Another Night of Strange Voodoo

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Can we go ahead and just call it? There are a lot of rivalries in college football, but there’s no arguing that Auburn-LSU is the weirdest. Earthquake games. Burning Arenas. Interceptions. Six field goals made. Five field goals missed. Burning Trees. Improbable last second wins. Say what you will, but there’s some strange voodoo in this series.

Billed (and later confirmed) as the Hot Seat Bowl, Saturday’s contest lived up to the consequences. The Mad-Hatter passed his cap to the newly hatted one himself, Gus Malzahn.

Les Miles will be missed in this series. Coaching aside, he was the master of the press conference. When he opened his mouth, it was pure joy to the ears. Now he’s gone. Saturdays in the SEC will never be the same.

The question is whether Malzahn moves to the top of the SEC hot seat list or did he finally get that 400-pound gorilla off his back? Saturday’s win dulled a lot of the pain, but that kidney stone is still there.

As the calendar turns to October, so to may Auburn’s fortunes. Games with Louisiana-Monroe and Miss St. followed by a bye-week may be perfect timing for this Rhett Lashlee-led offense. Far from great, Saturday’s performance was workman like.

With a defense that continues to get better each week, being serviceable, while improving might be enough to get Auburn to 4-2 when Arkansas comes to town October 22nd.

Malzahn’s decision to give up play calling duties has raised more than a few eyebrows. A story floating around the internet is that power-brokers inside the program made a push for the change with the threat of bringing former Baylor coach Art Briles into the fold as offensive coordinator next season.

It’s hard to know whether there’s any validity to the story.

Former Auburn assistant coach Jack Crowe threw Malzahn under the bus before the game, suggesting on twitter that he was hanging assistant coaches out to dry by distancing himself from the offense.

For Malzahn, its damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Don’t underestimate Auburn’s win over LSU. It snapped a nasty streak and changed the narrative on Malzahn – for now. What it means going forward is hard to know.

Starkville will be no cakewalk. Arkansas will present its own challenges. Win the next three games and then it’s anyone’s guess where the season goes from there.

This much we know: Things look and feel a whole lot better this Monday than last. Gus has a new hat. LSU has a new coach. Dameyune Craig made a bad career move. It’s hard to complain.

Now if we can get people to leave our damn trees alone, we might get back to normal.

The post Another Night of Strange Voodoo appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Auburn NFL roundup: Cody Parkey can’t connect on storybook ending

A look at the top performances by former Auburn players on the third Sunday of the NFL’s 2016 season.

Auburn NFL roundup: Cody Parkey can’t connect on storybook ending

A look at the top performances by former Auburn players on the third Sunday of the NFL's 2016 season.

Cody Parkey didn’t sign with the Cleveland Browns until Saturday. On Sunday, he had a chance to give the team its first victory of the NFL season.

When Cleveland kicker Patrick Murray hurt his left knee at practice on Friday, the Browns rushed in Parkey. But after connecting on three field goals for the Browns, he missed a 46-yard attempt on the last play of the fourth quarter in Cleveland’s 30-24 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Parkeydid not practice with the Browns until pregame warmups on Sunday.

We can’t kick the guy before we get on a plane,” Cleveland coach Hue Jackson said. “… We got here, and he kicked before the game. It’s a tough deal for him. But again, he didn’t lose the game. I’ll say that again. Anybody wants to say who lost the game, just look right at me. This had nothing to do with the players and them. This is on me, and I take full responsibility for it all.”

Parkey set an NFL rookie scoring record in 2014 with 150 points for the Philadelphia Eagles. But he tore three groin muscles in the third game of the 2015 season and didn’t win his job back in the preseason.

Parkey made field goals of 46, 48 and 38 yards on Sunday, with the latter one tying the game at 24-24 with 3:14 left in the fourth quarter. He also had two other misses from 41 and 42 yards, with the longer attempt hitting the left upright and bouncing away.

Parkey got his shot at a game-winning kick when another former Auburn standout, outside linebacker Corey Lemonier, sacked Miami’s Ryan Tannehill, causing the QB to fumble. Lemonier recovered the loose ball at the Miami 27-yard line with 20 seconds left in the regulation.

After a kneel-down, Cleveland sent in Parkey, but his kick was wide left.

“They brought me in to make some kicks, and, unfortunately, I couldn’t make all of them today,” Parkey said. “It really hits me hard, and I wish I could’ve made them.”

Two other former Auburn players made big plays for Cleveland.

In his first NFL start, wide receiver Ricardo Louis made his first NFL receptions, catching three passes for 40 yards, including a 28-yarder in the fourth quarter as Cleveland rallied from a 24-13 deficit.

Defensive tackle Gabe Wright, playing in his first game with the Browns, hit Tannehill while he was throwing, causing an errant pass that Briean Boddy-Calhoun picked off and returned 27 yards for a touchdown as Cleveland took a 10-7 lead with 6:47 left in the second quarter.

Lemonier, Louis, Parkey and Wright were among the 23 former Auburn players who got on the field on the third Sunday of the NFL season.

Other former Auburn players who started on Sunday included running back Cameron Artis-Payne and quarterback Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, strongside linebacker Karlos Dansby of the Cincinnati Bengals, left offensive tackle Greg Robinson of the Los Angeles Rams, left outside linebacker Dee Ford of the Kansas City Chiefs, cornerback Chris Davis of the San Francisco 49ers and defensive end DaVonte Lambert of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

With Jonathan Stewart out with an injury, Artis-Payne made his first NFL start and ran for 47 yards on 12 carries, with a long run of 12 yards, in Carolina’s 22-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Minnesota made it a long day after a fast start for Newton. The Panthers grabbed a 10-0 lead, but the Vikings got their first points by sacking Newton for a safety and went on to sack him seven more times in the game. Newton finished 21-of-35 passing for 262 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. Newton also ran for 26 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. His 3-yard run for Carolina’s only touchdown gave Newton 45 in his career, setting an all-time record for NFL quarterbacks.

For the first game this season, Dansby was not the Bengals’ leading tackler. He did recover a fumble and break up a pass in Cincinnati’s 29-17 loss to the Denver Broncos.

Davis returned a kickoff 26 yards in the 49ers’ 37-18 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Lambert made two tackles in his first NFL start – the Bucs’ 37-32 loss to the Rams.

Other former Auburn players seeing action on Sunday included Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims and tight end C.J. Uzomah, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Quan Bray, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Corey Grant and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, Oakland Raiders linebacker Daren Bates, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Neiko Thorpe, Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber and Tennessee Titans defensive end Angelo Blackson.

Uzomah caught two passes for 31 yards in the Bengals’ loss to Denver.

Bray had an 18-yard kickoff return in Indianapolis’ 26-22 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Grant returned three kickoffs for 58 yards in the Jaguars’ 19-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Coates caught three passes for 50 yards and returned two kickoffs for 38 yards in the Steelers’ 34-3 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Coates had a 41-yard reception on Sunday. He’s caught eight passes this season, and half of them have gained at least 40 yards. Coates also has receptions for 53, 44 and 42 yards in 2016.

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Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jerraud Powers, Browns offensive tackle Shon Coleman and Chargers offensive tackle King Dunlap were among the players designated as inactive for Sunday’s games.

Week 3 of the NFL season concludes on Monday night when the Atlanta Falcons visit the New Orleans Saints at 7:30 CDT. ESPN will televise the game.

Auburn Football: Every Day – Episode 4 (2016)

The 4th episode of Auburn Football: Every Day recaps the loss to Texas A&M with a nice little feature on Auburn’s former player-turned-coaches. This means people like Rodney Garner, Travis Williams, and Kodi Burns. That’s quite a lot on one staff. I like it.


Unlike 2015, tackling, effort and linebacker play helped Auburn defense contain LSU, Leonard Fournette

Auburn’s defensive performance in Saturday’s 18-13 win over LSU, particularly against Leonard Fournette, was as close to polar opposite to last year’s game in Baton Rouge as one could expect.

Unlike 2015, tackling, effort and linebacker play helped Auburn defense contain LSU, Leonard Fournette

Auburn's defensive performance in Saturday's 18-13 win over LSU, particularly against Leonard Fournette, was as close to polar opposite to last year's game in Baton Rouge as one could expect.

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Auburn’s defensive performance in Saturday’s 18-13 win over LSU, particularly against running back Leonard Fournette, was as close to polar opposite to last year’s game in Baton Rouge as one cauld expect.

Fournette put on a clinic from the very first play of the 2015 game, a 71-yard run that nearly ended with a touchdown, and ended with a then career-high 228 yards on 19 carries with three touchdowns in less than a full day’s work against an Auburn defense that embarrassed itself.

There was no repeat for Fournette, who had 16 carries for 101 yards and did not score, as the issues that plagued Auburn in 2015 – effort, poor tackling and linebacker play – were its strong points on Saturday.

“We tackled really well in the game except the first four plays,” Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “The first four plays, I was like, ‘Wow. We need to go back over to the practice field for a few minutes and take a break.’ But after the first four plays, I think everything settled down and we really tackled very well.

“We were very physical. Those guys fit the run very well and tackled well. We had a lot of hats to the ball. We did have a lot of hats to the ball. There was a lot of relentless effort on that field.”

It’s no coincidence that two of Fournette’s seven runs of five-or-more yards, not including a 10-yard run wiped out by a penalty, came during the plays Steele was referring to.

From there on Auburn managed to bottle up the Heisman candidate for most of the game.

With the exception of his 35-yard run on LSU’s first drive in the second quarter, which ended in a missed field goal, Auburn held Fournette to seven carries of four yards or less and dropped him for a loss twice. He didn’t lose an inch during the 2015 meeting.

“Trust me I know what kind of back he is,” said Steele, who coached at LSU last season. “I witnessed that live and in color on a lot of practice days. That guy is a special football player and got great work ethic. He’s even a better person. I knew what kind of challenge that was. He can make people miss but he can also run through you.

“So I think the big thing was, was to make sure that we didn’t make it about one guy. It can’t be about one guy. But obviously he was the lead horse in the race and we had to make sure that we got him knocked down and didn’t let anything come out real explosive, because he has the ability to go the distance.”

With Fournette effectively contained, Auburn’s defense was able to hold LSU to just three other plays of over 20 yards.

“That’s a good team,” linebacker Deshaun Davis said. “Sometimes when you’re in great position – that’s an SEC football team, they’re going to make plays, they have great playmakers.”

Auburn on cusp of top 25 scoring defense for first time since 2008

Auburn’s front seven was particularly effective on Saturday.

The defensive line pressured Danny Etling 11 times, sacking him four times (the official box score had three but Steele said one was being added) and hurrying him on seven other occasions.

Making it more impressive was the linebacker corps was without starter Tre’ Williams for nearly three quarters after he was ejected for targeting.

“We got depth, so any guy behind us, they can play,” said linebacker Darrell Williams, who had four tackles. “We weren’t nervous about putting them in, they weren’t nervous, we knew their ability, so it wasn’t nothing.”

Still, the game went down to the wire. Another big change from a year ago.

“I feel like their quarterback did a great job scrambling around and giving his receivers time to get open,” Davis said. “They made some great catches. They really fought till the end. We came out with the ‘W’ so I’m really proud of my team.”

LSU firing Les Miles feels like six kicks in the gut

Even warm and fuzzy purple dinosaurs become extinct if they don’t evolve, but the game won’t be the same in this part of the world without the Mad Hatter.

LSU firing Les Miles feels like six kicks in the gut

Even warm and fuzzy purple dinosaurs become extinct if they don't evolve, but the game won't be the same in this part of the world without the Mad Hatter.

What does it say about the state of the Auburn football program that losing to Gus Malzahn by one tick of the clock emptied the last grain of sand from the hourglass for Les Miles?

Think about it.

LSU fired Miles the day after he lost a one-score game to an Auburn team that didn’t score a touchdown, the day after his team scored the winning touchdown in Jordan-Hare Stadium on a final snap that didn’t count.

College football really is a mad, mad, mad, mad world, and that goes quadruple in the SEC. Sometimes it’s also a sad, sad, sad, sad world. Sunday was one of those days.

Sometimes you eat the corndog, and sometimes the Corndogs eat you.

LSU firing Miles after a 2-2 start to his 12th season felt completely inevitable and totally justifiable. Even warm and fuzzy purple dinosaurs become extinct if they don’t evolve. The Miles who staggered out of the Superdome on Jan. 9, 2012, after Alabama 21, LSU 0 never fully regained his balance because he simply refused to change his Bo Schembechler ways.

