Friday, December 30, 2011

Chizik: Dyer's status unchanged

ATLANTA – The status of suspended Auburn tailback Mike Dyer has not changed, according to Auburn coach Gene Chizik.

Chizik was asked Friday during a Chick-fil-A Bowl press conference about recent rumors that Dyer, an Arkansas native, plans to transfer to Arkansas State, where Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was recently hired as head coach.

“Mike Dyer’s status has not changed,” Chizik said. “If it does, I’ll let you know. I’m not aware of any of that.”

Dyer, a sophomore, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and led the Tigers in rushing this year with 1,242 yards.

He was suspended indefinitely Dec. 11 for an undisclosed violation of team rules, although Chizik left the door open for Dyer’s return should he accomplish certain objectives.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What Auburn's coaches are saying about the Cavs

ATLANTA - Auburn safeties coach Tommy Thigpen and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn met with the media on Thursday to talk about the Tigers' upcoming matchup with Virginia in Saturday's Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Thigpen analyzed Virginia's offense, while Malzahn discussed the Cavaliers' defense. Here'w what they had to say:

Thigpen on Virginia's offense

"What we’re seeing is a team that doesn’t allow you to do much on defense. With all the switching and the motions, it creates a lot of confusion. So if you have a young team like we have, it limits you. If you’re watching teams that play them, they’re not playing much man coverage versus them, because of the shifts and the motions and the miss-fits. So we’ve got to be pretty vanilla. And communication is key. They take a lot of pride in running the football. That’s been Virginia’s MO since I was in high school. I’m from Virginia. I was recruited by Virginia back in the days and it doesn’t seem like they’ve changed at all as far as run the ball, run the ball, play action. They do a tremendous job.

The offensive line is big, they’re strong. They kind of look like an SEC team. They run the ball. They take a lot of pride in running that football. Communication’s got to be right on point. We can’t bust any assignments."

Malzahn on Virginia's defense

"Virginia’s defense is very sound. They’re very impressive up front. They play a great run defense, especially in between the boxes. They try to keep things in front of them. They try to make you earn it – very few big plays. And at the same time, they’ll pick and choose when they pressure and they do a good job with their pressure. They’re well coached. You can tell the guys, they know what they’re doing, they know the situations and they’re going to make you earn it."

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lolley talks about Chizik as DC

AUBURN Auburn's assistant coaches met with the media after Wednesday's bowl practice for Saturday's Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia.

Auburn secondary coach Phillip Lolley had an interesting take on Auburn head coach Gene Chizik as a defensive coordinator. Chizik has been serving as defensive coordinator since Ted Roof left earlier this month for a similar job at Central Florida.

Here's what Lolley had to say:

I've worked with him before. I know exactly what to expect. He's always a great teacher, always motivated. The whole team sees that he loves to coach. The head coach role is different. You can tell he's missed being out there and being in the battle.

"I always know what to expect from Coach. He's a great leader, a great teacher. You can tell that we started from ground level with our teaching methods. That's what we wanted to accomplish going into this bowl game – get the ground work again knowing that we've got a lot of young players. We've done a lot of teaching, a lot of drills, a lot of fundamental. He's been highly, highly excited. Not being able to coach a position for 4 or 5 years, having to serve as the head guys, he's been highly motivated. It rubs off on everybody; it's contagious.

"It's something we talk about all the time, but they're seeing the head man now in a teaching role. They see why he was in demand to be a head coach. It all started on defense for him. It's been a new experience for our guys, but to me I've been there with him before. I knew what to expect.

Is it fun for you?

"Absolutely! It's been fun. It brings back a lot of memories. We were undefeated before he went to Texas. I knew what to expect. I've worked with him. I knew he'd be highly motivated and he'd be fast-paced.

"The players who played at Auburn before understood that. When he was hired as head coach, you saw a lot of our old players come back because they remembered him as the defensive coordinator. They knew how highly motivated he was. Now these younger players that we have are able to see what the older players saw back then.

Is it a return to the old Chizik?

