Kerryon Johnson takes his turn atop RB depth chart, scores 5 touchdowns at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Auburn has two star running backs, but Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson have yet to form a backfield tandem this season.

What Missouri coach Barry Odom said after losing to No. 15 Auburn

Missouri head coach Barry Odom went on a long rant about the state of his program after a 51-14 loss to Auburn on Saturday night.

No. 15 Auburn hammered Missouri, 51-14, on Saturday night at Faurot Field.

The loss dropped Missouri to 1-3 on the year and 0-2 in SEC play, and it prompted a rant from Missouri coach Barry Odom about the state of his program. Below is a full transcript of Odom’s postgame comments.

Barry Odom’s opening statement…

“Get your pens ready, microphones on and let’s talk real life and where we’re at, alright? I want to get one thing real straight: I’m going to win here and that’s going to happen. We will win. This is a turnaround. Any way you want to slice it or dice it or want to look at it, this is a turnaround process. And unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I’m built for this because I’ve been in a whole heck of a lot of them in my entire life. I want to go back to the year 1997-98 when Larry Smith was here. His ass went and fought for 14 years and finally broke down the wall. He did it. There’s a lot of people that went and sacrificed and did a lot of things to get that turned around, but I was a part of it. I was in the locker room. I saw it. I was their captain. I know what it takes.

“Fast forward to 2004, everybody wanted to run Gary Pinkel out of town. That’s pretty damn foolish, because all he’s done is become the winningest coach in program history. It was a turnaround. It took time. That’s where we’re at. It’s a turnaround. I don’t like it. I want to win right now, but that’s not the hand I’m given. We’re doing a lot of really good things in this program, our kids are working extremely hard, we’re not winning games yet, but we will. I’m the man to go get it done with this staff, with this team, with this program. There’s not anybody left standing after 2015. Alright? I am. I know what it takes.

“You talk about dark days? I heard that over here walking across the street. I’ve seen a damn dark day. July 12, 2005. Aaron O’Neal. That’s a dark day. This ain’t dark days. This is when the going gets tough, you build them together, you fight together and you go find a way to get it done. That’s where we’re at. It’s part of a turnaround process that’s not going to be easy. Our team knows that. I know that. Our program knows that. But I got a guy that’s the third-team left tackle from Rockridge High School that’s got a Twitter account with 12 followers and he wants to put out how terrible we are. Alright? That’s the way this society is, that we go and we read it and we think, ‘Oh my gosh, Missouri football is — we’re this and we’re that.’ We haven’t won yet, but I got a group of guys that went over to the hospital yesterday and took care of a kid. I’m building the future for this football team and this program and our kids’ lives, that they’re going to go be successful in the next 40 years of their life. They’re going to have adversity in their life, and they’re going to go back to this one and how they respond, so I’m good.

“I got a platform to be able to be able to go build it. I know what I got in this locker room, so we’re going to win. That’s going to happen. I want to fast forward a little bit longer, 2012, went to Memphis. Maybe the, historically, at that point was the worst program in the country. Alright, 2012 we won four games. Alright, 2013 we were a hell of a lot better, but we won three games, so everybody thought ‘they went backwards,’ but we didn’t go backwards; we were better in a lot of spots. And then 2014 we were lined up and we won 10 games, won our bowl game, won a conference championship and at the end of the year there wasn’t anybody in the damn country that wanted to play our ass. I guarantee it, because we were playing the way you’re supposed to go play. It was a turnaround. Justin Fuente did it. I was a part of it.

“Then fast forward to 2015. That was a tough year. That built me for who I am today. That built our program. We’re going to get there. That’s the narrative. That’s the turnaround. That’s the state of our program. I’m disappointed, I’m frustrated — all of the above, but I’m right where I want to be, building this team with a whole bunch of guys that want to go do it the right way — the right way in every aspect of our organization. That’s about all I got.”

Tom Green is the Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

What Missouri coach Barry Odom said after losing to No. 15 Auburn

Missouri head coach Barry Odom went on a long rant about the state of his program after a 51-14 loss to Auburn on Saturday night.

No. 15 Auburn hammered Missouri, 51-14, on Saturday night at Faurot Field.

The loss dropped Missouri to 1-3 on the year and 0-2 in SEC play, and it prompted a rant from Missouri coach Barry Odom about the state of his program. Below is a full transcript of Odom’s postgame comments.

Barry Odom’s opening statement…

“Get your pens ready, microphones on and let’s talk real life and where we’re at, alright? I want to get one thing real straight: I’m going to win here and that’s going to happen. We will win. This is a turnaround. Any way you want to slice it or dice it or want to look at it, this is a turnaround process. And unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, I’m built for this because I’ve been in a whole heck of a lot of them in my entire life. I want to go back to the year 1997-98 when Larry Smith was here. His ass went and fought for 14 years and finally broke down the wall. He did it. There’s a lot of people that went and sacrificed and did a lot of things to get that turned around, but I was a part of it. I was in the locker room. I saw it. I was their captain. I know what it takes.

“Fast forward to 2004, everybody wanted to run Gary Pinkel out of town. That’s pretty damn foolish, because all he’s done is become the winningest coach in program history. It was a turnaround. It took time. That’s where we’re at. It’s a turnaround. I don’t like it. I want to win right now, but that’s not the hand I’m given. We’re doing a lot of really good things in this program, our kids are working extremely hard, we’re not winning games yet, but we will. I’m the man to go get it done with this staff, with this team, with this program. There’s not anybody left standing after 2015. Alright? I am. I know what it takes.

“You talk about dark days? I heard that over here walking across the street. I’ve seen a damn dark day. July 12, 2005. Aaron O’Neal. That’s a dark day. This ain’t dark days. This is when the going gets tough, you build them together, you fight together and you go find a way to get it done. That’s where we’re at. It’s part of a turnaround process that’s not going to be easy. Our team knows that. I know that. Our program knows that. But I got a guy that’s the third-team left tackle from Rockridge High School that’s got a Twitter account with 12 followers and he wants to put out how terrible we are. Alright? That’s the way this society is, that we go and we read it and we think, ‘Oh my gosh, Missouri football is — we’re this and we’re that.’ We haven’t won yet, but I got a group of guys that went over to the hospital yesterday and took care of a kid. I’m building the future for this football team and this program and our kids’ lives, that they’re going to go be successful in the next 40 years of their life. They’re going to have adversity in their life, and they’re going to go back to this one and how they respond, so I’m good.

“I got a platform to be able to be able to go build it. I know what I got in this locker room, so we’re going to win. That’s going to happen. I want to fast forward a little bit longer, 2012, went to Memphis. Maybe the, historically, at that point was the worst program in the country. Alright, 2012 we won four games. Alright, 2013 we were a hell of a lot better, but we won three games, so everybody thought ‘they went backwards,’ but we didn’t go backwards; we were better in a lot of spots. And then 2014 we were lined up and we won 10 games, won our bowl game, won a conference championship and at the end of the year there wasn’t anybody in the damn country that wanted to play our ass. I guarantee it, because we were playing the way you’re supposed to go play. It was a turnaround. Justin Fuente did it. I was a part of it.

“Then fast forward to 2015. That was a tough year. That built me for who I am today. That built our program. We’re going to get there. That’s the narrative. That’s the turnaround. That’s the state of our program. I’m disappointed, I’m frustrated — all of the above, but I’m right where I want to be, building this team with a whole bunch of guys that want to go do it the right way — the right way in every aspect of our organization. That’s about all I got.”

Watch Odom’s remarks in the below video, courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

 

Tom Green is the Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

What Missouri coach Barry Odom said after losing to No. 15 Auburn

Missouri head coach Barry Odom went on a long rant about the state of his program after a 51-14 loss to Auburn on Saturday night.

Auburn completes 3 deepest passes of season in beatdown of Missouri

Jarrett Stidham completed three passes of 40-plus yards in Auburn's 51-14 win over Missouri

Deep passes were a point of emphasis for Auburn all week heading into SEC play and it showed from the opening play against Missouri.

Jarrett Stidham’s 58-yard pass to Kyle Davis on Auburn’s opening offense play setup the first of six touchdowns and was the one of three passes over 40 yards in a 51-14 beatdown of Missouri before an announced crowd of 54,574 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia on Saturday.

It was a career-long reception for Davis and the longest pass play of the season for No. 15 Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC), which was one of 12 teams without a 40-yard pass entering Saturday with a long pass of just 38 yards.

“We got off to a fast start,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We really talked about that being important. … It makes all the difference in the world. When you can (complete long passes) it opens everything else up and you can really call your complete offense.

“I thought (offensive coordinator) Chip (Lindsey) did an outstanding job tonight with his game plan, with the balance, with the different things with the misdirection and everything.”

Stidham (13 for 17 for 218 yards with a touchdown and five carries for 35 yards) added another long shot early in the second quarter to Will Hastings and a long score to Nate Craig-Myers in the third.

On first-and-10 from the Auburn 37-yard line, Stidham took aim for Hastings down the middle on the second play of the second quarter. Hastings camped underneath it for 46 yards, the longest of his career.

“We practiced it all week,” Hastings said. “(I) went inside a little bit and faked it like I was going outside and turned the guy around. For a second I thought Jarrett was scrambling so I slowed down and then the ball came out and had to slow down for a little bit but it was a good play overall. … We really worked on the deep ball this week.

“We wanted to show that we could do it. Coach Lindsey had a great plan for it and we prepared a lot for it.”

Stidham said the ball slipped out of his hands on the play, which led to Kerryon Johnson’s third of five rushing scores three plays later.

“No excuse, I’m really mad at myself for it, but (Hastings) ran a great route,” Stidham said. “Should’ve put it on him, obviously better.”

With the game well in hand, Stidham added a 57-yard strike to Craig-Myers on the opening play of a drive with 9:21 to go in the third quarter to make it 45-7.

It was a career long reception for Craig-Myers and his second career touchdown.

“We set it up perfectly throughout the entire game,” Stidham said. “We knew exactly what they were going to do and sure enough, (Craig-Myers) got behind that safety so it worked out.”

Stidham attributed the difference in being able to deliver in the vertical passing game to execution.

“There was plenty of time throughout the first three games that we’ve had that we just didn’t execute well on the deep ball,” he said. “But today it worked out for us and we got some big plays.”

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

Auburn completes 3 deepest passes of season in beatdown of Missouri

Jarrett Stidham completed three passes of 40-plus yards in Auburn's 51-14 win over Missouri

Deep passes were a point of emphasis for Auburn all week heading into SEC play and it showed from the opening play against Missouri.

Jarrett Stidham’s 58-yard pass to Kyle Davis on Auburn’s opening offense play setup the first of six touchdowns and was the one of three passes over 40 yards in a 51-14 beatdown of Missouri before an announced crowd of 54,574 at Memorial Stadium in Columbia on Saturday.

It was a career-long reception for Davis and the longest pass play of the season for No. 15 Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC), which was one of 12 teams without a 40-yard pass entering Saturday with a long pass of just 38 yards.

“We got off to a fast start,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “We really talked about that being important. … It makes all the difference in the world. When you can (complete long passes) it opens everything else up and you can really call your complete offense.

“I thought (offensive coordinator) Chip (Lindsey) did an outstanding job tonight with his game plan, with the balance, with the different things with the misdirection and everything.”

Stidham (13 for 17 for 218 yards with a touchdown and five carries for 35 yards) added another long shot early in the second quarter to Will Hastings and a long score to Nate Craig-Myers in the third.

On first-and-10 from the Auburn 37-yard line, Stidham took aim for Hastings down the middle on the second play of the second quarter. Hastings camped underneath it for 46 yards, the longest of his career.