It’s a popular theory that Nick Saban cost Miles his job, at least in part as he’s done to others, by beating him the last five times they met, but that’s not entirely accurate. Having to watch Saban stay longer and accomplish more in Tuscaloosa than he did in Baton Rouge didn’t help, but eventually, Miles cost Miles his own job.

Which, by the way, should also be grounds for dismissal for LSU AD Joe Alleva and anyone else involved in the decision to bring back Miles this season – after the failure of Jimbogate – without requiring him to both hire a new offensive coordinator and stay out of his way. Who didn’t see games like Wisconsin 16, LSU 14 and Auburn 18, LSU 13 coming?

The business decision to dismiss Miles makes perfect sense, even if the timing doesn’t. Would they have allowed him to continue on the job had the last pass counted? Did that play or this game really make that much difference?

It’s not easy to weep for a millionaire coach who’ll get paid millions more not to coach, but if you’ve ever met the man or just marveled at him from afar, the whole thing feels like six kicks in the gut. Because Miles was good for LSU, the SEC and college football in ways they don’t inscribe on championship trophies.

The more the game became a business – a business from which Miles himself profited greatly and will continue to prosper thanks to a platinum parachute of a buyout – the more he became one of the great reminders that it’s still a game at heart.

He stopped to smell the roses, taste the grass and even, before that 2011 Game of the Century in Bryant-Denny, salute the Alabama student section. Few coaches have ever had “the chest” and “the want” to squeeze every last drop out of this game quite like him.

So tip your cap to the Hat, whose noose came full circle Saturday night. In his first game against Auburn in 2005, he won in extra time because Auburn’s kicker missed five field goals. In the last game of his LSU life, he lost an exactly 60-minute game because Auburn’s kicker made six of them.

That kind of crazy thing could happen only to him, and it did, again and again and again. LSU may be glad to be rid of him, but the rest of us will miss him. The game in this part of the world won’t be quite the same without him.

Auburn’s Kevin Steele on Les Miles firing: ‘I just don’t believe in it’

LSU fired Miles Sunday after falling to Auburn

What Auburn’s Kevin Steele had to say about Les Miles firing

LSU fired Miles Sunday after falling to Auburn

Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU Saturday night proved to bethe final straw for Les Miles, who soon after found himself out of a job.

LSU fired Miles Sunday after he went 2-2 in the first four games of his 12th season.

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, who served in the same position at LSU in 2015, was asked about Miles Sunday night during his meeting with the media.

“I understand the business, I do, the business side of it,” Steele said. “My thoughts and prayers are with (Miles)and his family. They were very good to my family.

“It is a personal thing – from a philosophical standpoint I will say this, this is an education business at the end of the day. We have 18 to 22-year-olds at an educational institution and we’re teachers at the end of the day and because of that, at this time in the process and everybody, they do what they want to do, but philosophically personally I just don’t believe in it.”

Les Miles fired at LSU

LSU has promoted defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to interim head coach. Steele sees potential in Orgergon, but noted his promotion may not come up

“I think he’d be the first to tell you that to get a shot like that, for that reason, it’s not what you’re trying to make happen,” Steele said. “But he’s a good football coach, he’s a good person, he’s a good leader. He will obviously he’s got experience of doing that and did well.”

Steele’s LSU Tigers were ranked 27th in the nation in total defense at 347.2 yards per game and 42nd in scoring defense at 24.3 points per game. Through four games at Auburn, his unit is ranked 64th in total defense (385.3 yards per game) and 28th in scoring defense (18.8 points per game).

Auburn safety Tray Matthews plays with ‘no fear,’ 2 healthy shoulders against LSU, Leonard Fournette

One year removed from ending up on Leonard Fournette's highlight reel, Tray Matthews led Auburn with nine tackles against LSU on Saturday night.

Tray Matthews played with two good shoulders on Saturday night against LSU. The Auburn safety also played with a chip on them.

A year removed from being on the wrong end of one of Leonard Fournette’s signature highlights during LSU’s 45-21 thrashing of Auburn, Matthews played with purpose as Auburn’s defense relatively contained Fournette and the rest of LSU’s offense on the way to an 18-13 winat Jordan-Hare Stadium.

“It was good,” safety Nick Ruffin said. “I was proud. As a teammate you want him to do his best, so to watch him be as physical as he was, with no fear, no hesitation — as coach (Kevin) Steele would say, pull the trigger — it was good for us.”

Matthews led Auburn with nine total tackles for the game, including six solo stops and three tackles against Fournette — stopping the bruising LSU running back on runs of 4 and 3 yards, as well as chasing Fournette out of bounds on his 35-yard run in the second quarter.

The nine total tackles were a new Auburn career high for Matthews, whose highest tackle total came as a freshman at Georgia in 2013 when he had 12 stops against Auburn. It was also a far cry from his 2015 effort against LSU, when he was playing with two injured shoulders, registered five total tackles and wound up on Fournette’s personal highlight reel.

“I don’t want to hear about last year,” Steele said. “I know; I was there. So don’t tell me about it. Obviously I had a different vantage point, but I understand what you’re saying. We’re just, everybody grows. Everybody matriculates to a different mindset for whatever reasons. Sometimes it’s just being around, growing older. Sometimes it’s getting bigger, stronger, faster. Sometimes it’s just a mindset change.

“But he did play a very good game. he was very productive and really made some really good tackles. Really good tackles.I will say this — he has two new shoulders too. I think that helps.”

After 2 surgeries, Matthews explains ‘business decision’ against Fournette

The injured shoulders, which required offseason surgeriesthat resulted in Matthews being held out of spring practice this year, heavily affected Matthews’ play. The shoulders, and the fear of further injuring them and missing the whole season, directly resulted in the play that summed up last year’s game against LSU.

With about 11 minutes showing on the clock in the third quarter, Fournette took a handoff from quarterback Brandon Harris at Auburn’s 29-yard line. The LSU running back went up the middle before cutting to the left side of the field. As Fournette neared the 15-yard line, Matthews leapt toward his shoulders on a tackle attempt that Matthews described this fall as a “business decision.”

Fournette shrugged Matthews off toward the sideline, made a cut back to his right and glided into the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown — his second of the day during a 228-yard, three-score performance.

The play made the rounds on the Internet and sports highlight shows. It also motivated Matthews heading into this year’s matchup with LSU.

“I think anyone would if that would have happened to them,” Matthews said. “It was just a great feeling playing out there, 100 percent, shoulders feeling great and being able to deliver some blows without it hurting or anything. That was a great feeling for me.”

With the help of Matthews, who also added a pass breakup to his stat line, Auburn’s defense limited Fournette to just 101 yards and no touchdowns on just 16 carries. It was well below his season average of 142.5 yards per game, and the effort helped the team survive a chaotic final second to hold onto a pivotal win that snapped a seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 opponents and ultimately resulted in the end of the Les Miles era at LSU.

RELATED:Auburn’s defense answers the call against LSU, Fournette

“I had new shoulders, so I was ready to play this year,” Matthews said. “It was just play lights out, play fast and physical. That’s all. That was our thing that whole week.”

Afterward in the locker room, Ruffin said Matthews was celebrating like he had never seen him celebrate a win before.

“Overjoyed; it was indescribable,” Ruffin said. “He was jumping around the locker room, hugging everybody, taking pictures with everybody. It was just a good time.”

Auburn safety Tray Matthews plays with ‘no fear,’ 2 healthy shoulders against LSU, Leonard Fournette

One year removed from ending up on Leonard Fournette’s highlight reel, Tray Matthews led Auburn with nine tackles against LSU on Saturday night.

Watch highlights, analysis, interviews from Auburn’s win over LSU

Auburn beat LSU 18-13 in dramatic fashion Saturday night.

Auburn beat LSU 18-13 in dramatic fashion Saturday night.

Check out the best plays, along with analysis, celebration and interviews, in AL.com’s video roundup below.

AL.COM POST-GAME RECAP:

AUBURN HIGHLIGHTS:

CELEBRATION:

INTERVIEWS:

Gallery preview

Watch highlights, analysis, interviews from Auburn’s win over LSU

Auburn beat LSU 18-13 in dramatic fashion Saturday night.

Rewinding: Kevin Steele reviews Auburn’s defense against LSU, upcoming ULM game

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is scheduled to meet with the media Sunday evening.

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steeleis scheduled to meet with the media for his weekly press conference Sunday at approximately 6:45 p.m. CT.

Auburn is coming off an 18-13 win against LSU that sawSteele’s defense step up to the plate and contain LSU running back Leonard Fournette.

Steele willreview Auburn’s defensiveperformance against LSU and look ahead to next weekend’s 2:30 p.m. matchup with Louisiana-Monroe, a game that marks the end of Auburn’s five-game, season-opening homestand.

AL.com will provide live updates from Steele’s press conference in the space below, so be sure to refresh the page for all the latest news and updates. This post will be updated with a full video of Steele’s press conference later Sunday evening.

KEVIN STEELE

— Defense was making progress through first three games but didn’t get success on scoreboard, but “they have seen some of (those results).” Big challenge Sunday was making sure team understood they still needed to get better and maintain focus.

— “We built an identity that we really need to keep going on third downs.” Auburn’s third-down defense has been solid this year but maintaining the pace will be difficult, Steele said.

— Red zone defense has been efficient, but still need to keep teams out of the red zone.

— Two momentum changers: Auburn’s fumble on its own 17-yard line, with the defense forcing a field goal three plays later. Also Carl Lawson’s sack on the final drive of the game.

— “Who we play is irrelevant… It’s about us and it’s about us executing.”

— Still need to clean up some things in the run game, thought run defense has been fairly efficient.

— Ideal third-down defense is about 30 percent.

— Steele “never really thought” LSU got the final play off in time.

— Defense affected the quarterback 11 times in 31 called passes, which is very efficient, according to Steele. Team has emphasized that.

— On Carl Lawson: “They like the finished result where there’s a stat attached to it…. It’s nice to see guys recognized for their efforts.”

— On containing LSU running back Leonard Fournette: “We had to make sure we got him knocked down and didn’t let him get real explosive on us.”

— On Les Miles being fired at LSU: “I understand the business side of it. My thoughts and prayers are with his family; they were very good to my family.”

— On linebackers after Tre’ Williams was ejected: “I thought they did a very good job. We tackled very well after the first four plays.”

— On Tre’ Williams’ targeting ejection: “Once they’ve decided it, you know the SEC rules.” Said he’s not upset with the hit, but will try to correct it and make for safer technique if possible: “It’s two humans bodies moving at a high speed.”

— Praises the play of Tray Matthews (nine tackles) and linebacker T.J. Neal, who played the most he has since transferring from Illinois this summer.

— “In watching the film… the defensive line, (Montravius Adams, Marlon Davidson, Carl Lawson and Dontavius Russell)… really, really played a good, solid football game. They affected the line of scrimmage on most every snap.”

AL.com will update this story.

Rewinding: Kevin Steele reviews Auburn’s defense against LSU, upcoming ULM game

Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is scheduled to meet with the media Sunday evening.

Tony Richardson joins Kansas City Chiefs’ Ring of Honor

Tony Richardson, who was a standout at Daleville High School and Auburn, joined the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor during halftime of the Chiefs' game against the New York Jets on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Fullback Tony Richardson joined the Kansas City Chiefs’ Ring of Honor during halftime of the Chiefs’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

The 46th member of the Ring of Honor, Richardson played for the Chiefs from 1995 through 2005, earning two of his three Pro Bowl invitations while with Kansas City in 2003 and 2004. Richardson played five more NFL seasons – two with the Minnesota Vikings and three with the New York Jets – after leaving Kansas City.

Richardson was a standout at Daleville High School and Auburn, but he wasn’t selected in the NFL Draft. He earned his spot with the Chiefs as a free agent.

“There are a couple of things about Tony that stood out,” Clark Hunt, the Chiefs chairman and CEO, told the team’s official web site. “One was his physique, which was always impressive. Even among a group of very athletic and large men, Tony was always in incredible shape. And the other thing was that he was one of the hardest workers. … He knew he was going to have to work that hard to earn a spot on an NFL team, and we’re so blessed that it ended up being the Kansas City Chiefs.”

