Auburn Postgame Notes
Auburn vs. South Carolina
Auburn team captains were TB Kenny Irons, CB David Irons and H Matthew Motley. Auburn won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. South Carolina elected to receive and will defend the south end zone. Kickoff was at 7:47 p.m. ET. Attendance was announced at 74,374.
Auburn is now 5-1 all-time in games played on Thursday night including a 3-0 record against SEC opponents. Auburn now leads the series against South Carolina 5-1-1 and has won three in a row in the series. Auburn has now won 18 of its last 19 SEC regular-season games, and 19 of its last 20 games against SEC opponents counting the 2004 SEC Championship game. Since the start of the 2004 season, Auburn has the best record among all SEC teams in regular-season league games with a record of 38-12. Auburn has held 22 of its last 29 opponents, including all four this season, to fewer than 20 points since the start of the 2004 season. Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 56-4 when scoring 20 or more points in a game, including a 54-3 mark in the regular season. Will Herring's first quarter interception in the end zone, after wrestling it away from Sidney Rice, was the Tigers' first takeaway since the Miss. State game Sept. 9 and the fifth of the season, including the third pick. Auburn is 4-0 when leading at the half this season in the Tigers' previous four games. Auburn is 5-0 when leading at the end of three quarters this season. On Auburn's two scoring drives, the Tigers accumulated 149 yards of their 151 first half yards total offense. Auburn's first scoring drive was nine plays and 69 yards while the second scoring one was nine plays and 80 yards. The Tigers other possessions in the first half were a 3-play, minus 8-yard drive in the first quarter and then a one-play, 5-yard drive that began with 46 seconds before halftime.
South Carolina's touchdown with 46 seconds remaining in the first half was the first TD the Tigers have allowed in SEC play this year. Auburn shut out Mississippi State and held sixth-ranked LSU to a field goal. After South Carolina won the time of possession edge in the first half 18:48 to 11:12 for Auburn, the Tigers controlled the ball for the entire 15:00 third quarter. The Tigers took the opening drive of the second half to score a field goal, then recovered a successful onsides kick followed by a drive to the Gamecock one as time ran out in the third period. Auburn's second half opening drive of 17 plays, 85 yards in 8:38 that resulted in a 24-yard John Vaughn field goals was the Tigers longest drive of the season in plays, yards and time. Auburn's defense allowed 349 yards total offense to South Carolina, marking the most yards the Tigers have surrendered this year. The previous high was by LSU with 311 yards. Junior Patrick Lee broke up the game's final play in the back left corner of the end zone to preserve the Tigers' 24-17 victory on the Syvelle Newton pass attempt to Sidney Rice. Redshirt freshmen Aairon Savage helped out on Rice. Auburn was 3-for-3 on fourth down conversions vs. South Carolina keeping the Tigers perfect on the season at 7-for-7 on fourth down.
Kenny Irons finished with 117 yards rushing marking the 10th time of his career and second time this season (Washington State) to eclipse the 100 yard mark in a game. Kenny Irons jumped from 19th to 16th on Auburn's career rushing chart with a total of 1732 yards. He passed Curtis Kuykendall (1619), Joe Childress (1667) and Jimmy Sidle (1703). Kenny Irons scored two touchdowns vs. South Carolina to give him three for the season and 16 for his career. The Dacula, Ga., native ended Auburn's opening drive of the game with a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Irons rushed six times for 38 yards in the Tigers' 9-play, 69-yard drive. It was Auburn's second game of the season in which the Tigers have scored a TD on their first drive of the game. Auburn has now scored on its first drive of the game back-to-back times vs. South Carolina Thursday and Buffalo last Saturday. Will Herring's first quarter interception in the end zone was his second of the season and the eighth of his career. Marquies Gunn forced and recovered a second quarter fumble and then returned it 30 yards before fumbling it back to the Gamecocks. It was Gunn's first forced and recovered fumble of the season, and the fourth forced of his career and his only recovery. Kody Bliss' 69-yard punt in the fourth quarter was his career best and his third punt of over 60 yards this season and the eighth of his career. Junior FB Carl Stewart's 20-yard rush on first down on Auburn's second scoring drive was his longest of the season and his longest since 2004. Freshman TE Tommy Trott 9-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was the first of his career. Junior QB Brandon Cox completed his 23rd career touchdown pass, tying him for ninth on Auburn's career list with Reggie Slack. Matt Clark had his 16-consecutive touchbacks on kickoff streak broken after Auburn's second touchdown. Senior PK John Vaughn kicked his 38th career field goal to tie him for fourth all-time with Jorge Portella (1977-79). Vaughn is now four field goals shy of Al Del Greco for third. Will Herring started his 41st consecutive game, which is six shy of the school record held by OL Jeno James (1996-99).
Auburn vs. South Carolina
Thursday, September 28, 2006