1 month ago

Auburn downs Ole Miss 35-28 in Oxford

Well, it wasn’t dominant or pretty, but Auburn traveled to Ole Miss and came away with a much needed victory.

There is still plenty of room for improvement from the Tigers, but it will be much easier for the coaches and players to make that happen with a 3-2 record instead of the 2-3 record staring them in the face with about five minutes left in the contest.

Auburn survived again on the backs of standout offensive performances by Tank Bigsby and Seth Williams, along with a little help from another questionable officiating decision that may have deprived Ole Miss from a much needed touchdown late in the game.

Even after the apparent muffed kickoff return that the referees missed, the Rebels had opportunities to win the game and were unable to do so.
The Rebels are likely to be upset with the officiating, but a final offensive drive that came up short due to mismanaging the clock and dropped passes are what ultimately sealed their fate.

Take a look at the key things that decided Auburn’s 35-28 win over Ole Miss:

Overpowering rushing attacks
Some combination of talented tailbacks, perceived weakness in the defensive fronts, less than perfect weather and a desire to protect quarterbacks who combined for nine interceptions last week led to both squads planning to run the football this week.

Whatever the exact reasoning, the results were extremely positive for both offenses today. Auburn rushed for 224 yards on 47 carries, while Ole Miss ran for 283 yards on 51 attempts.

There were seven players between the two teams who rushed for at least 48 yards, including three different quarterbacks. Interestingly, the quarterback run game seemed to be designed from the beginning as a way to involve the signal callers without placing too much pressure on them with decision making. The gameplans were effective for both squads, as neither defense ever really solved the opponents rushing attack.

Finally, just a quick mention that Auburn freshman phenom Tank Bigsby rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns against Ole Miss. He has now rushed for over 100 yards in three consecutive games and also had an incredible 100 yard kick return for a touchdown called back on a completely unnecessary hold behind the play.

At this point, any call that involves giving Tank the ball is a good one. Bigsby must be the focal point of the Auburn offense.

Protecting the quarterback
Protecting quarterbacks Bo Nix and Matt Corral (of Auburn and Ole Miss, respectively) was critical for both squads today. Both play-calling and offensive line play managed to do that for most of the day.

There were a total of four passes thrown more than 10 yards down the field before Ole Miss’ final drive of the game. Instead, both teams opted for running the football and throwing quick passes to limit chances of turning the ball over.

On the day there was only one egregious decision made throwing the ball, and it ultimately was the difference in the game. In the first quarter, Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral threw an ill-advised pass on 3rd and goal from the 4-yard line that was intercepted by Auburn defensive back Roger McCreary.

The fact that the Rebels came away with no points while having a 1st and goal situation, put them in a situation of needing to score a touchdown on the last drive to tie the game instead of a field goal being enough to win.

Conversely, Auburn quarterback Bo Nix played a clean game passing and was a huge success running the ball. At this point, Nix’s most valuable trait may be that he causes problems for opposing defenses with his legs.

To his credit, Nix did make a really good throw to receiver Seth Williams with just over a minute left in the game.  The star wideout’s reception and 42 yard run became the game-winning touchdown. Bo Nix bounced back from a brutal game last week and did what was asked of him today, leading to a win over the Rebels.

Defense?
The game is rigged against defenses today as rule changes, spread offenses and dynamic quarterbacks make the task of stopping an opponent nearly impossible.

Today the Tigers’ defense did its job in a couple of senses. First of all, they kept the opponents from scoring more than their own team (obviously the ultimate goal). Also, Auburn held Ole Miss to its lowest scoring total of the season through the first five games. Lastly, the Tigers remain the only team in the SEC that has not given up more than 30 points in a game this year (as arbitrary as that number may be).

However, it is extremely concerning and quite disorienting to see Auburn defenses get pushed around. Auburn’s calling card throughout its history has been a physical brand of football, especially defensively. Watching Ole Miss rack up nearly 300 yards rushing at 5.5 yards per attempt was strange.

Credit the Rebels’ players and coaches for planning and executing a rushing attack that was outstanding today, but Auburn left a lot to be desired defensively.

