Auburn Vs. LSU Preview


Sept. 14, 2008

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#10/9 AUBURN (3-0, 1-0 SEC) vs. #6/6 LSU (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
SEPTEMBER 20, 2008 • 6:45 PM CT • TV: ESPN


Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, 1976)
Auburn Record 83-33 (10th year)
vs. LSU 5-4
Overall Record 108-53 (14th year)
vs. LSU 7-6

Les Miles (Michigan, 1976)
LSU Record 36-6 (4th year)
vs. Auburn 2-1
Overall Record 64-27 (7th year)
vs. Auburn 2-1

LSU leads, 22-19-1
at Auburn AU leads, 9-5
at Baton Rouge LSU leads, 13-5-1
Neutral sites AU leads, 5-4
at Birmingham, AL AU leads, 3-2
at Mobile, AL AU leads, 2-0
at Montgomery, AL LSU leads, 2-0
Last Meeting LSU 30, AU 24
Oct. 20, 2007 in Baton Rouge, LA
Current Streak LSU, W1

Auburn 10th AP/9th USA Today
LSU 6th AP/6th USA Today

ESPN (Live)
Play-by-play Mike Patrick
Analyst Todd Blackledge
Sidelines Holly Rowe (Live)

The Auburn Network provides radio coverage to over 50 stations that cover the Southeast. Rod Bramblett (play-by-play), Stan White (color), Quentin Riggins (sideline), Paul Ellen (studio) and Andy Burcham (locker room) provide gameday analysis.


Live audio & stats

Auburn hosts LSU in a battle of Top 10 teams Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It will be the sixth consecutive year that both teams will be nationally ranked entering the game, and the seventh straight year that at least one team was ranked in the top 10 at the time. The one time during that stretch that both teams were ranked in the top 10 was in 2006, when No. 3 Auburn beat No. 6 LSU, 7-3.

* Eleven of the last 18 Auburn-LSU games have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the last four in a row.
* The home team has won the last eight games in a row in the series since an Auburn win in Baton Rouge in 1999.
* Auburn owns the SEC's best record in conference games since 2000 at 48-17, with LSU right behind at 47-17.
* Auburn owns a 3-1 record when hosting ESPN's GameDay, and is 5-3 at any location in GameDay contests.
* Auburn has won nine of its last 12 games against top-10 opponents, including six in a row at home. Auburn has beaten at least one top-10 team in each of the previous seven seasons.
* Auburn is 15-2 in home night games since 2000, including a 4-0 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.
* Auburn leads the nation in opponents' third-down conversion percentage, surrendering just three first downs in 46 attempts (6.5 percent).
* Auburn ranks third nationally in scoring defense (5.0), ninth in rushing defense (53.0) and 10th in total defense (213.7).
* Auburn has not allowed a point in the first half this season.
* Robert Dunn ranks 11th nationally in punt returns (21.4), and his 193 punt return yards are third most in the nation.
* Rodgeriqus Smith needs one reception and 44 receiving yards to move into the top 10 on Auburn's career lists in both categories.
* Thirteen different players have caught passes for Auburn this season, including 11 in the Sept. 6 game against Southern Miss, which was the most in a game by Auburn since 2005.
* Auburn has played 12 true freshmen already this season.
* Auburn has won 17 of its last 22 games decided by seven points or less, and is 29-13 under Tommy Tuberville in games decided by seven or fewer points.

LSU will be playing its first road game after home victories against Appalachian State (41-13) and North Texas (41-3) ... LSU leads the SEC in rushing offense (241.0) and scoring offense (41.0) ... The Tigers are fifth nationally in rushing defense (48.0) and 10th in the nation in scoring defense (8.0) ... Charles Scott leads the SEC and ranks sixth nationally in rushing (131.0) ... Trindon Holliday leads the nation in punt returns (40.8) ... Les Miles has a 51-5 record at LSU in games against nationally-ranked teams ... LSU was picked to finish second in the SEC West behind Auburn in the SEC Preseason Poll conducted by the league's media ... The SEC media members selected OL Herman Johnson, DL Tyson Jackson, LB Darry Beckwith and PK Colt David as first-team Preseason All-SEC picks.

The visiting team won four consecutive games from 1996-99, but the home team has won the last eight meetings from 2000-07 ... Seven of the last 13 games have been decided by a touchdown or less, including the last four in a row ... Dating back to 1973, only five of the 21 meetings have been decided by more than 14 points ... LSU has not rushed for a touchdown against Auburn since 2003 ... In the last three meetings, the winning team has averaged just 16.8 points per game, after the winning team had scored at least 31 points in the six previous games ... The winning team posted shutouts in nine of the first 11 meetings in the series ... Auburn's secondary has picked off 18 passes in AU's last seven wins over LSU, including six in 1994.

