Tidbits from Auburn Football

Posted by Jared Baker | 8:40 AM | 2 comments »

A few tidbits from the past week about Auburn's football team.

Sophomore running back Eric Smith was ruled academically ineligible for the Outback Bowl on January 1st. Smith who didn't see much time on the field ran the ball for 99 yards on 20 carries and caught 18 passes for 226 yards. This shouldn't affect Guz Malzahn's offensive game plan since Smith wasn't a major factor in the offense anyways.

Congratulations to 8 seniors that received their diplomas on Friday, they were wide receivers John Cubelic and Tim Hawthorne, holder Clayton Crofoot, defensive backs Zac Etheridge and Montae Pitss, offensive linemen Jeno James and Darrell Roseman, and linebacker Craig Stevens. This is what college sports is all about letting these young men get a free education while doing something they are physically gifted at.

Another congratulations needs to go out to Antonio Coleman and Ben Tate for being invited to the Senior Bowl, the game that showcases the seniors to NFL scouts.

Defensive end Antonio Coleman, a Mobile native led the SEC with 9 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss. The All-SEC defensive end will be playing on Sundays next season with his size, strength and speed Coleman should be drafted fairly high in April's draft.

Running back Ben Tate ran for 1,254 yards this season that ranked 4th best in the SEC and 23rd nationally. Tate had 6 100-yard rushing games on the season and should get a chance to play for a team looking for a solid back-up. He is a very hard runner and excelled this season under new offensive coordinator Guz Malzahn.

These 2 young men deserve everything they received as well as the 8 young men that graduated this semester. We at Tigerssource.com are very proud of these accomplishments.

Gene Chizik is at it again already having a recruiting class ranked in the top 10 by most recruiting websites, Chizik received another commitment Friday when 4-star athlete Ryan White told him he was committing to the Tigers.

White, a 6 foot 180 pound from Lincoln High School out of Tallahassee, FL led his Trojans to a 9-4 record this year. As a junior he ran for 640 yards while passing for 1,053 yards with 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He's a very quick player tabbed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, with that said he'll most likely end up playing defensive back for the Tigers when he arrives on campus next season. White was receiving offers from the likes of Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina and did have college visits lined up in January.

Chizik lately has been addressing a need by recruiting athletes that will come in and fill a void in the defense that allowed 27 points a game, by far one of the worst scoring defenses in the Southeastern Conference. This brings the Tigers it's 22nd commitment of the 2010 class.

SEC boasts 11 AP First Team All-Americans

Posted by Jared Baker | 10:28 AM | 0 comments »

Does anyone want to tell me now that the SEC conference isn't the best conference in college football? The Associated Press released their All-American teams and the SEC finished with 11 on the first-team. Rival Alabama had the most of any school with 6 including Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram and middle linebacker Rolando McClain. Both these young men were unanimous choices for the first-team.

The power in college football is in the SEC and the Heisman trophy and now 11 first team All-Americans shows evidence that the best players are coming out of this conference. With the NFL Draft in April I expect at least 5 first rounders from the SEC including Eric Berry, safety from Tennessee projected to be a top 5 draft pick.

No Auburn players made any of the 3 teams, but give Gene Chizik a few years and we'll start seeing the Cadillac Williams and the Ronnie Brown's back on that list. The name that could be on there in as soon as 2 years from now could Michael Dyer, a 5 star running back that will be a force in Gus Malzahn's spread-power running offense. I truly believe he could be a stud for the Tigers program for the next 4 years.

Well Tigerssource.com would like to congratulate all these young men on a tremendous honor and we hope to see some of our own in the years to come.

Saturday, December 12th Gene Chizik picked up another in-state recruit for the Auburn Tigers. 5'11 175lb athlete Chris Davis committed to the Auburn program. The 3 star athlete according to Rivals.com had other written offers from South Carolina and UAB and had visited the Gamecocks on November 24th.

Davis played his high school football at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, AL. The senior played quarterback for Woodlawn leading them to a 5-5 record this past year and in his final game as a high school player, he rushed for 178 yards on 23 carries and connected on 6 of 9 passes for 50 yards in a 10-0 win over Jackson-Olin.

In college Davis is projected to play defensive back with his 4.45 speed and should improve the one of the worst scoring defenses in the SEC in the upcoming years. I wouldn't be surprised if he's red shirted his freshman season just to add on much needed muscle. Chizik is doing what he needs to do recruit in-state and keep the players in the state of Alabama. Tigerssource.com is very excited by this commitment and it brings the total to 23 committed players to the Tiger program.

Season Recap

Posted by Jared Baker | 4:11 AM | 0 comments »

Gene Chizik's first regular season as a head coach of Auburn is complete. Chizik, who was hired last year after coaching at Iowa State the past 2 years, came back to a team where he coached the defense and secondary from 2002-04. The 2004 team that went undefeated allowed 11 points a game under Chizik's scheme.

The team started off strong with a 5-0 start including a 26-22 victory at Tennessee. Then the struggles started for the Tigers with 3 straight losses to Arkansas, Kentucky and LSU. They re-grouped and finished the season 2-2 and losing a heart breaker in the Iron Bowl to Alabama 26-21. The team finished 7-5 and received a bowl berth to the Outback Bowl on January 1st against Big-Ten foe Northwestern.

Taking a look back at the season Tigerssource.com decided to give out end of the year observations:

Offensive MVP: Ben Tate. The senior running back finished the season with 1,254 yards rushing and 8 TDs on the ground. He nearly doubled his rushing yards this year from his junior year and finished the regular season with six 100 yard games and a career high 184 in a losing effort to Arkansas. Tate seemed to excel well in Gus Malzahn's hectic offense. Malzahn's offensive philosophy was no-huddle but was simply a power offense in the shotgun. The senior was the featured running back and with the struggles at times with quarterbacks Chris Todd and Kodi Burns, Tate really carried the load in many games for the Tigers. We at Tigerssource.com decided he was deserving of the offensive MVP this year.

Defensive MVP: Josh Bynes. The 6'2 junior linebacker led the Tigers with 94 tackles (55 solo) this year. The defense struggled at times, but Bynes was a steady contributor for the defense with 12 tackles (10 solo) with an interception in a win against West Virginia and 10 tackles in a losing effort against No. 1 Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Bynes really seemed to excel under Chizik's defensive scheme with increasing his total tackles by 41 this year. With Josh being a steady on defense for the whole year we at Tigerssource.com really thought he deserved the defensive MVP. We look forward to a big year from Mr. Bynes next year.

Biggest Surprise: Winning at Tennessee 26-22. The win over Tennessee in a hostile environment was a pleasant surprise for the Tigers this year. Jumping out to leads of 13-0 and 23-6 showed the Tigers could win on the road and in the end hung on to move to 5-0 and put them into Associated Press top 25 at No. 17 after the big road win.

Biggest Disappointment: Losing at home to Kentucky 21-14. Coming off a loss on the road to a tough Arkansas team 44-23, the Tigers didn't come out strong at all against the Wildcats. The offense wasn't in sync, but the defense kept the Tigers in the game in the 1st half taking a 14-7 lead to halftime those 14 points would be the only ones Auburn would score all game. The 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter were enough for Kentucky to beat Auburn. This game was a let down and if they could pulled it out we're looking at Auburn sitting 6-1 going into the biggest game of the year to that point at No. 9 LSU.

The season had many ups and downs for the Tigers this year, we hope the season will go out with a win on January 1st, 2010 at Raymond James Stadium down in Tampa, Fl against the University of Northwestern.