“We practiced it all week,” Hastings said. “(I) went inside a little bit and faked it like I was going outside and turned the guy around. For a second I thought Jarrett was scrambling so I slowed down and then the ball came out and had to slow down for a little bit but it was a good play overall. … We really worked on the deep ball this week.

“We wanted to show that we could do it. Coach Lindsey had a great plan for it and we prepared a lot for it.”

Stidham said the ball slipped out of his hands on the play, which led to Kerryon Johnson’s third of five rushing scores three plays later.

“No excuse, I’m really mad at myself for it, but (Hastings) ran a great route,” Stidham said. “Should’ve put it on him, obviously better.”

With the game well in hand, Stidham added a 57-yard strike to Craig-Myers on the opening play of a drive with 9:21 to go in the third quarter to make it 45-7.

It was a career long reception for Craig-Myers and his second career touchdown.

“We set it up perfectly throughout the entire game,” Stidham said. “We knew exactly what they were going to do and sure enough, (Craig-Myers) got behind that safety so it worked out.”

Stidham attributed the difference in being able to deliver in the vertical passing game to execution.

“There was plenty of time throughout the first three games that we’ve had that we just didn’t execute well on the deep ball,” he said. “But today it worked out for us and we got some big plays.”

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

Auburn completes 3 deepest passes of season in beatdown of Missouri

Jarrett Stidham completed three passes of 40-plus yards in Auburn’s 51-14 win over Missouri

Auburn forces 4 turnovers at Missouri a week after surrendering 5 to Mercer

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Like everyone else on the field, Marlon Davidson thought the play was over. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock had just thrown an incomplete pass on third-and-5, so Auburn’s sophomore defensive end started heading toward the sideline.

Kam Martin gets 1st carries since Week 1 as Auburn flexes running back depth vs. Missouri

After relying exclusively on Kamryn Pettway the last two weeks, Auburn flexed some of its running back depth against Missouri as Kam Martin reemerged in the gameplan.

Kam Martin gets 1st carries since Week 1 as Auburn flexes running back depth vs. Missouri

After relying exclusively on Kamryn Pettway the last two weeks, Auburn flexed some of its running back depth against Missouri as Kam Martin reemerged in the gameplan.

Watch video

Kam Martin waited three weeks for his opportunity, and the Auburn sophomore running back made the most of it against Missouri.

After failing to record a carry in each of Auburn’s last two games, Martin reemerged as a factor in Auburn’s rushing game during the team’s SEC-opening 51-14 win against Missouri on Saturday night. Martin led all players with 74 rushing yards, doing it on nine carries while complementing Kerryon Johnson at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Mo.

“Kam’s a baller, man,” said Johnson, who rushed for five touchdowns on the night. “Kam’s a guy that’s been patient. He’ll continue to be patient. He’s a selfless guy. He comes to work every day and shoulders the load.”

The nine carries were Martin’s first since carrying the ball 14 times for 136 yards and a touchdown in Auburn’s season-opening win against Georgia Southern. Prior to Saturday’s win, the 5-foot-10, 182-pounder was a nonfactor against Clemson and Mercer as Auburn relied exclusively on Kamryn Pettway out of the backfield during those two games.

Instant analysis of No. 15 Auburn’s dismantling of Missouri

Over that stretch, Martin rarely saw the field and recorded just one 5-yard reception, which came in the loss at Clemson on Sept. 9.

Over the last couple of weeks, Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey danced around the subject when asked about Martin’s lack of involvement in the gameplan. Both cited the flow of the game against Clemson and Mercer for the main reason Martin didn’t get any carries, while Lindsey said in the Clemson game that Auburn wanted to go with a more sizable back against a bigger defense.

“We have confidence in Kam Martin,” Malzahn said Saturday. “I just think last week, we stuck with Pettway.”

Saturday saw a different approach, as Auburn relied on a stable of running backs with Pettway dressed out but sidelined with a left ankle injury against Missouri. While Johnson stole the show with his five-touchdown performance — which tied for the most single-game rushing touchdowns in the FBS this season — Auburn also used Martin, freshman Devan Barrett and redshirt freshman Malik Miller in the blowout.

Barrett finished with just one carry for no gain, while Malik Miller added nine carries for 40 yards, including a long of 9 yards. It was his first action since the Georgia Southern game as well.

“We talked about having quality depth at the running back position,” Malzahn said. “I thought Malik Miller made some good runs late, too.”

Martin, however, was Auburn’s most effective running back against Missouri as the team totaled 263 rushing yards and averaging nearly 5 yards per carry in its best rushing performance since the opening week of the season.

Martin had Auburn’s longest run of the game, a 47-yarder on a buck sweep to the left side late in the first half, and provided a refreshing change of pace for Johnson, who averaged just 2.7 yards on his 18 carries. In all, it marked Martin’s most substantial role to date against a Power 5 team, with his previous best — seven carries for 80 yards and a touchdown — coming late in last season’s 56-3 blowout of Arkansas.

“When you see him out there, you see things pan out for him and the hard work that he does pay off,” Johnson said. “It makes you really happy because he’s one of the most quiet guys on the team but he’s very funny. He just cares about Auburn. He’s a great guy, and I think it all works out for him.”

Tom Green is the Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

PLAYING UP TO POTENTIAL: Auburn opens SEC play with ‘breakthrough’ road rout of Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Turns out the cure for what ailed Auburn’s offense was Missouri’s defense.

Auburn defense forces 4 turnovers in rout of Missouri

Auburn capitalized on a pair of early turnovers against Missouri

Auburn defense forces 4 turnovers in rout of Missouri

Auburn capitalized on a pair of early turnovers against Missouri

After committing five turnovers and failing to get any takeaways against Mercer, Auburn capitalized on a pair of early turnovers against Missouri.

An interception by Carlton Davis and bizarre fumble return by Marlon Davidson both led to touchdowns to help No. 15 Auburn build an insurmountable lead in the first half of a 51-14 win over Missouri at Memorial Stadium in Columbia on Saturday.

With Auburn leading 7-0, Missouri Drew Lock threw to Jason Reese and the ball tipped off the hands of the tight end, off Auburn defensive back Jeremiah Dinson and into the hands of Davis at the Missouri 32-yard line.

“I was thinking he was going to catch it to be honest with you,” Dinson said. “I was going to try to go in for the tackle. The ball came so fast and I already kind of tipped it. I looked back and I seen Carlton right there; so I’m glad one of us got the interception.”

It was the first interception for Davis since Nov. 7, 2015 against Texas A&M and the fourth of his career.

Auburn scored seven plays later on Kerryon Johnson’s second of five rushing scores to make it 14-0.

After Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC) took a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter, Missouri drove into AU territory when a bizarre sack and fumble effectively ended any chance for the home team to mount a comeback.

Lock was pressured by Jeff Holland and Nick Coe on third-and-five from the Auburn 48-yard line and the ball left the Missouri quarterback’s hands with what appeared to be an incomplete pass. However, the officials ruled it a fumble and Marlon Davidson picked up the live ball and returned it 33 yards to the Missouri 20-yard line.

“I thought the play was dead,” Davidson said. “I thought it was an incomplete pass until I seen the black bean bag on the ground. Then the coaches were like, ‘Get the ball, get the ball, get the ball.’ So I just grabbed it and I started running. I knew I wasn’t to get far because they got some fast guys on their team.”

The call stood upon review to give Holland his second forced fumble of the season and Davidson his second career fumble recovery.

Auburn scored four plays later on Johnson’s fourth touchdown of the night to make it 28-0 with 7:45 to go in the first half.

With the game well in hand at 48-7, Missouri ran Damarea Crockett four straight times late in the third quarter and Montavious Atkinson forced a fumble.

“I was to the boundary, I (saw) the tackle pull around and I struck him and then I disengaged,” said Atkinson, who started in place of the injured Tre’ Williams. “Then I stuck my hand in there and ripped the ball out.”

Thomas recovered at the Auburn 38-yard line and Daniel Carlson booted a 54-yard field goal on the ensuing drive.

Missouri’s final drive ended with Jordyn Peters sacking Lock on fourth-and-five from the Auburn 29-yard line and Tyrone Truesdell recovered a fumble at the 39.

“I think because we got the big lead that really helped everything,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said, “but our defense played outstanding.”

James Crepea is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @JamesCrepea.

Auburn finds its groove in 51-14 win at Missouri – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site


Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

Auburn finds its groove in 51-14 win at Missouri
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Teammate Marlon Davidson picked up the loose football and returned it 33 yards to set up another Auburn touchdown. In the second half, Montavious Atkinson forced a fumble that was recovered by Daniel Thomas. And on Missouri's last drive, true freshmen …
Auburn-Missouri: Live updates, score, stats, analysis for Week 4 game (09/23/2017)SECcountry.com


Auburn Tigers at Missouri Tigers: LIVE THREADRock M Nation (blog)
Missouri coach Barry Odom goes on epic rant after loss to Auburn247Sports
Saturday Blitz –Columbia Missourian –ESPN
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What Gus Malzahn said after Auburn’s rout of Missouri

Follow along with Gus Malzahn’s postgame press conference after Auburn’s win at Missouri.

What Gus Malzahn said after Auburn’s rout of Missouri

Follow along with Gus Malzahn's postgame press conference after Auburn's win at Missouri.

Watch video

No. 15 Auburn crushed Missouri, 51-14, Saturday night at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.

Kerryon Johnson had five rushing touchdowns, the defense forced four turnovers and Daniel Carlson had three field goals for Auburn (3-1, 1-0 SEC).

Below are initial live updates from Malzahn’s postgame press conference.

GUS MALZAHN

— “Very pleased with the win.”

— “I thought our defense played outstanding again.”

— Says the fake punt stop was a “huge play”

— On Kerryon Johnson: “He wasn’t 100 percent but he was close.” Did an “outstanding job.”

— On Kamryn Pettway: Wasn’t 100 percent, injury happened last week

— “I thought Jarrett played well the whole tonight.”

— “It was good to get (Malik Willis) some experience.”

— “It makes all the difference in the world” to complete the deep throws

— “We played off a little bit more than we had” against J’Mon Moore. Thought Kevin Steele did a great job with the game plan.

— “We needed a game like this.”

— Tre’ Williams and Javaris Davis (leg) were not 100 percent

— Jamel Dean did a “super job”

— “It feels good, we can build upon this. … I think we showed tonight what we’re capable of.”

— “I think we’re starting to play up to our potential.”

 

Instant analysis: Kerryon Johnson scores FBS-best 5 touchdowns as No. 15 Auburn routs Missouri

AL.com’s instant analysis of No. 15 Auburn’s 51-14 blowout win against Missouri.

Instant analysis: Kerryon Johnson scores FBS-best 5 touchdowns as No. 15 Auburn routs Missouri

AL.com's instant analysis of No. 15 Auburn's 51-14 blowout win against Missouri.

INSTANT RECAP: No. 15 Auburn 51, Missouri 14

COLUMBIA, Mo. — No. 15 Auburn opened its SEC schedule with a convincing 51-14 rout of Missouri at Faurot Field on Saturday.

Auburn-Missouri: Live updates, score, stats, analysis for Week 4 game (09/23/2017) – SECcountry.com


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Auburn-Missouri: Live updates, score, stats, analysis for Week 4 game (09/23/2017)
SECcountry.com
How can I listen to Auburn-Missouri football on the radio? You can listen to the Auburn Sports Network call of the Auburn and Missouri game with Rod Bramblett, Stan White and Ronnie Brown. Locally in Auburn, the broadcast is on 93.9 FM. The Auburn …
Auburn Tigers at Missouri Tigers: LIVE THREADRock M Nation (blog)


Auburn finds its groove in 51-14 win at MissouriAuburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
Missouri coach Barry Odom goes on epic rant after loss to Auburn247Sports
Saturday Blitz –FOXSports.com –Columbia Missourian
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Kerryon Johnson returns, ties for most single-game rushing touchdowns in FBS this season

Kerryon Johnson returned from a hamstring injury and scored five touchdowns in Auburn’s 51-14 dismantling of Missouri.