The 2008 Auburn roster contains just one player who calls Louisiana home: junior OL Rudy Odom (Fontainebleau).

There are two members of the LSU squad who hail from the state of Alabama: redshirt freshman DE Sidell Corley and redshirt freshman DB Phelon Jones, who are both from Mobile.

* Auburn tight ends coach Steve Ensminger was a quarterback at LSU from 1976-79 and graduated from LSU in 1982. Ensminger was born in Baton Rouge.
* Ensminger was the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech during the 1989-91 seasons while LSU special teams coordinator/defensive line assistant Joe Robinson was a graduate assistant (1989) and defensive line coach (1990-91).
* LSU Assistant AD/Football Operations Dr. Sam Nadar was a quarterback at Auburn from 1963-67. Nadar received his undergraduate degree from Auburn in 1967 and his master's from AU in 1969.

Eleven of the last 18 meetings in the Auburn-LSU series since 1988 have been decided by less than a touchdown. And like all good Southern football series, many of those games have earned memorable titles. Examples:

1988: LSU scored with 1:41 remaining to down fourth-ranked Auburn, 7-6. The noise from the Tiger Stadium crowd registered on a campus seismograph, thus earning the contest the title of "Earthquake Game."

1994: Auburn returned three of its five fourth-quarter interceptions for touchdowns to rally from a two-touchdown deficit and win 30-26. Auburn and LSU fans alike still recall the "Interception Game."

1995: Wearing the traditional white jerseys at home for the first time in 13 years, LSU stunned fifth-ranked Auburn, 12-6, when Troy Twillie intercepted Patrick Nix's 11-yard pass into the end zone with no time remaining. The 1997 LSU media guide referred to this game under the heading "Bring Back The Magic."

1996: "The Night The Barn Burned" will long be remembered on the Plains. As the old Auburn Sports Arena burned just outside Jordan-Hare Stadium, LSU defeated Auburn 19-15. After missing three field goals and an extra point, Auburn cut LSU's lead to 17-15 with :38 remaining, but Jon Cooley's two-point pass attempt was picked off by Raion Hill, who returned it the other way for two points.

1997: Dameyune Craig led Auburn on an 80-yard, 10-play drive in the game's final three minutes to deliver a 31-28 upset of 10th-ranked LSU in "The Comeback." Rusty Williams capped the drive on a 1-yard touchdown plunge with :30 remaining. LSU attempted a 65-yard FG on the game's final play, but Quinton Reese blocked it to seal the Auburn win.

2004: With the threat of Hurricane Ivan looming, members of the Auburn football team spent Wednesday though Friday nights in hotels as the Auburn University campus was closed, but the game went on as scheduled. The seemingly automatic extra point proved to be a challenge for both teams, but a second chance for Auburn allowed the Tigers to emerge with a 10-9 win in "The Extra Point Game." LSU missed the PAT after its first-quarter touchdown, but still led 9-3 late in the game. After Courtney Taylor hauled in a 16-yard score with just 1:14 left to tie the score, Auburn missed its extra point. An LSU personal foul gave John Vaughn a second chance, and he delivered the winning point.

2005: The first overtime game between the two teams was won by LSU, 20-17, when John Vaughn's 39-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright. A 30-yard field goal by LSU's Chris Jackson to start the overtime turned out to be the winning points. Jackson forced overtime with a 44-yard field goal with just 1:40 left, moments after Auburn had taken a 17-14 lead on a 5-yard pass from Brandon Cox to Anthony Mix on fourth down with 4:52 left.

2006: In a battle between two top-10 teams, Brandon Cox's 1-yard quarterback sneak in the third quarter was the only touchdown in a 7-3 Auburn victory. No. 3 Auburn held off two late scoring chances for No. 6 LSU, as Eric Brock ended one drive by tipping away a fourth-down pass, then tackled Craig Davis on the 4-yard line on the game's final play to preserve the victory.

2007: Matt Flynn hit Demetrius Byrd with a 22-yard scoring pass with just one second left to lift No. 5 LSU to a 30-24 victory over No. 18 Auburn. Brandon Cox had connected with Rodgeriqus Smith on a 3-yard scoring pass with just 3:21 left to give Auburn a 24-23 lead before Flynn's pass capped a 58-yard game-winning drive.