"He's always been the same guy. When he was coordinator before, he was always highly motivated and stressed fundamentals. He's the same Chiz I remember. Being in a head coach was new to me. Being in this role isn't new to me. I remember."

Auburn will face Texas A&M in 2012

(Courtesy of Auburn sports information)

AUBURN — Auburn football’s 2012 Southeastern Conference schedule has been released by the league office.

Auburn’s conference home games at Jordan-Hare Stadium will include LSU (Sept. 22), Arkansas (Oct. 6), Texas A&M (Oct. 27) and Georgia (Nov. 10).

The 2012 home schedule will feature the defending SEC Champion (LSU) and SEC East Champion (Georgia), and a first-ever trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium by new conference member Texas A&M.

The Tigers’ SEC road schedule will be games at Mississippi State (Sept. 8), Ole Miss (Oct. 13), Vanderbilt (Oct. 20), and Alabama (Nov. 24).

The non-conference schedule will include games against Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic to start the season as well as home games against ULM, New Mexico State and Alabama A&M. The dates for the four non-conference games will be announced at a later date.

Auburn will host its annual A-Day on Saturday, April 14. The A-Day kickoff time as well as the entire weekend of A-Day activities will also be announced in the near future.


Sept. 8 at Mississippi State

Sept. 22 LSU


Oct. 13 at Ole Miss

Oct. 20 at Vanderbilt

Oct. 27 TEXAS A&M


Nov. 24 at Alabama

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Auburn defense has its swagger back

ATLANTA – For a unit that ranked at or near the bottom of the SEC in most major statistical categories, Auburn’s defense has an unusually high level of confidence heading into the Tigers’ New Year’s Eve Chick-fil-A Bowl showdown with Virginia.

Must be that new defensive coordinator.


Yeah, Newton's the real deal

ATLANTA – Auburn coach Gene Chizik was fielding questions from the media after the Tigers’ Tuesday practice in the Georgia Dome when a reporter changed the subject from Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Bowl to former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Chizik was asked if he were maybe just a little bit surprised with Newton’s success as a rookie quarterback with the Carolina Panthers.

“No. I'm not surprised,” Chizik said. “Anybody who wanted my opinion last year, that's the opinion I gave them. He's a star. And anybody who thought differently…they have their own opinion. I was around him every day, I watched him every day, and I'm not one bit surprised. As the years go on, and he learns more about the league, and learns more about the defenses, you're going to see more of the same.”

Monday, December 26, 2011

Mason likes the Georgia Dome

AUBURN - Auburn held its first practice in the Georgia Dome Monday in preparation for Saturday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia.

Afterward, several of Auburn's players met with the media, including freshman running back Tre Mason.

Here's what Mason had to say:

Talk about playing in this game.

"It's exciting. It's a great opportunity I was given, so I'm just going
to do what I've got to do to win.

What do you think of the Georgia Dome?

"I like the turf. The turf is a fast track."

Does that give you and Onterio McCalebb an advantage?

"I feel like it is. It'll be an advantage for us. We're a couple of
fast guys. This will actually help us get to be where we need to be,
which is the end zone, a lot faster.

Has Onterio been helpful?

"He's helped me greatly. He's like a brother. What I didn't really
understand, he corrected me on it. He's got me to where I understand
the entire offense."

Are you ready to run between the tackles?

"I've been ready. I've been ready since high school to run between the
tackle. That's what I'm here to do."

Are you big enough?

"I think it really takes a lot of heart, and not being afraid to run
between the tackles. Some running backs may be shy between the
tackles, but I’m not. It's not a size thing at all."

Talk about the work you got during the regular season.

"A lot of reps. It was Mike (Dyer) and I. We were getting an equal amount of
reps, and we just kept each other going because you never know when
somebody might go down."

How has Quan Bray fit in?

"He's perfect. He's versatile. He could play every position on the
field if you wanted him to. He could play defense, too. He's just a
great athlete."

Talk about your freshman year?

"It was good to get your feet wet and learn some of this offense. I
can't wait until next year and really play a lot."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Coordinators unlikely to be hired before bowl game

AUBURN – Auburn coach Gene Chizik concedes it will likely be after the Tigers’ Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia before he hires an offensive or defensive coordinator.