Kerryon Johnson returns, ties for most single-game rushing touchdowns in FBS this season

Kerryon Johnson returned from a hamstring injury and scored five touchdowns in Auburn's 51-14 dismantling of Missouri.

Kerryon Johnson made his return to the field against Missouri, and the Auburn junior running back joined an exclusive group in the process.

Johnson rushed for five touchdowns in No. 15 Auburn’s 51-14 win against Missouri on Saturday night, tying for the most rushing scores in a single game in the FBS this year. Johnson joined Georgia Tech’s TaQuon Marshall, who accomplished the feat in the season opener against Tennessee in double-overtime, and ULM’s Caleb Evans, who did it Saturday in a double-overtime win against ULL.

“I don’t really keep up with stuff like that,” Johnson said. “That’s pretty cool, I guess. I’ll see it on Twitter.”

It marked a triumphant return to action for Johnson, who missed the last two-plus games with a right hamstring injury. He said afterward that he’s not yet completely recovered from the injury, but pegged himself at about 80-85 percent healthy for Saturday’s game.

The junior finished the game with 18 carries for 48 yards, but he hardly saw the field in the second half as Auburn had the game well in hand. Johnson got the bulk of the carries in the run game with Kamryn Pettway sidelined with a left ankle injury, and he said he didn’t know he was going to be starting until he took the field for Auburn’s first play of the game.

Instant analysis: Johnson’s 5 touchdowns lead Auburn in rout of Missouri

“It was big,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He wasn’t 100 percent, but he was close. He practiced last week. He practiced this week…I thought he did some really good things.”

Most of Johnson’s damage came in the first half when he rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries, with four of them going for touchdowns. Johnson accounted for all four of Auburn’s first-half touchdowns as it jumped out to a 31-7 lead at halftime.

Johnson’s first touchdown was a 1-yard run on a handoff from Jarrett Stidham in the first quarter. That capped a six-play, 80-yard drive for Auburn to open the game, and it marked the first time this season that Auburn scored a touchdown on its first possession of the game.

Johnson added a second score on a 2-yard run out of the Wildcat with 8:07 to go in the first quarter to make it 14-0. The junior running back’s third and fourth scores also came out of the Wildcat. The third score was another 1-yard run that made it 21-0 with 13:32 to go in the first half. The fourth touchdown was essentially an early nail in Missouri’s coffin as Johnson took a direct snap and ran in from 7 yards out to make it 28-0 midway through the second quarter.

“Solid, solid, solid guy,” center Casey Dunn said of Johnson. “It’s an honor blocking for a guy like that. Comes in, short yardage and coming off a little banged up hamstring and getting the job done tonight is great.”

Johnson’s fifth touchdown came on his last carry of the game. After Auburn took over at the Missouri 22-yard line following a failed fake punt by Missouri, Eli Stove took a jet sweep 21 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive to get down to the 1-yard line. Johnson took a direct snap the following play and punched it in to give Auburn a 38-7 lead.

“We score when we’re in that formation,” Johnson said of the Wildcat. “We overload one side or we get more guys in the box. I wasn’t surprised at all. I was just trying to do my job, and the O-line did a great job creating holes and just got it in the end zone.”

 

It set a career high for touchdowns in a game for Johnson, whose previous high was two scores in a game — something he did three times last season against Arkansas State, ULM and Ole Miss. The five touchdowns were one shy of the Auburn single-game record held by Cadillac Williams, who ran for six scores against Mississippi State in 2003. They also marked the most by an Auburn player since Peyton Barber had five touchdowns against San Jose State in 2015.

“It means we won,” Johnson said of the five-touchdown effort. “That’s all that really matters.”

Below are Johnson’s first four touchdowns against Missouri, in order:

First touchdown:

 

Second touchdown:

Third touchdown:

 

Fourth touchdown:

 

Tom Green is the Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.

WATCH: Auburn CB Carlton Davis nabs first pick since 2015 on tip drill – SECcountry.com


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WATCH: Auburn CB Carlton Davis nabs first pick since 2015 on tip drill
SECcountry.com
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Auburn football cornerback Carlton Davis made a splash in his 2015 freshman season with a team-high 3 interceptions. Until Saturday night, he hadn't had one in double-digit games. Davis ended that streak in the first quarter of Auburn
Watch: Auburn DB Carlton Davis picks off Drew Lock247Sports



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Injury report: Starting linebacker, defensive back out for Auburn at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Auburn will be without two defensive starters Saturday at Missouri.

When will Auburn’s leading tackler, starting cornerback return after missing Missouri game?

Auburn will be without its leading tackler and a starting cornerback against Missouri.

When will Auburn’s leading tackler, starting cornerback return after missing Missouri game?

Auburn will be without its leading tackler and a starting cornerback against Missouri.

Auburn was without its leading tackler and a starting cornerback in its 51-14 win over Missouri.

Auburn senior linebacker Tre’ Williams and cornerback Javaris Davis were out for Saturday’s game due to injuries.

“He wasn’t 100 percent,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “So hopefully he’ll be back next week, we’ll see.”

A source with knowledge of the situation said Williams, who injured his right shoulder against Clemson, indicated he was being held out so as not to aggravate the injury and he should return or next week’s game against Mississippi State.

Williams, who appeared in a prerecorded radio interview, led Auburn with 25 tackles and 2.5 sacks through the first three games of this season.

Montavious Atkinson, who has five tackles with one for loss, started in place of Williams and had six tackles and forced a fumble.

“We rotate guys in and out every drive; it’s like no drop-off (in the top four linebackers),” Atkinson said. “Everybody’s out there giving the same type of effort and physicality.”

Jamel Dean started at corner in place of Davis, who had nine tackles with one for loss in the first three games, and had one tackle.

“(Davis) had a leg injury and wasn’t 100 percent either,” Malzahn said.

Live updates, analysis: Auburn vs. Missouri

Finally, Auburn return to the field after a week full of off-the-field news, including the departures of Sean White and Byron Cowart. Auburn opens SEC play on the road against a Missouri team featuring an explosive passing game and a disruptive defensive line.

Live updates, analysis: Auburn vs. Missouri

Finally, Auburn return to the field after a week full of off-the-field news, including the departures of Sean White and Byron Cowart. Auburn opens SEC play on the road against a Missouri team featuring an explosive passing game and a disruptive defensive line.

Finally, Auburn return to the field after a week full of off-the-field news, including the departures of Sean White and Byron Cowart. Auburn opens SEC play on the road against a Missouri team featuring an explosive passing game and a disruptive defensive line.

This will be the first time Auburn has played at Mizzou.

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Watch the Auburn Tiger Walk at Faurot Field in Missouri

The Auburn Tigers arrive at Faurot Field for their first SEC match up of the season against the Mizzou Tigers.

 

The Auburn Tigers arrive at Faurot Field for their first SEC match up of the season against the Mizzou Tigers.

Watch the Auburn Tiger Walk at Faurot Field in Missouri

  The Auburn Tigers arrive at Faurot Field for their first SEC match up of the season against the Mizzou Tigers….

Auburn Tigers at Missouri Tigers: LIVE THREAD – Rock M Nation (blog)


Rock M Nation (blog)

Auburn Tigers at Missouri Tigers: LIVE THREAD
Rock M Nation (blog)
In the final matchup of a four-game homestand to begin the season for Mizzou football, we get a date with Auburn, projected to be one of Alabama's top challengers for the SEC West crown. This would be a great game to help propel Mizzou into the
Auburn Returns Home to Host KentuckyAuburn Tigers Official Athletic Site


Missouri – Auburn Game time, TV channel, how to watch onlineSECcountry.com
Championship run at stake in Auburn's SEC opener247Sports

all 11 news articles »

Cody Parkey getting his kicks with his home team now

Former Auburn place-kicker Cody Parkey won the Miami Dolphins' Punt, Pass and Kick competition for his age group in 2006. On Sunday, Parkey won an NFL game for the Dolphins,

Former Auburn place-kicker Cody Parkey grew up about 75 miles from the Miami Dolphins’ home stadium. In 2006 as Jupiter, Florida, middle-schooler, he won the NFL team’s Punt, Pass and Kick competition for his age group at Dolphins Stadium, which is now named Hard Rock Stadium.

On Sunday, Parkey won an NFL game for the Dolphins, kicking a 54-yard field goal with 65 seconds left to play to lift Miami to a 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in its season-opening game. Parkey made all four of his field-goal attempts in the game.

“Growing up and watching (former Dolphins kicker) Olindo Mare and all of those guys, watching those guys kick, I always thought it would be pretty cool to do,” Parkey said of playing for Miami. “So now I’m here, so it’s awesome.”

Parkey joined the Dolphins in the first week of the NFL’s 2017 season after being released by the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 2.

“I won’t tell you who it is, but I got on the bus after the game and a staff member said to me, ‘What’s our kicker’s name again?'” Miami special-teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said this week. “I think everybody knows his name now.”

More than 1,100 players were released by NFL teams on Sept. 2 when the preseason rosters of 90 players apiece had to be reduced to the regular-season limit of 53.

Miami coach Adam Gase said Parkey was the player that the Dolphins hoped to pick up from the wave of free agents.

“We felt like he was a guy that really would help us, and they felt good about it,” Gase said of Rizzi and his assistant, Marwan Maalouf. “He helped us out (Sunday), I know that.”

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

Parkey has made all six of his field-goal attempts of 50 yards or farther in his NFL career after nailing Sunday’s game-winning kick.

“I’m very confident in all of my kicks in that range and in,” Parkey said. “I kind of treat them all the same. I’ve been very fortunate that they’re falling for me from that range. Anything that’s within my range that my leg can do, I feel like I’m a pretty accurate kicker. I go out there and try to kick it the same as I would an extra point and not really try to emphasize it, and I think that’s maybe why I’ve had success. A little bit of luck here and there always helps, but I’m very blessed to be where I’m at.”

The Dolphins visit the New York Jets at noon CDT Sunday.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Cody Parkey getting his kicks with his home team now

Former Auburn place-kicker Cody Parkey won the Miami Dolphins’ Punt, Pass and Kick competition for his age group in 2006. On Sunday, Parkey won an NFL game for the Dolphins,

Auburn at Missouri by the numbers: Teams of Tigers meeting at Mizzou for first time

Auburn will open its 2017 SEC football schedule against Missouri at 6:30 p.m. CDT Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.

No. 15 Auburn (2-1, 0-0) at Missouri (1-2, 0-1)

6:30 p.m. CDT Saturday (ESPNU)

Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri

1 Team is ranked in the top 12 nationally in the four major defensive categories – scoring, total, rushing and passing. Auburn ranks second in total defense, yielding an average of 201.7 yards per game; ninth in passing defense, yielding an average of 113.0 yards per game; 11th in scoring defense, yielding an average of 10.3 points per game; and 12th in rushing defense, yielding an average of 88.7 yards per game. Auburn’s opponents have totaled 605 yards, the fewest the Tigers have given up in their first three games since 1974, when Louisville, Chattanooga and Tennessee managed only 380 yards and three points. 

2 Previous games have been played between Auburn and Missouri. Missouri defeated Auburn 34-17 in the 1973 Sun Bowl, and Auburn defeated Missouri 59-42 in the 2013 SEC championship game. Saturday’s game will be the first SEC regular-season contest between the schools, and it also will be the first football game played in Missouri by Auburn.

