Monday Musings From The Plains
Former Auburn Tiger Jonathon Jones celebrates the Patriots' Super Bowl win (photo:Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Two former Auburn Tigers celebrate today as Super Bowl champions. Cornerback Jonathon Jones and linebacker/ST Brandon King won their second championship ring in the last three years last night as their Patriots defeated the LA Rams 13–3 in Super Bowl LIII (53). They went against another former Tiger D-back, Blake Countess, who played for the Rams.
All three former Tigers give a lot of credit for their success to having played for Auburn. “It was a great place to play ball,” said Jones. “I love the fan base. That platform definitely helped me come into the league… Being an Auburn man, you carry that with you for the rest of your life.”
There was a lot of hand wringing after Auburn basketball fell out of the Top 25 last week due to three losses on the road. Even after the blowout win over Missouri, some doubted if they could play well enough without Austin Wiley to defeat Alabama, a team that had been on the rise.
Auburn put that question to bed early Saturday night, jumping out to a 48–28 lead at the half and never looked back. The Tigers delivered their second blowout win in Auburn Arena with a dominating 84–63 beatdown of the Tide.
Bryce Brown, Jared Harper, and Chuma Okeke delivered as they did against Mizzou. But the MVP of the game had to be the fans. They were loud and raucous from the first tipoff.
Tide coach Avery Johnson said his team was intimidated by the intensity of the home crowd. And Bama guard John Petty agreed, “These are some of the best fans in the NCAA, so just give them credit,” said Petty.
Praising the fans and student section in particular for the atmosphere, Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “It’s unbelievable. We feed off of it.”
Speaking of basketball, the women’s team got a thrilling win in the Arena Sunday. Less than 24 hours after the men blew out Alabama, the women had an exciting finish to beat Georgia 59–58. Trailing the Bulldogs 45–32 with 8:38 left, the Tigers forced 11 turnovers in the fourth quarter and went on a 17–4 run to force overtime. Then with five seconds to go, Crystal Primm sunk two free throws to give the Tigers a come-from-behind overtime victory against their oldest rival.
The undefeated Auburn Equestrian Team (7–0) continues to maintain its No. 1 ranking this weekend with a 16–3 road win at No. 10 Fresno State at the Student Horse Center Saturday afternoon.
The No. 17 Auburn Softball team opens the 2019 season this Thursday at the Sand Dollar Classic in Gulf Shores. Auburn will play Tennessee State Friday at 2:00 p.m. Check in on Tuesday morning for Track ‘Em Tigers’ softball correspondent Zach Taylor’s preview of the 2019 Tigers.
Wednesday is National Signing Day. With 19 recruits already signed Auburn’s recruiting class is currently ranked 12th in the nation. Five of the last six classes have finished in the top 10, and the Tigers could finish there again with a couple of significant pickups. One key player to watch will be 5-star receiver George Pickens of Hoover, who appears to be an Auburn lean. TET author, ATL_AU_Fan will be keeping a close eye on Pickens as well as all the possible Auburn signees. So be sure to check back here Wednesday for the latest NSD happenings. Until next time…