Auburn -10.5

Attending, Listening, Watching, The Trophy


9/5/2015, 3:30 EST.  Atlanta, GA – Georgia Dome

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff is SOLD OUT.  Tickets are available in the secondary market this morning starting in the $80-$85 range for Upper End Zone seats.   200 level End Zone seats can be found for about $120 and getting into the Lower Level will cost fans around $150.  Sideline seats are going for $200 or MORE.


The Louisville call of the game will be broadcast on Louisville Sports Properties.  Paul Rogers will provide play-by-play with Craig Swabek adding color along with Doug Ormay who will be on the sideline.

Nationally the game will be on the ESPN network with Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, and Tom Luginbill with the call.

If you’d like to tune in and listen to the Auburn broadcast the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic is broadcast on the Auburn IMG Sports Network.  In Atlanta, the Auburn call will be on WZGC -FM 92.9.  Rom Bramlett, Stan White, Quentin Riggins, Paul Ellen, and Andy Burcham will provide the coverage.


The Louisville vs. Auburn game will be broadcast on CBS nationally with Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Allie LaForce.  CBS is also making the game available on and the CBS Sports Mobile app.  Coverage on-line will include an ‘All-22″ angle as an option for fans to watch all players on the field. Live Stats & Highlights will also be available on-line.

The Trophy 

That’s me wearing “The Old Leather Helmet” at this year’s ACC Kickoff in Pinehurst.  The OLH is an icon of toughness & courage, it represents the origins of college football rivalries, and is worn only by the winner of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.


Hype Video

Stat Comparison

  Louisville Auburn
Scoring Offense (ppg) 31.2 (53rd) 35.5 (27th)
Total Offense (ypg) 394.7 (72nd) 485.0 (17th)
Passing Offense (ypg) 252.0 (47th) 229.5 (67th)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 142.69 (95th) 255.46 (14th)
Scoring Defense (ppg) 21.8 (24th) 26.7 (63rd)
Total Defense (ypg) 308.5 (6th) 398.8 (66th)
Passing Defense (ypg) 199.6 (27th) 230.1 (70th)
Rushing Defense (ypg) 108.92 (10th) 168.77 (69th)
Punt Returns (ypr) 7.41 (70th) 17.82 (4th)
Kickoff Returns (ypr) 21.06 (61st) 20.03 (82nd)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr) 9.71 (97th) 7.79 (72nd)
Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr) 22.60 (101st) 21.79 (87th)
Punting (ypp) 39.85 (94th) 40.67 (76th)
Field Goal % 78.9% (34th) 75.00% (54th)
Opponent Field Goal % 88.5% (123rd) 61.1% (20th)
First Downs (per game) 20.4 (77th) 24.2 (20th)
Opponent First Downs (per game) 15.3 (4th) 22.1 (92nd)
Penalties (ypg) 49.3 (50th) 68.9 (115th)
Turnover Margin (season) +4 (41st) +7 (27th)
Time of Possession 32:31.62 (15th) 29:52.69 (61st)
Sacks (per game) 3.15 (10th) 1.62 (98th)
Sacks Allowed (per game) 3.08 (115th) 1.15 (17th)
Tackles for Loss (per game) 6.77 (28th) 6.31 (50th)
Tackles for Loss Allowed (per game) 7.15 (116th) 5.69 (59th)
Interceptions (season) 26 (1st) 22 (5th)
Passes Defended (per game) 5.92 (10th) 5.31 (19th)
Fumbles Recovered (season) 4 (120th) 5 (108th)
Fumbles Forced (season) 7 (107th) 12 (45th)
Fumbles Lost (season) 16 (123rd) 13 (108th)
Kicks/Punts Blocked (season) 1 (72nd) 1 (72nd)
3rd Down Conversions (%) 39.2% (76th) 52.51% (2nd)
Opponent 3rd Down Conversions (%) 31.79% (10th) 35.75% (26th)
4th Down Conversions (%) 52.38% (54th) 42.86% (97th)
Opponent 4th Down Conversions (%) 25.00% (4th) 60.00% (92nd)
Red Zone Conversions (%) 82.76% (68th) 87.93% (32nd)
Opponent Red Zone Conversions (%) 76.92% (26th) 74.07% (13th)
RedZone TD Conversions (%) 67.24% (29th) 65.52% (40th)
Opponent Red Zone TD Conversions (%) 41.03% (4th) 55.56% (35th)
Kickoffs (ypk) 62.58 (26th) 62.32 (31st)
Plays 939 (56th) 939 (56th)
Yards Per Play 5.46 (73rd) 6.71 (10th)

