Twitter reacts to the Jaguars firing Urban Meyer as coach

The Jacksonville Jaguars fired Urban Meyer after a 2-11 record. Here is how Twitter reacted to the news.

The Jacksonville Jaguars got a fresh start Thursday morning with the firing of coach Urban Meyer.

The move happened in the middle of the night, and comes after a string of embarrassments that range from his 2-11 record to getting shutout 20-0 at the hands of the Tennessee Titans in Week 14 to a story about how he allegedly kicked kicker Josh Lambo.

Like Jaguars owner Shad Khan when firing a coach, Twitter never sleeps, and the coaching change by Jacksonville was just what football fans needed as one jolt of excitement before bedtime. Here are some of the best reactions from Twitter.

Nation’s No. 4 LB Jalon Walker is officially a Georgia Bulldog

Jalon Walker is a DAWG

Jalon Walker, who ranks as the nation’s No. 41 overall player and No.4 ranked linebacker according to 247Sports, has signed his national letter of intent and is officially a Georgia Bulldog.

Walker, out of Salisbury, North Carolina, about a 45 minute drive from Charlotte, has been committed to UGA since March.

The 6-foot-2, 220 pounder is a three-sport athlete, also playing basketball and competing in track and field.

Walker’s ability to get off the edge quickly is apparent on film. He is disruptive and makes key tackles on special teams. He could see the field on special teams right away at Georgia.

Walker frequently finds his way into the opposing backfield.  He is a big-hitter with good speed. His tape is very impressive and shows why he was recruited by the top college football programs in the country.

Patriots QB Mac Jones says he was too focused to grant interview with Peyton Manning

New England Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones explained why he turned down an interview with Peyton Manning ahead of the popular ManningCast for Week 13.

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones made history on Monday night in the 14-10 win over the Buffalo Bills.

Not only did the rookie from Alabama play a complete game throwing just three passes, but he also is the only quarterback to date to turn down an interview with Peyton Manning ahead of the popular ManningCast alternate commentary of ESPN Monday Night Football.

Jones told his side of the story on “Merloni & Fauria” on WEEI 93.7 in Boston Tuesday.

“I texted him or whatever,” Jones said. “I am not going to get into any details, but I think we were just focused on the game. The Patriots do a great job of just helping me stay focused on what I need to stay focused on. I was like that in college, too.”

Peyton isn’t the only Manning in Jones’ cell phone. According to the first round pick, Archie Manning, Peyton’s dad, was a resource for him as he was working through the draft process.

“They’re great people,” Jones said. “I’ve been in contact with them throughout the whole process, even Archie, too. He’s a great resource to me.”

Peyton and Archie aren’t the only famous people in Jones’ contacts list, but the 23-year-old wasn’t forthcoming about who else might be in his phone.

“I think if I ever get a chance to get advice from people who have done really well in the NFL or just successful people, I just try to pick their brain and stuff like that. Just being in a situation growing up watching a lot of great players and getting a chance to meet them or talk to them, I always use that to my advantage.”

The Patriots are 9-4 and possess the No. 1 seed in the AFC. With the Patriots’ on a Week 14 bye, Jones intends to stay low key and relax at home in New England.

Auburn soccer adds ‘very talented class’ for 2022

A strong class for Auburn soccer.

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn soccer, and head coach Karen Hoppa have announced the program’s 2022 signing class, which includes six student-athletes who are set to join the Tigers next fall.

“We are thrilled to announce our 2022 class,” Hoppa said. “This is a very talented class that will make us better at every position.”

The class includes three defenders, two forwards, and one goalkeeper. Two signees hail from Georgia and Texas and one apiece are natives of Virginia and New Jersey.

“We cannot wait for them to get to the Plains and join our successful group of returning players,” Hoppa added. “The 2022 season cannot get here soon enough.”

The players who will join the Tigers in 2022 are listed below.

Player Pos. Hometown Club Team High School
Hayden Colson D Denton, Texas FC Dallas John H. Guyer
Dylan Driver F Macon, Ga. Concord Fire Platinum Stratford Academy
Olivia Fout F Virginia Beach, Va. Richmond United Cape Henry Collegiate
Erin Houston D Kennesaw, Ga. Tophat SC Harrison
Taylor Richards GK Plano, Texas FC Dallas Plano Senior
Helene Tyburczy D Ramsey, N.J. Cedar Stars Academy Ramsey

Hayden Colson will make her way to Auburn from Denton, Texas, and is one of two signees to compete for FC Dallas.