“Again, without boxing myself in the corner with the timeline, that’s certainly a very good possibility, yes,” Chizik said Wednesday.

Chizik must replace offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who will be leaving after the bowl game to become the head coach at Arkansas State, and defensive coordinator Ted Roof, who left two weeks ago to take the defensive coordinator’s job at Central Florida.

Although Chizik said he’d like to hire coaches who he knew would stay for several years, he said hiring coaches who are a good fit for Auburn is more important than continuity.

“I think you hire the best guy,” he said. “Obviously, continuity is something you would really, really like to have. The real unfortunate reality is if you hire really good ones, there are a lot of people who want them. But I want to hire the best fit and the best person for Auburn. Obviously, continuity would be a big deal but the most important thing is that it be the right fit, in terms of being on the same page and the same philosophies. That’s the most important thing.”

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jermaine Whitehead, philosopher, offers something to chew on

Auburn freshman cornerback Jermaine Whitehead has an interesting view on how a defense is supposed to work.

“A defense is like a picture... or it's like a pie,” Whitehead explains. “You don't want a piece out of the pie. You want the whole pie. That's how the defense is."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chizik talks with media after Monday practice

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik met with the media following Monday night's practice for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game. Here's what he had to say.

“We had a really good practice tonight. Again, I thought it was uptempo. Went back to a lot of teaching tonight. Had a pretty good full-padded practice (Saturday) and got after it pretty good. Anyway, we had a great practice. Again, we’re going to go pads tomorrow, and get back after some fundamentals and continue to try and grow in that area. We expect fully to have two more good practices before we get out of here.”

How much game plan is in?

“Piece by piece we’re starting to get there. We’ve got two more days and then we’re going to have four when we get there. We’ll have enough time to get in what we need. Piece by piece, we’ve definitely done that.”

Talk about how T'Sharvan Bell seems to have a good attitude about going through the re-hab on his knee.

“I think outstanding. I think he has done a really, really good job. You know part of the process of rehabbing from injuries is how you mentally go through it. I don’t think there’s any question he has approached this well. So I think that’s half the battle, but he’s in great spirits as you guys know. I think his rehab is really right on time. Again, I don’t see any reason to believe he’s not going to have a great positive attitude moving forward because he has certainly done that the last couple weeks.”

What have you seen from the young guys in bowl practice?

“I feel like we’ve gotten better. I feel like a lot of the young guys who actually played a good bit during the year, you give them a little bit of time off and they come back a little more veteran like, but I think they’ve gotten better.”

What's the key to your success in bowl games?

“I think you have to be really smart in how you proceed in terms of how you’re practicing, how much you’re practicing, how little you’re practicing. Some guys can take it to the other extreme and by the time your team plays they’re tired and beat down. We’re trying to get them to a place where we’re physically and mentally ready, but we’re not overcooked, so to speak. I think we’ve done a good job over the years of managing the time we have with them. And give them the right amount of walk throughs, meeting time and on the field practice time.”

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Trotter's status for next year uncertain

By Charles Bennett

AUBURN – With Clint Moseley established as Auburn’s No. 1 quarterback, and freshman Kyle Frazier getting equal reps with Moseley, redshirt junior Barrett Trotter seems to be the odd man out.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Saturday has had some discussion with Trotter about his future with the program, but nothing definitive.

“We've talked on the surface where's he's at, the details of that I'm not going into it,” Chizik said. “We'll talk more when the season ends.”

Trotter started the first seven games this season for the Tigers (7-5). He completed 81 of 149 passes (54.4 percent) for 1,009 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Moseley has completed 65 of 104 passes (62.5 percent) for 794 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Auburn hands out awards

AUBURN - The Auburn football team held its annual awards dinner Friday night. Listed below are the winners.

Awards Voted on by Players

Offensive MVP — Emory Blake

Defensive MVP — Neiko Thorpe

Special Teams MVP — Steven Clark

Team MVP — Philip Lutzenkirchen

Awards Voted on by Coaches

Special Teams Points Leader — Cody Parkey

Outstanding Offensive Newcomer — Reese Dismukes

Outstanding Defensive Newcomer — Jermaine Whitehead

Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year — Corey Grant

Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year — Daniel Pond

Academic Eye of the Tiger — Eltoro Freeman

Strength and Conditioning MVP — Jared Cooper, Corey Grant

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Auburn works on special teams

AUBURN - Auburn devoted Thursday’s bowl practice strictly to special teams’ work.

“Practice was great,” said special teams’ coordinator Jay Boulware. “Coach (Gene) Chizik likes to run our program here at Auburn like an NFL football team. Basically, we had an NFL special teams practice today. It allowed us to hone in on some of the stuff, game-plan wise, and we were also able to go back and refine some of the other things that we haven’t touched on in a while and things that we touch on once a week - hands team, on-side kick team and stuff like that.”

Boulware said the practice went well.

“It was crisp,” he said. “It was sharp. It was kind of a touch-up in some areas and put some guys in that may have been out before and are healthy now and getting ready to go for the game against Virginia.”

The Tigers play Virginia Dec. 31 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chizik issues statement on Malzahn departure

AUBURN - Auburn coach Gene Chizik issued the following statement Wednesday about offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn's departure to take the head coaching job a Arkansas State.

Chizik said Malzahn will continue to work with the Tigers through the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia.

“I’m very happy for Gus and the opportunity that awaits him at Arkansas State. Gus has always had the strong desire to become a head coach and the chance for him to return to his home state that he is so familiar with, will be very beneficial. He’s meant a tremendous amount to our program the past three years, helping our offense and our program achieve unprecedented heights, winning a BCS National Championship and setting countless offensive records. Gus has experienced success in each stop of his coaching career and I have no doubt that he will have similar results at Arkansas State. We look forward to having Gus stay with us through the bowl game and hope to send him out with a victory.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Malzahn leaving for Arkansas State

By Charles Bennett

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is expected to be named the next head coach at Arkansas State today.

Arkansas State has scheduled a news conference for 3:30 p.m. to announce the hiring of a new coach to replace Hugh Freeze who left to take the head coaching job at Ole Miss last week.

Whether Malzahn will begin his duties immediately or stay with the Tigers through their Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia is unknown.

If he leaves immediately, the Tigers will be without an offensive or a defensive coordinator. Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof left last week to take a similar position at Central Florida.

Earlier Tuesday, Auburn coach Gene Chizik, who is presently serving as defensive coordinator, was asked about the possibility that Malzahn would leave for another coaching job before the bowl game.

“Gus and I have a great relationship and we’ve had several discussions about moving forward in his career and where his goals are,” Chizik said. “At the end of the day, his decisions are going to be up to him and I’m sure he’s going to make the best decision for him and his family. But we’re very open when we talk about it. Again, if an opportunity arises, I’m sure he’ll do what’s best for him and his family, just like I did.”


Clark, Lutzenkirchen honored by SI

Courtesy of Auburn sports information

AUBURN – Auburn punter Steven Clark and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen were both named to the Sports Illustrated Honorable Mention All-America Team, the magazine announced Tuesday.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Clark has 69 punts this season with an average of 40.5 yards per punt. The sophomore has 32 punts inside the 20, a mark that ranks him tops in the Southeastern Conference and for second in the nation.

With 34 fair catches and two touchbacks, only 10 of Clark's punts have even been returned this season for just 62 yards. Of the 10 returns, five have gone for zero or negative yardage. For his efforts this season, Clark has twice been named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week and was named to the All-SEC First Team.

Lutzenkirchen, a native of Marietta, Ga., is third on the team in receiving with 24 catches for 238 yards and seven touchdowns, ranking him third on the team in scoring this season. Just a junior, he holds the Auburn touchdown record for a tight end with 14and holds the single-season record with his seven this season.

