouting at cornerback Baylen Buchanan that the pass was coming his way.

While Vols fans probably want to think Pruitt is a defensive genius, Auburn should be concerned about how predictable their offense was. As Brad Crawford of 247 Sports noted, former Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers felt Auburn was tipping plays against Tennessee before the ball was snapped.

It will take a while for Pruitt to build a contender at Tennessee, but he already has the support of the best player in the program’s history. If he keeps identifying plays before opponents run them, he’ll build up a loyal following in no time.

Auburn punter reportedly leaving team after being benched in opener

Losing your starting job is typically nothing to be ashamed of at the highest level of college football, as the best players in the nation are competing at every position with one goal in mind. Don’t tell that to Auburn punter Aidan Marshall.

Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover reports that https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2018/09/punter_aidan_marshall_leaving.html” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Marshall has decided to leave the Tigers after he was benched in favor of fellow sophomore Arryn Siposs in the first game of the season. Marshall had beaten out Siposs during the summer, but Auburn coach Gus Malzahn pulled him from the team’s game against Washington on Sept. 1 after one punt of 30 yards.

Malzahn has reportedly informed Marshall that Ian Shannon will serve as the backup punter going forward, which is likely why Marshall decided to leave the team.

Marshall, a walk-on, averaged just 39.4 yards per punt last season. Auburn ranked 115th in the nation in punting, so it makes sense that Malzahn had him on a short leash this year. Marshall gained 27 pounds during the offseason and bulked up to 190, which led to Malzahn praising him during the preseason.

“Aidan Marshall has raised his game from last year to this year big time,” Malzahn said before the season. “It’s a really good competition and this time last year, just feeling about our punting game, is like night and day.”

As Marcello notes, Siposs trained with ProKick Australia before he was given a scholarship at Auburn. The last four recipients of the Ray Guy Award (given to college football’s best punter) went to players who trained with ProKick.

10 teams most likely to reach the College Football Playoff

Dabo Swinney

The college football season is upon us, and expectations vary per team. Only a select few programs have a realistic shot of reaching the College Football Playoff. For some schools, it will be a disappointing season if they don’t achieve that goal.

There are a dozen or so teams that will really believe they have the team and the favorable climate they need to challenge for the playoff, but only four teams can actually make it in. Here are ten that will have the best chance of doing just that.

10) Michigan

With three full offseasons of recruiting under his belt, Jim Harbaugh should finally have the team he needs to contend for the playoffs. Shea Patterson, the newly-minted starting quarterback, looks set to be the final piece of that puzzle. The Wolverines are deep everywhere and boast one of the nation’s best defensive players in Rashan Gary. They do have to face Notre Dame, Michigan State, and Ohio State on the road, but if they come through that with one loss and a Big Ten title, they should have the resume to qualify. There is also little doubt that the pressure is on Harbaugh to turn it around.

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SEC coach rips Auburn for giving Gus Malzahn so much money

Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzahn has been the head coach at Auburn since 2013, and the school was pleased enough in what he has accomplished to give him a massive extension last season. As far as one rival coach is concerned, that was a big mistake.

Lindy’s Sports annual college football preview was released this week, and it’s loaded with hot takes from anonymous coaches. One of those coaches decided to take aim at Malzahn, ripping Auburn for rewarding him for “mediocrity.”

“Auburn is paying Gus Malzahn $50 million [Malzahn’s seven-year contract pays him $49 million], and he underachieved again,” the coach said, via Jordan D. Hill of The Ledger-Enquirer. “If Nick Saban had Auburn’s talent, he’d have won national championships the last two years. Auburn had the best front seven in college ball last year, but the offense sometimes disappears.”

The coach went on to criticize Malzahn for micromanaging Auburn’s offense.

“If Gus would leave (offensive coordinator) Chip Lindsey alone, Auburn would be more explosive,” he said. “Instead, they lost to Central Florida (in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl) and got the crap kicked out of them by Georgia in the SEC championship game after beating Georgia a few weeks before. And they give him a new contract? For what? Mediocrity?”

It’s unclear if that enthusiastic SEC coach is the same one who trashed former Tennessee coach Butch Jones, but either way it’s a scorching hot take. Malzahn has only won one bowl game in his five seasons with the Tigers, but consistency is important when building a college football program. It makes sense that Auburn is putting its trust in him.

Former Auburn football player arrested on child porn charge

A former Auburn football player remained in jail without bond as of Wednesday morning after he was arrested last Thursday on charges stemming from an alleged child porn incident.

Jail records obtained by Tyler Estep of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution show that Brad Lester, a running back at Auburn from 2004-2008, was arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., and charged with one count of unlawful eavesdropping or surveillance and one count of creating or possessing child pornography with the intent to distribute. Both charges are felonies.

According to arrest warrants, Lester is accused of using his cell phone to film a juvenile male in a bathroom stall at a restaurant. The actual incident report could not be released due to Georgia laws restricting the release of records related to cases involving underage victims.

Lester rushed for 1,689 yards and scored 22 total touchdowns during his five seasons with the Tigers. He went undrafted and tried out for NFL teams but never ended up playing in the league, instead spending some time in the CFL and Ultimate Indoor Football League.

Report: Bobby Petrino could be backup plan at Auburn if Malzahn leaves

Bobby Petrino

Gus Malzahn has Auburn in the top 10 and in control of their playoff destiny, though one and potentially two tough tests lie ahead. Despite his success, there is talk that he could be on the outs at Auburn because of a potentially more enticing gig.

Arkansas is very likely to end up firing Bret Bielema, who is having his second-worst season in Fayetteville and has not found the kind of success the program is looking for. A recent report said that Arkansas’ boosters and trustees want the school to pursue Malzahn.

Why might Malzahn consider the Razorbacks? Though the fan base is rabid, they don’t have an intense rivalry with Nick Saban’s program, which is somewhat of a relief. More importantly, Arkansas is home for Malzahn. He played at the school, became a successful high school coach in the state, was on Houston Nutt’s staff at Arkansas, and led Arkansas State to success.

Now that brings us to another pretty awesome piece of news. Auburn apparently knows that Malzahn going to Arkansas is a possibility and they are considering a backup plan. According to Football Scoop, Auburn is considering Bobby Petrino as a potential option if Malzahn leaves. Petrino has produced a winner everywhere he’s been, and he could consider leaving Louisville now that the school’s athletic director has been fired. He’s also won in the SEC West before during a four-year stint at Arkansas.

Wouldn’t it be something if there were a coaching shuffle that saw Malzahn go to Arkansas and Petrino move to Auburn?

Nine things the college football polls got wrong after Week 2

Urban Meyer

Two full weeks of the college football season are in the books, and the rankings for Week 3 have been posted. Some teams have been rewarded for victories over the weekend, while others were punished by voters for their losses. Many changes happened — some good, and others bad. Here’s a look at nine things the college football polls got wrong after Week 2.

1. USC should not have been jumped over Penn State

Perhaps the AP voters still have last year’s Rose Bowl on the brain, or perhaps a decisive home victory over Stanford was enough to completely erase the memory of USC’s less-than-decisive home victory over Western Michigan. Either way, I would not have ranked USC ahead of the Nittany Lions — at least not yet.

USC moved up two spots in the AP poll and one in the Coaches Poll to No. 4 in the country, ahead of Penn State.

Perhaps we’re dwelling a bit too much on that unconvincing result against Western Michigan, especially with how impressive Sam Darnold looked against a Stanford team that was expected to give the Trojans a stern test. But Saquon Barkley-led Penn State made quick work of Pitt and looked brutally efficient doing it. It seems like the Nittany Lions were dropped for playing a weaker opponent than USC.

2. Ohio State was punished too severely

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Six college football programs on the rise

Gus Malzahn Auburn sweater vest

In the world of college football, the rich tend to get richer. Alabama will always bring in loaded recruiting classes. Ohio State will always contend as long as Urban Meyer is at the helm. Oklahoma is consistently among the best. Programs at the top tend to stay at the top.

But other programs tend to fall off after having success, sometimes due to recruiting struggles or players not panning out. After a few down years, some of those programs reload with new players or make coaching changes and then surge back to what they were before.

Here are a few of those programs that appear to be on the rise again — as well as a couple lesser-known schools with the potential to make noise nationally in 2017.

1) Auburn Tigers

Gus Malzahn’s Tigers have never quite been able to match their national championship appearance in 2013. In fairness, that’s a high bar to match, but Auburn settled into a string of seven and eight win seasons since.

In 2016, Malzahn started out 1-2 and looked like he might lose his job, but a win over LSU possibly saved it and cost Les Miles his. Ultimately, the team recovered, jumped out to an 8-3 record, and then promptly lost their last two games to finish 8-5 with a Sugar Bowl loss.

There is reason to believe Auburn could approach double digit victories again in 2017.

A big reason for that is Baylor transfer Jarrett Stidham, who will take over as quarterback and try to bring Auburn’s passing attack up to par with their already well-established run game. Watch out for sophomore defensive end Marlon Davidson, who should anchor the defensive line.

The Iron Bowl is at Auburn in 2017 as well, and while the Tigers may not best Alabama, they could finally return to the status of offering the Tide a real challenge for SEC West supremacy.

2) Oregon Ducks

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Auburn-LSU ending a crazy one after touchdown is reversed

Auburn LSU clock

Auburn was awarded an 18-13 victory over LSU on Saturday after a touchdown on the final play of the game was overturned, giving Auburn the win.

Auburn kicked a field goal with 2:56 left to go up 18-13 on LSU and then kicked off to give their opponents the ball. LSU then managed a 13-play drive and had a 3rd-and-16 at the Auburn 20 when things got wild.

LSU QB Danny Etling completed a 10-yard pass to Malachi Dupre to take the ball down to the 10 with six seconds left. Then on fourth down, Etling completed a pass down to the two with one second left. However, there was an illegal formation penalty called, moving them back five yards to the 15 with one second left.

When LSU lined up for a 4th-and-11 with one second left, the clock started before they got the snap off. Things were confusing because they threw a touchdown pass on the play.

Officials reviewed the play and ruled LSU did not get the snap off in time, giving Auburn the win.

Auburn prods at Alabama before Iron Bowl with Kick Six references

auburn-button

Saturday’s Iron Bowl may prove to be a one-sided spectacle, with Alabama heavily favored, but that hasn’t stopped Auburn from escalating the rivalry in the leadup to the game.

This is the Crimson Tide’s first visit to Auburn since the famous Kick Six play in 2013, and the Tigers are more than happy to provide reminders. This is Haley Center, strategically lit.

The Auburn University Bookstore got in on the fun as well with this button.

The Tigers have little to play for other than pride, but you can bet they’d love the chance to knock their arch rivals out of a playoff spot.

H/T Sporting News