In all, 20 of the 42 games played between the two schools have been decided by a touchdown or less, with LSU owning a 10-9-1 edge in those games.

Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville is 7-6 against LSU and his squads have scored at least 30 points in five of those wins. Tuberville guided Ole Miss to victories over LSU in 1997 at Baton Rouge (36-21) and 1998 in Oxford (37-31). In 1999, Tuberville's Auburn squad won at LSU, 41-7, and claimed victories in Auburn in 2000 (34-17) and 2002 (31-7). A 10-9 victory in 2004 was the first Tuberville win in which his team did not score at least 30 points, and was followed by 2006's 7-3 victory.

Tuberville-coached teams have averaged 23.5 points (259 total) in the last 11 games against LSU, scoring at least 34 points in four of those contests.

Two of the nation's toughest defenses will be on the field when LSU visits Auburn. Auburn leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in scoring defense (5.0), while LSU is 10th nationally (8.0). LSU is fifth nationally in rushing defense (48.0) while Auburn is ninth (53.0). In total defense, Auburn is 10th nationally (213.7) and LSU is 12th (219.0).

With two strong defenses on display, a repeat of the last two games played in Jordan-Hare Stadium might be in order. Auburn won low-scoring games by scores of 10-9 in 2004 and 7-3 in 2006.

Auburn and LSU have had as much success as any teams in the SEC in recent years. Since 2000, Auburn has the best record in the SEC in conference games with a mark of 48-17, while LSU is in second just half a game back at 47-17. Since 2004, Auburn and LSU share the best overall record in the league at 45-9. The winner of the Auburn-LSU game has represented the SEC West in Atlanta for the SEC Championship game six times in the last eight years (Auburn in 2000 and 2004, LSU in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007). LSU won national championships in 2003 and 2007, while Auburn posted an undefeated season in 2004.

ESPN's College GameDay Built by Home Depot featuring Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard will be in Auburn this weekend for the Auburn-LSU game. It will mark the fifth visit to Auburn by the GameDay crew, which last visited for the 2006 Auburn-Florida game. Auburn also hosted GameDay for the 1995 Iron Bowl, a 1997 game against Florida and a 2004 game against Georgia. GameDay was scheduled to be at the Auburn-LSU game on Sept. 18, 2004, but the threat of Hurricane Ivan forced the show to be relocated.

It will be the ninth time that Auburn has played in GameDay's on-site game. The Tigers are 5-3 in GameDay contests, including a 3-1 mark at home.

Listed are Auburn's all-time appearances on GameDay.

Date             Result     Game (Site)
Sept. 16, 2006   W, 27-17   vs. Florida (Auburn)
Dec. 4, 2004     W, 38-28   vs. Tennessee (Atlanta)
Nov. 13, 2004    W, 24-6    vs. Georgia (Auburn)
Oct. 2, 2004     W, 34-10   at Tennessee (Knoxville)
Oct. 18, 1997    L, 10-24   vs. Florida (Auburn)
Nov. 23, 1996    L, 23-24   vs. Alabama (B'ham)
Nov. 18, 1995    W, 31-27   vs. Alabama (Auburn)
Nov. 19, 1994    L, 14-21   vs. Alabama (B'ham)

Auburn has won nine of its last 12 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10. The Tigers have won five of their last seven against top-ten teams and six straight at home. Two of the three losses against top-10 teams since the 2004 season have come in close calls at LSU, in overtime in 2005 by a 20-17 score and last season by a 30-24 score when LSU scored on a 22-yard pass play with just one second left.

Also in 2005, Auburn posted victories at No. 9 Georgia (31-30) and against No. 8 Alabama (28-18). In 2004, Auburn defeated No. 5 LSU (10-9), No. 10 Tennessee (34-10), No. 8 Georgia (24-6) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (16-13) in the NOKIA Sugar Bowl.

During the Tommy Tuberville era, Auburn is 15-12 in games played against top 10 teams, and has won 15 of its last 22 games dating back to a 23-20 upset of No. 1-ranked Florida Oct. 13, 2001.

Dating back to the 2002 season, Auburn has played 21 games against top 10 teams.

Auburn currently owns an impressive streak of beating teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10, winning at least one game against a top 10 team every year for the previous seven years, which is the longest streak in school history. The Tigers have 14 victories over Top 10 foes in those seven seasons.