WhileRichardsonran for 1,727 yards and 15 touchdowns on 429 carries and caught 210 passes for 1,543 yards and nine touchdowns during his NFL career, he went to three Pro Bowls because of his blocking ability. After leading the Chiefs in rushing with 697 yards in 2000, Richardson cleared the way for a 1,000-yard rusher in eight of the next nine NFL seasons, including Priest Holmes in 2001 through 2003 and Larry Johnson in 2005 with the Chiefs.

Sunday’s enshrinement ceremony was part of the Chiefs’ annual Alumni Weekend.

The Kansas City honor joins Richardson’s Hall of Fame lineup. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 and theAlabama Sports Hall of Fameand theReese’s Senior Bowl Hall of Famein 2015.

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Richardson’s induction adds to the Alabama flavor of the Chiefs Ring of Honor. He joins defensive tackle Buck Buchanan, the 1981 inductee who played at Parker High School in Birmingham; punter Jerrel Wilson, the 1988 inductee who played at Murphy High School in Mobile; and linebackerDerrick Thomas, the 2001 inductee who played for Alabama.

Newest Chiefs Hall of Famer Tony Richardson lays down the beat! @Chiefs #Chiefs #TRich pic.twitter.com/SLozvT95ld ^JL

— FOX 4 News (@fox4kc) September 25, 2016

Tony Richardson joins Kansas City Chiefs’ Ring of Honor

Tony Richardson, who was a standout at Daleville High School and Auburn, joined the Kansas City Chiefs Ring of Honor during halftime of the Chiefs’ game against the New York Jets on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

Statistically speaking: Auburn on cusp of top 25 scoring defense for first time since 2008

After limiting LSU to through the air and keeping Leonard Fournette in relative check in an 18-13 win on Saturday, Auburn is on the cusp of having a top 25 scoring defense for the first time since 2008.

After limiting LSU to through the air and keeping Leonard Fournette in relative check in an 18-13 win on Saturday, Auburn is on the cusp of having a top 25 scoring defense for the first time since 2008.

Three sacks, including two from Carl Lawson, helped Auburn (2-2, 1-1 SEC) snap its seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 teams, six of which were in the SEC. It was Auburn’s most sacks against a Power 5 team since last year’s win at Kentucky.

Offensively, Auburn was more consistentwith offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee calling the plays and saw improvement in numerous stat categories compared to last week.

The one exception is the red zone, as the Tigers had to settle for five field goals on six trips inside LSU’s 20-yard line.

Auburn’s 7 touchdowns on 22 red zone trips (31.82 percent) this season ranks 127 of 128 FBS teams. That will certainly be an area of attention that should see marked improvement this week against heavy underdog ULM.

Instant analysis: Auburn kicks past LSU 18-13 to snap SEC home losing skid

RUSHING OFFENSE
2014
: 255.5 (2nd, 13th)
2015: 196.4 (5th, 35th)
2016: 234.8 (3rd, 27th)
Why: Auburn ran for 154 yards on 49 carries

PASSING OFFENSE
2014: 229.5 (7th, 66th)
2015: 173.6 (12th, 110th)
2016: 204.0 (9th, 94th)
Why: Sean White threw for 234 yards

With some good luck in his sock, Auburn’s Sean White delivers against LSU

PASS EFFICIENCY OFFENSE
2014: 156.79 (1st, 8th)
2015: 124.47 (10th, 79th)
2016: 129.34 (9th, 83rd)
Why: White was 19 of 26 with no interceptions

TOTAL OFFENSE
2014: 485.0 (2nd, 16th)
2015: 370.0 (10th, 94th)
2016: 438.8 (6th, 59th)
Why: Auburn gained 388 yards on 75 plays, most against a Dave Aranda-coached defense since Wisconsin’s 2015 season opener with Alabama

SCORING OFFENSE
2014: 35.5 (4th, 35th)
2015: 27.5 (8th, 75th)
2016: 24.5 (11th, 99th)
Why: Auburn scored 18 points

SACKS ALLOWED
2014: 15 sacks, 1.15 per game (3rd, 15th)
2015: 19 sacks, 1.46 per game (4th, 33rd)
2016: 13 sacks, 3 per game (12th, 106th)
Why: LSU recorded three sacks

THIRD-DOWN CONVERSIONS
2014: 52.5 percent (1st, 2nd)
2015: 41.3 percent (6th, 49th)
2016: 41.2 percent (6th, 60th)
Why: Auburn was 8 of 19 on third downs, its best against a Power 5 team since last year’s win at Texas A&M when Lashlee also called the plays

RED ZONE OFFENSE
2014: 87.9 percent (4th, 31st)
2015: 90.2 percent (2nd, 13th)
2016: 77.3 percent (10th, 92nd)
Why: Auburn scored five field goals on six red zone trips. AU’s 7 touchdowns on 22 red zone trips (31.82 percent) this season ranks 127 of 128 FBS programs

RUSHING DEFENSE
2014: 168.8 (10th, 67th)
2015: 182.7 (11th, 81st)
2016: 167.0 (10th, 78th)
Why: Auburn allowed 220 yards rushing

PASSING DEFENSE
2014: 230.1 (12th, 68th)
2015: 222.5 (11th, 63rd)
2016: 218.3 (6th, 56th)
Why: Danny Etling threw for 118 yards with a touchdown

PASS EFFICIENCY DEFENSE
2014: 124.19 (10th, 52nd)
2015: 116.99 (8th, 31st)
2016: 117.73 (7th, 42nd)
Why: Etling was 15 of 27 passing with no interceptions

TOTAL DEFENSE
2014: 398.8 (9th, 64th)
2015: 405.2 (13th, 71st)
2016: 385.3 (8th, 64th)
Why: Auburn allowed 338 total yards

SCORING DEFENSE
2014: 26.7 (10th, 62nd)
2015: 26.0 (11th, 54th)
2016: 18.8 (6th, 28th)
Why: LSU scored 13 points

SACKS
2014: 21 sacks, 1.62 per game (11th, 95th)
2015: 19 sacks, 1.46 per game (13th, 104th)
2016: 8 sacks, 2.0 per game (8th, 71st)
Why: Auburn had three sacks

THIRD-DOWN DEFENSE
2014: 36.0 percent (4th, 29th)
2015: 44.9 percent (13th, 109th)
2016: 27.1 percent (3rd, 16th)
Why: LSU was 4 of 13 on third down

RED ZONE DEFENSE
2014: 74.1 percent (4th, 13th)
2015: 75.5 percent (5th, 15th)
2016: 76.5 percent (7th, 41st)
Why: LSU scored one touchdown and two field goals on five red zone trips

NET PUNTING
2014: 37.44 (12th, 67th)
2015: 37.58 (7th, 54th)
2016: 38.65 (9th, 50th)
Why: Kevin Phillips averaged 40 yards on three punts

KICK RETURNS
2014: 20.03 (11th, 82nd)
2015: 27.94 (2nd, 4th)
2016: 18.5 (11th, 99th)
Why: Rudy Ford had a 25-yard return and Kerryon Johnson had a 21-yard return

PUNT RETURNS
2014: 17.82 yards per return (1st, 4th)
2015: 11.93 yards per return (7th, 28th)
2016: 7.0yards per return (7th, 73rd)
Why: Auburn had no punt returns

TURNOVER MARGIN
2014: plus-seven, 0.54 per game (4th, 27th)
2015: plus-two, 0.15 per game (8th, 51st)
2016: minus-three, minus-0.75 per game (12th, 100th)
Why: Auburn lost one fumble and recovered a fumble

PENALTY YARDS PER GAME
2014: 68.92 (14th, 112th)
2015: 46.38 (7th, 34th)
2016: 39.0 (1st, 10th)
Why: Auburn committed four penalties for 28 yards

Stat notes:

— Auburn’s combined to hold Clemson, Texas A&M and LSU to 12 of 45 on third downs. The 26.67 percent conversion percentage against Power 5 teams is 12th nationally and among the teams ranked higher only LSU (25 percent) has also played three Power 5 games.

— Sean White’s 66 percent completion percentage ranks second in the SEC and 22nd nationally. However, White’s 16 completions per game ranks 79th.

— Withsix field goals, Daniel Carlson raised his average to three field goals per game average is second-highest nationally.

Statistically speaking: Auburn on cusp of top 25 scoring defense for first time since 2008

After limiting LSU to through the air and keeping Leonard Fournette in relative check in an 18-13 win on Saturday, Auburn is on the cusp of having a top 25 scoring defense for the first time since 2008.

Auburn Boots LSU! (Grading Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU)

lsu-carlson

Daniel Carlson kicks a 51 yarder!
(All photos by Acid Reign.)

     War Eagle everybody! It’s time now for the Acid Reign Report on Auburn’s 18–13 win over LSU. Auburn failed to score a touchdown in this game but prevailed on the leg of kicker Daniel Carlson, who kicked 6 field goals to account for all of Auburn’s points. The 6 field goals ties a record set back in 1982 by Al Del Greco, who set the record vs. Kentucky. Carlson is well on pace to become the highest scoring player in Auburn history.

     It was a wild game. I never thought I’d be writing those words, in a game with no Auburn touchdowns! It came down to a crazy finish in which LSU appeared to toss a miracle touchdown on the last play of the game to win 19–18. It was not to be. There was a miscalled false start on the previous play, which should have been a dead ball foul and a 10-second runoff to end the game. Instead, illegal shift was called, and LSU was given one second. After the miracle throw and catch, officials dampened the LSU party with those dreaded words, “The previous play is under review.”

lsu-over

Game over? Not so fast, my friend!

     The ruling from the review booth was that LSU did not get the snap off before the clock ran out. Bedlam erupted on the Auburn side of the field, and LSU sat in stunned silence. The win gives Auburn hope for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, the loss cost LSU coach Les Miles his job. LSU announced that Miles has been terminated, and the search for a new coach on the Bayou begins. Interestingly enough, over the past 10 seasons, Miles has a better record than any other SEC coach except Nick Saban. I expect that Les will stay unemployed only as long as he wants to.

     It was a fine day in Auburn, although I was a bit apprehensive when traffic down US 280 was pretty light. I was worried that there might be a lot of empty seats for this one. Likewise, we were able to walk into the Amsterdam Cafe and be seated immediately. That just doesn’t happen on a game day! I enjoyed a nice mahi-mahi sandwich and a couple of Guinness drafts, before heading to the stadium. We arrived at our seats just before the eagle flew. Lines were very long to get into the stadium, thanks to the new “clear bag” policy. Someone ahead of us had a pillow-case sized bag, and it took forever for security to go through it!

lsu-jets

There was a tremendously impressive jet flyover before the game!

     On the offensive side of the ball, the biggest takeaway from this game was that the offensive line seemed to have manufactured a nasty streak. They tore into the LSU line like men possessed and opened up a surprising amount of running lanes. They didn’t win every battle, and Sean White got flattened a couple of times, but overall the play was light years ahead of what we saw against Clemson and Texas A&M. LSU has a good front. If Auburn is able to block like that the rest of the year, a bowl game and beyond is achievable.

     Defensively, Auburn continues to dig in. LSU made some yards, and Auburn yielded several uncharacteristic big runs on the ground. Auburn put a respectable pass rush on LSU, and coverage was very good. It’s tough on a quarterback to figure out which side to try to pick on because both Carlton Davis and Joshua Holsey can and will make plays on the ball. Tray Matthews redeemed himself from last year’s LSU game, taking big LSU running back Leonard Fournette to the ground several times, single handedly.

     Auburn’s stellar special teams play continued with Daniel Carlson being perfect on the evening. All kicks were made, and all kickoffs went for touchbacks. Auburn’s punting game allowed nothing, either, with high booming punts and good distance.

Unit Grades, after the jump!

Defensive Line: A-. This unit put on a superb effort, especially at the tackle spots. LSU could not decide whom to double team. When they double teamed Montravius Adams, Dontavius Russell would break through. Double-teaming Russell meant that Adams was causing problems in the backfield. On some occasions, Adams just broke through his double team and still made the play. I counted off a bit for a couple of things. Auburn was flagged for being offsides 3 times. They were trying really hard to jump the snap count, and I have to like the aggressiveness if not the penalty. The other slight gripe I had was with the outside pass rush getting too deep into the backfield and opening up scramble lanes. Those are minor quibbles.

Linebackers: A-. There were a few missed run fits, but it was again an excellent performance by the backers. They could have folded when their leader, Tré Williams was ejected on a questionable targeting foul, but they didn’t. Guys like Darrell Williams, Deshaun Davis, T. J. Neal and Montavious Atkinson stepped up and kept it together. One thing that hasn’t happened in years is linebackers covering the little dumpoffs over the middle. LSU tried to do that late, to Fournette, and he was wrecked at the point of attack by Deshaun Davis.

Secondary: A-. I counted off a bit for allowing LSU to drive the length of the field late in the game after being ineffective for most of the game. I think some of that blame can be laid on a “prevent defense” philosophy from the coaches. Three different guys had great pass breakups on deep balls, and safety Tray Matthews led the team in tackles with 9.

Punting: A. Kevin Phillips improved here with good distance, great height and precision placement. Auburn only punted 3 times in this game and allowed no returns.

Punt Returns: A. Marcus Davis had 3 fair catches on 5 punts and was canny enough to get away from the other bouncers. There was not much blocking because Auburn had to play “punt-safe” against LSU. Purple Tiger head coach Les Miles has burnt a lot of teams over the years with fake punts and field goals.

Kick Returns: B. Auburn had 2 returns for 46 yards, which is decent. I didn’t think the blocking was great, and there were a couple of returnable balls that were allowed to dribble through the end zone.

Place Kicking: A+. Daniel Carlson was 6 for 6 on field goal attempts and 7 for 7 on touchbacks on kickoffs. He just got stronger as the game went on. With no wind to speak of, Carlson was landing kickoffs beyond the back line of the end zone. That’s over 75 yards in the air. Carlson also scored a knock-down on one of the members of the press who tried to catch one of his kickoffs!

Offensive Line: B. I would like to see more consistency develop here, but I cannot argue with the effort in this game. Kudos to these guys for a great battle against one of the better defensive lines we’ll see this season. These guys did it with no holding flags or false starts, either.

Running Backs: A. We don’t quite have the home-run-hitting back yet, but we are solid. Both Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway ran hard and took care of the ball. Johnson really did it all in this game. He made great cuts when nothing was there or ran over people. He was a weapon in the passing game. Then late in the game, he had to take on dangerous LSU end Arden Key by himself, and Key had a full head of steam coming around the corner. Johnson stood Key up, allowing Sean White to sidestep and find an open check-down.

Receivers: A-. I’ll count off a bit for a couple of dropped passes, and I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of wrong routes run that had offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee hopping up and down in anger on the sideline! Ryan Davis was effective on short routes and can make the first man miss most of the time. There were some crucial 3rd down catches that moved the stakes, none better than a great catch on a slant pass to Kyle Davis. I was very happy to see Auburn FINALLY use some deception out of the trips set. LSU was trying to cover 3 guys with 2 defenders, and Auburn made them pay for that a few times.

Quarterback: A. About the only thing to count off on here, was a baffling quick hitch pass thrown on a 3rd and 10 that only picked up 3 yards. From where I sat, the coaches weren’t too happy about that one, either. Otherwise, if your quarterback hits 19 of 26 passes for 9 yards per pass, your passing game is doing pretty well. Sean White was effective leading the team. He did have one lost fumble, but it was a blind-side hit where the protection broke down quickly. I didn’t count off for that.

     A win over LSU is always sweet! This wasn’t a pretty game on either side, and both teams came in ready to slug it out. We haven’t seen Auburn able to match up physically with LSU in quite a while, and it was certainly great to see that this week! I also have to give a shout out to the Auburn crowd for making LSU communication on offense difficult. If Auburn can continue to win battles on the line of scrimmage, this could become a great year.

lsu-dline

This is a fearsome foursome to try to block!

     Evidently, someone at Auburn listened to various complaints on the Jumbotron. It was used to great effect against LSU, this week. When LSU had the ball, the noise was incessant. Folks, the new sound system is LOUD. I’m sure it’s deafening in the south end zone! As soon as an LSU play was over, the sound would kick in with another bass-heavy tune, and the “get loud!” icon would appear on the screen. Even if the crowd was slow to start screaming, conversation was still impossible. I would not be surprised if rules are passed later by the SEC on how loud the stadium P. A. can be.

     The giant screen itself is awesome, too. It’s like watching a hi-def TV at home, even if you are on the other side of the field. At times, we were staring into the sun in the first quarter. When the ball was on the other side of the field and backlit by the sun, I could just watch the play live on the Jumbotron. That was nice! I also appreciated that during the long TV timeouts, they’d show stretches of other games across the SEC, most notably the Florida-Tennessee tilt.

     The schedule eases up a bit in coming weeks, which should allow this team to tweak minor issues and build some momentum. Louisiana Monroe comes in next week. A few years ago, this was a good mid-major team, and a tough out. This year’s squad has been pretty bad, thus far. At Mississippi State the week after, Auburn’s first road game is a winnable one, too. The Bulldogs have looked mortal this year, losing to South Alabama and getting threatened by U-Mass.

The post Auburn Boots LSU! (Grading Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

BREAKING NEWS: LSU fires Head Coach Les Miles

les-miles

Less that 24 hours after losing a nail-biter to the Auburn Tigers, 13-18, Ross Dellenger of the Baton Rouge Advocate has reported the firing of head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.  Multiple sources have confirmed the firing.

Miles, who led the Tigers to three SEC West titles, two SEC championships and one national title, leaves in the beginning of his 12th season as the LSU Tigers continue to struggle to start the season.

Ed Orgeron is reported to take the position of interim coach.  Speculation will now begin as to who will take the head coach position of the LSU Bengal Tigers and how long will the search take.

The post BREAKING NEWS: LSU fires Head Coach Les Miles appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

What they’re saying nationally about Auburn, Gus Malzahn after LSU win

See how writers from around the country reacted to Auburn’s 18-13 win against LSU on Saturday night.

What they’re saying nationally about Auburn, Gus Malzahn after LSU win

See how writers from around the country reacted to Auburn's 18-13 win against LSU on Saturday night.

Watch video

Auburn improved to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in Southeastern Conference play on Saturday following a thrilling and chaotic 18-13 victory against then-No. 18 LSU.

The victory, which coach Gus Malzahn said was “needed,” snapped a seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 teams and effectively ended the Les Miles erain Baton Rouge. Check out how writers from around the country reacted below:

— Daniel Carlson was one of Saturday’s big winners in college football, while Miles’ fabled clock management was one of the biggest losers. (CBS Sports)

— A look at Week 4’s coaching winners and losers, with a closer look at the Auburn-LSU matchup. (ESPN)

— Forget what you thought you knew about college football’s traditional powers. (Bleacher Report)

— Sean White has proven “he’s the most capable quarterback” Auburn has at its disposal (The Sporting News)

— Saturday’s finish was “typically Miles” and “typically LSU and Auburn.” (The Advocate)

— Why LSU needed to be fired following Saturday’s dramatic loss (Fox Sports)

— Why Saturday’s “Hot Seat Bowl” had such imminent coaching implications for Auburn and LSU(Sports Illustrated)

— “It’s never a dull moment” on the Plains when Auburn is losing (CBS Sports).

— There was “no chance” LSU was going to get that final play off in time. (USA Today)

— “Auburn didn’t believe in Auburn before this game. Will they now? (AL.com)

— LSU lost to Auburn in the first 59 minutes, not the last one. (NOLA.com)

— “If you believe what people with a reason to know shared with me, the motivation behind Malzahn’s maneuver (to hand over play-calling duties to Rhett Lashlee) may have been strategic in ways that matter far beyond the final score Saturday night.” (AL.com)

Auburn horticulturist provides early assessment of scorched tree at Toomer’s Corner

The fire occurred after Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU Saturday night

Auburn horticulturist provides early assessment of tree at Toomer’s Corner after fire

The fire occurred after Auburn's 18-13 win over LSU Saturday night

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The fire endured by one of the young oak trees at Toomer’s Corner late Saturday night in Auburn has left the fate of the plant and the tradition of rolling it up in the air.

Auburn University professor of horticulture Gary Keever told reporters on Sunday that the damage goes beyond the treeitself.

“The fire melted the vertical (irrigation) piping that runs up the trunk,” Keever said.”That’s going to replaced beginning tomorrow. There’s about 180 feet of drip irrigation too that circles around the base of the tree inside the low fence that’s going to be checked out. A replacement vertical pipe is going to be put in the canopy and we’re going to continue to use between 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to cool the canopy of the trees.”

The fire occurred after Auburn’s 18-13 win over LSU Saturday night when a man walked up to the tree facing W. Magnolia Ave. and lit a piece of toilet paper on fire. Auburn police later arrested 29-year-old Jochen Wiest on charges of desecration of a vulnerable object. The case is still under investigation.

Oak tree at Toomer’s Corner set on fire

Keever said “significant amount of foliage” in the upper canopy of the tree is off color, curled and will begin to drop over the next several weeks. In addition, the base of the tree was scorched when the toilet paper dropped from the tree. He doesn’t believe the tree will die, but is unsure if it will be worthy of keeping if it declines to the point that it no longer contributes to the landscape.

Keever said its unlikely a flush of growth will occur until next spring as most trees are currently going dormant.

“What we’re hoping, best case scenario, is that next spring we’re going to see a vigorous flush and the trees will re-foliate and then we’ll continue on trying to do our best to ensure the well-being of the trees,” he said.

Keever estimates there have been “four to six” fires at Toomer’s Corner over the last 20 years. The most recent one occurred after Auburn beat Alabama A&M in 2012. The original oak tree was poisoned in 2010 and removed in 2013. The two new trees were planted in 2015 and were rolled for the first time two weeks ago after Auburn’s win over Arkansas State.

“We’re going to have to get together and asses the extent of damage and whether (rolling) is a possibility going forward,” he said. “We haven’t discussed this, but we may begin making plans for securing other trees as backups should something like this happen, because we need to be prepared, especially if we continue this tradition. This probably won’t be the last time.”

Gallery preview

Auburn opens as heavy favorite against ULM

After a dramatic win over No. 18 LSU, Auburn is back to being a heavy home favorite.

After a dramatic win over No. 18 LSU, Auburn is back to being a heavy home favorite.

Auburn (2-2, 1-1 SEC) opened as a 34-point favorite against ULM, according to VegasInsider.com, for this week’s game at Jordan-Hare Stadium (2:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network).

ULM (1-2, 0-1 Sun Belt) is coming off an open week after losing to Georgia Southern, 23-21 on Sept. 17.

Auburn is 24-0 all-time against Sun Belt teams, including 9-0 against ULM, which last visited Auburn in 2012.

Auburn opponent early scouting report: ULM

Auburn has covered the spread in three of four games this season, including Saturday’s win, in which LSU was favored by 3.5 points.

Auburn opens as heavy favorite against ULM

After a dramatic win over No. 18 LSU, Auburn is back to being a heavy home favorite.

Les Miles fired from LSU following loss to Auburn

LSU made a big coaching move on Sunday

Watch video

LSU fired head coach Les Milesand offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, the school confirmed on Sunday in the wake of the Tigers’ 18-13 loss to Auburnthat came down to the final second.

Former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron, who had been working as LSU’s defensive line coach, has been named the interim head coach.Miles was 114-34 at LSU since being hired in 2006, and the Tigers won thenational championship for the 2007 season despite two losses.

“Decisions like this are never easy ones to make,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a statement. “Coach Miles has done a tremendous job here and he’s been a great ambassador for our University, which makes this even more difficult.

“However, it’s apparent in evaluating the program through the first month of the season that a change has to be made. Our commitment to excellence and competing at the highest level is unwavering, and our goals for the remainder of this season haven’t changed. We have an obligation to our student-athletes to put them in the best position to have success on the football field each week and we have great confidence that coach Orgeron will do just that.”

The Advocate’s Ross Dellenger was the first to report the news.Miles’ buyout is in the neighborhood of $10 million. Steve Ensminger, a one-time Auburn assistant, will be the Tigers’ offensive coordinator, per Fox Sports. LSU said in a statement that Orgeron would announce his new staff assignments on Monday.

The Tigers started the season 2-2, with the offense stagnating in losses to Wisconsin and Auburn. LSU made a quarterback change, going from former highly-touted recruit Brandon Harris to Purdue transfer Danny Etling in the second game. Etling almost led LSU to a stunning last-second win on Saturday night only for officials to reverse the initial touchdown call, giving Auburn the win.

LSU dropped out of both top 25 polls following the loss to Auburn. The program started the season as a consensus top 10 team and a popular pick to win the SEC West.

News started to trickle in to players. Running back Nick Brossette tweeted that the only reason he came to LSU was because of Miles. LSU defensive back commit Kary Vincent tweeted that he wasn’t going anywheredespite the news.

Rumors of Miles’ demise started last season after the Tigers lost three straight following a 7-0 start. LSU finished the regular season with a win over Texas A&M and Miles’ job was saved. The Tigers finished 9-3 with a Texas Bowl win.

NOLA.com’s Ron Higgins wrote this column postgame calling for Miles to be fired.

Les Miles fired from LSU following loss to Auburn

LSU made a big coaching move on Sunday

‘This will be huge for us’ – Daniel Carlson kicks six in Auburn win – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

247Sports
'This will be huge for us' – Daniel Carlson kicks six in Auburn win
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
“Daniel is the best kicker in college football. I think he confirmed that tonight,” Gus Malzahn said. “He had a 51-yard field goal, and he had some pressure kicks in the fourth quarter. Those are the hardest ones, I don't care how far it is. He also …
The Box Score: All you need to know from Auburn-LSU247Sports

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See the damage of Toomer’s Corner fire, hear Auburn fans react

The fire started after Auburn's win over LSU Saturday night.

Watch video

Following Auburn’s win over LSU Saturday night, one of the new oak trees at Toomer’s Corner caught fire.

Check out the damage to the tree on Sunday morning and hear Auburn fans react to the news in the video above.

See the damage of Toomer’s Corner fire, hear Auburn fans react

The fire started after Auburn’s win over LSU Saturday night.

Catching up with state’s top prospect LaBryan Ray, who gives latest on recruiting

The four-star defensive end updates recruitment

James Clemens defensive end LaBryan Ray made his fourth trip to an SEC school over the weekend when the four-star recruit saw Tennessee beat Florida in Knoxville.

If the No. 1 player on the AL.com A-List is leaning to any school, he’s not giving up any hints.

Ray has made unofficial visits to Auburn (vs. Clemson), Alabama (vs. Western Kentucky), Ole Miss (vs. Alabama) and recently Tennessee.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive end played a big role in the Jets’ 28-6 win at Clay-Chalkville Friday, one week after he had 17 tackles against Sparkman in a 40-15 win. Ray’s highlights this season also include recovering his own blocked punt for a score.

“This guy right here played well too, and they were holding him all night,” James Clemens coach Wade Waldrop said. “It’s impressive. Between Monty (Rice) and LaBryan, they’ve gotten better since the beginning of the year. They’ve been working hard all year.”

For now, Ray could take two official visits during the season. He’s planning an official visit to Florida the weekend of Oct. 8 when the Gators host LSU. He said his official visit to Alabama could be for the Iron Bowl.

The other schools in Ray’s top six are Mississippi State, Auburn, Tennessee and Ole Miss. Auburn is in Ray’s top group after originally not being in his top 12. Here’s what he said about the four schools he’s visited so far.

A-List No. 1: Strong foundation solidified LaBryan Ray after early life tragedy

Tennessee: “Tennessee, I’m very high on. They were one of the first schools to recruit me. I’ve got a good relationship with a bunch of the coaches on the coaching staff, like (defensive line) Coach (Steve) Stripling especially. I am pretty high on Tennessee.”

Ray added this on Sunday about his visit: “It went really well. Talked to all the coaches including coach (Butch) Jones. Really enjoyed myself. It was a awesome atmosphere and definitely a great game.”

Ole Miss: “(The visit went) very well. My grandma and my aunt got to go.They got to see what it was like on a game day with the wild fans. It was a great environment. They enjoyed it.”

Alabama: “I still like Alabama, definitely. They’ve made some plays defensively. They turned the game around in the Ole Miss game.”

Auburn: “They started to recruit me really hard. I remember when they offered me, a couple of weeks later I went to visit and it’s gone up from there.

“Their (defense is) good. I went to the Auburn-Clemson game and the defense was legit, even more so than I expected.”

Ray’s recruitment is still expected to go late in the process, maybe even all the way to National Signing Day.

“All of the schools are making me feel like a priority,” Ray said. “They said that they want you and they need you. There’s a spot there if you want it. Now, it’s finding the best spot for me and my family.”

Check out some highlights of Ray against Clay-Chalkville.

Catching up with state’s top prospect LaBryan Ray, who gives latest on recruiting

The four-star defensive end updates recruitment

Gameday Tweets: Auburn 18, LSU 13

WarBlogle_twitter_newIt was hot. Really hot. The crowd was nice. The LSU contingent was pretty small and generally calm. Overall, the scene was very nice for an Auburn-LSU game. By the end of the night, it ended up being one of the weirdest days I’ve ever experienced as a college football fan. Expect another post about all of the weirdness from sunrise to the middle of the night, but for now just read how I experienced it throughout the day. Follow me.

GAMEDAY BAAABBBBBAAAYYYYYYY!!!!! #auburn #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

A drone will deliver the game ball again today, there will be a F-18 flyover, but no parachute jump team as the program states. #auburn

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

We here. There's a karaoke tailgate close by. Come on. (@ 2016 War Blogle Tailgate in Auburn, AL w/ @jeremygolson) https://t.co/kUYEcK15i4

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

Saving this graphic for reuse tonight. https://t.co/GMimM3I4N5

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

LSU brought a pep band if you’re wondering what they think of their season. #auburn #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

We’ve seen backup QB’s turn into Heisman candidates in Jordan-Hare, but what if the backup was the starter? The opposite hopefully.

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

Delete football.

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

Oh you done messed up now, pansy football.

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 24, 2016

TGBY: “I didn’t see the flyover.” #auburn #wateagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Great call!

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Terrible call!

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

That safety might end up being huge. #auburn #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

DJEKDKDDJJHHGDGJGHGGHHJHDFKSSKEKSKKDSKDISNSSMDLSSJDNNJSKSMSMAKAKAKSMSMIWISJSNSMSMAKAKAKLAAMANQBSHZNANSNWJSJENDNE

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

FAHR EM AWWWWLLLLLLLLLLLLL

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

0:01

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Just your typical 18-13 victory. #auburn #lsu #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Field goals win championships. #auburn #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Auburn has won 1 straight against Power 5 opponents in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

I apparently don’t know what offsides is and I’m not even sure why LSU got a chance to run that last play. 10 second runoff?

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

The trees are rolled. #auburn pic.twitter.com/mNYr46oo9l

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

I saw Daniel Carlson at Olive Garden on Thursday. I didn’t speak. I just looked at his leg. I knew tonight would happen. #auburn

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

2-2 and that’s alright. War Damn Eagle and goodnight. #auburn #wareagle #bedtimepoetry

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Inadvertently? https://t.co/Dw7lKCZsPc

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

The fire department just doused every tree downtown and people are chanting something around the tree that was on fire. pic.twitter.com/NqtWXOJ3lA

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

This video shows person walk up to tree and light toilet paper on fire and walk away quickly. (via @austingscott) pic.twitter.com/LVG0GXTppn

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Video of a girl pointing out the guy who lit the toilet paper on fire before he ran off. (via @shanesrew_jacks) pic.twitter.com/2pH3nLhsgG

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

After the tree was engulfed in flames and doused with water, some fans have re-rolled it. #auburn pic.twitter.com/zCQV9y7oX6

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

@WarBlogle I was the one who called 911. Within 10 mins they arrived and had flames extinguished pic.twitter.com/2sS5YDet2D

— Sarah Drexler (@Sarah_Drexler) September 25, 2016

I have heard from two sources now that the person who lit the toilet paper on one of the Toomer’s trees has been caught. #auburn

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Auburn legend weighs in. https://t.co/4wiBYAALoJ

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016

Ok, I’m going to sleep now. geAUx tigers, amirite?! #auburn #wareagle

— WarBlogle.com (@WarBlogle) September 25, 2016


Arrest made in fire at Toomer’s corner oak tree in Auburn

Auburn police arrested a 29-year-old man they say is responsible for setting the fire to one of the oak trees at Toomer's corner following Auburn's win over LSU on Saturday.

Auburn police arrested a 29-year-old man they say is responsible for settingthe fire to one of the oak trees at Toomer’s corner following Auburn’s win over LSU on Saturday.

Jochen Wiest, a Auburn resident who police say is “not affiliated with Auburn University,” was arrested on Sunday on charges of desecration of a venerable object, a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama, which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and up to a $6,000 fine.

“Wiest was developed as a suspect and immediately taken into custody while still in the area on an unrelated charge of public intoxication,” according to a statement released by Auburn police Sunday afternoon. “Further investigation resulted in Wiest being identified as the individual responsible for setting the fire and a warrant was obtained for his arrest. He was arrested while incarcerated in the Lee County jail on the prior charge and his bond was set at $1000.”

Surveillance footage appears to show a man Auburn police believe to be Wiest, walk up to the oak tree on W. Magnolia Ave. and set fire to some of the toilet paper hanging from it.

The Auburn fire department extinguished the fire shortly after receiving calls at approximately 12:15 a.m., according to Auburn police.

Auburn University professor of horticulture Gary Keever inspected the tree Sunday morning and does not believe the fire has killed it, but the extent of the damage may not be known for “several days to several weeks” if not longer.

“At this time, we know that the upper canopy, the lower canopy on the northwest side, and the base of the trunk were burned,” Keever told AL.com. “Based on the leaf curl and off-color of the foliage in parts of the canopy, these leaves will drop over the next several days. We plan to use a lift to inspect the shoots in the canopy early this week.

“The full extent of the damage won’t be known for several days to several weeks, and perhaps not until we see regrowth in spring. Based on the initial appearance of the tree, I don’t think the fire has killed the tree; however, aesthetic death, when the tree declines to such an extent that it detracts from the landscape and there is little chance of it returning to its full grandeur, may warrant consideration of removal as a result of this act.”

The tradition of rolling Toomer’s corner was suspended in 2013 due to the original oaks being poisoned in 2011. A system of wires was installed at the intersection of College St. and Magnolia Ave. as a temporary means of continuing the tradition while the new trees told hold.

Auburn began allowing fans to roll the new oak trees, which were planted at Toomer’s Corner in 2015, at the start of this season and fans rolled the new trees for the first timefollowing Auburn’s win over Arkansas State on Sept. 10.

Gallery preview

Arrest made in fire at Toomer’s corner oak tree in Auburn

Auburn police arrested a 29-year-old man they say is responsible for setting the fire to one of the oak trees at Toomer’s corner following Auburn’s win over LSU on Saturday.

Highlights of Auburn’s 18-13 Win over LSU

The Auburn-LSU rivalry is one of the craziest in college football, and after Auburn’s 18-13 win Saturday night, there is a new chapter of crazy. After Auburn’s Daniel Carlson scored all of Auburn’s points with six field goals, LSU drove the field and appeared to win on a last second TD pass. Nope.


Highlights of Auburn’s 18-13 Win over LSU

The Auburn-LSU rivalry is one of the craziest in college football, and after Auburn’s 18-13 win Saturday night, there is a new chapter of crazy. After Auburn’s Daniel Carlson scored all of Auburn’s points with six field goals, LSU drove the field and appeared to win on a last second TD pass. Nope.


See Cam Newton set an NFL touchdown record

Cam Newton has run for more touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL history after he scored from 3 yards out in the first quarter of the Carolina Panthers' game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Cam Newton has run for more touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL history after he scored from 3 yards out in the first quarter of the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

“Everyone wants to believe Cam Newton is a runner … He just doesn’t do it anymore.”

*ahem*#MINvsCAR #Panthers #CamNewton @CameronNewton pic.twitter.com/WkQGiTZURu

— Richard Groves (@englishinvader) September 25, 2016

The touchdown run was Newton’s 45th in his 81st NFL game.

The former Auburnstar had been tied for the NFL record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with Otto Graham. Playing for the Cleveland Browns in the 1946 through 1955 seasons, Graham ran for 44 touchdowns in 126 games.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OURNFL PAGE

See Cam Newton set an NFL touchdown record

Cam Newton has run for more touchdowns than any quarterback in NFL history after he scored from 3 yards out in the first quarter of the Carolina Panthers’ game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Auburn gains votes in coaches poll after dramatic win against LSU

Auburn defeated LSU, 18-13, on Saturday night to improve to 2-2 on the year.

Auburn’s dramatic 18-13 win against LSUon Saturday night helped the team improve to 2-2 on the year, gave Gus Malzahn’s squad its first SEC win and helped snap a seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 opponents.

It also helped Auburn gain some ground in the Amway coaches poll.

After receiving just two votes a week agoand being tied for 47th in the nation, Auburn received 18votes in the Week 5 poll, which was released Sunday morning. The Tigers are 36th in the nation in the poll.

The AP poll will be released Sunday afternoon. Auburn did not receive any votes in that poll following last week’s loss to Texas A&M.

Auburn will take a break from SEC play this week, hosting Louisiana-Monroe at 2:30 p.m. CTto close out a five-game, season-opening homestand.

AMWAY COACHES POLL — WEEK 5

Record

Pts

Prv

1. Alabama (61)

4-0

1597

1

2. Ohio St. (2)

3-0

1506

2

3. Clemson(1)

4-0

1440

3

4. Louisville

4-0

1411

4

5.Michigan

4-0

1333

5

6.Stanford

3-0

1269

6

7.Houston

4-0

1250

7

8. Wisconsin

4-0

1127

10

9. Washington

4-0

1049

9

10. Texas A&M

4-0

1016

13

11.Tennessee

4-0

986

12

12.Florida State

3-1

843

14

13. Baylor

4-0

797

15

14.Miami

3-0

664

19

15.Nebraska

4-0

649

20

16.Michigan State

2-1

597

8

17.Mississippi

2-2

558

21

18.Utah

4-0

504

23

19.TCU

3-1

330

21

20.Georgia

3-1

271

11

21.Florida

3-1

254

16

21. Arkansas

3-1

197

18

23.North Carolina

3-1

173

NR

24. San Diego State

3-0

156

NR

25.Texas

2-1

142

24

Others Receiving Votes

Iowa 127; Boise State 126; Arizona State 94; Oklahoma 77; West Virginia 46; LSU 30; Western Michigan 25; Memphis 23; Virginia Tech 20; UCLA 20; Auburn 18; Colorado 16; Minnesota 14; Navy 14; Wake Forest 9; Kansas State 6; Air Force 4; Toledo 4; Oregon 3; Maryland 2; Appalachian State 1; South Florida 1; Troy 1.

AL.com will update this story.

Auburn gains votes in coaches, AP polls after dramatic win against LSU

Auburn defeated LSU, 18-13, on Saturday night to improve to 2-2 on the year.

Cam Newton warms up for NFL game with Martin Luther King Jr. quote on his shirt

While protesters hoped to send a message outside of Bank of America Stadium before the Carolina Panthers hosted the Minnesota Vikings in an NFL game on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., quarterback Cam Newton wore a message inside the stadium.

While protesters hoped to send a message outside of Bank of America Stadium before the Carolina Panthers hosted the Minnesota Vikings in an NFL game on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., quarterback Cam Newton wore a message inside the stadium.

The Carolina QB warmed up wearing a shirt with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. on the back. The former Auburn star’s shirt read: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Charlotte has been the scene of protests both violent and peaceful since Tuesday, when Keith Lamont Scott was shot and killed by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer.

On Saturday night, police received information that protesters planned to block entrances to the stadium before Sunday’s game, including trying to prevent the two teams from entering. If that was the plan, it never came off, although there were protesters outside the stadium. Some locked arms and chanted; others huggedlaw-enforcement authorities.

protesters in front of Bank Of America Stadium #CharlotteProtest pic.twitter.com/SGVeDLVJ28

— Corey Epps (@Corey_T_Epps) September 25, 2016

Charlotte’s city manager declared the NFL game “an extraordinary event.” The designation lets the city “modify its permitting process for activities such as parades and specifies particular items that are prohibited from being brought into certain boundaries of the event.”

In addition to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police in riot gear, the perimeter of the stadium also had members of the State Highway Patrol and the National Guard on duty.

#BREAKING: Officers in riot gear mobilized outside Bank of America stadium for #MINvsCAR game. No current threats, as precaution #Charlotte pic.twitter.com/mmz7GXolAK

— Mark Davenport WBTV (@TheDavenReport) September 25, 2016

The game was scheduled to kick off at noon CDT Sunday.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OURNFL PAGE

Cam Newton warms up for NFL game with Martin Luther King Jr. quote on his shirt

While protesters hoped to send a message outside of Bank of America Stadium before the Carolina Panthers hosted the Minnesota Vikings in an NFL game on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C., quarterback Cam Newton wore a message inside the stadium.

Why Gus Malzahn ditched his signature visor look against LSU, and possibly for good

Malzahn sported an Auburn hat instead of his usual visor when Auburn hosted LSU on Saturday night.

Why Gus Malzahn ditched his signature visor look against LSU, and possibly for good

Malzahn sported an Auburn hat instead of his usual visor when Auburn hosted LSU on Saturday night.

Watch video

Forgive Gus Malzahn, at least if you’re legendary coach Steve Spurrier.

Malzahn spurned his signature visor look on Saturday night against LSU, instead opting for a white Auburn hat during his team’s thrilling and dramatic 18-13 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

The decision to buck his well-known look wasn’t explicitly Malzahn’s, either. The idea came from his family: his wife Kristi and his two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.

“My daughters said something about me wearing a visor,” Malzahn said. “I need to put on a hat because I’m getting bald, so I’m going to wear a hat from here on out.”

It was a lighthearted moment for the typically guarded Malzahn, and although it generated laughter during his postgame press conference, the fourth-year Auburn coach was being serious: The days of the visor are gone, making way for the hat.

The news will surely come as a disappointment to Spurrier, the former Florida and South Carolina coach whose penchant for wearing a visor on gamedays became part of his coaching legacy. Malzahn, who long admired Spurrier’s offensive coaching philosophy, began wearing the visor because of Spurrier, opting for the fashion statement during his days as a high school coach at Hughes High in Arkansas during the early 1990s.

From heartbreak to elation, Auburn survives chaotic final second against No. 18 LSU

On ESPN’s College GameDay show Saturday, Spurrier — along with former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer — were the guest pickers on set. When it came time to predict the winner of the Auburn-LSU game, Spurrier picked Auburn– all because Malzahn normally rocks the visor.

“I love Gus Malzahn,” Spurrier said on the broadcast. “He wears a visor.”

That news was relayed to Malzahn on Saturday night after he explained the reasoning for ditching the visor.

“Man, I got to apologize to him,” Malzahn saif. “It’s all my daughters; I mean, I got Kristi and my two girls who are on me. I saw a replay and it looked pretty bad so that’s the reason I’m going to wear a hat.”

Although Malzahn can be often found on the practice fields sporting a straw sun hat, gamedays belonged to the visor. He wore one every game up until last October, when he went without any head accessory as a way to honor Spurrier and help raise money for South Carolina flood victims, auctioning off the visor he would have worn against Kentuckyand donating all proceeds to relief efforts in South Carolina.

He returned to his traditional look the following week against Arkansas and kept it until Saturday. For now, the visor will remain tucked away in Malzahn’s wardrobe, perhaps with a return to be determined at a later date.

After all, he’s 1-0 while wearing a hat — a new custom that helped him revive another gameday tradition after the Tigers bucked a seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 opponents: a postgame trip to Waffle House with Kristi.

“We’re going to Waffle House, I promise you that,” Malzahn said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Toomer’s Corner tree fire: Photos capture arson that damaged Auburn’s iconic oak tree

One of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner in Auburn was set on fire following Auburn's win over LSU on Saturday. Police say they have one man in custody.

Toomer’s Corner tree fire: Photos capture arson that damaged Auburn’s iconic oak tree

One of the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn was set on fire following Auburn’s win over LSU on Saturday. Police say they have one man in custody.

Sean White says Auburn’s win the start of something big – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Sean White says Auburn's win the start of something big
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
AUBURN, Ala. — Sean White says Auburn's gut-check 18-13 victory over LSU on Saturday night was exactly the kind of game that will get the Tigers going. “It gives us confidence,” the quarterback said. Besides, White and his teammates were just …
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What current, former Auburn players are saying about LSU upset

Check out what the Tigers had to say on social media

What current, former Auburn players are saying about LSU upset

Check out what the Tigers had to say on social media

Several current and former Auburn Tigers took to social media after Saturday night’s 18-13 win over LSU.

Rewinding Auburn’s thrilling win over LSU

Check out AL.com’s social media roundup below.

Wide receiver Stanton Truitt:

[?] [?] pic.twitter.com/lde7M02j7v

— Stanton tru (@TRUitt_thaTRUth) September 25, 2016

Special teams coach Scott Fountain:

War Damn Eagle! pic.twitter.com/CX9MMQ6O2F

— Scott Fountain (@CoachSFountain) September 25, 2016

Running back Kerryon Johnson:

WAR DAMN EAGLEEEEEEEE TURN UP TURN TURN UP

— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) September 25, 2016

Running backs coach Tim Horton:

Nothing like that winning locker room with the @FootballAU RB’s! Blessed to be their coach! #WarEagle #WDE pic.twitter.com/EsNgAjzesE

— Tim Horton (@CoachTimHorton) September 25, 2016

Defensive back Nick Ruffin:

Nothing but blessings….

— nick ruffin (@nickruffin20) September 25, 2016

Defensive back Josh Holsey:

War damn great team win baby ! Letssss gooooooooo

— Josh Holsey (@HeyItsJholsey) September 25, 2016

Quarterback Tyler Queen:

Love this team and our fight! #WDE

— Tyler Queen (@TQueen_15) September 25, 2016
//

// ]]>

Quarterback Woody Barrett:

We got that Dubb !!!!

— WB1_SVGSZN (@WoodyB_1) September 25, 2016

Receiver Darius Slayton:

It just wouldn’t be auburn football without an almost heart attack am I right?

— Darius Slayton (@Young_Slay2) September 25, 2016

Linebackers coach Travis Williams:

WAR EAGLE!!!

— Coach T-Will (@T_WILL4REAL) September 25, 2016

Defensive back Marlon Character Jr.:

Yaaaaaaaaa

— Marlon Character Jr. (@riptrizzle) September 25, 2016
//

// ]]>

Defensive end Carl Lawson:

That was all god [?] [?]

A photo posted by Carl Lawson (@carllawson55) on Sep 24, 2016 at 8:27pm PDT

Defensive lineman Andrew Williams:

AUBURN FAMILY, THANK YOU! [?] #ThankYouGod #StupidD

A photo posted by Andrew Williams (@awillthejuiceman) on Sep 24, 2016 at 7:30pm PDT

Former quarterback Jason Campbell:

What a close one tonight! War eagle pic.twitter.com/9KOaANmuL7

— Jason Campbell (@JCam_17) September 25, 2016

Former running back Ronnie Brown:

A tradition like no other…Warrrrrrrrrr Eagle!!! https://t.co/HMvGMaKe8H

— Ronnie Brown (@ronnie23brown) September 25, 2016

Former kicker Al Del Greco:

Congrats Daniel Carlson!!!
I’m proud to share the record with you!!! #money #WDE!!!

— Al DelGreco (@delgreco3) September 25, 2016

Former linebacker Takeo Spikes:

I know you may hate this but I gotta do it since it’s been awhile ….#WarFingEagle #AuburnvsLSU

— Takeo Spikes (@TakeoSpikes51) September 25, 2016

Former quarterback Nick Marshall:

Great Team win 2nite guys! Now the journey starts all gas no brakes! Miss being on the Plains get goose bumps evrytime I watch my boys play.

— NMarshall41 (@NicMarshall7) September 25, 2016

Former defensive lineman Nosa Eguae:

Huge win for my brothers! So proud to be an Auburn Tiger!

— Nosa (@NosaE94) September 25, 2016

Former quarterback Brandon Cox:

00:01 comes through for us again! Incredible Defensive performance. Great win! #WDE

— Brandon Cox (@brandoncox712) September 25, 2016

Former receiver Quan Bray:

War dam!!!!! LSWho!?

— Quan Bray (@QuanBray) September 25, 2016

Former defensive lineman Sen’Derrick Marks:

Time ran out, illegal formation and QB pass the line, I was hoping they got that right #LSUvsAUB #wardamneagle

— Sen’Derrick Marks (@senmarks) September 25, 2016

Former offensive lineman Chad Slade:

What a game…. War Eagle!!! way to respond from last week staying positive one game at a time

— Chad Slade (@ChadSlade62) September 25, 2016

Former cornerback Jonathan Jones:

WAR DAMN EAGLE!!!