4 Straight homes games are being played by Missouri to open the 2017 season, the first time the Tigers have started a campaign with four home contests. Missouri has played Missouri State, South Carolina and Purdue before winding up the homestand against Auburn. Missouri has an open date next week, so the Tigers don’t play their first road game until Oct. 7, when they visit Kentucky.

5 Victories and five losses in regular-season games against SEC West opponents for Missouri since the Tigers joined the league in 2012. Auburn has a 42-27-1 regular-season record against SEC East opponents since the conference divided into divisions in 1992.

6 Fumbles have been lost by Auburn this season. Only one team in the nation has lost more – Oregon State, which has lost eight. Auburn has fumbled 10 times. Nevada and San Jose State have fumbled the most in the nation this season with 11 apiece.

27 Tackles have been made behind the line of scrimmage by Auburn’s defense this season, tied for the sixth-most in the nation. Missouri’s offense has allowed eight tackles for loss this season, tied for the sixth-fewest in the nation.

34 Rushing attempts were made by Auburn RB Kamryn Pettway against Mercer last week. That’s the most carries in a game by an SEC player this season. Pettway ran for 128 yards – his eighth 100-yard performance in his past 11 games.

36 Years since Auburn lost its first SEC game in three consecutive seasons. In 1979, 1980 and 1981, the Tigers opened their conference schedule by losing to Tennessee. In 2015, Auburn lost its SEC opener 45-21 to LSU. In 2016, Auburn lost its SEC opener 29-16 to Texas A&M.

44 Years since the previous time that Missouri opened its conference schedule with two home games. In 1974, the Tigers started their Big Eight schedule by beating Nebraska and Oklahoma State in back-to-back home games. Missouri opened its 2017 SEC schedule with a 31-13 loss to South Carolina in Columbia on Sept. 9.

120 Previous games have been played against another team of Tigers for Auburn. Missouri is one of the six teams that shares Auburn’s nickname that has been played by Auburn, which has a 63-52-5 record against Clemson, LSU, Memphis, Missouri, Pacific and Sewanee.   

149 Consecutive extra-point attempts have been made by Auburn PK Daniel Carlson, the third-longest streak in SEC history. Tennessee’s John Becksvoort set the conference record by making 161 straight PATs from 1991 through 1994. South Carolina’s Elliott Fry had a 155-PAT streak from 2013 through 2016.

377 Points have been scored by Auburn PK Daniel Carlson, good for fifth place on the SEC’s career scoring list. Carlson is 35 points behind Blair Walsh, who set the conference record of 412 points while kicking for Georgia from 2008 through 2011.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OUR SEC PAGE

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Auburn at Missouri by the numbers: Teams of Tigers meeting at Mizzou for first time

Auburn will open its 2017 SEC football schedule against Missouri at 6:30 p.m. CDT Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri.

Cam Newton nearing another record with Carolina Panthers

After Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, former Auburn star Cam Newton could stand alone as the winningest quarterback in Carolina Panthers’ history.

Cam Newton nearing another record with Carolina Panthers

After Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints, former Auburn star Cam Newton could stand alone as the winningest quarterback in Carolina Panthers' history.

Quarterback Cam Newton holds numerous Carolina Panthers’ records, including most passing yards, touchdown passes and rushing touchdowns in the franchise’s history.

Usually, the former Auburn star shrugs off his individual milestones.

On Sunday, Newton could stand alone as the winningest quarterback in the Panthers’ history, and he would feel the significance of a victory by Carolina over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

“For me to have that potentially under my belt – and you can’t count a goal until you actually see it go through the net – it’s a blessing,” Newton told Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer.

Newton and Jake Delhomme have started at quarterback in 53 regular-season victories apiece for Carolina. Delhomme, who played for the Panthers from 2003 through 2009, said Newton plays a bigger role for Carolina than he did.

“Our team in Carolina right now is basically predicated on how he plays,” Delhomme said. “I think most teams are like that, but I think it’s more heavily tilted toward if Cam plays well, we’re going to win the game. Whereas I think they did some things when I was there, we kind of maneuvered it so they could have won in spite of me, so to speak.”

READ SCOTT FOWLER’S “PANTHERS’ CAM NEWTON, JAKE DELHOMME SHARE A TEAM RECORD, BUT DIDN’T REALIZE UNTIL …”

Newton’s role in Carolina’s victories hasn’t been as big this season, though. The Panthers are off to a 2-0 start because the Carolina defense has given up only a field goal in each game – a 23-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 10 and a 9-3 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Newton couldn’t get the Carolina offense to the end zone in the Panthers’ previous game, but they won anyway.

“I’m disappointed in myself,” Newton said, “but happy for the overall team.”

What’s nagging Newton is his accuracy – or what he called “missing layups.”

Newton had surgery on his throwing shoulder in March to repair a partially torn rotator cuff. He couldn’t pass to his teammates until training camp started, and even then, he had to stop throwing for an extended period because of shoulder soreness.

“I see what’s going on, and it’s not happening the way I want it to happen,” Newton said. “I know, in the back of my mind, things are going to get shaking.”

Carolina coach Ron Rivera has said Newton is still “knocking the rust off” after playing only one series in the preseason.

“He’s just starting to make the amount of throws you would make if you hadn’t missed four or five days of training camp and you weren’t limited to 45 balls (a day),” Rivera said.  

Rivera said he isn’t concerned about Newton’s play.

“I just think it’s a matter of time,” Rivera said. “I liken it to a pitcher — a guy’s got to get back into form when he goes on the DL and then he comes back off. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t have that opportunity to have all those minor-league games that he goes out and throws.”

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

When Newton won the NFL Most Valuable Player Award for the 2015 season, he threw for 370 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the first two games. This season, he has thrown for 399 yards with two touchdowns and one interception through two games.

This season, as in 2015, the Panthers play NFC South rival New Orleans in their third game. Two years ago, Newton passed for 315 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-22 victory over the Saints.

“We just need to score touchdowns,” Newton said during his Wednesday press conference. “Everything else will be good.”

The Saints and the Panthers kick off at noon CDT Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Mangle Mizzou! (Auburn vs. Missouri, Open Thread.)

Mizzou Thread

The Tigers open SEC play at Faurot Field.
(Auburn at Missouri, Open Thread.)

     War Eagle, everybody! Tonight, the Auburn Tigers will take on the Missouri Tigers, in Columbia, Missouri. This marks Auburn Football’s first ever visit to Show Me State. Auburn and Missouri have only played twice. Missouri won the 1973 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, over Auburn by the score of 34-17. Auburn returned the favor in Atlanta, winning the 2013 SEC Title game over Missouri, 59-42. Tonight’s game will be televised on ESPN-U, and kickoff is set for 6:30 PM, Central Time.

     Auburn is a double digit favorite in this game, but an SEC road game is usually tough. Today, my biggest worry is the matchup between Auburn’s offensive tackles against some dangerous Missouri defensive ends. It’s pretty simple. If Auburn can protect the quarterback and running backs, Auburn should win easily. If not, another war is on hand.

     For those attending this game, weather should be just about perfect. Temps will be in the mid-80sF at kickoff, falling through the 70s after sunset. Skies should be clear, with a sliver of crescent moon in the sky at sunset. There is no chance     

     As always, feel free to join in and enjoy this thread. I’ll be on my Thinkpad a little later, with my usual play by play. War Eagle, and let’s show those Tigers!

The post Mangle Mizzou! (Auburn vs. Missouri, Open Thread.) appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Tiger Buzz: Auburn vs. Missouri TV, key matchups, players to watch

Broadcast information, key matchups and players to watch when No. 15 Auburn travels to Missouri on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Tiger Buzz: Auburn vs. Missouri TV, key matchups, players to watch

Broadcast information, key matchups and players to watch when No. 15 Auburn travels to Missouri on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Watch video

No. 15 Auburn (2-1) at Missouri (1-2)

When: 6:30 p.m. CT, Saturday
Where: Faurot Field, Columbia, Mo.
TV: ESPNU
Line: Auburn by 18.5

This game will determine…

After Auburn’s first three games have been highlighted by offensive struggles, it will hit the road for its SEC opener against a Missouri team that has gone through even more, albeit different, issues. Missouri’s beleaguered defense should provide Auburn’s offense with the remedy it needs, but if Auburn were to lose the game it would put Gus Malzahn squarely on the hot seat and leave the program in an unenviable position at 2-2 and 0-1 in the SEC with a tougher matchup against Mississippi State looming next weekend.

Three things to look for…

1. Auburn’s run game. Once a staple of Malzahn’s offenses, Auburn’s run game has struggled to get going this season. Following a solid showing in the opener, Auburn hasn’t produced up to its standard on the ground the last two weeks against Clemson and Mercer, and the team is averaging just 3.88 yards per carry (62nd nationally). The good news for Auburn is that this weekend will mark the first time both Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson will be available this season, so Auburn is unlikely to rely exclusively on Pettway out of the backfield for the third week in a row. Also, Auburn is going up against the nation’s 92nd-ranked rushing defense.

2. Turnovers. Auburn was uncharacteristic last week against Mercer with a whopping five turnovers in a 24-10 win. Auburn lost four fumbles for the first time since 2001, and Jarrett Stidham threw an interception that gave Auburn its first five-turnover game since the disastrous 2012 season. The turnovers took the air out of a relatively improved offensive showing for Auburn, and coaches have placed an increased emphasis on correcting those issues this week as they know those types of blunders won’t cut it in SEC play.

3. Punting. Malzahn hasn’t been shy about his displeasure with Auburn’s punting game this season. First-time starter Ian Shannon hasn’t lived up to expectations while struggling with consistency, and this week Malzahn reopened the punting competition — with kicker Daniel Carlson, who is going through his own kicking issues this year, a possibility. Regardless of who Auburn turns to in the punting game, the team will need to see a marked improvement to avoid giving Missouri quarterback Drew Lock a shortened field to work with at home.

Auburn’s original Missouri connection is from parts unknown

Key matchup

Auburn’s offensive line against Missouri’s defensive line. The biggest issue for Auburn’s offense this season has been along the offensive line, where the team has been breaking in two new starters on the left side and allowed an SEC-worst 15 sacks, which is also tied for second-worst nationally. Missouri, for all the issues it has had defensively, has gotten strong play from its defensive line. Missouri is fourth in the SEC with eight sacks and third with 24 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, numbers spearheaded by Marcell Frazier and Terry Beckner Jr.

By the numbers

3.18 — Auburn’s defense leads the nation in yards allowed per play at 3.18. Missouri’s offense, meanwhile, is 12th nationally in yards gained per play at 7.35, though it has not faced a defense the caliber of Auburn’s yet.

Key injuries

Auburn — RB JaTarvious Whitlow out (ankle), DE Marlon Davidson probable (undisclosed), WR Darius Slayton probable (undisclosed), RT Darius James questionable (neck)

Missouri — DB Christian Holmes out (shoulder), DL A.J. Logan out (suspension), LB Aubrey Miller Jr. out (fibula), WR Emanuel Hall questionable (shoulder), DL Walter Palmore questionable (knee)

Missouri player to watch

Drew Lock. After a mammoth performance in the opener (521 yards and seven touchdowns), Lock has struggled each of the last two weeks while completing just 43.3 percent of his passes for 378 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Still, the Missouri junior is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the SEC and will present Auburn’s secondary with its most challenging test to date.

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde. 