An All-SEC Second Team selection, Lutzenkirchen is tied for third nationally for touchdowns among tight ends. He has three game-winning touchdown receptions on his career and also helped block for an Auburn rushing attack that tallied 2,097 yards this season.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pro Football Weekly honors Clark

(Courtesty of Auburn sports information)

AUBURN - Auburn sophomore punter Steven Clark has been named to the Pro Football Weekly All-America Team, the magazine announced Monday.

Clark finished as a finalist last week for the Ray Guy Award and was named to the All-SEC First Team by the league’s head coaches.

A native of Kansas City, Mo., Clark has 69 punts this season with an average of 40.5 yards per punt. He has 32 punts inside the 20, a mark that ranks him tops in the Southeastern Conference and for second in the nation.

With 34 fair catches and two touchbacks, only 10 of Clark's punts have even been returned this season for just 62 yards. Of the 10 returns, five have gone for zero or negative yardage. For his efforts this season, Clark has twice been named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Chizik speaks about Dyer situation

Auburn coach Gene Chizik briefly addressed the suspension of tailback Mike Dyer while speaking with reporters prior to a press conference Monday in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

"When you see him back in an Auburn jersey, you know he's done everything we've asked him to do," Chizik said.

Chizik deflected further questions about Dyer by saying, "I'm not going to talk about the ones who are not here."

Auburn had confirmed reports of Dyer's indefnite suspension on Sunday.

Dyer, a sophomore who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons, will not play in Auburn's Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia, and his future with the Tigers beyond the bowl game remains uncertain.

Junior Onterio McCalebb and freshman Tre Mason are expected to fill Dyer's spot.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dyer suspended for bowl game

AUBURN – Auburn tailback Mike Dyer has been suspended for the Tigers’ Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia because of an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Dyer, a sophomore, has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons for the Tigers.

Auburn officials confirmed the suspension Sunday that was first reported by, and the Birmingham News, but offered no elaboration.

Last week, Dyer was selected first-team All-SEC by both the league’s coaches and the Associated Press.

Dyer rushed for 1,242 yards this season, second in the SEC behind Heisman candidate Trent Richardson of Alabama.

Auburn (7-5) plays Virginia (8-4) at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 31 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Auburn begins search for defensive coordinator

AUBURN - Auburn has spoken with Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops about the Tigers' vacant defensive coordinator's position, according to a report by

Auburn is seeking to replace Ted Roof, who left last week to take the defensive coordinator's job at Central Florida.

In his second season at Florida State, Stoops' defense ranked sixth nationally in total defense, including second in rushing defense and 18th against the pass.

Other coaches whom Auburn is apparently interested in include South Carolina defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and former North Carolina interim head coach Everett Withers.

Auburn head coach Gene Chizik is serving as defensive coordinator for the Tigers as they begin preparations for their Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl game with Virginia.

Chizik has indicated there is no timetable in place for naming Roof's successor.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Auburn's Dismukes earns post-season honors

(Courtesy of Auburn sports information)

AUBURN – Auburn freshman center Reese Dismukes picked up a pair of post-season awards Thursday as he was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team and the CBS Sports Freshman All-America Team.

A native of Spanish Fort, Ala., Dismukes started all 12 games at center for the Tigers and was the first Auburn true freshman to start at center in four years. A mainstay on the Auburn offensive line this season, Dismukes helped the Tigers rush for 2,097 yards this season, ranking fourth in the SEC. The Tigers rushed for more than 200 yards in six games this season, including a season-high 291 yards at Arkansas.

He also helped block for running back Michael Dyer, a first-team All-SEC selection, as he rushed for 1,242 yards on the season, enough for second in the SEC and 10th all-time at Auburn.

Chizik will fill Roof's spot for bowl game

AUBURN – With the departure of Ted Roof, Auburn coach Gene Chizik will serve as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A showdown with Virginia.

Chizik said Thursday he will be patient in making the hire and doesn’t feel any particular sense of urgency to replace Roof, who left to take the defensive coordinator’s job at Central Florida.

“I’ll be serving as defensive coordinator for the bowl game,” Chizik said. “Timelines, I don’t put timelines out there for any of those types of issues. We’re always going to take our time and do our due diligence when it comes to finding the right fit for Auburn. So we’ll do that. But I will be serving as the defensive coordinator for this game.”

