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Tigers Drop Two, South Carolina Comes to Auburn Arena

By on January 22nd, 2020 in Basketball, News 1 Comment »

Auburn needs a big game from Samir Daughty Tuesday against South Carolina  (AP Photo/Matt Stamey)

Auburn was soaring to the top of college basketball when it traveled to Coleman Coliseum to take on the Crimson Tide. The Tigers were ranked in the top five and were one of two unbeaten teams in America. There is nothing that Auburn fans love more than to beat Alabama, which Auburn has done fairly regularly since Bruce Pearl came to the Plains.

Last season, the Tigers hammered the Tide in their first meeting with a 21-point win at home before taking it to the Tide by six at Coleman. Auburn’s rise in prominence, coupled with the inability to compete with the in-state Tigers, likely led to Tide coach Avery Johnson being ousted in favor of Nate Oats. Of course, losing in the first round of the NIT as the one seed didn’t help.

If there is anything lifelong Auburn fans know about Auburn, it’s that Auburn will occasionally do the most “Auburn thing.” In this case, Auburn fans feared a white-hot Tide team that averaged 90 points in their last few games, while Auburn hasn’t been as sharp as it could, especially on the road

What followed was simply painful to watch. Auburn never led and only pulled within one point midway through the first half. Bama dropped 43 percent of their shots, something that they always seem to find against Auburn, while the Tigers bricked it up at a 31-percent clip. Neither team shot the long ball well, but it was the departure from what appeared like a sure-thing game plan that was astounding. Going into the game, it seemed the wise thing was for Auburn to slow the pace, feed Austin Wiley inside and wait for open shots on the outside. Instead, the Tigers got behind early and pressed way too hard, chunking up a lot of very bad shots. It didn’t help either that the Tigers committed 21 turnovers to Bama’s 15. 

And, so, what felt like the inevitable occurred, and Auburn’s winning streak ended quite brutally. 

The Tigers had a chance to learn from the mistake of starting slow on the road as they traveled to Gainesville to take on the Gators. After all, the Tigers couldn’t perform any worse than they had against Bama, right? Wrong!

Auburn was held to 47 points as the Gators piled on a 22-point victory. The Gators shot 50 percent from the floor, including an outstanding 47 percent from long range. Meanwhile, Auburn shot only 25 percent from the floor and 17 percent from distance. It simply defies logic as to how the Tigers could shoot the ball so poorly, yet they did. Just as against Bama, Auburn never led the game and tied it just once. Florida’s defense didn’t produce turnovers. In fact Auburn had only eight to the Gators’ 15, yet it couldn’t get any offensive rhythm going, leading to questions about the ability of point man J’Von McCormick to run the offense. Auburn scoring was led by Danjel Purifoy with 10 points, coming off the bench for the first time this season. 

The team was going to lose sometime. But what seems so unbelievable is that it would happen in back-to-back games. Fans went from shocked and concerned to full-on panic following Saturday’s loss. 

Sure, there is cause for concern. Auburn simply isn’t playing well. And fans who fell for Auburn’s ascension need to know that this team was never a Top-Five team. It hurts to agree with some of the talking heads who discounted Auburn success before last week, but the fact is that Auburn had yet to play a good team and at times played poorly, relying on physical dominance to win.

Contrary to what some fans think, and a lot of outsiders hope, this isn’t a reason to panic. In fact, it’s exactly what this team needs. Recall that last season’s Final Four team lost 11 games, including three straight SEC losses. Guess what, it was EXACTLY this time last season that the Tigers dropped games to Kentucky, Mississippi State, and South Carolina. 

Guess who is up next? South Carolina. Tonight at 6:00 PM on ESPNU, the Tigers come back home to Auburn Arena for a get-right game against the Gamecocks. Carolina is coming off two straight wins, including a shocking win over Kentucky and are led by guard A.J. Lawson. The 6′ 6″ guard does a little bit of everything while averaging almost 14 points a game. However, he isn’t great at any one thing and is especially suspect at the line. 

Meanwhile, Auburn’s leading man, Samir Doughty, has been… off. It is unclear if he is playing injured or just struggling to perform on the road. But, it’s certain that Auburn needs him back and in a big way. 