PICKS AND PREDICTIONS: No. 15 Auburn at Missouri

Some picks and predictions for No. 15 Auburn’s SEC opener at Missouri (Saturday, 6:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU) from the Opelika-Auburn News sports staff:

LIVE UPDATES: No. 15 Auburn opens SEC play at Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Auburn gets its SEC slate underway Saturday in its first-ever trip to Faurot Field to face Missouri.

Missouri Preview: Do the Dang Thang

After Missouri scored 72 points to start the season, I was a little worried about Auburn’s matchup this weekend. But then I saw Missouri State score 43 on them, and I knew that Auburn’s offense just had to show up and they’d score 50.

Then I saw Auburn only score 6 on the road at Clemson and only 24 against Mercer. But then I saw Missouri only score 13 against South Carolina and 3 against Purdue.

So while Missouri’s offense has completely cooled off and very nearly died, Auburn’s hasn’t exactly lit up the world either. That said, despite the low number of points against Mercer, Jarrett Stidham and Company did start the clicking process last week.

Yeah, Stidham broke Auburn’s record for consecutive completed passes, and he now has the 2nd highest completion percentage for a game in SEC history (behind Tim Tebow) with a minimum 30 attempts. He’s feeling it.

As I screamed all week, without 5 turnovers (3 in the redzone) last week would’ve been a bloodbath. And I’ll say it again for this week, without 5 turnovers this week could be a bloodbath.

You see, Missouri’s defense is terrible. It was so bad they fired their defensive coordinator two weeks into the season. Things usually don’t get better quickly or at all when that happens. I mean, they gave up 35 points to Purdue. The Big 10 hands out trophies anytime one of their teams scores over 25 points. The Big 10 does not score 35 points.

To further Missouri’s defensive problems, Kerryon Johnson will return to action this week. That means Kamryn Pettway won’t have to run 800 times. That means there’s a little more speed in the backfield. That means Auburn’s offense is back to a full stable of backs for the first time since… well, all season. Pettway didn’t play Week 1. Kerryon was hurt for Weeks 2 and 3.

But what’s even worse for the Missouri defense is, yeah, back to that Stidham guy. If he does anything like what he did against Mercer last week, and he could, it will be a long night for the abysmal Missouri secondary.

I never seem to talk enough about the defense, but I’ll just say this: if Purdue can hold Missouri to 3 points, then the nation’s 2nd-ranked defense can do that as well.

Typically, road games against teams Auburn rarely play worry me. Auburn has never played in the State of Missouri ever, so it’s definitely going to just totally mess with them, right? Well, they’ve already played at Clemson, another Tiger school with an all-grass endzone, and they weathered that storm. Yes, only losing 14-6 is weathering.

Given that most Missouri games are at half capacity, this may be the easiest road game in terms of atmosphere that Auburn will play all year. Actually, it most definitely will be.

Auburn will go up 14-0 early due to some explosive pass plays and a big defensive turnover. The stadium will be empty to start the 4th quarter as Kerryon and Pettway score at least one touchdown a piece. Daniel Carlson won’t miss any field goals because he won’t have to kick any. A rare thing happens for the SEC on Saturday: an easy road win.

Auburn 42, Missouri 10

Check out Dee Ford’s first sack of 2017 from all angles

Former Auburn standout Dee Ford has sacked the Los Angeles Chargers' Philip Rivers more than any other quarterback. Coming off his first sack of 2017, Ford will take aim at Rivers again when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Chargers on Sunday.

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford hadn’t done much in his NFL career until showing why he’d been the 23rd player picked in the 2014 NFL Draft in his second pro start.

Ford had spent his first season and a half in the NFL transitioning from defensive end, the position he played at Auburn, to outside linebacker in the pros and learning from the two Pro Bowlers — Tamba Hali and Justin Houston — ahead of him on the depth chart.

But when a knee injury sidelined Houston for the final five games of the regular season in 2015, Ford went into the starting lineup.

Against the San Diego Chargers, Ford registered three sacks – double his career total to that point – made a career-high seven tackles and broke up a pass in the end zone on the final play of the game to preserve the Chiefs’ 10-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Now owning 16.5 career sacks, Ford has gotten 4.5 of those against the Chargers. On Sunday, Ford will take aim at Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers again when Kansas City visits their rival’s new home in Los Angeles.

When Houston returned from injury, Ford stayed in the lineup, and he recorded 10 sacks in 2016. Ford reached that total in nine games before a hamstring injury slowed him for the rest of the campaign.

Ford got his first sack of the 2017 season on Sunday, when he brought down Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz in Kansas City’s 27-20 victory over the Eagles.

Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones had three sacks and Houston added one as the Chiefs recorded six sacks against Philadelphia. Wentz still was able to throw for 333 yards and two touchdowns and run for 55 yards.

“Great young quarterback,” Ford said of Wentz, “and he’s able to do a lot of things with his feet. He’s a smaller Big Ben (Roethlisberger).”

With Ford and Houston healthy on opposite sides of the Chiefs’ defense and Jones in middle of the line, Kansas City expects a season full of sacks. After two games, the undefeated Chiefs have nine.

 “We’ve got the players that, in any game, can wreck the game,” Ford said. “We’ve got those players across the board. When (Houston) is in the game, you already know what’s up. It’s just what it is. You can’t do too much to his side.”

The Chiefs and Chargers kick off at 3:25 p.m. CDT Sunday at StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Ford and Rivers are former Alabama prep standouts – Ford at St. Clair County and Rivers at Athens.

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Check out Dee Ford’s first sack of 2017 from all angles

Former Auburn standout Dee Ford has sacked the Los Angeles Chargers’ Philip Rivers more than any other quarterback. Coming off his first sack of 2017, Ford will take aim at Rivers again when the Kansas City Chiefs play the Chargers on Sunday.

Auburn Football: Every Day – Episode 4 (2017)

The 4th episode of the 2017 season of Auburn Football: Every Day starts with a tribute to the 1987 Auburn Tigers before moving on to the Mercer game. It was mostly about the defense.

 

SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 for Week 4

The fourth Saturday of the SEC's 2017 football season features eight games, including five conference contests – Alabama at Vanderbilt, Arkansas versus Texas A&M, Auburn at Missouri, Florida at Kentucky and Mississippi State at Georgia. The three non-conference contests include Syracuse visiting LSU.

0 Previous games between Georgia and Mississippi State have featured two ranked teams. On Saturday, the infrequent SEC rivals will square off with each ranked in the AP poll for the first time. Mississippi State is No. 17 and Georgia is No. 11. Georgia leads the series 17-6 and has a 10-2 record in Athens against MSU.

6 Years since Vanderbilt has won a conference game in September. Since the Commodores defeated Ole Miss 30-7 on Sept. 17, 2011, Vanderbilt has lost all nine of its SEC games in the ninth month. The Commodores also has lost its two August conference games during this stretch. Vanderbilt hosts Alabama in its conference opener on Saturday.

6 Straight seasons with a victory over an SEC West team for Georgia, which hosts Mississippi State on the first Saturday of 2017 with interdivision games. The next-longest active streak for an SEC East team is two seasons with victories over SEC West opponents. In regular-season games over the past six seasons, Georgia has a 10-3 record against the SEC West while the rest of the Eastern Division has a 20-55 record versus Western Division opponents. The SEC West finished with a 9-5 advantage over the SEC East in regular-season games last season after the East won the final four games. Alabama defeated Florida in the 2016 SEC championship game for the West’s eighth consecutive victory in the title contest.

18 Consecutive games against SEC East teams have been won by Alabama. The Crimson Tide hasn’t lost to an SEC East team since South Carolina scored a 35-21 victory over Alabama on Oct. 9, 2010. The winning streak includes four victories in SEC championship games. Alabama opens its 2017 conference schedule against Vanderbilt on Saturday.

30 Straight Kentucky-Florida games have featured a victory for the Gators, an SEC record for consecutive wins against one opponent. The Wildcats haven’t beaten the Gators since taking a 10-3 win in 1986. Florida’s winning streak is the fourth-longest in major-college history in an uninterrupted series. Notre Dame defeated Navy every season from 1964 through 2006 to set the record for the most consecutive wins in an uninterrupted series at 43. Nebraska beat Kansas for 36 straight seasons (1969-2005), and Oklahoma beat Kansas State for 32 straight seasons (1937-1968). Florida visits Kentucky on Saturday.

36 Years since Auburn lost its first SEC game in three consecutive seasons. In 1979, 1980 and 1981, the Tigers opened their conference schedule by losing to Tennessee. In 2015, Auburn lost its SEC opener 45-21 to LSU. In 2016, Auburn lost its SEC opener 29-16 to Texas A&M. The Tigers start their 2017 SEC schedule on Saturday by visiting Missouri.

40 Years since Kentucky had a 2-0 SEC record, a mark the Wildcats would achieve again if they defeat Florida on Saturday. In 1977, Kentucky started its conference schedule by beating Mississippi State 23-7 and LSU 33-13.

48 Consecutive non-conference home games have been won by LSU, which hosts Syracuse on Saturday. The Tigers haven’t lost in Tiger Stadium to a non-conference team since a 13-10 defeat by UAB in 2000. LSU’s streak is the tied for the fifth-longest in major-college history and the longest in the past 100 years, with the 48 in a row of Miami (Fla.) from 1985 to 1994. The streaks ahead of LSU include 55 games by Harvard from 1890 to 1895, 54 games by Carlisle from 1901 to 1915 and 50 games by Yale from 1886 to 1895 and Wisconsin from 1897 to 1909.

61 Years since Mississippi State won a game in Athens. Visiting MSU defeated Georgia 19-7 on its home field on Oct. 6, 1956. Since that win, Mississippi State has lost nine in a row at Sanford Stadium, where MSU will play again on Saturday.

62 Years since an ACC team defeated LSU in a regular-season game. On Nov. 5, 1955, No. 1 Maryland beat the visiting Tigers 13-0 and was jumped in the next AP poll by Oklahoma. LSU has won its 13 regular-season games against ACC opponents since that loss. Overall, LSU has a 20-2 record against ACC opponents, with the other loss coming 25-24 to Clemson in the Chick-fil-Bowl on Dec. 31, 2012. The Tigers host Syracuse on Saturday.

FOR MORE OF AL.COM’S COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE SEC, GO TO OUR SEC PAGE

This week’s SEC schedule includes (all times are CDT):

Saturday

  • Arkansas (1-1) vs. Texas A&M (2-1), 11 a.m., AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (ESPN)
  • Massachusetts (0-4) at Tennessee (2-1), 11 a.m., Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee (SEC Network)
  • No. 1 Alabama (3-0) at Vanderbilt (3-0), 2:30 p.m., Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee (CBS)
  • Louisiana Tech (2-1) at South Carolina (2-1), 2:30 p.m., Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina (SEC Network)
  • No. 17 Mississippi State (3-0, 1-0) at No. 11 Georgia (3-0, 0-0), 6 p.m., Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia (ESPN)
  • Syracuse (2-1) at No. 25 LSU (2-1), 6 p.m., Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (ESPN2)
  • No. 15 Auburn (2-1, 0-0) at Missouri (1-2, 0-1), 6:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri (ESPNU)
  • No. 20 Florida (1-1, 1-0) at Kentucky (3-0, 1-0), 6:30 p.m., Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky (SEC Network)

SEC Football by the Numbers: Top 10 for Week 4

The fourth Saturday of the SEC’s 2017 football season features eight games, including five conference contests – Alabama at Vanderbilt, Arkansas versus Texas A&M, Auburn at Missouri, Florida at Kentucky and Mississippi State at Georgia. The three non-conference contests include Syracuse visiting LSU.

College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday 9–23–17

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War Eagle folks! It’s the fourth weekend of the 2017 College Football season. And there’s a lot of football on tap this Saturday, including Auburn opening SEC play on the road against Missouri.