My Prediction

Louisville 38, Auburn 33

This is going to be a wild game with a great deal of turnovers.  Louisville’s defense is stout and it’s designed for takeaways.  Louisville & Auburn combined for 48 interceptions last year and both teams were in Top 5.  Additionally both teams coughed up the ball both ranking in 100+ in fumbles lost.  When evaluating who might turn the ball over more often, I sided with Auburn and felt that this would be the difference in the game.

But that’s not going to be all.  Louisville hit field goals at a slightly higher rate than Auburn did a year ago and both return the same kickers.  Auburn returns punts much better than the Cards but after that Special teams is about even.

However, digging into this game on Offense & Defense the elite match-up comes from the Auburn Offense vs. Louisville Defense (see below for the detail).  Auburn has changed QBs and probably some its style, but in the end Gus is Gus and Jeremy Johnson probably results in more frequent downfield passing but the rate in which certain play calls may change, but not the plays themselves.  The Cards have likely upgraded defensively with the additions of new faces and (personally I expect) should be better than a year ago when Louisville finished as the #6 defense in the nation.

It isn’t reasonable to expect that Louisville will completely shutdown Auburn, Gus Malzahn is one of the best offensive minds in football.  But Todd Grantham has been haunted by the 2013 Auburn/Georgia game and if not for a Hail Mary had the Tigers beat.  So Grantham knows the scheme…..and so does Malzahn.  This battle is going to be a lot of fun but ultimately the Cards should have enough to slow down Auburn enough for the Louisville Offense.

The UofL Offense vs. the AU Defense is two units that are a work in progress by exceptional teachers.  Bobby Petrino & Garrick McGee have both worked magic offensively before and the same can be said about Will Muschamp defensively (see more detail below).  Ultimately, Year 2 of Petrino is probably more potent than Year 1 of Muschamp and even though the Cards lost some talent, including 3 offensive lineman to the NFL they’ve upgraded several position groups.  Also, historically Petrino in Year 2 makes significant strides.  Ultimately, Louisville has the skill players, the talent on OL (inexperienced), and more seasoned options at QB.  Auburn on the other hand has to change its culture defensively.  Will Muschamp is the right man for the job, but it isn’t reasonable to expect that change to come about in Game 1 of Year 1 in a neutral site game vs. Bobby Petrino.  The Tigers were a touch soft last year against the run and in the intermediate passing game and while it should definitely improve in 2015, it’s reasonable to expect that it is not yet up to par despite the talent on Auburn’s roster.

Lastly, Auburn has lost 4 of 5 games including to Georgia 34-7 (only common opponent from a year ago) in November with plenty left to play for while the Cards lost to the Bulldogs 37-14 in the Belk Bowl with 17 future NFLers headed out the door playing with its 3rd string QB and without Michael Dyer.

Petrino Offense & Defense Trends in Openers

We wanted to check and see if Coach Petrino in his openers vs. FBS schools had any kind of trend (Note all of Arkansas’ openers while Bobby was with the Razorbacks were vs. FCS programs).

One thing that stands out is that Coach Petrino REALLY tends to run the ball at a much higher rate than he throws.  In the 6 sampled games the RUN:PASS ratio is 278:165, or about 1.68 runs per pass.  Given the way this Louisville team is built, I’d expect more of the same vs. Auburn, hopefully for Cards fans the 5 of 6 games over 200+ yards on the ground goes to 6 of 7.

Defensively, Petrino’s not as consistent (he’s an offensive minded coach so this makes sense) in trends but one thing does stand out:  It’s rushing defense.  Only at Western Kentucky did an opponent do a nice job running the football vs. Petrino, but the Hilltoppers were still able to beat the Cats.