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Malzahn Ready to Turn Chad Morris Loose With Offense

By on January 21st, 2020 in Football, News 3 Comments »

Many see the rise of Dabo Sweeney at Clemson being directly related to Morris’ ability to coach record-setting QB Tajh Boyd, recruiting Deshaun Watson and installing an offense that is still, for the most part, run by the Purple Tigers today.

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A Look Back, and Ahead

By on January 17th, 2020 in Basketball, Football 12 Comments »
There is some apprehension about the year ahead(Photo by Acid Reign)     War Eagle, everybody! As the bleak midwinter settles in with frost and northern winds, it is time to assess recent events in football and beyond. A year of excitement and disappointment in football has passed. Despite a loss last Wednesday at Tuscaloosa... Read Full Story

Midweek Ramblings From The Plains—Coaching Changes Edition

In 2018 Auburn hired former Auburn great and MLB star Gabe Gross to be its hitting coach, and the move has paid dividends. In two seasons with Gross as the hitting coach, the Tigers have had back-to-back years with the highest run totals in 10 years. The Auburn legend helped the Tigers make it to the College World Series in 1997... Read Full Story

SEC’s Coaching Carousel May Prove “Who Auburn Could Have Hired”

By on January 14th, 2020 in Football 10 Comments »
A few days ago, we discussed whether the current average losses per year under head coach Gus Malzahn were acceptable. Auburn has historically been an 8-win-per-season team with a sprinkling of a few great years. This has been the case under every great Auburn coach, and is one of the reasons that so many Auburn fans cling to Gu... Read Full Story

Few Things in Life Feel Better Than Beating Georgia … Auburn 82–UGA 60

By on January 12th, 2020 in Basketball, News 3 Comments »
There was thunder in Auburn Saturday, but it didn’t come from the strong storms that swept through the Plains. It was the roar of the sellout crowd inside Auburn Arena as the Tigers dominated their oldest rival in a a 82–60 blowout victory over Georgia.After the Bulldogs (10–4) scored a big road victory against Memphis las... Read Full Story

Auburn Basketball at 13–0 Is One of Only Two Undefeated Teams in the Nation

By on January 5th, 2020 in Basketball, News 6 Comments »
Auburn basketball went into Mississippi State’s basketball arena Saturday and defeated the Bulldogs 80–68. It was no small victory because wins in Humphrey Coliseum are hard to come by. In fact, the Tigers only have two other road wins in Starkville since 2001.To be sure it was a strong test for the No. 8 Tigers. With Guard ... Read Full Story

Is a Four-Loss Season Average Satisfactory at Auburn?

By on January 3rd, 2020 in Football 10 Comments »
Following the Outback Bowl loss, the same questions began to surface on social media between two factions. There were fans who wanted Gus Malzahn gone. The other group, which has seen its ranks shrink over time, aired the same responses they have leaned upon for almost half a decade. Those folks make some salient points. Malzahn... Read Full Story

Exterminate the Gophers! (Auburn vs Minnesota Open Thread)

By on January 1st, 2020 in Football 2 Comments »
It is Outback time, once again! Here is praying that we don't have copious rain, missed ref calls and missed overtime field goals     War Eagle, everybody! This afternoon Auburn will play once again in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida. The Tigers have faced a lot of adversity here in the past. I can point all the way back ... Read Full Story

Happy New Year from Track ‘Em Tigers

By on December 31st, 2019 in Memories, News 5 Comments »
Happy New Year, folks, from the staff here at Track ‘Em Tigers! Tomorrow, we look forward to Auburn's Outback Bowl date with Minnesota, but for this moment we want to wish all our readers a Happy New Year. May 2020 bring all of you happiness, good health and prosperity. Be sure to check in with Acid Reign tomorrow as he has hi... Read Full Story

Tigers Remain Unbeaten, SEC Play Starts January 4th

By on December 30th, 2019 in Basketball, News 2 Comments »
A feisty Lipscomb team came into Auburn Arena and stuck with coach Bruce Pearl's Tigers for the better part of a half. When time expired, the Orange and Blue had run away with an 86–59 win to remain unbeaten. Auburn is now one of only two teams in the country to be perfect on the season. The Tigers had five different players s... Read Full Story

A Week Crammed Full of Bowls!