Mizzou is coming off a big loss to Purdue. However, the Boilermakers were a strong team, having only one loss after playing Louisville toe to toe in a one-score game. While Auburn gave up five turnovers in last week’s win over Mercer, the Tigers showed improvement despite the miscues. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham completed 32 of 37 passes for 364 yards in the 24–10 victory.

Stidham shook off some of the rust from his 20-month layoff and appeared poised and determined running the team. His performance was the second-most efficient passing game (86.5) in SEC history. It had to be a confidence booster for the sophomore. Question is, “Can the win propel Auburn to its first SEC victory Saturday when the Orange and Blue Tigers take on the black and gold Tigers in Columbia?”

Below we have the broadcast schedule for Saturday’s games leading up to and after Auburn’s 6:00 p.m. kickoff in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

All game listings are Central Time, and all SEC games as well as those involving top 25 teams are underlined. Games on ESPN/ABC can be viewed by clicking here, and games on ESPN3 can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Acid Reign will have an open thread up on Saturday. Be sure to check back here for an open discussion as Acid does his play-by-play during the game. And don’t miss his post-game review late Sunday afternoon.

War Eagle and beat the Tigers!

TV Schedule: 

11:00 a.m. CT
Arkansas vs. Texas A&M – ESPN
Army at Tulane – CBS Sports Network
Kent State at No. 19 Louisville – RSN
NC State at No. 12 Florida State – ABC/ESPN2
Texas Tech at Houston – ABC/ESPN2
UMass at Tennessee – SEC Network
UNLV at No. 10 Ohio State – Big 10 Network
West Virginia at Kansas – ESPNU

11:20
Pittsburgh at Georgia Tech – ACC Network

12:30
New Mexico at Tulsa – ESPN3

1:00
Idaho at South Alabama – ESPN3
Ohio at Eastern Michigan – ESPN3
Old Dominion at No. 13 Virginia Tech – ACC NetworkExtra

See the rest of the schedule after the jump:

2:00
University of Central Florida at Maryland – FoxSports1
  
2:30
No. 1 Alabama at Vanderbilt – CBS 
Boston College at No. 2 Clemson – ESPN2
Cincinnati at Navy – CBS Sports Network
Duke at North Carolina – ESPNU
Georgia Southern at Indiana – Big 10 Network
Louisiana Tech at South Carolina – SEC Network
Miami of Ohio at Central Michigan – ESPN3
Rutgers at Nebraska – Big 10 Network
No. 16 TCU at No. 10 Oklahoma State – ESPN
Toledo at No. 14 Miami – RSN
No. 5 USC at California – ABC
Wake Forest at Appalachian State – ESPN3

3:00
  No. 8 Michigan at Purdue – FOX

4:00
ULM at UL Lafayette – ESPN3

5:00 
ULM at UL Lafayette – ESPN3
Georgia State at Charlotte – WCCB TV
Nevada at No. 18 Washington State – Pac-12 Network

5:30
No.3 Oklahoma at Baylor – FoxSports1
UAB at North Texas – beINSports 
Western Illinois at Coastal Carolina – ESPN3

6:00
Arkansas State at SMU – ESPN3
Bowling Green at Middle Tennessee – ESPN3
Florida Atlantic at Buffalo – ESPN3
No. 17 Mississippi State at No. 11 Georgia – ESPN
No. 22 San Diego State at Air Force – CBS Sports Network
Syracuse at No. 25 LSU – ESPN2 
Wagner at Western Michigan – ESPN3

6:30
No. 15 Auburn at Missouri – ESPNU
No. 20 Florida at Kentucky – SEC Network
No. 4 Penn State at Iowa – ABC
No. 15 Auburn at Missouri – ESPNU at Texas State – ESPN3

7:00
Notre Dame at Michigan State – FOX
Southern Illinois at Memphis – ESPN3
UTEP at New Mexico State – ESPN3

9:00
No. 24 Oregon at Arizona State – Pac12 – Network
No. 7 Washington at Colorado – FoxSports1

9:15
Hawaii at Wyoming – ESPN2

9:30
UCLA at Stanford – ESPN

The post College Football TV Broadcast Schedule for Saturday 9–23–17 appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Julio Jones, Cam Newton on list of world’s 50 fittest athletes

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton are among the 50 fittest male athletes in the world, according to a new ranking by Sports Illustrated.

Julio Jones, Cam Newton on list of world’s 50 fittest athletes

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton are among the 50 fittest male athletes in the world, according to a new ranking by Sports Illustrated.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton are among the 50 fittest male athletes in the world, according to a new ranking by Sports Illustrated.

Using a panel of trainers, human-performance experts and strength and conditioning coaches, the magazine came up with lists for the 50 fittest men and 50 fittest women in sports today. The athletes were judged on strength, speed, endurance and agility.

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

Jones came in at No. 18, between rugby player Carlin Isles at No. 17 and baseball player Mike Trout at No. 19.

Sports Illustrated wrote of Jones: “Who can’t Julio Jones outrun? The man is a Speed Machine, making him even more of a nightmare for opponents who are already dreading his incredible ball control and vertical abilities that contributed to his 1,409-yard season in 2016. (Mohamed Sanu referred to the 6-foot-3, 220 pound receiver as an ‘alien,’ which would honestly explain a lot.) If there’s some kind of physical talent that Matt Ryan’s most lethal weapon does not possess, then, well, you could’ve fooled us.”

Newton came in No. 22, between lacrosse player Paul Rabil at No. 21 and tennis player Rafael Nadal at No. 23.

Sports Illustrated noted on Newton: “They don’t call him Superman for nothing. The 2015 NFL MVP, who holds the record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback and who also seems to take more huge hits from players than almost anyone else, puts an emphasis on lateral movement in his workouts, including sled pulls/pushes and box jumps. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound star also uses a row machine and kettlebells to build his core strength.”

Newton ranked No. 32 on the 2016 fittest list. Jones was not in the top 50 last year.

The only NFL players ahead of Jones and Newton on the list were James Harrison at No. 5 and Odell Beckham Jr. at No. 6.

At No. 1 on the male list was soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.

The top spot on the female list went to gymnast Simone Biles.  

CHECK OUT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED’S 50 FITTEST MEN AND 50 FITTEST WOMEN

Jones was Alabama’s Mr. Football at Foley High School in 2007 before playing collegiately at Alabama.

Newton won the 2010 Heisman Trophy as Auburn’s quarterback.

Cam Newton,Lorenzo AlexanderCarolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton looks downfield as he scrambles against the Buffalo Bills during an NFL game in Charlotte, N.C., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.  

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Listen to Auburn’s ‘Tiger Talk’ with Gus Malzahn: Missouri edition

Auburn opens SEC play at Missouri Saturday

To preview Auburn’s SEC opener at Missouri on Saturday, Gus Malzahn was featured on “Tiger Talk” Thursday night to answer fan questions, including some submitted by AL.com readers.

Click the audio player below to listen to the full broadcast and be sure to check AL.com Monday to submit your questions to Coach Malzahn for next week’s show.

A written recap of what Malzahn said on the show is available here.

Listen to Auburn’s ‘Tiger Talk’ with Gus Malzahn: Missouri edition

Auburn opens SEC play at Missouri Saturday

Gus Malzahn: Auburn ‘can play with anybody’ going into SEC opener at Missouri

It’s easy to find the negatives in Auburn’s performance through the first three weeks of the 2017 season.

Stranger Things: Auburn at Missouri

When I came into Missouri week, I thought STRANGER THINGS would be a cinch. But to be honest with you, besides the fact that they should not be in the SEC at all (because they haven’t won a conference championship in football since 1969), there isn’t too much that is STRANGE about them.

I mean, there’s simple stuff like this being only the third time that Auburn and Missouri have played. And this being the first time Auburn has EVER played a game in the State of Missouri. And this being the first time that these two teams have played on the each other’s campus. Aside from those simple strangenesses, nothing huge stuck out. So I asked my new favorite internet dolt, @AuburnEinstein, to see what he could dig up. This is the best he could do.

1. This short series has some STRANGE notes.

As mentioned before, Auburn and Missouri have only played twice. Once, in 1973 Auburn lost to Missouri 34-17 in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. And again in 2013, Auburn beat Missouri 59-42 in the SEC Championship game. What’s STRANGE is that, while both scores are very different, both teams have scored exactly 76 points against each other. Granted it’s two games, but how often does that happen?

Overall, the strangest thing that Missouri has done since joining the SEC makes the SEC Championship game 2 straight years. They’ve since come back to reality and are competing as we expected them to.

2. They have some STRANGE infatuation with some columns.

The story goes that the columns used to belong to Academic Hall, the first building built on Missouri’s campus. In January of 1892, a fire destroyed Academic Hall and left only the columns. The Board of Curators voted to remove the columns, but since Missouri’s longest tradition is protesting (OH NO HE DIDN’T), the board re-voted in 1893 voted to retain the columns. So now all that remains is 6 columns in the middle of campus. Why? Because Missouri is STRANGE.

3. Missouri stole Auburn’s Tiger Head Logo?!

Ehh maybe not, but you can read about that here.

See, not much. But still… GET THEM OUT.

Auburn football podcast: Tigers victory guaranteed – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Auburn football podcast: Tigers victory guaranteed
SECcountry.com
End of the show: Blackerby and Shute share their predictions and explain why they believe Auburn will play well against Missouri. Miss a previous edition? Find every episode of SEC Country's daily Auburn Tigers podcast here. It also airs every day on
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Can Auburn contain ‘explosive’ Missouri passing game?

Missouri has seven pass plays of 30-plus yards, tied for tenth nationally, with five of those for at least 50 yards.

Watch video

At the skill positions, Auburn’s defense might be facing its toughest test so far this season against Missouri.

After throwing for just shy of 3,400 yards in 12 games last season, Drew Lock is averaging just under 300 yards in the first three games of this season. He’s helped Missouri (1-2, 0-1 SEC) deliver seven pass plays of 30-plus yards, tied for tenth nationally, and five of those were for at least 50 yards.

“He has a real strong arm,” defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said. “He can throw it from hash mark to the out-cut across the field. And that’s college hashes, that ain’t NFL hashes, so he’s got a really strong arm.

“He throws a deep ball a long way and he’s accurate with it. Make no mistake about it when you watch them, they are a drop-back team to a certain degree but they’re also a lot of play-action stuff. They have a lot of RPOs. They have a lot of play-action. They’re kind of built like everybody else, they just throw the nine ball (vertical route) a little bit more.”

Linebacker Deshaun Davis compared Missouri’s offense to Ole Miss with Chad Kelly last year.

“(Ole Miss) slung the ball pretty well against us,” Davis said. “I think (Lock) probably has the strongest arm I have played against. I have seen him make a lot of throws and even when you watch film he’ll stand on one hash and throw an out to the other side of the field. You’ll be like ‘why are you making that throw?’ and then it’s the perfect ball.

“We just have to execute. We know technique is going to be very, very crucial for us this game. As a defense we’re excited to play these guys.”

Deep passes are what makes Missouri a viable threat and while Lock gets the ball there, he’s got a talented receiving corps led by J’Mon Moore, who had 1,012 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Though he has issues with drops, Moore is one of the better receivers in the SEC and has 10 receptions for 277 yards and two scores this season. Five Missouri wide receivers have touchdowns this season.

“They’ve got a lot of speed at wide receiver,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “They’ve got a quarterback that can throw it. They’re very explosive on the offensive side of the football.”

Auburn did not make it a habit to double-team top wide receivers a lot last season but Steele said they played double-coverage against Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow and their split end “probably 50 percent of the time.” Moore might get the same level of attention.