Of course a lot of what we are looking at here is Petrino vs. UK with the lone exception being last year vs. Miami.  But if nothing else, this may lend fans some insight into Petrino’s mindset when he starts Game 1 of a season.

Passing Rushing Passing Allowed Rushing Allowed
2003-UK 14-23, 180 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 44-240 yards, 3 TDs 18-32,236 yards 2 TDs, 2 INTs 36-108 yards, 1 TD
2004-UK 14-21, 178 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 49-261 yards, 2 TDs 14-34, 172 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs 26-66 yards, 0 TD
2005-UK 19-27, 179 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT 46-209 yards, 4 TDs 17-27, 278 yards, 2 TD, 0 INTs 27-47 yards, 1 TD
2006-UK 20-32, 268 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT 55-363 yards, 6 TDs 10-26, 238 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs 19-22 yards, 0 TD
2013-UK (@WKU) 27-34, 271 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT 41-216 yards, 4 TDs 18-28, 203 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs 32-216, 2 TDs
2014-Miami (FL) 20-28, 206 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs 43-130 yards, 1 TD 17-29, 174 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs 27-70 yards, 0 TD

Louisville Offense vs. Auburn Defense

Bobby Petrino & Garrick McGee vs. Will Muschamp

These guys have also met before.  First in 2002 when Petrino was the Offensive Coordinator at Auburn and Muschamp was the defensive coordinator at LSU.  Auburn whipped LSU 31-7 in a rain-soaked affair in 2002, but Petrino’s offense was only able to manage 321 yards (105 passing, 216 rushing) and only attempted 11 passes with Jason Campbell on the day.  In 2008 Bobby Petrino & Garrick McGee had a tough time in Year 1 at Arkansas vs. Will Muschamp’s Defense at Texas.  Petrino said in post-game “That’s a beating”.  Arkansas was limited to just 251 yards (240 passing, 11 rushing) and scored its only touchdown late in the 4th quarter on a scoop & score off of a fumble.

This time around there will be no weather in the dome it’s Muschamp’s first year after inheriting a sub-par defense from a year ago.  Louisville didn’t light up scoreboards as fans are accustomed to with a Bobby Petrino offense either.  The Cards look to improve from the 72nd offense (394.7 yards per game) from a year ago with a new offensive line.  Auburn hopes that Will Muschamp can turn the Auburn defense around quickly after posting the 66th defense (398.8 yards per game).

There is a lot of unknown here (unlike Auburn’s Offense vs. Louisville’s Defense).  Auburn was horrendous a year ago at producing sacks.  Louisville was more than willing to give up sacks last year.  Which side improves the most?

Additionally, Bobby Petrino’s offenses have always historically been based on running the football and Louisville’s 1st down production in 2014 was putrid, dooming its ability to convert 3rd downs.  Auburn on the other hand was pretty soft against the run but still managed a respectable 3rd down defense.   Petrino has stated several times that he intends to run the football better in 2015….Will Muschamp has vowed to correct Auburn’s Rush Defense.

So what’s going to happen?  It’s been our opinion for a few months now that Reggie Bonnafon will be Louisville’s starter in 2015.  That hasn’t changed.  Reggie has now installed the offense 6 times during his 14 month career as a Cardinal as opposed to just twice prior to the 2014 season.  He is extremely athletic and showed much improved decision making at the end of Spring ball.  Now we get to see the progress Bonnafon has made over the summer.

Louisville’s offensive line is still in development.  We’ve heard great things about the talent along the offensive line….. are they ready?  The good news is that Auburn really isn’t an overly big defense…the bad news is that they are built for speed.  UofL has been going against its own defense (one of the best in the country) for weeks now.  Gus Malzahn has called his Defensive End Carl Lawson ‘unblockable’ and DT Montravius Adams is an exceptional talent in the middle.  Can the new Offensive Line isolate Lawson? Can it run the ball?  Can it protect the QB?