A center back who can also play holding midfielder, Colson is regarded by Top Drawer Soccer as a four-star recruit and is the 117th rated player in the 2022 Girls IMG Academy Top 150. She is also considered the 13th rated player in Texas.

Earlier this year, Colson was invited to the U.S. U18 Women’s National Team Virtual Camp and earned ECNL First Team All-Conference accolades. Also a standout at John H. Guyer High School, she was previously named the 5-6A Defensive Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Area. Colson also runs track and was a 4×100 state qualifier and 2021 Austin TGCA All-State honoree.

Dylan Driver comes to the Plains from Macon, Georgia, and is a product of Concord Fire 04 ECNL Platinum.

A dangerous goal scorer, Driver was recently named to the 2021 U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Best XI Team after leading Concord Fire to the regional championship and pacing the league in points, goals and assists. She was previously named to the 2020-21 U.S U17 Piedmont Conference Best XI and is a 2020 Georgia State Cup Champion.

At the high school level, Driver holds Stratford Academy’s school record for goals (eight) and points (17) in a game and had tallied 83 goals and 54 assists in her career. She was named 2021 GHSA Super 11 Second Team and a finalist for the GHSA Player of the Year. She also competes in track & field as well as equestrian.

Olivia Fout is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and competes at the club level for Richmond United.

A strong and physical wide forward, Fout excels for both Richmond United and Cape Henry Collegiate, where she was named First Team All-State, the Tidewater Conference Tournament MVP and the 2020-21 Cape Henry Team MVP. Fout was also an all-state performer following her freshman season at Floyd E. Kellam High School.

Erin Houston is set to join the Auburn Family from Kennesaw, Georgia, where she competes for Tophat SC.

A versatile defender who can play anywhere on the back line, Houston has been recognized on the Girls Academy Southeast Top 30 Players list and was a Girls Academy League team representative from 2020-21.

Following a breakout performance at Harrison High School in 2021, Houston was named the Cobb County Player of the Year and Region 3-7A Player of the Year.

Taylor Richards, who is the younger sister of Auburn’s junior forward Sydney Richards, comes to Auburn from Plano, Texas, and joins Colson as a product of FC Dallas.

An athletic goalkeeper, Richards has earned the Southern Region Golden Glove Award and has helped lead FC Dallas to both the Southern Regional Championship as well as a National Championship semifinal appearance. Also a standout at Plano Senior High School, she earned First Team All-District 9-6A honors and has been named Plano Senior’s MVP on a pair of occasions.

Rounding out the 2022 signing class, Helene Tyburczy will make her way to campus from Ramsey, New Jersey, where she competes for Cedar Stars Academy.

A true center back, Tyburczy is a three-time U.S. Youth Soccer ODP National Training Camp participant and five-time ODP East Region Team selection. She has also been named a U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Interregional Tournament All-Star and Youth Girls All-East Region selection by United Soccer Coaches.

At the high school level, Tyburczy is a 2020 All-East Region, two-time All-State, and three-time All-Conference performer as well as the 2020 North Jersey Player of the Year. She has helped lead Ramsey High School to three league and state sectional championships as well as a state finals appearance.

Auburn soccer falls to Samford in NCAA Tournament

Congrats on a good season, ladies!

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn fell to Samford 2-0 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday night at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

The two teams took a scoreless tie into halftime, but Samford (16-3-2) scored a pair of goals in the middle of the second half to hand Auburn (12-7-1) just its third home loss of the season.

“We’re certainly disappointed with the loss. It’s not the way we wanted to send out our seniors,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “We’re obviously very young, and I think there’s a lot our team can learn from this. We’re looking forward to next year already.”

Winners of the Southern Conference regular season and tournament championships, Samford advances to the second round in Durham, North Carolina to take on the winner of tomorrow’s contest between Brown and St. John’s.

“Like coach said, we’re a very young team so we’ve continued to grow,” said Hannah Waesch. “Just building on some of our strengths and continuing to work on our weaknesses. Growth has been a big theme of this season.”

