Good Morning, Auburn: Young Tigers, NFL highlights and the first paper storm of the season

Fans rolled Toomer's Corner after Auburn's win Saturday vs. Arkansas State. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Good morning, Auburn. The best way to start your day is right here at SEC Country as we prepare you for everything you need to know about Auburn sports. We’ll share our Good Morning, Auburn, here with you every morning, Monday through Friday.

Young guys get time 

The Tigers’ disappointing performance against No. 2 Clemson in Week 1 didn’t leave much room for error, so understandably new players didn’t get much playing time. One of the most exciting parts of Auburn’s win over Sun Belt power Arkansas State, however, was the mixing in of several new faces.

“I was told, I haven’t looked this up myself, but I was told we played 36 freshmen yesterday,” offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee said Sunday night. “True freshmen or redshirt freshmen on the whole team. I think that just speaks a lot to what Coach (Gus) Malzahn is trying to do: get these young guys in there and let’s play ’em. And they’re all contributing and doing some good things.”

Will Hastings caught his first TD pass Saturday. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Will Hastings caught his first TD pass Saturday. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

A handful of players, including freshman Kyle Davis and sophomore walk-on kicker Will Hastings, made big plays, but looked they had been in those spots before (Davis topped his 38-yard play from Week 1, see more below).

Lashlee and coach Gus Malzahn were thrilled about the chance to get inexperienced players some real game time. That will be helpful when Auburn starts SEC play this weekend against Texas A&M. Junior defensive end Carl Lawson echoed those thoughts, referencing how deep Alabama has been over the last several years. He explained how Auburn has started to see similar depth, especially on defense.

Some of the Tigers who made an impact were just newish instead of brand new. Kamryn Pettway (15 carries, 152 yards) had a career rushing night. Junior Stephen Roberts started at cornerback after being suspended against Clemson. And graduate transfer Marshall Taylor saw his first minutes at cornerback.

Again, Malzahn was very excited about it.

Here’s what they’re saying about Auburn 

  • Despite the big home win over the Red Wolves, Auburn fell from No. 32 in the AP Poll to No. 35. Things could change when Auburn plays No. 20 Texas A&M on Saturday.
  • Auburn opened as the favorite over A&M on Sunday
  • Sophomore QB Sean White will be “the guy” going forward

Auburn in the NFL 

When you’re exhausted from all of the fun of college football Saturday’s you can sit back, relax and keep up with former Tigers excelling on the next level. Here are some familiar names who made impacts in their own openers.

  • After bringing energy to the Auburn sideline during Auburn’s home opener against Clemson, Cam Newton took some hard hits in his season opener — a one-point loss to Denver in the Super Bowl rematch.
  • Tight end CJ Uzomah was targeted five times in the Bengals’ win over the Jets and caught 2 passes for 59 yards, including this nifty 54-yard catch, stiff-arm and run. Not bad considering he had 1 reception for 4 yards all of his rookie season in 2015.

  • Dee Ford helped the Kansas City Cheifs come back against the San Diego Chargers.

  • Veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby led the Bengals with 11 tackles in a 23-22 win against the Jets.

If you’re looking for more info on your favorite NFL Tigers and where they are in this year, you can check out SEC Country’s Justin Ferguson’s post from earlier this week, which details the spots of all 26 Tigers in the NFL.

Golfing Tigers

It was a good weekend on the links for the 11th-ranked men’s golf team. Auburn finished second at the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga., six strokes behind Virginia.

Senior Ryan Benton led Auburn at 10-under, finishing in a three-way tie for second, just a single shot behind Georgia Tech’s Luke Schniederjans. Will Long (-7), Trace Crowe (-6), Jacob Solomon (-1) and Jovan Rebula (E) all finished at even par or better.

On the professional side, the PGA’s BMW Championship in Carmel, Ind., started with a bang for former Auburn golfer Jason Dufner. He shot an opening-round 67 to enter Day 2 one shot behind the leader. But Dufner followed with rounds of 72, 75 and 76 to finish 60th at 2-over. His earnings for that — $18,700.

Top Tweets 

Auburn had some pretty incredible plays in their 51-14 win over Arkansas State this weekend. Nowadays, when playmakers do something stunning, the moment almost instantly shows up on the internet, where it is replayed and replayed. The Tigers were all over social media this weekend. Here are some of the best tweets from the weekend.

In case you haven’t already, meet freshman wide receiver Kyle Davis. The 6-foot-2 Davis has dealt with injuries since he arrived on campus in January. Despite missing most of fall camp after he had a procedure done on his foot, Davis made his way into the lineup during Auburn’s game against No. 2 Clemson. In Week 2 the freshman made a more lasting impression.

Chances are if Davis showed any ability remotely close to this in the few practices he participated in, that’s what moved him into the lineup. Expect a lot more out of this newcomer.

Again, he’s a freshman.


Coach Gus Malzahn said one of the turning points of Saturday’s game against Arkansas State was a fake field goal executed by junior kicker Daniel Carlson. Kickers get a lot of grief from their fellow teammates about not being athletic or physical, so you can understand why the Lou Groza Award finalist from 2015 was so excited about his first non-kicking points.

The last time Auburn executed a play like this was 1999.

Sophomore running back Kerryon Johnson mentioned earlier this fall that he loves bringing humor to his Twitter account because you never know how someone’s day is going. But sometimes a football player can use a little support, too. 

But my favorite tweet from the weekend? 

And of course, the night (and the win) would not have been complete without the first roll of the season at Toomer’s Corner. Grounds crews were still working to clean up the damage late on Sunday evening. It was a great time to be an Auburn Tiger. 

Here’s a cool video from The Plainsman:

The post Good Morning, Auburn: Young Tigers, NFL highlights and the first paper storm of the season appeared first on SEC Country.

Source: SEC Country

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