One advantage is Louisville’s size in its WRs & Tight Ends relative to Auburn’s secondary.  Even the Tigers’ Safeties are not overly sizable in Auburn’s mostly man-to-man defense.  Coach Petrino and Garrick McGee have talked about being able to ‘throw open’ receivers against Auburn because of their style and their size will allow the Cards to have an advantage in that regard.  However, CB Jonathan Jones is exceptional and has played with Cardinal WR Ja’Quay Savage since childhood.  Auburn was susceptible to the Tight End a year ago and really everything in the short-to-intermediate passing game was a challenge for the Tigers in 2014.  So Louisville’s slot, James Quick, and its Tight Ends should be able to find some room to work and provide outlets for the Cards in the passing game.

When it comes to running the football with Brandon Radcliff, L.J. Scott and Jeremy Smith the Cards ‘should’ be able to gain some traction here, especially compared to what it was a year ago.  Going by the OL depth chart, it appears that Louisville is planning on aggressively attacking Auburn in the run game.   If the Cards can consistently gain 3,4,5 yards on 1st down the improvement from a year ago would be tremendous.  Radcliff is certainly up for the challenge in getting the tough yards, L.J. Scott will be a weapon in the passing game (another point sorely lacking in ’14) and Jeremy Smith is a home run hitter capable of breaking off a LONG Touchdown run at any moment.  For Auburn, stopping the run is about attitude & culture as much as it is scheme.  Will Muschamp is a great teacher at stopping the run and Auburn has recruited at a high level over the past few cycles.  Given that, there is no excuse for Auburn’s rush D to be where it was a year ago and while I do think the Tigers will be improved against the run attitude and culture is built over time.  The same goes for Louisville’s rush offense.  Both teams are moving their respective Rush O/Ds in the right direction….but who is better on September 5th?  The winner of this match-up probably wins the game.

The Cards will be balanced and will not try to avoid becoming one dimensional, but I do think Louisville is loading up to run the football against AU.  Look for UofL to attempt to establish its running game early (with a lot of Reggie Bonnafon mixed in if he starts) and then go to the vertical passing game.  Auburn & Louisville are both a work in progress in this match-up.  I like that even with some key personnel leaving the UofL offense that it is Year 2 for Petrino and Auburn also lost some talent off its defense and it is just Year 1 for Muschamp.  I think because of that, the Cards may hold a slight edge in this match-up.

Auburn Offense vs. Louisville Defense

Gus Malzahn vs. Todd Grantham.

These two have met before, most recently during Auburn’s famous Hail Mary comeback win vs. Georgia in 2013 known as “The Immaculate Deflection”.  Louisville’s Josh Harvey-Clemons & Shaq Wiggins were with Georgia during that game as well as Auburn’s Trey Matthews.  Malzahn may have come out ahead 43-38 in 2013, but in 2011 when Malzahn was the OC, Grantham’s Defense dominated Auburn and led Georgia to a 45-7 victory holding the Tigers to just 195 yards.  In 2010 however Gus held the advantage leading Auburn to a 49-31 win with 463 yards with Cam Newton.

Auburn has a series of fantastic players starting with its Quarterback Jeremy Johnson.  Johnson represents a change in style for the Tigers. Last year, Auburn utilized the skill set of Nick Marshall who was best known for his running ability. Marshall did an OK job throwing the ball, but Jeremy Johnson is the inverse of Nick Marshall.  Jeremy is mobile, but he shouldn’t be considered a major threat to run.  The Tigers are who they are and Johnson will continue to employ a lot of the main concepts from a year ago, but where Johnson will excel is in the passing game for the Auburn Tigers.

Gus Malzahn (as Bobby Petrino said) has always been a ‘spread’ with run emphasis.  Auburn attacks the outside in their rushing attack.  The Tigers use motion, run/pass options, speed options, and then will attack the middle to test the temperament of its opponent.  And Auburn will go DEEP…. A LOT.  D’haquille Williams, Ricardo Louis, and Melvin Ray are all big targets that are 6’2 or taller that can challenge Louisville’s secondary in the vertical passing game.