Auburn was the aggressor in the first half, outshooting the Bulldogs 7-1 and tallying six corner kicks to Samford’s zero in the opening stanza. The Tigers had a chance to take the lead into half as Olivia Candelino found space inside the box but her shot skipped wide of frame.

Coming out of halftime, the Bulldogs were the first to get on the scoreboard on Mary Raymond’s goal in the 61st minute. Sixteen minutes later, Taylor Yount doubled Samford’s lead before the visitors bled out the final 14 minutes of the contest.

Auburn nearly cut the deficit to one on a pair of looks in the final stages, but Samford goalkeeper Morgan McAslan made the saves to preserve the two-goal advantage.

Auburn finished with 15 shots but could never find the back of the net. Anna Haddock led the way with seven shots, two of which were on frame. Samford finished with six shots but was able to capitalize on one-third of its chances.

Sixteen Tigers saw action in the contest, including 12 who appeared in a NCAA Tournament game for the first time.

This is a release from Auburn Athletics.

Auburn soccer hosts Samford in first round of NCAA Tournament Friday

Go get ’em Tigers!

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn soccer makes its 17th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and will play host to Samford (15-3-2) in the first round Friday at 5 p.m. at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

“We need a huge crowd, and we’re hoping to get one,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “We want to pack that stadium. It’s not often you get an NCAA Tournament game on your campus, so we want to see all the Auburn Family out and really need that extra help in the stands.”

The game will be streamed on SEC Network+ and broadcast on WEGL 91.1.

STARTING XI

All 17 of Auburn’s NCAA Tournament appearances have come under head coach Karen Hoppa in the last 21 seasons.

The team’s 17 tournament appearances since 2001 are tied with Florida for the second-most in the SEC, trailing only Texas A&M (20).

The Tigers earned a top-16 seed in Monday’s selection show for the fourth time in program history (No. 3 seed – 2011; No. 4 seed – 2015-16, 2021).

Auburn is 13-16-0 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 6-3-0 at the Auburn Soccer Complex and as a national seed.

The team has advanced to the second round, third round, and quarterfinals in its three previous appearances as a national seed.

Friday marks the eighth time the team has hosted a first-round contest and is its fifth straight tournament appearance as a host (2015-18, 2021).

Twenty-six of Auburn’s 31 players will make their NCAA Tournament debuts Friday.

By way of defeating South Carolina for the first time since 2012, the Tigers are coming off the program’s first appearance in the SEC Tournament semifinals since 2016.

Auburn is 12-2-2 all-time against Samford, and Friday will mark the first time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament.

Five of the last seven contests between the Tigers and Bulldogs have been decided by one goal, including a 2-1 Auburn win in the 2021 season opener in Birmingham.

PLAYER TO WATCH: OLIVIA CANDELINO

Sophomore forward Olivia Candelino was named to the SEC’s All-Tournament Team after assisting in back-to-back games against South Carolina and Arkansas in Orange Beach.

Candelino is tied for the team lead with eight assists and is one of four Tigers to have registered double-digit points this season.

The Jacksonville, Florida, native has assisted in three of the last four games.

SCOUTING SAMFORD

Samford enters the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in program history and has posted a 15-3-2 overall record.

The Bulldogs went perfect in both Southern Conference regular season (9-0-0) and tournament play (3-0-0) and are riding the nation’s second-longest winning streak at 12 games.

Offensively, Samford is led by a trio of All-SoCon performers in Alyssa Frazier, Mary Raymond, and Taylor Yount, who’ve combined for 63 points on 21 goals and 21 assists this season.

Defensively, Second Team All-SoCon goalkeeper Morgan McAslan has played every minute between the posts and has registered a 0.78 goals-against average with nine shutouts.

NCAA TOURNAMENT CENTRAL

Gates open one hour prior to kickoff.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and may be purchased with a debit or credit card only at will call outside of the soccer complex. Children 12 and under as well as Auburn students who show their Tiger Card will receive free admission.

Fan parking may be found at four primary locations:

  1. McWhorter lot at the intersection of Biggio Drive and Samford Drive.
  2. Softball Home Plate lot on Biggio Drive.
  3. Intramural Field spaces on Biggio Drive.
  4. Ag Heritage lot located off Donahue Drive.