Last week’s second half performance against South Carolina combined with today’s showing versus the Rebels means that Auburn’s defense must toughen up going forward.

It appears that the Auburn offense may be finding its footing in the running game, so if the Tigers’ defense can stiffen, that is a proven recipe for a successful football team. The Auburn defense can improve its schemes, tackling and effort. It must do so for the Tigers to win games through the remainder of the schedule.

Zack Shaw is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News and former walk-on for the Auburn Tigers. You can contact him by email: zack@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @z_m_shaw

4 hours ago

Ivey lights official state Christmas tree – ‘Merry Christmas to each of you’

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Friday took part in the traditional annual lighting of the official State of Alabama Christmas Tree located on the steps of the capitol.

“Let this be a year you do a little bit more, and give a little bit more,” said Governor Ivey to those assembled.

“Merry Christmas to each of you and to all families across Alabama,” she added.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed introduced Ivey at the ceremony and praised her “steady leadership” during a tumultuous year. Ivey later thanked him for his “dedicated leadership” of Alabama’s capital city.

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Around 200 citizens braved temperatures in the mid-40s to take in the lighting ceremony. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, masks were required for attendance at the ceremony.

“I’m incredibly grateful we’re able to safely keep this Christmas tradition alive,” Ivey said of the circumstances.

Alabama’s 2020 tree was donated by Robbins Taylor, Sr. of Lowndes County. The Eastern Red Cedar is 35 feet tall and required a crew from the Alabama Department of Transportation for its installation.

Major General David J. Francis, commanding general of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker, reminded the crowd in attendance that the Christmas standard “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” was written from the perspective of a soldier forced to be away from home during World War II.

“This is a great reminder to remember all our service members, including the members of the greatest generation, the deployed members who will not be with their loved ones this holiday season, and the many who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Francis added.

“Christmas is a direct reminder of the hope we find in Jesus Christ,” mentioned the governor, who makes her Christian faith a mainstay of her public persona.

“Through the birth of a baby boy over two thousand years ago, we can find salvation, peace, and purpose in our lives,” Ivey continued.

“For many of us, including myself, that hope and faith has been what has guided us through these difficult challenges of 2020,” she told the public.

“May God continue to bless our state,” the governor concluded.

Watch:

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

7 hours ago

Palmer: Pelosi, Democrats prioritize pot legalization over COVID-19 relief

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) raised eyebrows this week by calling the House of Representatives into session and pushing through votes on legislation that would legalize marijuana and ban private ownership of exotic animals — known as the “Tiger King” bill.

Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-06) released a scathing statement on Friday decrying Pelosi’s prioritization of these bills over much-needed COVID-19 relief for the American people.

“Speaker Pelosi and her clueless Democrat colleagues have proven over and over again that their top priorities do not include the hardworking Americans who need help to get through this pandemic,” Palmer said.

“This week, their prioritization of pot legalization while people are struggling is a stunning display of partisan politics and shows just how out of touch Democrats are with the American people,” he continued. “The timing of this bill not only reflects a disregard for the businesses that need further relief funding, but also for the rampant mental health and drug overdose issues exacerbated by the pandemic.”

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Entitled the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE Act), the marijuana legalization passed the House on Friday by a vote of 228-164. The only Alabama representative to support the measure was Congresswoman Terri Sewell (AL-07), a Democrat.

“Federal surveys show that since the coronavirus arrived in the U.S., depression and anxiety have been on the rise, with a concerning 75% of young adults now struggling with at least one mental health or drug problem,” Palmer explained. “The Center for Disease Control has also predicted that the U.S. could see 75,500 drug overdose deaths in 2020 if recent trends hold. Pelosi’s pot bill is even more unconscionable with these concerning facts in mind, especially as it ignores common sense safety measures around marijuana use, and also funnels taxpayer dollars to the marijuana industry and convicted drug dealers. In short, the bill would grant easier access to a gateway drug for already vulnerable and struggling people.”