But where Auburn REALLY makes its mark is in the run game.  The Tigers attack the outside and find all kinds of room inside and AU does it with power.  Keeping Auburn’s offense at a quick pace and taking advantages of mis-matches and disallowing the defense to substitute is really where the Plainsmen place the most pressure on its opponents.

For Louisville, the Cardinals MUST TACKLE.  Auburn’s offense is effective enough that it’s normal production is enough to cause plenty of problems.  If Louisville hopes to beat the Tigers, they must have an elite tackling performance particularly outside with its cornerbacks.  Louisville’s pressure on the QB SHOULD eliminate the time necessary for Auburn to go deep, but if Malzahn is able to run the ball with Roc Thomas, Jovon Robinson & Co. Quarterback pressure really doesn’t matter much and UofL will be spending its time trying to get off the field against the rush.

It is extremely important for each Louisville defender to play his position, stay home and trust his teammates.  Whenever teams try to do too much defensively, Auburn takes advantage.  The Cards have a great deal of players who are capable of causing disruption in the backfield, but that aggression can be used against Louisville in Auburn’s scheme.  Last year, Auburn routinely threw to receivers when corner’s blitzed for big gains.  Keith Kelsey & James Burgess have to make the proper decision decisively in all phases.  Auburn will attack the middle & outside with similar regularity, and will attempt to disguise their attack until the last possible second.  Louisville must be solid up the middle, they are going to need the Bash Brothers to make plays against this Auburn offense.

One advantage Todd Grantham’s defense has is its versatility.  Coach Grantham talks all the time about having players who can play multiple positions and do multiple things.  Because Auburn really does everything it can to create mis-matches by disallowing substitutions, the flexibility of Louisville’s personnel is a nice fit vs. the Tigers.  Josh Harvey-Clemons is the best example playing the Star position.  Josh can line up against a slot, at outside linebacker, or back at safety.  He has the size and athleticism to do all effectively.  Also players like Sheldon Rankins can play inside and outside (which he may be asked to play a lot inside vs. Auburn).

In all, Auburn has a lot of questions on offense…..but it’s still Gus Malzahn that we are talking about and with that reputation QB Jeremy Johnson is already being mentioned in the Heisman race.  Louisville returns a number of studs on defense…but it’s still a new defense with a secondary that is entirely revamped.  Auburn is going to move the ball and they will score, but we’ll have to wait and see just how easily the Tigers will have success and how often they are able to put points on the board. If the Cards can frustrate the Tigers offensively and set the tone in this game, they can allow Louisville’s Offense time to settle down and play deliberately. Auburn’s entire system is based on scoring and forcing the hand of its opponent by making it desperate to catch up. If Louisville can buy the Cardinal offense time Louisville has a chance to win the game…….and Louisville has the defense to do it, they just have to execute.


-2nd ever meeting between Louisville & Auburn. Auburn won 1974 season opener at Legion Field 16-3.

-The game will also be the 2nd neutral site game in the series.

-UofL has won their last 2 games as double-digit underdogs.  2013 Sugar Bowl vs. Florida & WVU 2011. @RealCardGame

-Auburn is 94-26-2 all-time in season-openers including 8 of 9.

-Louisville is 52-38-6 all-time in season-openers including 10 of 14.

-Louisville is 19-1 in regular season non-conference games under Bobby Petrino @RealCardGame

-This will be Louisville’s first ever game played in the state of Georgia.

-Auburn is 6-4 all-time in the Georgia Dome and 9-7-1 all-time in domed stadiums.

-Saturday will be UofL’s 54th game (22 venues) played on the home field of an NFL (or AFL team) over the past 94 years. @RealCardGame


We are extremely excited to announce that has partnered with AT&T for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic!

Starting on Friday in Atlanta, I’ll be going around town visiting the College Football Hall of Fame,  Georgia Aquarium, and other Atlanta landmarks with contests for Louisville fans to win: A Galaxy Note 5 for AT&T customers.

I’ll also be giving away  a pair of tickets to the SOLD OUT Chick-fil-A Kickoff featuring Louisville vs. Auburn as well as a pair of tickets to AT&T Fan Zone that will include access to CARD MARCH, interactive football games, giveaways, the PNC Main Stage, and food & drinks.

To win tickets to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, AT&T Fan Zone, and other contests throughout the weekend make sure you are following @UofLSheriff50 on Twitter and on Facebook share your experience of the weekend using the hashtag #ATTKickoff.  I will activate the AT&T contests once on-site in Atlanta and will release details of each give away at that time.

We will also be providing fans through social media and on unparalleled inside access to the entire weekend. This includes a behind the scenes look at the Georgia Dome prior to the game, fan events, an autograph signing at AT&T Fan Zone with Louisville legend Deion Branch, Auburn legend Takeo Spikes and MUCH MUCH MORE.

AT&T Fan Zone

AT&T Fan Zone is located in the Georgia World Congress Center and is the ultimate team-oriented area to spend your pregame before the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.

  • Cheering on your team at the official Pep Rally and Team Walks featuring the Auburn Tiger Walk and Louisville CardMarch starting at 12:55
  • AT&T FanZone will feature several fun football themed interactives along with legends from each team signing autographs –  Auburn Takeo Spikes from 11-12:00 p.m.  – Louisville Deion Branch 12:15 – 1:15
  • Digital Field Goal Competitions: Every hour AT&T will host Digital Field Goal competitions on the 12 screen TV wall for the chance to win the all new Samsung Galaxy S6edge+phone.
  • Stop Motion Studio: Stop-Motion Vine artist, GentlemanJACK, will be on hand to make stop-motion videos with fans at the AT&T Fan Zone.  Stop by to meet Jack and create a six-second shareable video to post on s0cial-media to share your Chick-fil-A Kickoff experience with friends.
  • “It Can Wait” Virtual Reality: Participate in a text and drive virtual reality simulator to learn the dangers of texting and driving and take the pledge to never text and drive.
  • Digital Poster Making: Design a game day poster at the AT&T Digital Poster Making Station.  You’ll have the chance to customize your poster on the Samsung Galaxy TabS and then print your poster to take into the dome!
  • Sponsor Activation areas with contest, games & Prizes
  • Easy Access to the Georgia Dome, just a few steps away
  • Tons of Giveaways, Contests, and fun from the Main Stage
  • Food, drinks, and free samples

AT&T Photo Frames

Strike a game day post with your buddies in the AT&T photo frames around the Georgia Dome.  Be on the lookout for these frames outside the College Football Hall of Fame, on International Plaza and in Tailgate Town between the Georgia Dome and the Georgia World Congress Center.

College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience is a must-visit for football fans. Be sure to stop by the AT&T Game Time Gallery.   From rivalries unique to college football to the split-second decisions that create the game’s most memorable moments, the AT&T  Game Time Gallery explores the intensity, passion and fun around the game. The immersive, interactive attraction is welcoming Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game fans with 15 percent off tickets when they use the promo code CFAKICKOFF2015.

Our giveaways and access this weekend is made possible this weekend thanks to our association with AT&T.

DJ KDogg’s Tailgate Mix

Will there be alcohol in the Georgia Dome?   –  YES.  Let’s just get that out of the way from the top.  Sales will end at kickoff of the 3rd quarter (different than at PJCS where booze stops AFTER the 3rd).  So get them in early Cards fans.

Wear your red & black of course.


-Joey Wagner’s Hosting a Party at Whiskey Blue (3377 Peachtree Road NE) from 9 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. (21+ over).

-UofL Alumni Reception Friday Evening – SOLD OUT

-UofL Day at the Atlanta Dream.  3:00 p.m. Sunday 9/6.  See Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel play the Washington Mystics and receive autographs from ALL Dream players.  Use promo code: CARDS when purchasing tickets.   The pre-game is happening at Taco Mac at Noon.

-AT&T FanZone 10:30 – 2:30 p.m. on Game Day will include CARDMARCH & Tiger Walk and autograph signings with Deion Branch and Takeo Spikes.  (more on this later)

-Tailgate Town 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Game Daythe ultimate free pre-game tailgate destination for Auburn and Louisville fans. This outdoor fan experience located at the West Plaza of the Georgia World Congress Center will feature interactive sponsor displays, a barbeque cook-off and live entertainment. Samples provided by Traeger Grills, cornhole tournament, Live music featuring former The Voice contestant Beth Spangler, Large HD TV screen to watch all of the early football action, DJ Suspense with entertainment and giveaways, and a BBQ Competition between Pit Boss BBQ & Bludso’s BBQ,  judged by the Atlanta BBQ Club.