Chizik responds to Roof's depature

AUBURN - Auburn head coach Gene Chizik issued the following statement Thursday regarding the departure of defensive coordinator Ted Roof for a similar position at Central Florida.

“Ted has played an important role in the success of our football program, helping Auburn win 29 games in three years, including a national championship last season," Chizik said. "I’m very appreciative of the passion, energy and work ethic Ted brought to the program every day. I know that this will be a great opportunity for Ted to be reunited with his mentor in George O’Leary and we wish him and his family nothing but the best at UCF.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roof leaving for UCF

Multiple sources are reporting that Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof is leaving for a similar position at the University of Central Florida.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Auburn places six on Coaches' All-SEC teams

(Courtesty of Auburn Sports information)

AUBURN - Six members of the Auburn football team have been named to Coaches’ All-Southeastern Conference Teams, the league office announced Tuesday.

Auburn placed three players on the All-SEC First Team with sophomore running back Michael Dyer, sophomore defensive end Corey Lemonier and sophomore punter Steven Clark.

On the second team are junior tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen, senior offensive lineman Brandon Mosley and junior running back Onterio McCalebb as an all-purpose selection.

Dyer ranks second in the SEC, 22nd nationally, in rushing with 103.5 yards per game and has his second consecutive 1,000-yard season in the books with 1,242 on the season. His 1,242 yards rank him 10th all-time at Auburn in single-season rushing and move him into 10th on the career rushing list with 2,335 yards.

Dyer is also fourth in the SEC in scoring with 10 touchdowns on the season. On the 2011 season, he tallied six games of 100 yards rushing and four of 150 yards or more.

Lemonier ranks third in the SEC and is tied for 12th nationally in sacks with 9.5 per game. He is also tied for fifth in the SEC with 13.5 tackles for loss this season. On the season, Lemonier is seventh on the team in tackles with 44 and has a team-high 15 quarterback hurries. He has also forced five fumbles and returned one for nine yards against Ole Miss.

Clark, a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, punted for 2,794 yards this season, averaging 40.5 yards per punt with a long punt of 58 yards. He is second in the nation in punts inside the 20 with 32 while nine of those have gone down inside the 10. Only 10 of Clark’s punts have even been returned this season with five of those for zero or negative yards.

Lutzenkirchen is third on the team in receiving with 24 catches for 238 yards and seven touchdowns, ranking him third on the team in scoring this season. A junior, he holds the Auburn touchdown record for a tight end with 14 and holds the single-season record with his seven this season.

Mosley has been a mainstay on the Auburn offensive line this season, helping the Tigers rush for 2,097 yards this season, ranking fourth in the SEC. The Tigers rushed for more than 200 yards in six games this season, including a season-high 291 yards at Arkansas.

McCalebb has been an all-purpose threat for the Tigers, ranking second on the team in rushing, second in receiving and first in yards per kick return. When running the ball, McCalebb tallied 532 yards on 102 carries for a 5.2 yards per rush average. He averaged 44.3 yards per game rushing and scored four rushing touchdowns on the season. On his career, McCalebb ranks 17th all-time at Auburn in career yardage with 1,907.

As a receiver, he tied for the team lead in catches with 30, going for 291 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 9.7 yards per reception and 24.2 receiving yards per game. Among running backs all-time at Auburn, McCalebb ranks tied for sixth in receptions, eighth in yardage and 10th in yards per reception. McCalebb also returned 10 kicks for 320 yards and a touchdown this season. He currently holds the Auburn record for kick return average with 28.3 yards per return on his career.

The SEC individual award winners will be released on Wednesday and the SEC All-Freshman Team will be announced on Thursday.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dyer makes first-team All-SEC

Auburn running back Mike Dyer has been selected to the Associated Press All-SEC first team.

Dyer was second in rushing in the SEC to Alabama Heisman hopeful Trent Richardson, rushing for 1,242 yards and 10 touchdowns on 242 carries.