The Central Alabama congressman concluded, “Furthermore, at a time when we should be helping people with employment opportunities, this bill would move us in the wrong direction. Companies with drug-free work environments, many of them also hazardous work environments, should not and will not employ people who might come to work drug-impaired, endangering themselves and others. I hope we don’t waste more opportunities next week for needed relief.”

Palmer, as the chair of the Republican Policy Committee, is the fifth-highest ranking member of the House GOP.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

7 hours ago

WWII vet finishes fight with COVID-19, turns 104 the next day

A World War II veteran in Alabama was released from the hospital this week after a battle with the coronavirus. He turned 104 years old on his first day back home.

Major Wooten, the veteran in question, has become something of a minor celebrity in recent years for his joyful approach to life at his advanced age.

Wooten turned heads in recent years during his trip to Normandy to celebrate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Similar lines cheered his return to the airport and his exit from the hospital earlier this week.

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An ardent Alabama fan, Wooten again made headlines earlier this year when Nick Saban gave him a call after a health scare in the spring.

RELATED: Nick Saban surprises 103-year-old WWII veteran with Facetime call

Wooten is from Cullman and was cared for at Madison Hospital during his fight with COVID-19.

His exit from the hospital has garnered attention across the nation, with the Associated Press publishing a widely circulated story and ABC’s World News Tonight featuring Wooten in a segment.

Watch employees of Madison Hospital sing Happy Birthday to Major Wooten:

 

Major Wooten turns 104!

Mr. Major Lee Wooten won his battle with COVID-19 in time to be home to celebrate his 104th birthday. Mr. Wooten, who is a veteran and warmly known as “Pop Pop,” is described by his granddaughter as “their family’s treasure.” Please join us in wishing Mr. Wooten a very, happy birthday!

Posted by Madison Hospital on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

8 hours ago

Alabama receives over $50M from Dept. of Interior for energy produced in state

The State of Alabama is receiving $50.29 million from the federal government as a disbursement for energy that was produced in a federally owned area of the state.

Alabama’s funds come as part of a $1.81 billion payout to 34 states announced by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt on Friday.

The revenue sent to states Friday “was collected from oil, gas and mineral production on federal lands within the states’ borders and from offshore oil and gas tracts in federal waters adjacent to their shores,” according to a release from the department.

Virtually all of Alabama’s portion of the money was generated by offshore drilling, per the data available on an Interior Department web portal.

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Alabama’s payment was ninth highest in the nation. New Mexico took the top spot with $706.96 million followed by Wyoming, Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Mississippi.

American Indian Tribes received $1 billion as part of the process; 100% of the revenue from the energy generated on their lands.

“[T]hese disbursements also go right back to the states and Tribes where the energy was produced, providing critical funding for schools, public services, conservation improvements and infrastructure projects that create good-paying American jobs,” said Bernhardt on Friday.

The over $50 million announced as on its way to Alabama on Friday is the state’s total for fiscal year 2020 that ended September 30. It is the largest amount the state has received under the disbursement policy in the last decade.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

10 hours ago

Aderholt tests positive for COVID-19, is asymptomatic

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) on Friday announced that he has tested positive for COVID-19 but is displaying no symptoms.

Aderholt originally went into quarantine on November 15 after learning he had been in close contact with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Right after completing his 10-day quarantine period, Aderholt’s wife, Caroline, tested positive and he once again went into quarantine.

Under new CDC guidelines that allow for a seven-day quarantine if followed by a negative test result, Aderholt on Thursday received a COVID-19 test to ascertain if he could exit quarantine and resume voting on the House floor.

“I fully expected to receive a negative test, because I have felt, and continue to feel fine, and have no symptoms. Unfortunately, I received word Friday morning that my test came back positive. After speaking with the Attending Physician for Congress, I will continue to isolate,” he advised in a statement.

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Aderholt also said that his wife has recovered from the virus after experiencing mild symptoms.

During his original quarantine, Aderholt had isolated himself away from his wife and the rest of his family.

The dean of Alabama’s U.S. House delegation, Aderholt is a senior member of the Committee on Appropriations, including serving as the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science and as a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Subcommittee and the Defense Subcommittee.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn