Sept. 20, 2009
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
AUBURN (3-0, 1-0 SEC) VS. BALL STATE (0-3, 0-0 MAC)
SEPTEMBER 26, 2009 6 PM CT TV: FSS
JORDAN-HARE STADIUM (87,451) AUBURN, AL
Gene Chizik (Florida, 1985)
Auburn Record 3-0 (1st year)
vs. Ball State First meeting
Overall Record 8-19 (3rd year)
vs. Ball State First meeting
Stan Parrish (Heidelberg, 1969)
Ball State Record 0-3 (1st year)
vs. Auburn First meeting
Overall Record 57-44-3 (11th year)
vs. Auburn First meeting
AU leads, 2-0
at Auburn AU leads, 2-0
at Muncie N/A
Last Meeting AU 63, BSU 3
Sept. 17, 2005 in Auburn, AL
Current Streak AU, W2
Auburn Receiving Votes
Ball State N/A
TELEVISION - FOX SPORTS SOUTH
Bob Rathbun Play-by-play
Dave Archer Analyst
Jenn Hildreth Sidelines
The Auburn ISP Sports 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.
SATELITTE RADIO XM Channel 201
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
Auburn plays its fourth straight home game when the Tigers host Ball State Saturday in the third meeting between the two schools. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. CT and be televised by Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southwest and Sun Sports.
* Auburn is looking to start a season 4-0 for the third time in the last six seasons and first time since 2006.
* Auburn has won 18 consecutive games overall and 10 consecutive games at Jordan-Hare Stadium with Gene Chizik on the coaching staff.
* Auburn has come from behind to win in all three of its games this season.
* Auburn has scored 127 points this season, which is just two points less than the Tigers scored in their first seven games last year.
* Auburn has scored in every quarter this season, including touchdowns in 11 of 12 quarters.
* Auburn is tied for second in the nation in turnover margin (+2.3), tied for second in interceptions (eight) and tied for third in turnovers forced (10).
* Auburn has outscored its opponents 66-19 in the second half, including a 35-7 margin in the fourth quarter.
* Auburn ranks sixth in the nation in rushing offense (263.7) and eighth nationally in total offense (515.0).
* Auburn has recorded three straight games of 400 or more yards of offense for the first time since 2004, and first time in the first three games of a season since 2000.
* Auburn is tied for seventh nationally in first downs (25.3) and has had at least 20 in all three games.
* Auburn is 18-3 in home night games since the 2000 season, including victories over four nationally-ranked teams.
* Senior Ben Tate leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally in rushing (116.3), and is ninth in school history with 2,308 career rushing yards.
* Senior defensive end Antonio Coleman has 16.5 career sacks, which ranks eighth in Auburn history for career sacks.
* Auburn has won 52 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points in a game, dating back to a 56-49, four-overtime loss to Georgia in 1996.
* Auburn has eight players on its squad that have already graduated, which is tied for fifth most in the nation among FBS schools.
BALL STATE QUICK HITTERS
Ball State won the Mid-American Conference West Division Championship in 2008 and made the school's first-ever back-to-back bowl appearances - 2007 International Bowl and 2008 GMAC Bowl ... Ball State lost four starters on the offensive line from its 2008 team - three of which were drafted or competed as free agents in National Football League camps ... Running back MiQuale Lewis was a 2008 All-Mid-American Conference First-Team selection after rushing for a Ball State single-season record 1,736 yards, and ranks sixth in Ball State's record books for career rushing yards with 2,604 ... The Cardinals have gone 49 straight games without being shutout, which is the third longest stretch in Ball State history ... Junior defensive lineman Robert Eddins has seven tackles for loss, which is tied for third most in the nation ... Co-Captain Brandon Crawford, who turned 33 in August, was named to the All-MAC Second Team as a defensive end last year after earning third-team honors in 2007.
Auburn and Ball State have met twice previously this decade, with the Tigers winning twice at home, by scores of 30-0 in 2001 and 63-3 in 2005. In the 2005 game, Auburn had the ball nine times, and scored touchdowns on all nine possessions while amassing 572 yards of total offense, including 390 on the ground. The Tiger defense stole the show in 2001, holding Ball State to 92 yards of offense while not allowing the Cardinals past midfield the entire game.
AUBURN VS. THE MAC
Auburn has never lost to any current members of the Mid-American Conference, but the Tigers have only played six times previously against MAC schools. In addition to two wins over Ball State, the Tigers have single wins over Akron (42-0 in 1988), Buffalo (38-7 in 2006), Northern Illinois (31-14 in 2000) and Western Michigan (34-13 in 1995). The combined score of Auburn's six previous games against MAC teams was 238-37.