The streak started in 2001 with a 23-20 victory over No. 1 Florida. In 2002, Auburn beat No. 10 LSU (31-7) and won at No. 9 Alabama (17-7). In 2003, the Tigers beat No. 7 Tennessee (28-21), then beat the new No. 7 team, Arkansas, the following week (10-3).

In 2004, Auburn defeated No. 5 LSU (10-9), No. 10 Tennessee (34-10), No. 8 Georgia (24-6) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (16-13). The 2005 season included wins against No. 9 Georgia (31-30) and No. 8 Alabama (28-18), and in 2006 Auburn beat No. 6 LSU (7-3) and No. 2 Florida (27-17).

Last year, the team kept the streak alive with a 20-17 victory at No. 4 Florida.

Auburn has a 4-3 all-time record against teams ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll. The last time Auburn played a sixth-ranked team was during LSU's last visit to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2006, when No. 3 Auburn won 7-3. Auburn fell to No. 6 Florida, 31-10, in 1991, and prior to that all games against sixth-ranked teams took place between 1953-65.

Auburn has never lost on Sept. 20, with an all-time record of 4-0-1. The last time the Tigers played on Sept. 20 was in in 1997 at No. 10 LSU, with No. 12 Auburn earning a 31-28 victory. Auburn also won on Sept. 20 in 1986 vs. East Carolina (45-0), in 1980 vs. Duke (35-28) and in 1969 vs. Wake Forest (57-0). The tie came in 1975 vs. Baylor (10-10).

Auburn is 143-46-5 (.750) all-time in the month of September, including a 33-7 mark under Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers have won 19 of their last 22 games played in September, and are currently on a four-game winning streak during the month.

Now in its 69th year as home to the Auburn football team, Jordan-Hare Stadium is the nation's ninth-largest on-campus stadium, with a capacity of 87,451 fans. The Tigers are 263-64-7 (.798) at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a 49-10 (.831) mark since 2000. AU went 7-0 at home in both 2000 and 2004, and posted a 6-1 mark in 2005.

Auburn surpassed the 20 million mark in all-time total attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game against Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers, now in their 69th season at Jordan-Hare Stadium, have drawn 20,161,115 fans. It took 51 seasons for Auburn to draw its first 10 million fans, but took just 18 more to draw the second 10 million. The Tigers surpassed 10 million fans during the fourth home game of the 1990 season - a 56-6 victory over Vanderbilt on Oct. 13.

Auburn has been tough to beat in night games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a season-opening victory over Louisiana-Monroe this year. The Tigers have accumulated a record of 15-2 since the 2000 season in home games starting at 6 p.m. or later. That stretch includes a 4-0 record against ranked opponents, with wins over No. 1 Florida in 2001, No. 2 Florida in 2006, No. 7 Tennessee in 2003 and No. 14 Georgia in 2000. The Tigers currently own a three-game winning streak in home night games.

Auburn's defense has been spectacular on third downs this season, as the Tigers lead the nation by a wide margin in opponent third-down conversions. Auburn opponents have converted just 3-of-46 third downs for 6.5 percent, while the second-best mark in the country is Texas Tech at 19.5 percent. ULM was just 2-of-18 on third downs in the opener, Auburn limited Southern Miss to just 1-of-14 on third downs Sept. 6 and Mississippi State was 0-of-14 last Saturday.

Auburn's defense has not allowed a third-down conversion this season in the second quarter (0-of-12) or third quarter (0-of-10). When the distance to go is only six yards or less, the Tigers have still only given up just one first down in 19 chances (5.3 percent).

Under first-year defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, Auburn's defense has yet to allow a point in the first half of a game this season. In addition to ranking third nationally in scoring defense (5.0), ninth in rushing defense (53.0) and 10th in total defense (213.7), the Tigers rank 11 nationally in tackles for loss (8.3) and are 15th in passing efficiency defense (92.16).

Auburn played nearly seven quarters this season without allowing a point, surrendering its first score of the season with just 2:33 left in the third quarter against Southern Miss after going 102:27 without being scored upon.

Cornerback Jerraud Powers is off to a terrific start to the 2008 season, leading the squad with 18 tackles (13 solo), including a career-high eight Sept. 6 against Southern Miss. He also has an interception and two pass break-ups, and leads the team with four special teams tackles.

Much of Auburn's defensive success can be attributed to the play of the men up front. All-American candidate Sen'Derrick Marks leads the SEC in tackles for loss with 5.5 this season. Antonio Coleman has had a sack in each game this season and is second on the squad with 12 tackles. In addition, Zach Clayton, Tez Doolittle and Michael Goggans have combined for eight tackles for loss this year.

Auburn is continuing its tradition of producing high-caliber running backs, with two backs on the squad that have over 1,500 career rushing yards. Junior Ben Tate leads the team with 278 yards rushing and ranks 20th in Auburn history with 1,573 career yards. Senior Brad Lester had 148 yards this season and has pushed his career total to 1,548. They were the first pair of Auburn running backs to enter a season with more than 1,000 yards rushing each since Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown in 2004.

Robert Dunn currently ranks 11th nationally in punt returns , averaging 21.4 yards per return, and his 193 punt return yards is the third most in the nation. In the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Dunn snapped an Auburn streak of 144 consecutive games and 374 punt returns without a touchdown, which was the longest streak in the nation, by returning a kick 66 yards for a score.

Dunn, who was only 10 years old the last time Auburn had a punt return for a touchdown, appeared to accomplish the feat again Sept. 6 against Southern Miss, but what would have been a 65-yard return for a score was reduced to 47 yards due to a block in the back at the 18-yard line that occurred 5 yards behind Dunn, who was about to cruise into the end zone.

Dunn, who has five returns this season of at least 17 yards, finished the Southern Miss game with 103 punt return yards, becoming the first Tiger to have more than 100 punt return yards in a game since Joe Walkins against Ball State on Sept. 1, 2001.

Auburn had 11 different players catch passes Sept. 6 vs. Southern Miss, marking the most players to catch a pass in a game for Auburn since 2005 against Ole Miss. The Tigers have already had 13 different players catch passes this season, including nine players with multiple receptions.

Chris Todd completed 21-of-31 passes for 248 yards in his first career start for Auburn Sept. 6 vs. Southern Miss. It marked the most yards passing by an Auburn quarterback since Brandon Cox threw for 251 yards against Arkansas State in 2006. Todd completed 7-of-9 passes for 90 yards in the first 10 minutes of the game, surpassing Auburn's entire passing yardage total from the season opener.

Senior Rodgeriqus Smith has a team-high eight receptions for 86 yards this season. He needs just one more catch and 44 yards to move into the top 10 in both categories in Auburn history. He currently ranks 11th with 92 career catches and 1,352 receiving yards. Eight more catches will also make him just the seventh player in school history with 100 career receptions.

Auburn has had 21 players play in their first collegiate games at Auburn this season, including 12 true freshmen. The true freshmen that have seen action this season include: DB Harry Adams, WR Darvin Adams, DB Drew Cole, DB D'Antoine Hood, WR Philip Pierre-Louis, LB Spencer Pybus, DL Jomarcus Savage, RB Eric Smith, TE Vance Smith, DB Christian Thompson, DB Neiko Thorpe and WR Derek Winter. Others who have played in their first games at Auburn include: WR Quindarius Carr, OL Jared Cooper, H Clayton Crofoot, RB John Douglas, P Clinton Durst, RB Ryan Hastie, LB Adam Herring, DB Mike Slade, and QB Chris Todd.

For the sixth consecutive year, Auburn was nationally ranked to begin the season, and the Tigers are currently ranked ninth in the USA Today Coaches Poll and 10th in the Associated Press Poll.

This season marked the first time since the 1986-91 seasons that Auburn was ranked at the start of six consecutive seasons. The Tigers, then at No. 10, were also ranked in the top 10 of the AP Preseason Poll for the third time since 2003. The Tigers were the preseason No. 6 team in 2003 and ranked No. 4 in the initial 2006 poll.

Auburn has had a knack for winning close ball games since Tommy Tuberville arrived as the Tigers' head coach. In his 10 seasons at the helm, Auburn is 29-13 in games decided by seven points or less and has won 17 of its last 22.

Redshirt freshman Clinton Durst, who burst onto the scene in the spring and was the Special Teams MVP of the A-Day game after averaging 48.3 yards on three punts, is averaging 43.7 yards per punt this year with seven punts placed inside the 20-yard line. His kicks, which have included six fair catches, have helped Auburn rank third in the SEC in net punting at 38.5 yards per kick.

Durst joins an impressive stable of young kickers that also includes sophomore punter Ryan Shoemaker, who was a first-team preseason All-SEC selection this season after averaging 42.4 yards per punt last year, before being supplanted as Auburn's punter by Durst.

Auburn's group of young kickers also includes sophomore kicker Wes Byrum, who led Auburn in scoring last year with 86 points, including 17 field goals which is tied for third most in a single season in school history. He made game-winning field goals in the closing seconds at Florida and at Arkansas.