Unlike Auburn soccer regular-season contests, no artificial noisemakers will be allowed inside the soccer complex.

Auburn soccer earns top-16 seed, set to host Samford in NCAA Tournament Friday

Congrats Tigers!

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn soccer earned a No. 4 seed and its 17th NCAA Tournament selection Monday afternoon. Tigers will host Samford in the first round Friday at 5 p.m. CT at the Auburn Soccer Complex.

“Ever since (last year’s) selection show this team has been on a mission,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “I’m so proud to see our name come up with a number by it, meaning we’re one of the top 16 seeds. I’m really proud of this team and what they’ve accomplished during the regular season.”

Auburn enters the tournament with a 12-6-1 overall record and went 5-4-1 in SEC play. The Tigers are coming off the team’s first appearance in the SEC Tournament semifinal since 2016 and are one of seven conference teams to qualify for the big dance.

“Our norm is being in the NCAA (Tournament), and these past couple of years we haven’t really been achieving our goals,” Hailey Whitaker added. “We made it a goal at the beginning of this season that this is what we wanted to achieve, so it’s really excited to be seeded that high this year.”

Auburn is 9-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 6-3 in tournament contests at home.

“Obviously, we were a little disappointed last year with not being drawn,” Hannah Waesch said. “It’s going to be a really great adventure for this team to keep on growing. It’s going to be a wild ride.”

Samford has posted a 15-3-2 overall record and went 9-0-0 in Southern Conference play en route to also winning the tournament championship. The Bulldogs are making the sixth tournament appearance in program history, including its second in the last three seasons.

“They’re a pretty physical team,” SEC Defender of the Year Alyssa Malonson said of Samford. “They’re probably going to come out with everything they have. I wouldn’t expect anything less. I’m excited.”

Friday’s match will mark the 17th all-time meeting between the familiar foes, including the first in the NCAA Tournament.

Tickets are on sale through the Auburn Ticket Office and may be purchased online by clicking here or by calling the ticket office at (855) 282-2010 (Option 1).

Prices are $8 for the general public, and children 12 and under as well as Auburn students who show their Tiger Card will receive free admission.

Fans who have purchased tickets may pick up their wristbands at will call, which opens at the Auburn Soccer Complex one hour prior to kickoff. The ticket off will send an email with specific information to all ticket holders later this week.

This is a release from Auburn Athletics. 

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Auburn soccer falls to No. 5 Arkansas in SEC semifinal

Tough loss.

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Making its first SEC Tournament semifinal in six seasons, Auburn fell to No. 5 Arkansas, 5-1, Thursday at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

Freshman midfielder Sydnie Thibodaux scored her first career goal, but top-seeded Arkansas ultimately pulled away to advance to Sunday’s championship game.

Olivia Candelino assisted to Thibodaux, who drove and fired a left-footed laser to get the Tigers on the scoreboard early in the second half, one minute after Arkansas had taken 2-0 lead on Kayla McKeon’s second goal of the game.

Thibodaux started the second half in place of Anna Haddock, and freshman defender LJ Knox played much of the game in place of senior center back M.E Craven.

“Really proud of them,” Auburn coach Karen Hoppa said. “We had some freshmen have to step up into some important roles. They gave everything they had. ‘Thibs’ got the goal, a great goal that gave us a chance.”

The fifth-seeded Tigers threatened in the opening five minutes when Haddock’s shot from distance nearly broke the goal line, but a video review upheld the ruling.

Goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska and the Auburn defense held the attacking Razorbacks at bay for most of the first half, with the sophomore keeper making two terrific saves sandwiched between a team save 20 minutes into the contest.

Arkansas broke the deadlock in the 40th minute on a touch pass to McKeon, who delivered a strike into the upper 90 that Prohaska deflected but couldn’t keep from reaching the back of the net.

McKeon’s second goal came in the opening minute of the second half, leading to the quick answer from Thibodaux.

The Razorbacks regained a two-goal lead in the 75th minute on goal from Taylor Malham, and Arkansas (16-3-0) added two goals in the final 10 minutes, one on a deflection by Bea Franklin off a free kick in the 80th minute, and a close-range goal from Ava Benedetti in the 83rd.