Throw in running back Damarea Crockett, who is coming off a 1,000-yard season and is averaging 106 yards per game this year, and Missouri has the offensive fire power to keep opposing defenses off balance.

The question remains whether Missouri’s statistical feats are all the byproduct of padding stats in a 72-43 win over Southwest Missouri State or if they can pose a threat to SEC teams.

In losses to South Carolina and Purdue, Missouri averaged just 313 yards and eight points.

No. 15 Auburn (2-1) won’t take Missouri lightly to find out.

“I know if you show them any type of weakness, they’re going to exploit it,” Davis said. “Their quarterback has a great arm. He can throw the ball from one hash to the other. Their offensive line is pretty big. They have a really explosive offense. They want to hit a lot of deep passes, so we’ve got to keep the top on the coverage.”

Can Auburn contain ‘explosive’ Missouri passing game?

Missouri has seven pass plays of 30-plus yards, tied for tenth nationally, with five of those for at least 50 yards.

AU BLOG MAILBAG: Will an Auburn RB not named Kamryn Pettway get a carry at Missouri?

These last seven days were supposed to be easy ones for Auburn. A game against FCS Mercer was supposed to quell any concerns about the offense and inspire confidence entering SEC play. The week of practice leading up to Saturday’s…

Auburn Football Recruiting: How Recent Attrition Might Affect Recruiting – College and Magnolia


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How might the losses of Sean White and Byron Cowart affect this year's recruiting class? by AUNerd@AUSportsNerd Sep 22, 2017, 12:00pm CDT. tweet · share · pin · Rec. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. It's been a weird week for Auburn football.

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Auburn football 2018 schedule analysis: Balanced, but brutal at the back – SECcountry.com


SECcountry.com

Auburn football 2018 schedule analysis: Balanced, but brutal at the back
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AUBURN, Ala. — This time last year, Auburn football finalized a 2017 schedule that was a lot tougher than most expect for an odd-numbered season — when the Tigers get both Georgia and Alabama at home. Now, Auburn's 2018 schedule looks a lot tamer …
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Auburn assistant Greg Brown prepared for challenge in facing former Missouri team

After spending the 2016 season as Missouri’s defensive backs coach, Greg Brown returns to Faurot Field on the visiting sidelines in the same role for Auburn.

Auburn assistant Greg Brown prepared for challenge in facing former Missouri team

After spending the 2016 season as Missouri's defensive backs coach, Greg Brown returns to Faurot Field on the visiting sidelines in the same role for Auburn.

Watch video

Facing a former team is hardly a foreign concept for Greg Brown. The Auburn defensive backs coach had already done it a handful of times over the course of his nomadic 37-year coaching career.

That hasn’t prevented Brown from “occasionally” giving thought over the last few months to his return to Columbia, Mo.,where he served as Missouri’s defensive backs coach last season, on Saturday when No. 15 Auburn (2-1) takes on Missouri (1-2) at 6:30 p.m. at Faurot Field.

“They’re a very formidable force to be reckoned with,” Brown said last month. “Yeah, I think about Missouri.”

In Brown’s one year at Missouri, the team ranked just 86th in passing defense at 246.8 yards per game, was tied for 53rd in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.1) and 39th in opposing quarterback passer rating (123.42). The defense was also ranked tied for 22nd nationally with 15 interceptions, which was tied for third most in the SEC, and was 20th nationally in total passes defended with 69, including 54 pass breakups.

It was a formidable effort from a secondary that had an All-SEC player in Aarion Penton but did not produce an NFL player last season and returns six major contributors this fall. It was enough to leave a lasting impression on Missouri head coach and longtime friend Barry Odom.

How a nomadic coaching career led Greg Brown to Auburn, where he’d like to stay

“I’ve got great respect for him and the things he’s done over his career,” Odom said. “He’s very, very knowledgeable. He’s a great coach in the meeting room, but that translates also over to the field. He’s a really, really good teacher, a great motivator, and there’s not really anything you can throw at him or talk to him about that he hasn’t seen over his career; he’s been so many places in his coaching career. I got a lot of respect for him.”

Saturday will mark just the latest instance in which Brown faced one of his former teams. He did it 2011, when he faced Arizona as Colorado’s defensive coordinator. It also happened several times over the course of Brown’s tenure in the NFL — which included stops in Tampa Bay, Atlanta, San Diego, Tennessee, San Francisco, Atlanta again and New Orleans — as Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele pointed out this week.

“Greg coached with the Atlanta Falcons, went back, went, played against the Atlanta Falcons, different teams, came back to Atlanta Falcons, left, came back to Atlanta and coached against them again,” Steele joked. “He’s so messed up with that.”

Steele, himself a 37-year coaching veteran, has had his fair share of trips to former stomping grounds and against former teams. Last year, of course, he helped Auburn best his former LSU team at Jordan-Hare Stadium and will make a return trip to Baton Rouge, La., next month.

While Steele has gone through similar experiences as Brown will this weekend, he couldn’t speak to how it will be for Brown this weekend on the visiting sideline in Columbia.

“I guess it’s different for different people,” Steele said. “I don’t know. I don’t know what it’s like for him to go back to Missouri. I’ve done it enough times that really, really honestly it doesn’t cross your mind. You would be shocked at how little effect it has on a coach, particularly maybe after the first time when I was 25 years old and did it, but when you’re as old as Greg and I, I don’t think it really matters.”

What will matter for Brown is how his secondary handles what will be its most challenging test to date. Although Missouri has had its fair share of issues on offense the last two weeks, it still features one of the most talented quarterbacks in the SEC in junior Drew Lock.

Mizzou’s Drew Lock credits Auburn’s Greg Brown for some of his development in 2016

Lock has completed just 43.3 percent of his passes the last two games, throwing four interceptions against one touchdown, but he also passed for 521 yards and seven touchdowns in the opener — albeit against an FCS opponent. Still, with a big-armed quarterback and a receiving corps headlined by J’mon Moore, Auburn’s secondary will be in for quite a challenge this weekend.

“They do a great job; Barry Odom does a great job with that team,” Brown said. “Josh Heupel, the offensive coordinator, he’s a tremendous offensive coach, offensive mind. They have 10 of 11 starters back on offense. They got some ability; their quarterback, Drew Lock, has a cannon for an arm. He can throw the ball…. They have top-flight receivers, they have some big tall guys that can run out there and they stretch the field in a hurry.”

Needless to say, Brown isn’t taking Missouri lightly — even when you consider that the team has lost eight of its last 11 games and scored just one touchdown in its last 25 possessions.

“I’ll leave (predictions) to the prognosticators,” Brown said. “All I know is I saw those guys, Missouri’s offense, last year up close and personal run 117 plays against a team (Tennessee) for 700-plus yards and X-number of points, and 10 out of 11 of those guys are back. They’re got some skill out there.”

Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde

AL.com All-Access: Will Alabama, Auburn win big on road in SEC openers?

Crimson Tide heavily favored at Vanderbilt, Tigers at Missouri

AL.com All-Access: Will Alabama, Auburn win big on road in SEC openers?

Crimson Tide heavily favored at Vanderbilt, Tigers at Missouri

The first three weeks of the 2017 college football season were fun, with lots of intriguing inter-conference match-ups sprinkled in among home games vs. cupcakes.

But it’s time to get down to business for Alabama and Auburn. The Crimson Tide and Tigers open SEC play on Saturday, both of them on the road — Alabama at Vanderbilt and Auburn at Missouri.

So what are your predictions for this weekend’s games? Here are mine:

Alabama at Vanderbilt — This is a road game in name only, as the crowd at Vanderbilt Stadium will probably be about 70 percent crimson. This is the Commodores’ best team since the James Franklin era, and a solid one on defense. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur makes few mistakes, but hasn’t faced a defense as good as Alabama’s. The Crimson Tide is getting healthier on that side of the ball, so it’s hard to see Vanderbilt mounting much of a threat. … Alabama 24, Vanderbilt 3.

Auburn at Missouri — This is a potential “get well game” for Auburn, but then, so was last week’s home game with Mercer. The Tigers moved the ball up and down the field, but turned it over five times. And the over-reliance on banged-up Kam Pettway in the running game is a concern. Luckily for Auburn, Missouri is an even bigger mess. Mizzou’s defense is historically terrible. Fans seemingly quit on the Tigers in last week’s 35-3 home loss to Purdue. The team might not be far behind. … Auburn 31, Missouri 7.

So what do you think? I’ll take your questions and comments on that or anything else on your mind beginning at 10 a.m.

Former Missouri assistant Greg Brown returning to Faurot Field with Auburn

During the fall, as he prepared for his first season coaching Auburn’s defensive backs, Greg Brown said he thought “occasionally” about what it would be like to make the trip back to Missouri’s Faurot Field as a visitor.

5 burning questions, prediction with a Missouri writer

Insight on the Missouri Tigers from Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

No. 15 Auburn (2-1) will play at Missouri (1-2) at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday on ESPNU.

We reached out to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Dave Matter to get some insight on Missouri.

You can follow him on Twitter (@Dave_Matter) for more Missouri info.

Here are our five burning questions:

1) What is the biggest issue with Missouri’s defense this season?

Matter: Everything. More than anything, this isn’t a defense that has obvious NFL talent. In years past, Mizzou’s defenses featured guys like Shane Ray, Markus Golden, Kentrell Brothers, Charles Harris, all productive players who had elite talent and now play on Sundays. This group doesn’t appear to have that kind of elite talent or great team speed. The first week of the season, Missouri State’s backs and receivers consistently pulled away from Mizzou’s defenders once they got past the second level. There’s not a consistent pass rush up front and the tackling has been unsteady at linebacker. They’ve struggled to generate turnovers and don’t get off the field on third downs. Mizzou’s offense doesn’t possess the ball very long — the Tigers unofficially lead the nation in 50-second three-and-outs — and if you’re not creating takeaways on defense that means you’re going to be on the field forever. When you don’t have much established depth, those minutes add up by the second half. Against South Carolina, the defense seemed to wear down after a promising start. In three games, the defense has been on the field for 38:16, 37:36 and 43:43.

2) What is the offense trying to correct after scoring just 7 points against Purdue?

Matter: Last week, the offense didn’t play with any physicality up front. Purdue controlled the line of scrimmage and all but took away Mizzou’s running game. That took away the threat of play-action passes and forced the offense to be too one-dimensional. This offense doesn’t work without a functional running game. Drew Lock didn’t help matters with one of his worst games in this system. He’s not nearly as accurate outside the pocket, and Purdue had some success flushing him out of the pocket. Mizzou’s line and tight ends have to get back to playing with toughness up front. MU has the biggest offensive line in the country — averages 6-5 1/2, 326 pounds — and when they control the point of attack at a fast tempo, Mizzou’s running game can be lethal.

3) How is J’Mon Moore able to be successful when everyone knows he’s Missouri’s top target?

Matter: He’s been a mixed bag his whole career. He’s got the physical tools to be an elite receiver, but he struggles with focus and intensity at times. He caught 64 balls last year but had 18 drops and several costly fumbles. Against Purdue he appeared to catch a touchdown late but a cornerback simply ripped the ball out of his hands in the end zone before Moore had full possession. He was clearly Mizzou’s best receiver during the second half of last season, but he also got more chances than anyone else. Lock threw to him 124 times last season, 50 more passes than he attempted to anyone else. When Moore is getting off press coverage and catching the ball cleanly he’s as good as any receiver in the SEC. But he’s far from a complete receiver.

4) What would it take for Barry Odom’s future to be in jeopardy after this season?