-College Football Hall of Fame –  Use CFAKICKOFF2015 to receive a 15% discount. 

-Georgia Aquarium is offering 20% during September 2-9th.  

-The World of Coca-Cola.

-Dragon Con is this weekend in Atlanta.  Superheroes & fantasy characters will be everywhere and the annual parade is 10:00 a.m. Saturday morning on Peachtree Street.  More Info

-Georgia State vs. Charlotte on Friday Night (9/4) at 3:30 kicks off at the Georgia Dome.


There is Reserved Parking near the Georgia Dome within walking distance.  You can reserve your place here.

You may also elect to just pull up and park.  Many of these lots open 4 hours prior to kickoff.  It will be first come, first served.  Here is a map.


If you are staying near a MARTA station, the train will take you right to the Dome.  Parking at MARTA is FREE and round trip passes are a mere $5.  You can get down there starting as early as 6:00 a.m. and can stay as late as 1:00 a.m. on the weekends.

Tailgating Guidelines (Some info Provided by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff)

-Joey Wagner has set aside STATS the Hottest Sports Bar in Atlanta for a Cards Pre-Party.  Tickets are $10, it’s a 10 minute walk to the dome.  

-The Official UofL Alumni Tailgate is at the Georgia World Congress Center from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m. $75 per person.

-The RedRage Tailgate is setting up in the Marshalling Yard around 6:00 a.m.  So if you are too excited to sleep, you can get things going with some of our favorite tailgaters.  CardinalSportsZone is doing their radio show from the tailgate from 10-Noon on 93.9 The Ville.  The RRTG is providing free food and drinks (basic lunch, hotdogs, chips, cookies, waters and soda) and a free RRTG Koozie to the first 150 people.

Fans are free to bring anything they want and will have to provide their own adult beverages. The Red Rage guys will also be presenting our traditional tailgate MVP trophy to an individual we deem worthy of such a prestigious award. Also look for a few tricks up their sleeve and some prizes that the guys are keeping as a surprise.  If anyone needs more information they can tweet at us @TheRed_Rage



  • Marked parking spaces are for vehicles only. Parking spaces may not be used for tents, grills, chairs or other items. Each vehicle must have a valid parking permit.
  • Tents cannot exceed 8′ x 10′
  • Tailgating is limited to the lined parking space and the area directly behind or in front of the vehicle
  • Any grass areas beyond the designated tailgating spaces are considered common ground and may not be reserved
  • Please dispose of coals in the designated coal containers located throughout the lots. Please do not dump coals or store stoves on the grass, parking areas, under or around vehicles.
  • Propane tanks cannot exceed a cylinder size of 20 pounds.

The following items/activities are prohibited:

  • Deep fryers or any oil-based cooking or frying
  • Open flame fires of any kind. Charcoal or gas cooking is permitted.
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Picketing, political campaigning or soliciting/distribution of any kind
  • Saving parking or tailgating spaces
  • Weapons and fireworks
  • Sale of food, beverage, merchandise, etc.
  • Amplified sound systems

In keeping with its tradition of recognizing team celebrities prior to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, officials released that Deion Branch and Takeo Spikes will be the honorees for Saturday’s Kia Game Ball Delivery at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between No. 25 Louisville and No. 6 Auburn.

A wide receiver who caught more than 70 passes in each of his two seasons at Louisville, Deion Branch will deliver the game ball for the Cardinals. A Georgia native, Branch finished his two-year career at U of L with 143 receptions for 2,204 yards and 18 touchdowns. He was a second-round pick in the 2002 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots where he went on to become a two-time Super Bowl Champion and was named Super Bowl XXXIX MVP.