— J Jones (@Jonathan_Jones2) September 25, 2016

Former receiver Emory Blake:

War damn

— Emory Blake (@EB_TXmade) September 25, 2016

Ricardo Louis in line for larger role with Cleveland Browns

After Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns need another wide receiver to step up. It could be Ricardo Louis, a rookie from Auburn.

Ricardo Louis in line for larger role with Cleveland Browns

After Corey Coleman broke his hand in practice on Wednesday, the Cleveland Browns need another wide receiver to step up. It could be Ricardo Louis, a rookie from Auburn.

Rookie wide receiver Ricardo Louishasn’t caught a pass for the Cleveland Browns this season, but that could change on Sunday.

The Browns lost wide receiver Corey Coleman for four to six weeks when he suffered a broken hand during practice on Wednesday. Cleveland’s first-round draft choice in April, Coleman had caught two touchdown passes against the Baltimore Ravens last week.

In Cleveland’s two games this season, only three wide receivers had receptions – Coleman, Terrelle Pryor and Andrew Hawkins. Now the Browns are looking for a new No. 3 wide receiver for Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins.

“It could be (Rashard) Higgins, it could be Ricardo Louis, it could be Seth Davis, it could be a lot of different (players),” Cleveland coach Hue Jackson saidduring a press conference on Thursday. “It all depends on personnel packages and how we play.”

In each of the Browns’ games this season, Louis has played two offensive snaps and 16 special-teams plays. On Thursday, the former Auburnstandout told a group of reporters that he’d be ready for more action as a wide receiver on Sunday.

“That’s what I’ve been working on being a backup behind TP and some of the other receivers,” Louis said. “Just preparing every week like you’ll be the starter. You never know what can happen. It’s unfortunate Corey got hurt, but sometimes things like that happen. Stepping up is what we all have to do as a receiving corps now.”

Coleman isn’t the only injured player who’ll be missing for the Browns on Sunday. Quarterback Robert Griffin III was put on injured reserve after suffering a shoulder injury in the season opener, and his backup, Josh McCown, broke his collarbone in the second game.

That leaves Cleveland with Cody Kessler as its quarterback. Kessler was a third-round draft pick out of Southern Cal and Louis a fourth-round pick out of Auburn in April, so they’ve gotten a lot of work together, starting in rookie minicamp in May.

“Coming in, it was me and Kessler and the other rookies,” Louis said. “As time went on, we would stay after practice a lot throwing the ball around. I also got a lot of reps with Josh, as well, but mostly with Cody.”

Louis said he thought Kessler could do the job for the Browns.

“He is really good with the West Coast offense,” Louis said. “Short routes, throwing slants, getting the ball out of his hands quickly is one of the things he’s good at. I think that gives him a lot of confidence moving forward. Coach is telling us to help the quarterback out, we got to get open, catch the ball for him, make plays for him so he gets more confidence back there.”

Louis missed some time with an injury, too, during the preseason. But he said he had put the hamstring problem behind him.

“I was out for a little while,” Louis said. “But mentally I stayed into it. I stayed in the playbook. In practice, I’ll get mental reps to make sure I know what I have to do on a certain play so when I actually get a chance to come back and play, I won’t be messing up.”

Louis is likely to get more of a chance on Sunday, and so will several other Browns. For instance, defensive end Carl Nassib has a hand injury and center Cameron Erving has a bruised lung that will keep them out of Sunday’s game, opening a spots for another defensive lineman and offensive lineman on Sunday.

Offensive tackle Shon Coleman, a third-round draft pick out of Auburn in April, and defensive tackle Gabe Wright, another former Auburn player, might be active for the first time on game day in Cleveland because of the injuries.

Coleman has been among the Browns’ seven players designated as inactive on game day for both games. Wright was inactive last week after being called up from Cleveland’s practice squad. Wright played last season as a rookie with the Detroit Lions, but he was released at the end of the preseason.

“We have Gabe Wright, and we have some other guys who are there that have a chance,” Jackson said. “Some other guys, maybe their play reps may go up a little bit more than just promoting another guy. … There is going to be somebody that has to step up. It is the next-man-up mentality for our football team. We are not going to all of a sudden change it. I think we all know we are not going to go out and find a whole bunch of new players and put them on our team, whether it is offensively or defensively. I think our answers are in our building. These are the guys that have been with us the whole time.”

The Browns also signed former Auburn place-kicker Cody Parkey on Saturday after Cleveland place-kicker Patrick Murray suffered a knee injury at practice on Friday.

With outside linebacker Corey Lemonier also a Brown, Cleveland has five former Auburn players on its roster.

The Browns and the Dolphins kick off at noon CDT Sunday.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE NFL, GO TO OURNFL PAGE

Watch Toomer’s Corner live cams day after Auburn tree set on fire following win over LSU

As of 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning, there were still small flames in the tree.

Watch Toomer’s Corner live cams day after Auburn tree set on fire following win over LSU

As of 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning, there were still small flames in the tree.

Watch video

After Auburn University’s 18-13 win over Louisiana State University on Saturday, one of the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner was set on fire.

Surveillance footage appears to show a man walk up to the tree on W. Magnolia Ave.and set some of the toilet paper hanging from it on fire.

While the fire department arrived and extinguished the flames, there were still embers in the tree as of 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Auburn began lettingfans to roll the new oak trees, which wereplantedlast year,at the start of the 2016season after the original oaks werepoisoned in 2011.

According to Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs, Auburn police have one person in custody.

AL.com is awaiting comment from Auburn police and an Auburn University spokesperson. This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Auburn Tailgate of the Week: Fans enjoy good food, fun decor on gameday

When it comes to tailgating, there’s a lot that goes into putting together the perfect setup. Whether it’s good good, lots of decorations or just gathering a crowd, plenty of Auburn fans have made tailgating an art form.

Auburn Tailgate of the Week: Fans enjoy good food, fun decor on gameday

When it comes to tailgating, there's a lot that goes into putting together the perfect setup. Whether it's good good, lots of decorations or just gathering a crowd, plenty of Auburn fans have made tailgating an art form.

Grading Auburn’s 18-13 win against No. 18 LSU

See how AL.com graded Auburn’s first SEC win of the season.

Grading Auburn’s 18-13 win against No. 18 LSU

See how AL.com graded Auburn's first SEC win of the season.

Auburn got back on track Saturday night against No. 18 LSU. Gus Malzahn’s team knocked off LSU, 18-13, surviving a chaotic final second to snap a seven-game home losing streak to Power 5 teams.

It was a dramatic, if not always pretty, win that Malzahn said his team “needed” after finishing a four-game opening stretch that included matchups with three top-20 teams. It could also be the type of win to help Auburn turn things around heading into the remainder of the schedule.

With that in mind, here’s how AL.com graded Auburn’s performance against LSU on Saturday.

OFFENSE: C

Rhett Lashlee assumed play-calling duties for Auburn, with Malzahn taking less of a hands-on approach to coaching. The results were mixed for Auburn’s offense. The Tigers totaled 388 yards and Malzahn said quarterback Sean White appeared to play one of his best games in an Auburn uniform while completing 19 of 26 passes for 234 yards.

Still, Auburn’s offense failed to find the end zone on the night, instead stalling inside the red zone. Auburn had six red-zone trips and came away with five field goals.

On the other hand, Kerryon Johnson ran with purpose while leading the team with 93 rushing yards and 68 receiving yards. The offensive line, despite giving up three sacks, kept Auburn from facing unfavorable down-and-distance scenarios and seemed to take a step forward following last week’s effort against Texas A&M.

DEFENSE: B+

Really, anything would have been an improvement against LSU after last season’s debacle in Baton Rouge, when LSU running back Leonard Fournette ran roughshod through Auburn’s defense to the tune of 228 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters of play. This time around, Auburn limited Fournette to just 101 yards and no touchdowns on 16 carries, though LSU did amass 220 total yards on the ground while averaging 6.9 yards per carry.

That was OK, though, because the defense made LSU’s passing game a non-factor for the most part. Danny Etling completed just 15 of 27 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. He also accounted for LSU’s only turnover of the game — a fourth-quarter fumble on a botched handoff attempt — and was sacked three times while also getting pressured seven times on the night.

Auburn held LSU to just 4 of 13 on third-down conversion attempts and also gave up just one touchdown in five red-zone trips.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A+

Where would Auburn be without Daniel Carlson? Well, likely facing a 1-3 record, for starters.

Carlson was Auburn’s player of the game against LSU, connecting on all six of his field goal attempts and accounting for all 18 of Auburn’s points on Saturday. Carlson’s six field goals tied a school record set by Al Del Greco in 1982 against Kentucky and came from 51, 29, 29, 31, 37 and 29 yards. Carlson improved to 12 for 12 on the season on field goal attempts

Carlson also had all seven kickoffs go for touchbacks. Punter Kevin Phillips, meanwhile, averaged 40 yards on three punt attempts while placing one of them inside the 20-yard line.

Karlos Dansby still going strong in 13th NFL season

Former Auburn standout Karlos Dansby is the Cincinnati Bengals’ leading tackler two games into his 13th NFL season.

Karlos Dansby still going strong in 13th NFL season

Former Auburn standout Karlos Dansby is the Cincinnati Bengals' leading tackler two games into his 13th NFL season.

In Karlos Dansby’s previous game against the Denver Broncos, the former Auburnstandout picked off quarterback Peyton Manning twice and returned one of the interceptions for a touchdownfor the Cleveland Browns.

That game was played only 11 months ago, but Manning is no longer the Denver quarterback, retiring after helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50, and Dansby is no longer a Brown. But the linebacker is still playing — now in his 13th season — and leads his new team, the Cincinnati Bengals, in tackles in each of their first two games.

The Bengals host the Broncos on Sunday, with the game kicking off at noon CDT.

If Dansby can get another interception against Denver, he’ll become the fifth player in NFL history with 20 interceptions and 40 sacks, joining Seth Joyner, Ray Lewis, Wilber Marshall and Brian Urlacher. Dansby also is tied with Bobby Bell and Derrick Brooks for the most interceptions returned for touchdowns by a linebacker with six.

“People want to know why I still play this game, and it’s because I want to be the best to ever do it — the best,” Dansby toldKatherine Terrell of ESPN. “And once I get this one interception, and if I score with it, I’m putting myself in that conversation. And I can’t be taken out of that conversation because you can’t take those plays away from me.”

Dansby will turn 35 on Nov. 3, but the former Woodlawn High School wide receiver played all 71 defensive snaps in the Bengals’ 23-22 season-opening win over the New York Jets on Sept. 11 and played 58 of the 74 defensive snaps in last week’s 24-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“The stigma of it — I’m breaking all of that,” Dansby said. “I’m breaking all barriers. People say, ‘Oh, old linebackers can’t play.’ But they see me moving, getting to the ball, making tackles in space, doing things that I’ve been doing since I’ve been in the league.”

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With his two games this season, Dansby moved into the top 10 for NFL games among Auburn alumni. With 182 games, he passed former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Dave Edwards, who held the 10th spot with 181 games.

Place-kicker Al Del Greco is the former Auburn player with the most NFL games at 248. The position player with the most NFL games is fullback Tony Richardson with 234. The players between Richardson and Dansby are Kevin Greene, Takeo Spikes, Wayne Gandy, Ed West, Chris Gray, Willie Anderson and Frank Warren. If Dansby plays in every game this season, he’ll move up two more spots on the list.

Oak tree at Toomer’s Corner set on fire after Auburn win – ESPN

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Oak tree at Toomer's Corner set on fire after Auburn win
ESPN
Auburn fans haven't had many opportunities to roll the new oak trees at Toomer's Corner after big wins. They didn't let a little fire stop them on Saturday after an 18-13 upset of No. 18 LSU. Auburn's win on Saturday was its first in its past eight …

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GameDay Final: Ending September with a sinking feeling – ESPN

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GameDay Final: Ending September with a sinking feeling
ESPN
The month of September rarely defines a college football season. If it did, Kenny Hill would have a Heisman Trophy and Baylor and Oregon would have a few national championship trophies. But it's sure starting to feel like this September had more …

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Oak tree at Toomer’s Corner set on fire after Auburn win over LSU, suspect arrested

One of the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner was set on fire following Auburn’s win over LSU on Saturday.

