Mississippi State: One of Those Nail Biters

Last time Mississippi State was in town in 2011 the game ended on a very exciting and super close play. Auburn stopped Mississippi State from scoring a touchdown that would have allowed them to win on the one yard line as the clock expired. It was crazy.

Tonight was another one of those crazy games.

The day started out normally with tailgating and thousands of hopefully Auburn fans coming to the Plains hopefully for our first SEC in over a year. (Last year was rough to say the least). I was fairly confident Auburn would come out on top at the end of the day, but it was not an easy win for us at all. The first half was back and forth. The second half Auburn was behind most of the time and things were not looking too good for us. However it worked out that we gained possession of the football with just a few minutes left and drove down the field. It was so exciting and so nerve wracking all at the same time, all 85,817 people in attendance were on the edge of their seats.

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We were all just praying that Marshall played smart and didn’t throw any interceptions. When it came down to the last few plays QB Marshall threw an 11-yard game-winning touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah with 10 seconds remaining on the clock. Instant relief. Our conference loosing streak is over.

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A year ago today my friends Heather, Tyler, AJ and I went to Mississippi State and watched Auburn fall in Starkville so I didn’t feel too bad for their fans as they journey back to Starkville. I have made that long ride back after a loss, no fun there.

Games like tonight are the ones you remember the most, you scream and scream until you can scream no more. Shake that shaker until you can hardly raise your arm. When you cheer your team on to victory, its worth every minute of the 6 hours we students spend standing in that stadium on Saturdays. Every splotch of sunburn, every drop of sweat, and every raw throat from screaming. Its what we do during 12-0 seasons and 3-9 seasons. Win or loose we stand together and sing that alma matter at then end of the game with pride.

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After the alma matter is sung then of course go to Toomer’s Corner, victory in Auburn is celebrated no other way.

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Auburn Traditions 101: Eagle Flight

Eagle Flight Auburn

Photo taken by Auburn University Photographic Services

Before each home football game Auburn has one of the what I believe to the be coolest traditions. The flight of our eagles. The eagle flights have been part of Auburn’s pre-game festivities since the Auburn vs. Wyoming game in 2000.

Auburn Eagle Flight

Photo taken by Auburn Photographic Services

The eagles are used to promote wildlife conservation through a partnership with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Southeastern Raptor Center. The eagles are unable to survive in the wild, so that is why the Southeastern Raptor center has them. The animals are like royalty and are given the best care available to them.

The eagle flight happens just a few minutes before kickoff. The eagle is released from the upper deck from a carrier and does a flight around the stadium.

Eagle Release Auburn

Photo taken by Auburn Photographic Services

It is not usually a complete circuit around, however the one we had Saturday night for the Washington State game was a great one.  When the bird is released the whole stadium shakes their shakers in a circular motion above their heads, and yells WAAAARRRR until the eagles is ready to land at the center of the field then the WAAAARRR is finished off with EAGLE HEY! I have a video below, it is not the best quality, but you can get an idea of what it is like.  It definitely gives you chills and it is amazing to watch such a majestic bird make its way around the stadium. I have yet to see anything else like it. It is definitely breath taking, and is known across the country. Our eagles were even used in the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City a few years ago.

Nova Eagle Auburn

Photo taken by Auburn University photographic services

*Disclaimer photos in this post were taken by Auburn Photographic Services, not Anna Leigh Peek*