In addition, sophomore Patrick Tatum averaged 43.4 yards on 16 punts last season while Shoemaker was out with an injury, and sophomore Morgan Hull has also handled the kickoff duties part-time in each of the last two seasons.

Tommy Tuberville is in his tenth season at Auburn in 2008 and his 14th as a head coach in the Southeastern Conference. Tuberville has the third-longest tenure in the SEC (second-longest active streak) behind Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee and Steve Spurrier of South Carolina, who will each coach his 16th season in the league this year.

Tuberville has amassed a record of 83-33 in nine previous seasons at Auburn and an overall mark of 108-53. He has led the Tigers to eight straight bowl appearances.

Tuberville is fourth all-time at Auburn in wins, and is the fourth-longest tenured coach in school history.

Auburn's 27-13 victory over Southern Miss Sept. 6 moved head coach Tommy Tuberville ahead of Pat Dye in all-time winning percentage as Auburn head coach. Dye finished his 12-year career at Auburn with a record of 99-39-4 for a winning percentage of .711. Tuberville now has a record of 83-33 on the Plains, giving him a winning percentage of .716.

In recognition of Tommy Tuberville's 10th season at Auburn, Auburn fans had the opportunity to vote for the 10 biggest wins during the Tommy Tuberville era this summer on More than 4,500 votes were cast, and the results were as follows:

No. 10  Auburn 17, Alabama 10     11/24/07
No. 9   Auburn 34, Tennessee 10   10/2/04
No. 8   Auburn 7, LSU 3           9/16/06
No. 7   Auburn 28, Alabama 18     11/19/05
No. 6   Auburn 17, Alabama 7      11/23/02
No. 5   Auburn 31, Georgia 30     11/12/05
No. 4   Auburn 27, Florida 17     10/14/06
No. 3   Auburn 20, Florida 17     9/29/07
No. 2   Auburn 10, LSU 9          9/18/04
No. 1   Auburn 23, Florida 20     10/13/01

In his 14th year as a head coach, Tommy Tuberville has five assistant coaches who have been with him all 14 years. That group includes: defensive tackles coach Don Dunn, running backs/special teams coach Eddie Gran, wide receivers coach Greg Knox, offensive line coach Hugh Nall and defensive ends coach Terry Price.

Over the past five seasons, Auburn has the nation's third-best record in games played away from home (road or neutral site games). The Tigers are 18-4 (.818) since the start of the 2004 season outside of Jordan-Hare Stadium, trailing only USC and Texas (both 24-4, .857). In SEC games, Auburn is 15-3 against SEC teams outside of Auburn since the 2004 season.

Auburn has won 16 of its last 17 games when wearing all white uniforms, including this season's road opener at Mississippi State. The Tigers had not lost when wearing white jerseys during the entire 2004-07 seasons, until Georgia broke the 15-game winning streak in white in Athens last Nov. The Tigers went 5-0 in all white uniforms in 2004, 3-0 in 2005, 4-0 in 2006 and 3-1 in 2007. The streak includes the 2004 SEC Championship game against Tennessee, a 2007 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Nebraska and last year's home victory over Vanderbilt when the team wore all white to honor the 1957 national championship team. Auburn also has road wins at Alabama (twice), Ole Miss (twice), Arkansas (twice), Mississippi State (twice), Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky during that span.

Auburn shut out Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener, 34-0, for its first shutout since a 27-0 win against Arkansas State on Nov. 4, 2006. It marked the ninth shutout by Auburn during the Tommy Tuberville era, and was the first shutout in a season opener since a 31-0 victory over ULM in the 2004 opener.

Auburn's nine shutouts since the 2000 season are tied with LSU for the most in the SEC during that span. No other SEC school has more than four shutouts since 2000.

Auburn achieved a rare feat during the opener against Louisiana-Monroe, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. The Tigers scored on a fumble return for a touchdown by Michael Goggans on their first defensive play, then added a punt return for a score by Robert Dunn later in the first quarter. When Brad Lester rushed for a touchdown in the third quarter, it marked the first time Auburn scored touchdowns in all three facets of the game since during a 73-7 victory over ULM in 2003.

Both the Auburn offense and defense have new looks this season, as the Tigers have new offensive and defensive coordinators. Tony Franklin joined the squad as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach prior to the Chick-fil-A Bowl last season, and in just eight practices, installed a portion of his spread offense and helped Auburn amass 423 yards of offense on 90 plays during a 23-20 overtime victory over Clemson.