Oak tree at Toomer’s Corner set on fire after Auburn win over LSU

One of the oak trees at Toomer's Corner was set on fire following Auburn's win over LSU on Saturday.

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One of the oak trees at Toomer’s Corner was set on fire following Auburn’s win over LSU on Saturday.

Surveillance footage appears to show a man walk up to the oak tree on W. Magnolia Ave., which had to be replanted during the remodeling process that started in 2015, and set some of the toilet paper hanging from it on fire.

At 13-14 seconds, the guy walks up to the right tree, lights the left side of the toilet paper and walks away. Piece of trash. pic.twitter.com/L40AktdLwy

— Austin Scott (@austingscott) September 25, 2016

Someone inadvertently set the one of the Toomer’s Oaks on fire. It’s out now, but all the toilet paper is burned off pic.twitter.com/0cSGRUBEFZ

— Sam Butler (@_sam_butler) September 25, 2016

The fire department has arrived and extinguished the fire.

Auburn began allowing fans to roll the new oak trees, which were planted at Toomer’s Corner in 2015, at the start of this season after suspending the tradition in 2013 due to the original oaks being poisoned in 2011.

Fans rolled the new trees for the first timefollowing Auburn’s win over Arkansas State on Sept. 10.

AL.com will update this story.

With a bit of luck, Auburn QB Sean White delivers ‘outstanding game’ against LSU

White didn't throw any touchdowns Saturday night, but was a stellar 19-for-26 through the air for 234 yards.

Prior to taking the field against LSU Saturday night, Auburn quarterback Sean White received a bit of good luck from former Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan.

“He said, ‘Before you go out there, you put a penny in your sock,” White said. “Put a penny in your sock and it will give you that little bit of luck that you need, whenever you need it,'” White said. “I said, ‘All right.’ I’m going to listen to Pat Sullivan, he won the Heisman. So I went and got a penny, put it in my sock.”

Three and a half hours later, Auburn was celebrating its first Southeastern Conference win of the season, a thrilling 18-13 victory over No. 18 LSU.

The homestandingTigers needed every bit of luck they could get as the game came down to the final play. It appeared LSU had won the game on a last-second touchdown pass, but officials reviewed the tape and determined the Bayou Bengals failed to get the snap off in time.

“After the game I was like, ‘Wow,'” White said. “Not that I’m a superstitious guy, but it’s kind of weird that it was that close. I don’t know what it is. It was good to win and I’m happy.”

White didn’t throw any touchdowns Saturday night, but was a stellar 19-for-26 through the air for 234 yards. His 148.7 quarterback rating was a career high against an SEC opponent. Overall, Whitejust looked more comfortable in the pocket than he did in Auburn’s losses to Clemson and Texas A&M this month.

With offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee calling the plays, Auburn showed lots of confidence in White. Lashlee allowed him to open up the playbookand throw the ball downfield. Lashlee only brought Whiteoff the field once in favor of second-string quarterback John Franklin III, who played the majority of the fourth quarter last weekend against the Aggies.

“Sean White I thought played an outstanding game,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said after the game. “He’s a tough guy. I thought he made some good throws. He got hit a couple times, he really got hit a couple times. I thought he managed the game well.”

Rewind: Auburn 18, LSU 13

White completed five passes of 20 or more yards Saturday. His longest passes of the night both went for 36 yards, one to Darius Slayton and one to Kerryon Johnson. He threw a pair of end zone passes to Tony Stevens, but LSU star cornerback Tre’Davious White broke up one and Stevens dropped the other at the 1-yard line. Johnson led the team in receiving with four catches for 68 yards followed by Stevens’ four receptions for 58 yards.

Unable to reach the end zone, Auburn had to rely on Daniel Carlson’s six field goals to get the win.

“Very, very frustrating,” White said. “I mean, you can imagine. What’s most important is we got the win, but yes, we are going to have to correct that in the red zone. We have to get better in the red zone and turn some of those field goals into touchdowns, there’s no doubt.”

‘Best kicker in college football’ lifts Auburn in upset

All in all, White feels Auburn’s win Saturday night was “huge” and gave the team the boost it needs to carry on after starting 1-2.

“It finally feels like we got a monkey off our back a little bit and (it) starts the momentum and gets us going,” he said. “All the negativity and stuff — when you’re 1-2, nobody’s going to be like, ‘You guys are awesome,’ and that’s understandable. It helps to get a win going. We are a good team, we just lost a couple close games to some really good teams. Once we get rolling we’ll get tough to beat.”

Auburn now turns its attention to next Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe. Then its off to Starkville the following week for the first road trip of the season at Mississippi State — and you can bet White will have that same penny in his sock.

“Oh I’m keeping it,” said White, who put the cent in his bag before meeting the media. “I made sure.”

With some good luck in his sock, Auburn’s Sean White delivers against LSU

White didn’t throw any touchdowns Saturday night, but was a stellar 19-for-26 through the air for 234 yards.

Auburn lost and then Auburn won, but let’s not rewrite history

Auburn won a game it lost, and no one had ever really seen anything like that. No one really knew it was possible, even, so people stuck around to maybe see what would happen next. Would there be another surprise on a night filled with enough for one season? Yes, there was one more unexpected moment.

They didn’t want to leave. It was long over in Auburn — the time running out on LSU coach Les Miles literally, and maybe figuratively, too — and the fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium just lingered and bathed in their own sweaty euphoria.

Auburn won a game it lost on Sept. 24, 2016, and no one had ever really seen anything like that. No one really knew it was possible, even, so people stuck around to maybe see what would happen next. Would there be another surprise on a night filled with enough for one season?

Yes, there was one more unexpected moment. They cheered Auburn coach Gus Malzahn as he left the field. Earlier in the week, many of those same fans probably wanted Malzahn gone. Gone as in fired. Instead, they serenaded him with love.

“I just want to thank the Auburn family,” Malzahn said afterwards, during his post-game news conference.

They cheered him and he just smiled and waved and walked through the tunnel. Being an Auburn coach these days is a weird existence. Auburn didn’t believe in Auburn before this game. Will they now? Who’s to say for sure, or even if it matters?

It was Malzahn’s first home victory against an SEC opponent since October 2014. Previously, as in one week ago, Auburn lost to Texas A&M because the Tigers’ offense couldn’t move the ball in the second half. This time, quarterback Sean White, running back Kerryon Johnson and Auburn’s offensive line did just enough to give their defense and field-goal kicker a chance to win it.

“It’s been a tough week, and it’s just a tribute to our leadership and our seniors I’ve been talking so much about,” Malzahn said.

Led by those seniors, Auburn’s football team did something truly extraordinary against an LSU team many thought would compete for a national title this season. Auburn won a game without scoring a touchdown against an opponent with running back Leonard Fournette in the backfield. Think about the ramifications of that. Think about what that means for Auburn, and now think about what that means for LSU’s Miles.

Everyone remembers what Fournette did to Auburn last season — reminder: he crushed Auburn’s soul — so it made this first SEC victory of the season more meaningful for both teams. Good for Auburn; terrible for LSU.

Every time it seemed like Fournette would break the big one, there was an Auburn defender diving and tripping up his ankles and giving hope to a team that wanted to believe.

“Sometimes it’s the way you win that has a long-lasting impression,” Malzahn said.

Tray Matthews believed.

There was Matthews with 1:40 left in the game, spying Fournette out of the backfield, and tackling LSU’s talented ball carrier to the ground as soon as he caught a pass. Fournette sent Matthews helicoptering to earth last season in the lowlight of all lowlights for Auburn’s defense. Matthews went high, and Fournette went low, and Matthews went flying.

This time, Fournette went down hard against Matthews and finished the game with an injured ankle and only 101 rushing yards. Last season, he had three touchdowns and a career-high 228 rushing yards against Auburn. On Saturday, Matthews led the Tigers with nine tackles.

“We can just keep going on and keep getting better,” Matthews said.

Defensive lineman Carl Lawson also believed in Auburn.

The double nickels on the front of his No.55 jersey slammed into LSU quarterback Danny Etling for a sack with 24 seconds to go and put the road Tigers on the Auburn 20 facing third and 16. Malzahn called it the play of the game. Lawson had two sacks on the night, and many more quarterback hurries.

“God delivers on time,” Lawson said. “We’ve been praying for this.”

Senior defensive back Joshua Holsey believed in Auburn.

Holsey made the final two tackles of the game — the first to take down LSU receiver Malachi Dupre with time greedily ticking away, and the second against LSU receiver Travin Dural to deny Dural the end zone, and, after LSU’s touchdown was disallowed, deny LSU for good and all.

“We threw the ball, and caught it in the end zone, and we did everything our kids could do,” Miles said. “I don’t know if I’ve come as close to winning a game and finishing second.”

Miles will be a lonely man now. Earlier in the week, Malzahn was the man without a country, and he reminded everyone of that after a gritty game of defiant football.

“I told you we were close,” Malzahn said. “I knew that we were close.”

The scoreboard said LSU 19, Auburn 18, and LSU rushed the field. Then it said Auburn 18, LSU 13 and that was that. Time ran out.

Double zeros for Auburn’s defensive heroes.

“When you saw the replay, it was obvious,” Malzahn said.

Nothing was obvious about this game, of course, and it would be reactionary to call this the wellspring of something important and profound. But it was certainly a respite in the SEC storm that all teams experience, and it was also perhaps an indictment of Auburn’s self-loathing just a few games into the season. Auburn doesn’t have a quarterback to take it to the national championship or a New Year’s Day bowl, but the Tigers do possess a team that can make the postseason.

And if it’s deep, ponderous words of reflection that are needed after such a raw and emotional ending, then maybe the message at halftime will work. Not the coach’s message, mind you, but the gospel choir that performed alongside the marching band. The choir was preaching hope before anyone was listening.

“Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters” they sang, in shimmering robes, on a hot night in Jordan-Hare Stadium that felt like a four-hour referendum on faith and football and the importance of proper hydration.

Auburn didn’t believe in Auburn before this game. Sorry, Auburn. Y’all didn’t. Someone did, but it wasn’t Auburn’s fans.

By halftime, though, the flock was professing its sins — “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,” sang the choir — and by the fourth quarter, everyone was singing a familiar incantation in unison.

Led by the band, the stadium belted out together Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” before the home team’s kickoff after taking a 15-13 lead.

Some probably still do not believe because if you want to look for reasons to doubt and distrust, those reasons are still there. But Auburn’s players’ believe, and sometimes that’s all it takes to get to six wins.

Joseph Goodman is a senior reporter and columnist for Alabama Media Group. He’s on Twitter @JoeGoodmanJr.

Auburn lost and then Auburn won, but let’s not rewrite history

Auburn won a game it lost, and no one had ever really seen anything like that. No one really knew it was possible, even, so people stuck around to maybe see what would happen next. Would there be another surprise on a night filled with enough for one season? Yes, there was one more unexpected moment.

AUBURNTIGERS.COM Time’s on Auburn’s side: Tigers celebrate … – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

AUBURNTIGERS.COM Time's on Auburn's side: Tigers celebrate …
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
The Official Athletic Site of the Auburn University – ''That was probably the most intense moment I've ever had in my life, said linebacker Deshaun Davis after…

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Postgame Report: Auburn vs LSU

Auburn managed to come away with a win against LSU despite never scoring a touchdown. WasRhett Lashlee’s playcalling on offense an improvement over what we’ve seen from the Tigers so far this season? What does this win do for Gus Malzahn and his program? Matt Scalici and Lauren Sisler break it all down in our postgame report.

Auburn managed to come away with a win against LSU despite never scoring a touchdown. WasRhett Lashlee’s playcalling on offense an improvement over what we’ve seen from the Tigers so far this season? What does this win do for Gus Malzahn and his program? Matt Scalici and Lauren Sisler break it all down in our postgame report.

Postgame Report: Auburn vs LSU

Auburn managed to come away with a win against LSU despite never scoring a touchdown. WasRhett Lashlee’s playcalling on offense an improvement over what we’ve seen from the Tigers so far this season? What does this win do for Gus…

What Les Miles, LSU players said after losing to Auburn

Check out what LSU coach Les Miles and players had to say following Saturday’s last-second loss to Auburn.

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