I really enjoy doing my columns for Inside the Auburn Tigers/AUTigers.com and am excited about a new project that I am involved with that will start this football season, a radio show.
I am not sure the exact date the first show will air, but I think it will be some time in August before the college season begins.
It will be an hour-long show that will run from 6-7 p.m. (Central) that will allow me to visit with friends I have made over the years in the coaching profession--coaches, players and media. We may even get some officials to come on and talk about the new rules we have to look forward to this year.
In the fall the show will be centered around football. The rest of the year we may end up talking about anything. This time of year with preseason practices getting ready to start on college campuses around the Southeastern Conference, the sports focus in this part of the world is on college football and that will be the case with the radio show.
I want to go back to the 1982 season, and in particular, the Kentucky game. More specifically, the pre game warm-up for the Kentucky game. That was the most physical pre-game warm-up I have ever witnessed. I don't recall you talking about this, but am curious if that was the intent or just the individual players being very aggressive.
I especially remember the backs pulling “bull in the ring” drills at full speed.) As I recall we went on to win that game 15-0 on five Al Del Greco field goals, pushed SEC Champ Georgia to the final play, beat Alabama for the first time in 10 years and then defeated Boston College and Doug Flutie in the Tangerine Bowl. I’ve always been curious if their was a story behind the Kentucky game and the physicality of the pre-game warm-ups.
I really enjoy your perspective on all things Auburn. War Eagle!!!!
Villa Rica, GA
Roger, I will go to back to 1981 to answer your question. What you saw that day didn’t just start in 1982 or with that Kentucky game, which we won 18-3 by kicking six field goals.
The pre-game that really stands out to me in that period was early in our first season at Auburn when we played LSU in '81.That was the game we opened by using five different players at quarterback for the first five plays. If you did that today the media and folks on social media would probably murder you.
The thing I remember about that LSU game was Coach Stovall’s team came out for the warmup and they had no pads on. We were standing out there talking on what was a muddy field at Jordan-Hare Stadium before they put in the great drainage system that is in there now. Back then when it rained it just sat there and even though it hadn’t rained in a while the field was in terrible shape.
I heard Coach Stovall yell over to his coaches not to let the players get on the ground during warmups. I thought to myself, “if you think your team is going to play today without getting on the ground you are in for a shock.”
I looked down in our end zone and there is Bud Casey with the running backs and they are doing a three-man roll drill in the mud.
Wayne Hall’s defensive linemen and Neil Callaway’s offensive linemen were going one-on-one in full pads.
Frank Orgel is over in the corner doing bull in the ring with the linebackers, which I guess is what you saw in pregame when we played Kentucky. It was just the way we warmed up then and it was something we did every day in practice we were in pads so it was not abnormal for us.
I think being physical is coachable and I think in the SEC if you are not as physical as the team you are playing that can be a problem. You don’t always have to be as big, as fast or as talented as the team you are competing with, but I found that having a hard-nosed, physical football team is pretty important in determining who is winning and who is losing.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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