“Unfortunately, when we pushed all our numbers forwards, we gave up a couple counterattacks,” Hoppa said.  “Arkansas is a top five team. That’s what they’ll do.

“Proud of my team. I think we learned a lot. Now we’re going to rest up and get excited for NCAAs.”

Auburn returns to the Plains to await Monday’s NCAA Tournament pairings. The Tigers advanced to the semifinals by beating South Carolina 2-1 on Tuesday, Auburn’s first victory over the Gamecocks since 2012.

“We wouldn’t play until a week from Friday so we’ve got some time. We’ll recover from this. We’ve got a great character group, we’ve got great leadership. We felt like we could do better and we know we’ll have an opportunity to do better in NCAAs.”

Auburn soccer advances to SEC Tournament semifinal with 2-1 win vs. South Carolina

War Eagle!

The following is a release from Auburn Athletics. 

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – Auburn soccer advanced to its first SEC Tournament semifinal since 2016 with a 2-1 win against South Carolina Tuesday night at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

The win marks Auburn’s first against the Gamecocks since 2012 and sets up a semifinal showdown with top-seeded Arkansas (15-3-0) Thursday at 5 p.m. CT.

“What a great performance by our team,” head coach Karen Hoppa said. “It was a total team effort. I thought our speed of play was outstanding. We scored two great goals, created a lot of opportunities. In the end, after they got the penalty kick, we stood strong defensively.”

The win is the Tigers (12-5-1) second result against South Carolina (11-6-1) in as many SEC Tournament matchups, previously advancing on penalty kicks against the Gamecocks in 2015.

M.E. Craven and Sydney Richards accounted for the scoring in the contest, while four Tigers in Anna Haddock, Rocio Sanders, Olivia Candelino and Marissa Arias pitched in with assists.

“It was just a great feeling for all of us,” Craven said. “Our possession was finally starting to come together. I think it was the best possession we’ve played, so it was just exciting.”

On the other end, sophomore goalkeeper Maddie Prohaska and the Auburn back line held South Carolina scoreless in the run of play, only conceding a penalty kick to allow the Gamecocks to draw within one.

“It was great, but this is just the beginning,” Prohaska said of the win. “My back line was excellent. They had my back and I had theirs. That’s really what makes a great back line and a great goalkeeper, when we understand each other and can pick each other up.”

 With the clock winding down toward halftime, Auburn took a 1-0 lead on Craven’s third goal of the year. The senior defender got a right foot on a ball at the six-yard line and snuck it past the South Carolina goalkeeper to start the scoring. Haddock served the free kick to the feet of Sanders, and Craven finished it off.

Continuing its momentum out of halftime, the Tigers pressed forward to start the second stanza and fired off three shots in the first 12 minutes after tallying just two in the first half. The team’s fourth shot found the back of the net as Richards buried one after the goalkeeper came off her line. Candelino and Arias played a nice give and go, and Arias ultimately laid it off to Richards, who finished with the right from the top of the box.

“It was huge,” Richards said of taking a 2-0 lead. “We really needed it. We wouldn’t have won that game without it. It’s good that we had the second one to cushion (the lead).”

After taking a 2-0 lead, Auburn was called for a foul inside the box at the 71-minute mark, and South Carolina cut the deficit in half with the penalty-kick goal. However, Prohaska and the Tigers defensive unit buckled down, allowing just one shot in the final 19 minutes of action.

Prohaska recorded her first save on a diving attempt less than four minutes into the contest and ultimately tallied five saves while making a number of other plays that didn’t show up on the scoresheet.

“She was outstanding, one of her best performances so far in her young career,” Hoppa added of Prohaska.

Auburn was efficient in its attack as the Tigers put three of eight shots on goal and two past the South Carolina goalkeeper.

Six Tigers logged all 90 minutes and 16 players ultimately saw action in the contest.

Transfer Tracker: How former Tigers are foing at their new schools

Here’s what these former Tigers are up to…

The transfer portal was busier than ever this offseason and Auburn’s roster saw plenty of turnover.

Auburn added nine players but saw 14 players leave the program for a variety of reasons.  Some of these players have become important contributors at their new school while others are still looking for a chance to prove themselves.

Here’s a look at how the former Tigers are fairing at their new schools.