By on December 27th, 2019 in Football 9 Comments »
The Minnesota Gophers Look to Make a Statement (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)     War Eagle, everybody! SEC bowl season is here and begins tonight in Houston, Texas. This is my favorite time of year, when I can sit back and watch lots of good teams from around the country and see matchups of the sort I normally don't get t... Read Full Story

TV Broadcast Schedule for College Football Bowl Season 2019—2020

By on December 26th, 2019 in Football, News 2 Comments »

Fans have the ability to pick and choose from a variety of interesting contests to watch on television, including No. 12 Auburn’s matchup with No. 18 Minnesota in the Outback Bowl. We've also listed the broadcast schedule for all 28 games for the next 18 days leading up to the CFB National Championship Game.

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Merry Christmas From Track ‘Em Tigers

By on December 24th, 2019 in Football, Memories 2 Comments »
As our thoughts move away from football and basketball for a few days and toward our family and friends, we want to take a moment to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that our best wishes and prayers are with all of you this holiday season.As we share time with the people who ... Read Full Story

This and That On an Auburn Friday

By on December 20th, 2019 in Football 3 Comments »
Austin Wiley led a ferocious Auburn inside defense!(AP Photo/Julie Bennett)     War Eagle, everybody! What a great Friday this is for Auburn Tiger fans. Last night, Auburn hosted the North Carolina State Wolfpack in men's basketball and came away with a hard fought 79–73 victory. In the past, in a home game like this with ... Read Full Story

Tigers Win In Mike Slive Invitational, NC State Up Next

By on December 17th, 2019 in Basketball, News 2 Comments »
The St. Louis Billikens came out swinging in Birmingham, taking a 9–0 lead against Bruce Pearl’s undefeated squad. The Tigers fought back and made it a hotly contested game. Although St. Louis outplayed Auburn for much of that first half, the Bilkekens could not find the bottom of the net from the foul line. Saturday was a h... Read Full Story

“I’m On Top Of the World”—Derrick Brown

By on December 16th, 2019 in Football, News 4 Comments »

This award recognizes the nation’s best defensive player, who excels in his performance on the field and his character off of it. And “character” is certainly the key word to describe Derrick Brown. He’s always thinking about serving his fellow man.

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2019 TET College Pick’em: AND THE WINNER IS…

By on December 13th, 2019 in Football Comment »
War Eagle everyone and Merry Christmas!After all the dust has settled, we have a winner by the narrow margin of ONE POINT!  Congratulations to GBAU83 with 242 total points. You are this years GOLDEN BO TROPHY CHAMPION.  UglyJoe came in second just one point behind at 241, and Wareagle32789 came in third place just two points b... Read Full Story

Auburn Players Reaping Postseason Awards

By on December 12th, 2019 in Football, News 2 Comments »
It’s that time of the year when accolades start coming to outstanding college football players. On Tuesday of this week five Auburn Tigers were named to All-SEC Teams, and now two have received Conference Player of the Year Awards.Defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson were named to the first team of the coaches' ... Read Full Story

“Four” Better or “Four” Worse? Part 1

By on December 11th, 2019 in Football 6 Comments »
Every team in the SEC wants to hire a high impact head coachSoutheastern Conference coaching changes since 1980–Western DivisionThis article started as statistical investigation into the coaching changes that have occurred on Southeastern Conference teams in recent history.  As it progressed, I widened my search into the way ... Read Full Story

Auburn Set For Outback Bowl Battle With Another Big 10 Opponent

By on December 10th, 2019 in Football 7 Comments »
For the second time under head coach Gus Malzahn and the fifth time overall, the Auburn Tigers will travel to Tampa to take on a Big 10 opponent in the Outback Bowl. The Tigers' most recent Big 10 opponent, Wisconsin, took down the Tigers in a high-scoring overtime affair following a Daniel Carlson missed field goal. In that 201... Read Full Story
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