Matter: More performances like last week. If Missouri misses a bowl game, there’s nothing that guarantees he’ll be back next season. Athletic director Jim Sterk likes Odom, but he didn’t hire him — and Sterk just spent the last year raising money for a new $98 million team facility and renovation for the south side of Memorial Stadium. Gary Pinkel established a standard for winning at Missouri and proved in 2013-14 that Mizzou can compete for division titles in the SEC. Football ticket sales and revenue have plunged in recent years, and if this season continues to spiral, Sterk might want his own coach running the show.

5) How do you see things playing out and what’s your final score prediction?

Matte: Missouri can’t really be this bad on offense — one touchdown over its last 25 possessions — but this will be the best defense it faces through the first four weeks. Missouri’s defense has a tackling problem, and that’s not a good thing to have with Kamryn Pettway coming to town. MU might come out with more energy and make this a game for a half, especially if it can put together a pass rush, but Odom’s team hasn’t shown anything the last two weeks to indicate it can outplay a quality team for four quarters. Auburn 37, Mizzou 13

5 burning questions, prediction with a Missouri writer

Insight on the Missouri Tigers from Dave Matter of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

3-0 Vandy is no upset alert for Alabama; Missouri is target practice for Auburn

As surprising as Vandy’s 3-0 start is, let’s don’t get carried away with the upstart Commodores.

3-0 Vandy is no upset alert for Alabama; Missouri is target practice for Auburn

As surprising as Vandy's 3-0 start is, let's don't get carried away with the upstart Commodores.

We keep waiting for Alabama’s new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to showcase Jalen Hurts’ arm. 

Show us he’s not the shaky passer  he was last year.

Hurts was really good on those jet sweep passes to ArDarius Stewart and Calvin Ridley. But then  it is hard to throw an incompletion a few feet from your target. The deep ball was a bit more challenging.

Under Daboll, maybe he’s changed and we just haven’t seen that part of his game yet. Sooner or later a great defense isn’t enough to carry the day. Sooner or later Hurts’ passing has to be respected.

He can scare a defense with his legs, but defenses, really good defenses, are learning it is a waste of manpower to devote five and six defensive backs to stopping an offense with a quarterback best known for his legs. 

That’s the approach Vanderbilt will take Saturday in Nashville. As a three-touchdown underdog, the 3-0 Commodores have the mojo and one of the SEC’s better defenses to hang with top-ranked Alabama. Vandy is No. 1 in the nation in pass defense, No. 1 in total defense and No. 1 in scoring defense. 

The VU offense is more ground and pound but it is becoming a pain in the rear with quarterback Kyle Shurmur a threat to go to the air instead of just leaning on running back Ralph Webb, the main show  last season.

When you think about what Vandy has done so far and the opponents Alabama has coming up (Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee), Vandy could be the toughest defense  the Tide  will face until Nov. 4 against LSU.

This week’s picks:

Alabama vs. Vandy
As surprising as Vandy’s 3-0 start is, let’s don’t get carried away with the upstart Commodores. They are going to have to play the game of their life and Alabama is going to have to be generous. If this is a game deep  in the fourth quarter, maybe Vandy has a chance for the upset.
– Alabama 27, Vanderbilt 14

Auburn vs. Missouri
The Chip Lindsey offense is looking a lot like the Gus Malzahn offense. So maybe that changes this weekend because Missouri’s defense has apparently checked out for the season and its offense, which was supposed to be dynamic with quarterback Drew Lock, hasn’t showed up during a 1-2 start. This is where Jason Stidham gets in some extra target practice against the 19-point underdog Tigers for what is shaping up as a Malzahn hot seat game next week at home against Mississippi State,
– Auburn 35, Missouri 13

UAB vs. North Texas
The Blazers are an 11-point underdog against the Mean Green in the teams’  Conference USA opener. This is one of those opponents that UAB could defeat with a bangup performance. But North Texas (1-2) has played some legit competition with SMU and Iowa while UAB (2-1) has beaten Alabama A&M and Coastal Carolina and was kicked to the curb at Ball State. North Texas has two game-changers with quarterback Mason Fine and running back Jeffrey Wilson. The Blazers are still trying to fine a couple of those pieces.
– North Texas 24, UAB 17

Idaho vs. South Alabama
South’s offense had fun in its 45-0 beatdown of Alabama A&M, which snapped a two-game losing streak. As a 3 1/2-point favorite this weekend, the Jags enter Sun Belt play with a chance to show why they were picked to finish in the top four in the preseason. Dallas Davis gets the start at quarterback with Cole Garvin limping on a bad ankle. Unfortunately the better quarterback on the field will be the Vandals’ Matt Linehan, who  runs an offense that  is going to light up USA’s defense. Can the Jags win a shootout?
– Idaho 36, South Alabama 35

Upset alert

4 1/2-point underdog Michigan State 26, Notre Dame 21
3 1/2-point underdog Air Force 31, No. 22 San Diego State 28
3 1/2-point underdog Central Florida 36, Maryland 30
2 1/2-point underdog Kentucky 26, No. 25 Florida 20

In the SEC

Georgia 24, Mississippi State 21
Texas A&M 39, Arkansas 27
Tennessee 40, UMass 17
South Carolina 21, Louisiana Tech 14
LSU 36, Syracuse 17

In other games

Penn State 26, Iowa 24
Michigan 27, Purdue 17
USC 25, California 17
Oregon 35, Arizona State 21
Florida State 31, North Carolina State 27
Houston 31, Texas Tech 28
Troy 35, Akron 20

Last week: 15-5

Season: 59-21

TET Podcast Episode #5

Columnists Zach Taylor and Cole Locascio joined me for an amazing show this week where we reflected on Auburn’s game and struggles against Mercer, the current state of the offense, and looked ahead to Missouri this weekend. 

Give it a listen and tell a friend. This week’s episode is packed full of great information to get you primed for Auburn’s SEC opener on the road tomorrow.

War Eagle! Beat Missouri! 

The post TET Podcast Episode #5 appeared first on Track 'Em Tigers, Auburn's oldest and most read independent blog.

Bo knows parenting

College Football Hall of Famer Bo Jackson appeared at a fundraiser for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation on Thursday night, and the Auburn icon talked about more than sports.

The featured speaker for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation’s eighth annual fundraiser on Thursday night couldn’t speak about drug court from personal experience, saying, “That’s something I never had to go through.”

But the folks who gathered at the Daphne Civic Center to hear Bo Jackson didn’t get a collection of sports anecdotes from the College Football Hall of Famer, Major League All-Star and NFL Pro Bowler, but a topical talk by the Auburn all-time great.

The dinner raised money for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation’s speaker program, which targets youngsters in the county’s middle schools. Drug Court officials have found that most of the offenders who wind up in their program started using drugs and alcohol when they were 12 to 14 years old. The foundation aims to head off that behavior.

Bo might not know drugs, but he knows something about children – having been one, of course, and rearing three with his wife.

“My role as a father is probably the most important thing to me as a man,” Jackson told the gathering. “My mother had to be the mom and the dad, and I saw how hard she struggled.”

If you want to keep your children off drugs or out of trouble in general, Jackson said, be immersed in your children’s lives – not as a best buddy, but as a parent.

“We need to pay attention to our children,” Jackson said. “That’s just the bottom line.”

Jackson is not a fan of what he called “the new generation of parents,” who want to give their children their space.

“In my house, you don’t get your space until you’re able to afford your space,” Jackson said.

And if that sounds like too much tough love, Jackson said: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t tell my two sons and my daughter that I love them.”

Jackson’s children are adults now, and he can happily say he’s gotten “the biggest compliment on the planet” because of them.

“You don’t know how good it makes me feel to have somebody compliment me, not for something I did on the playing field, but on how I raised my kids,” Jackson said.

Jackson didn’t follow the exact blueprint that his mother had used with him and his nine siblings growing up in Bessemer, when he got “a PhD in butt whippings.” But the core values went unchanged since they had been imprinted on him.  

Without that upbringing, Jackson said, “there is no Bo Jackson.”

“I appreciate the things I’ve got,” Jackson said. “I appreciate the man upstairs for bringing me from where I was – not to say I didn’t like where I was because that’s part of who I am.”

Even in one of the few sports segments of the evening, Jackson showed how deeply his childhood had shaped him, when the moderator for the event, Joe Emer of WALA-TV in Mobile, asked Jackson to name his favorite moment during his Auburn career.

The answer brought a long preface

“My mother worked two jobs,” Jackson reminded the audience. “She raised 10 kids in a house that was barely 700 square feet, outdoor plumbing, no hot water” and “she did that until I made her quit.”

Because she did custodial work, Jackson said he always thought his mother was a “person that’s overlooked.”

Jackson related how, while waiting in Birmingham for a flight to Chicago, he noticed a woman in the airport who was sweeping and cleaning and how everyone was “passing her by.”

“I stopped her and shook her hand,” Jackson said, “and I passed from my hand to her hand $100, and I said, ‘I see you.’ …

“Those are invisible people to a lot of people, but she’s doing what she has to do to put food on the table and keep the lights on.”

So what do those things have to do with the “most favorite moment in college” for Jackson?

His favorite moment was: “My mother was noticed.”

Jackson told how, after a win in the Iron Bowl, the Tigers had returned to the field from the locker room to celebrate with the War  Eagle faithful, and Jackson “saw all these strangers patting my mother on the back.”

He said that stood out above everything else, even winning the 1985 Heisman Trophy.

“My mother was finally being recognized,” Jackson remembered.

The Baldwin County Drug Court was started in 2007 by Judge Robert Wilters.

“Drug court is about helping people who have made mistakes,” Wilters said. “Nobody who’s a drug addict ever woke up one day and said, ‘Hey, Mom, Dad, I know what I want to do. I want to be a drug addict.’ It just happens. It’s mistakes that they’ve made.”

Drug-court participants get treatment and education instead of incarceration, an approach that has produced a better rate of success in preventing a return to drug abuse. About 800 people have gone through the Baldwin County Drug Court, now under Judge Scott Taylor, and it has had a graduate rate of about 80 percent.

“Drug court is a treatment-oriented court as opposed to a punishment-oriented court,” Wilters said. “In drug court, you plead guilty. That plea is accepted by the court, but you’re not found guilty. We withhold adjudication for a period of two years and during that last year you have to stay clean and sober. …

“We’re going to get them in treatment, and it’s treatment, treatment, treatment until they figure out that, ‘Hey, I do have a problem. I am an addict. I need help.’ So we tell them if you’re not guilty, don’t get in; if you don’t have a drug problem, don’t get in; if you don’t want help, don’t get in. So if you’re guilty of the charge, you’ve got a drug problem and you want help, we’re going to help you.”

Jackson said dealing with the adversity that comes from drug abuse wasn’t something with which he’s familiar, but the process of overcoming any type of adversity starts with the first step.

“It’s no different than being born with a speech impediment like myself, and look at me,” Jackson said. “I’ve been on a national speaking tour for 25 years now. …

“It’s all about having confidence in yourself. It’s all about setting goals. It’s all about taking the first step toward your goals.”

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

Bo knows parenting

College Football Hall of Famer Bo Jackson appeared at a fundraiser for the Baldwin County Drug Court Foundation on Thursday night, and the Auburn icon talked about more than sports.

Auburn Battles Back to a Draw at No. 21 Tennessee – Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site


Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site

Auburn Battles Back to a Draw at No. 21 Tennessee
Auburn Tigers Official Athletic Site
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Trailing by one with five minutes to play, the Auburn soccer team showed resiliency on the road as the Tigers battled No. 21 Tennessee (9-0-1, 1-0-1 SEC) to a draw Thursday night at Regal Soccer Stadium." …

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