Auburn tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen and defensive end Corey Lemonier were selected to the All-SEC second team.

Lutzenkirchen caught 24 passes for 238 yards and seven touchdowns this season. Lemonier finished tied for the SEC lead in sacks with 9.5

Auburn faces Virginia in Chick-fil-A

AUBURN – As expected, Auburn received and accepted an official invitation on Sunday to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 31.

What wasn’t expected was a late change in opponents. The Tigers will play Virginia (8-4) instead of Virginia Tech (11-2).

The Tigers (7-5) were anticipating a match up with Virginia Tech, which lost to Clemson 38-10 Saturday night in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte, N.C.

But the Sugar Bowl, in what was considered s surprise move by ESPN’s college football analysts, chose Virginia Tech over higher-ranked teams like Baylor, Kansas State and
Boise State as an at-large BCS selection to face Michigan.

When the Chick-fil-A Bowl’s turn came, they chose Virginia over Georgia Tech and Florida State to face the Tigers.

“Virginia closed the season very strong and had wins head to head over Georgia Tech and Florida State,” said Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan in explaining the bowl’s selection.

Virginia coach Mike London was pleased by the development.
“It has been a great year and a great opportunity for a young team to play in the Chick-fil-A Bowl,” London said. “We’re humbled by the opportunity to go play in Atlanta, and what an opportunity, to play the defending national champions.”

Auburn will be making its 38th bowl appearance and its fifth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, formerly known as the Peach Bowl.

This year’s game kicks off at 6:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve at the Georgia Dome.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik said the close school’s close proximity to Atlanta should please Tiger fans.

“We feel blessed to be in such a great bowl game,” Chizik said. “The Chick-fil-A Bowl has been outstanding through the years in terms of interest and fan excitement. Atlanta is a place that is very near and dear to our hearts. Our fan base is going to be extremely excited. We’re thrilled to be in such a great bowl game.”

The two schools will divide 34,000 tickets. The game is a sellout to the general public for the 15th consecutive year.

Tickets for the Chick-fil-A Bowl are $80 and may be purchased through the Auburn Ticket Office via or calling 1-855-AUB-2010. All seating assignments will be based on Tigers Unlimited Priority. For the best seats, fans are encouraged to place orders through the Auburn Athletic Department. For additional information, visit

“Virginia and Auburn represent two of the most exciting young teams in the country,” Stokan said. “With these two teams, we have two top-tier coaching staffs, incredible fan bases and great history and tradition. We’re expecting an unmatched atmosphere and a real battle in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.”

The only meetings between Auburn and Virginia came in a home-and-home meeting in 1997 and 1998. Auburn won the 1997 meeting, 18-7, in Charlottesville, while the Cavaliers won in Auburn, 19-0, in 1998. It will mark the first time the two teams have met in a bowl game.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Auburn coaches looking

By Charles Bennett

AUBURN – Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn heads a list of three Auburn football coaches who are candidates for head coaching jobs elsewhere.

Malzahn interviewed for the head coaching at North Carolina on Thursday, according to multiple sources. reported the news first.

Auburn running backs coach Curtis Luper has interviewed for the head coaching job at UAB according to the Birmingham News, while Auburn wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor is a candidate for the head coaching job at Tulane.

“I can’t say how strong a candidate Taylor is, but he’s definitely in the mix at this point,” said a source familiar with the process at Tulane. “He’s a strong recruiter, familiar with recruiting Louisiana, and that’s what Tulane needs.”

Malzahn has been one of the hottest coaching commodities in the nation since heading a record-setting offense that helped lead Auburn to the BCS title last season.

He was considered for the head coaching jobs at Vanderbilt and Maryland last season, but returned to Auburn after receiving a raise that made him one of the most highly-paid offensive coordinators in the nation at $1.3 million per year.

Malzahn has deflected questions about his coaching future, but has acknowledged on many occasions that his goal is to be a head coach.

Current North Carolina athletics director Bubba Cunningham was in the same capacity at Tulsa in 2007-2008 when Malzahn was offensive coordinator at Tulsa.