Paul Rhoads joined the staff as defensive coordinator/secondary coach in January after eight seasons in that position at Pittsburgh. His Panthers ranked fifth nationally in total defense (297.7) and third in pass defense (167.3) in 2007.

Auburn's offense lost three-year starting quarterback Brandon Cox, but still returned nearly all of its leading rushers and receivers, as well as players responsible for more than 90 percent of their points scored in 2007.

Category            2007    Return   Percent
Passing Yards       2,317   145      6.3%
Rushing Yards       2,040   2,099    102.9%
Receptions          204     168      82.4%
Receiving Yards     2,317   1,873    80.8%
Scoring             315     1284     90.2%
Touchdowns          38      33       86.8%
Total Offense       4,357   2,244    51.5%
All-Purpose Yards   5,809   5,087    87.6%

The offensive line was a concern for Auburn entering the 2007 season after the Tigers lost four senior starters from the 2006 squad. But three true freshmen joined a pair of juniors in the starting lineup beginning with the season's fourth game, and the Tigers went on to win eight of their last 10 contests. Inexperience is far from an issue this season as the entire group returns for 2008, although sophomore guard Chaz Ramsey has been battling a back injury. Senior center Jason Bosley and senior guard Tyronne Green anchor the group after starting every game last year, while sophomore Lee Ziemba has switched from right tackle to left tackle after also staring every game in 2007 as a true freshmen. Sophomore Ryan Pugh, who started the final 10 games last year, switches from left to right tackle, and junior Byron Isom has moved into the other guard slot for Ramsey.

Defensively in 2008, Auburn is replacing four starters from last year's squad that led the SEC and ranked sixth in the nation in scoring defense (16.9), including two interior linemen and two members of the secondary. Defensive tackles Josh Thompson and Pat Sims combined for 104 tackles including 16 for losses, while safety Eric Brock and cornerback Patrick Lee ranked fifth and sixth on the team with 59 and 55 tackles, respectively. In addition, NFL draft picks Quentin Groves and Jonathan Wilhite were seniors in 2007.

However, three of the top four leading tacklers return in sophomore safety Zac Etheridge (65), senior linebacker Chris Evans (64) and junior cornerback Jerraud Powers (63). Powers also shared the team lead with four interceptions.

Other key returners include juniors Antonio Coleman and Sen'Derrick Marks on the defensive line. Coleman had team highs of 18.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks, while Marks was named to several preseason All-America teams.

Other returning starters are junior linebacker Tray Blackmon and sophomore linebacker Craig Stevens.

In addition to ranking sixth in the nation in scoring defense, the 2007 Auburn defense also ranked sixth nationally in total defense (297.9) and pass defense (173.2).

The Tigers return 46 lettermen from last season, including 22 on offense, 20 on defense and four specialists. Auburn returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense.

Auburn's roster of 113 players includes 16 seniors, 18 juniors, 35 sophomores, 15 redshirt freshmen and 29 freshmen. The underclassmen (79) represent 69.9 percent of the Tigers' roster.

A number of walk-ons joined the program after the first day of classes on August 18.

Head Coach Tommy Tuberville has a senior class that includes 16 players at Auburn in 2008. The Tigers' group of 16 seniors is the fourth most during the Tuberville era. The largest group of seniors was 21 in 2006, while the 2004 group had 18 and last year's squad had 17. During Tuberville's tenure, Auburn's other senior classes have consisted of: 15 in 2005, 13 in 2003, 15 in 2002, 10 in 2001, 14 in 2000 and 14 in 1999.

The 2008 seniors include: C Jason Bosley, RB Tristan Davis, DT Tez Doolittle, WR Robert Dunn, LB Chris Evans, OL Tyronne Green, LB Courtney Harden, TE Bryan Harris, FB Ryan Hastie, LB Merrill Johnson, RB Brad Lester, WR Charles Olatunji, DS Robert Shiver, WR Rodgeriqus Smith, WR James Swinton and DB Jonathan Vickers.

Auburn's group of fifth-year seniors has a chance to match last year's fifth-year seniors as the only classes to win 50 games in five years. With 42 wins in the previous four seasons, the Tigers need eight wins to reach 50 victories over the past five seasons, and nine wins to surpass that class as the winningest five-year class in school history. Members of the squad that have been at Auburn since 2004 are Tristan Davis, Tez Doolittle, Tyronne Green, Courtney Harden, Merrill Johnson, Brad Lester, James Swinton and Jonathan Vickers.