One of the most decorated linebackers in Auburn history, Takeo Spikes will deliver the game ball for the Tigers. A 1997 first team All-American, Spikes currently ranks 10th on Auburn’s all-time tackles list with 331. Also a Georgia native, Spikes was drafted 13th overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1998 NFL Draft. He went on to play 15 seasons in the NFL and was a two-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection.

Branch and Spikes will ride together in a KIA Sorento – provided by KIA Motors, the official vehicle of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game – to midfield just prior to the coin flip where they will present the officiating crew with a pair of game balls from the two teams.

The pair joins a list of other game ball honorees that includes Herschel Walker (Georgia), Ryan Winterswyk (Boise State), Natrone Means (North Carolina), Chuck Wiley (LSU), Charlie Ward (Florida State), George Rogers (South Carolina), Shaun Alexander (Alabama), Antonio Freeman (Virginia Tech), Julio Jones (Alabama), Archie Manning (Ole Miss) and Darryl Talley (West Virginia), among others.

Stadium Rules (also provided by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff) 

All flags, banners, signs, selfie sticks and posters are prohibited as well as behavior that is unruly, disruptive, or illegal in nature. This includes:

  • Fighting
  • Intoxication or other signs of alcohol impairment that results in irresponsible behavior
  • Foul or abusive language or obscene gestures
  • Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field)
  • Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel
  • Verbal or physical harassment of opposing fans
  • Upon entering the gate, all guests and items are subject to a physical inspection.  Entering the gate area constitutes your consent to a pat down screening.  Refusal to submit to inspection will result in denied entry.
  • Event patrons are responsible for their conduct as well as the conduct of their guests and/or persons occupying their seats.
  • Stadium staff will promptly intervene to support an environment where event patrons, their guests, and other fans can enjoy the event free from the above behavior.

Auburn Traditions

Tigers. War Eagle. The Plainsmen. When it comes to Auburn there are a lot of names and traditions to keep track of.

First, they are The Auburn Tigers.  Their fight song and Battle Cry is “War Eagle”.   “Aubie” is the Tiger Mascot and “Nova” is ‘War Eagle’.   Nova, and other iterations of him, take flight in pre-games at Jordan-Hare Stadium circling the stadium before landing at midfield.  The “War Eagle” story dates back to the 1892 Auburn/Georgia game when an Eagle suddenly nose-dived into the football field following Auburn’s 1st ever victory over the Bulldogs.  The fight song featuring War Eagle was written in 1954.

The War Eagle Girls & Plainsmen are charged with the duty and honor of representing Auburn University students to faculty, administrators, and the community. The group was chartered to serve directly under the Office of the President in conjunction with the Auburn Athletic Department and Auburn Alumni Association as the official hosts and hostesses of Auburn University.  The Auburn Plainsman is also the student newspaper of Auburn.  The term Plainsman dates back to a Oliver Goldsmith poem “The Deserted Village”which includes the line “sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain.” While the poem is actually referring to a town in Ireland, Auburn fans still took in the description as their own and adopted the “Plains” nickname.

Tiger Walk typically happens similar to CARDMARCH, but Auburn claims to beginning the tradition in the 1960s.  In Atlanta, the CARDMARCH and Tiger Walk will both take place inside Fan Fest at the Georgia Dome.

Rolling Toomer’s Corner after big wins became a tradition at Magnolia Ave & College Street in Auburn, AL.  Named Toomer’s Corner because of the business named “Toomer’s Drugs” across from which two massive old-growth oak trees that have had Auburn fans regularly celebrating with toilet paper for decades.  Like we’ve seen with other college football & sports traditions, the trees at Toomer’s Corner were killed by crazed Alabama fan Harvey Updyke.  New trees have been planted in the place of the old trees, but no “Rolling Toomer’s” will happen during the 2015 as the trees are being given a chance to acclimate to their new soil. Fans will just have to enjoy Toomer’s Lemonade in the meantime.

Barner’s is not a term of endearment for Auburn fans.  Although folks may have learned this nickname in reference to Auburn over the years.  To Auburn fans, it’s actually a slur that pigeon holes Auburn fans & alumni as solely agricultural products of the university.

Pre-Game Interviews

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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