The 2008 season marks the third straight year that Auburn has had a sixth-year senior on the squad due to injury. Tez Doolittle is back for his second stint as a senior after missing last year with an achilles injury. In 2007, Cole Bennett was a sixth-year senior after breaking his ankle during the third game of the 2006 season. David Irons was granted a sixth year of eligibility for 2006 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the 2004 preseason.

Of Auburn's 16 seniors, seven have seen time in more than 30 games during their careers. Courtney Harden leads the group, having played in 37 of a possible 41 games over the past four seasons, and is followed closely by Merrill Johnson (36), Rodgeriqus Smith (36), Robert Dunn (35), Tyronne Green (33), Brad Lester (33) and Chris Evans (32). Green, Smith and Robert Shiver are the only three members of the senior class to have played in all 29 games over the past three seasons.

Auburn has scored in 66 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak in school history. The Tigers have not been shut out since a 23-0 loss to USC to open the 2003 season. It will be a while before Auburn could challenge the school record. The Tigers scored in 149 straight games from Oct. 4, 1980 through Nov. 14, 1992.

Junior Sen'Derrick Marks currently own the longest staring streak on the squad, having started all 29 games over the past three seasons. No other player has a starting streak that dates back to the 2006 season. Rodgeriqus Smith had started 28 straight games until the Sept. 13 contest at Mississippi State.

Four other players have started all 16 games dating back to the start of the 2007 season. Seniors Jason Bosley and Tyronne Green, junior Jerraud Powers and sophomore Lee Ziemba have all started every game since last season.

A number of players have changed positions since last season.

Junior Sen'Derrick Marks moved back to defensive tackle, where he started all 13 games as a freshman before starting every game as a defensive end last year.

Sophomore Mario Fannin, who played running back last season, splits out as a wide receiver in Auburn's new spread offense this year.

Sophomore tackles Lee Ziemba moved from right tackle to left tackles, switching spots Ryan Pugh, who in turn has changed places with Jason Bosley the last two games, moving to center while Bosley plays right tackle.

Junior Gabe McKenzie, who had played tight end during each of his first three seasons at Auburn, switched to defensive end Aug. 19 during preseason camp, and A.J. Greene moved from defensive end to the offensive line Sept. 10.

Auburn began the season with eight graduates on the roster.

The Tiger graduates include: OL Jason Bosley (finance), RB Tristan Davis (criminology), DL Tez Doolittle (criminology), OL Tyronne Green (criminology), LB Courtney Harden (criminology), LB Merrill Johnson (criminology), WR Rodgeriqus Smith (business administration) and WR James Swinton (public administration).

Listed are the top 10 programs in terms of number of players who have completed their bachelor's degrees prior to the start of the 2008 season.

1. Miami (Fla.)    13
2. Boston College  10
   Virginia Tech   10
4. Maryland        9
5. Auburn          8
   Clemson         8
   Pittsburgh      8
8. Arizona State   7
   Memphis         7
   Ohio State      7
   Penn State      7

Auburn has demonstrated a proficiency for placing players in the National Football League. Auburn had 27 players listed on opening day NFL rosters, which was tied for 12th most of any college in the nation. The Seattle Seahawks have the most former Tigers, with five former Auburn players on the roster, while the Washington Redskins have four.

Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 68-7 when scoring 20 or more points in a game, including a 65-6 mark in the regular season. Dating back to 1995, Auburn is 89-14 when scoring 20 or more points in a game.

Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 45-0 when scoring 30 or more points in a game. Auburn has won 50 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points.

The last time the Tigers lost when registering at least 30 points was a 56-49, four overtime loss to Georgia in 1996.

In the last 23 years, Auburn is 119-2 when scoring 30 points.

Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (CSS) will broadcast encore presentations of Auburn football, every Sunday at 6 p.m. ET/5 p.m. CT with Andy Burcham handling play-by-play duties and Cole Cubelic doing color commentary. CSS will also air the Auburn Football Review every Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT and the Auburn Football Preview every Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. CT.

CSS is a 24-hour regional sports network serving approximately 5.8 million households across 12 Southeastern states.

Linebacker Courtney Harden and defensive tackle Jermarcus Ricks are brothers ... Brad Lester was a high school teammates of the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur ... Walter McFadden's older brother Bryant plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers ... Clinton Durst was recommend to the Auburn staff by former Auburn and PGA golfer Buddy Gardner ... Neiko Thorpe's last name was Lipscomb until he had it legally changed to his father's last name this summer.