ON THIS DATE
Auburn has a 6-4-1 all-time record on Sept. 26, but has not played on that date since 1992 when the Tigers beat Southern Miss, 16-8. Most of Auburn's most memorable games played on Sept. 26 came against Tennessee, including a 36-23 upset of the No. 17-ranked Vols in 1970 in Birmingham, a 3-0 loss by the No. 3-ranked Tigers in Knoxville in 1959, and a 20-20 tie between No. 3 Auburn and No. 14 Tennessee in 1987.
Auburn is 147-47-5 (.751) all-time in the month of September, and has won 23 of its last 27 September contests. The Tigers have posted a winning record during the month of September in each of the previous five seasons, and 25 of the previous 27, and have assured themselves of a sixth straight winning September with a 3-0 record.
Now celebrating its 70th year as home to the Auburn football team, Jordan-Hare Stadium is the nation's 10th-largest on-campus stadium, with a capacity of 87,451 fans. The Tigers, who set a school record by averaging 86,915 fans last season, are 268-67-7 (.794) all-time at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn has had nine straight winning seasons at Jordan-Hare Stadium, posting a mark of 54-13 (.806) at home since the 2000 season. The Tigers were undefeated at home during two of those seasons, going 7-0 in both 2000 and 2004.
UNDER THE LIGHTS AT JORDAN-HARE
Auburn has been tough to beat in night games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including victories this season over each of its first three opponents. The Tigers have accumulated a record of 18-3 since the 2000 season in home games starting at 6 p.m. or later. That stretch includes a 4-1 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.
GOING FOR FOUR
Auburn will be looking to start the season with a 4-0 record with a victory over Ball State. If the Tigers win, it would mark Auburn's third 4-0 start in the last six seasons (2006, 2004), and the seventh in the last 17 seasons. However, it would mark the first time that Auburn has started 4-0 by winning four straight home games since 1988. From 1989-2008, the Tigers had just two seasons in which they started with four straight home games, going 3-1 in 2005 and 2-2 in 2007.
With a 3-0 start to his head coaching tenure at Auburn, Gene Chizik has now been a part of 18 consecutive victories as a member of the Auburn coaching staff. His final season as Auburn's defensive coordinator was during the Tigers' 13-0 2004 season, and Auburn also won its final two games in 2003.
Chizik, who has seen 11 straight wins at Jordan-Hare Stadium, also became the fifth consecutive Auburn head coach to win his debut with the Tigers, and the 24-point margin of victory over Louisiana Tech was the largest in an Auburn head coaching debut since Carl Voyles won his first game as Auburn's head coach by a 32-0 score over Samford in 1944.
Auburn has had to come from behind in each of its three victories, including a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat West Virginia last Saturday. The Tigers trailed Louisiana Tech, 7-3, late in the first quarter before pulling away for a 37-13 victory. Auburn fell behind Mississippi State, 17-14, late in the second quarter before storming back for a 49-24 victory. Against the Moutaineers, Auburn trailed by 14-0 less than five minutes in, and 21-10 at the end of the first quarter. West Virginia still led 30-27 entering the fourth quarter before Auburn ended the game on a 14-0 run.
Auburn has been able to wear down its opponents in the second half of its games, helping the Tigers post a large scoring differential in the second half. Auburn holds just a 61-48 scoring edge in the first half of its games this year, but has outscored its opponents 66-19 in the second half, including a 35-7 margin in the fourth quarter.
TURNOVERS TELL THE TALE
Auburn currently is tied for second in the nation in turnover margin, with a margin of +2.3 per game. The Tigers have forced 10 turnovers in their first three games and committed just three. As a result of that differential, Auburn has scored 38 points off of opponent turnovers, and allowed just three points.
TOTALING THE TAKEAWAYS
Auburn ranks tied for second in the nation with eight interceptions, and tied for third with 10 total turnovers forced. Last year, Auburn had just 11 interceptions during the entire season and forced 18 turnovers in 12 games. The Tigers have spread the wealth, with eight different players grabbing one interception each. Auburn picked off five passes against West Virginia, marking the first time since 2004 (at Tennessee) that Auburn intercepted five passes in a game. Antonio Coleman is the only player on the team with both an interception and a fumble recovery.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Through three games, Auburn has already accumulated 127 points and 1,545 yards of offense. Not only are the 127 points the most Auburn has scored in its first three games of a season since 1996, but last just one year ago, it took the Tigers seven games to reach 127 points (Auburn had 129 points after seven games). Auburn has nearly as many total yards already this season as the Tigers did through five games last season, when Auburn had 1,647 yards.
EVERY QUARTER SO FAR
Auburn's offense has not only been explosive, it has been consistent. The Tigers have scored at least once in all 12 quarters this season, and have scored between 27 and 35 points for the season in each of the four quarters. In fact, Auburn has scored a touchdown in 11 of the 12 quarters played this year. The only quarter in which Auburn didn't reach the end zone was the second quarter of the season opener, when the Tigers settled for a field goal against Louisiana Tech.
The current streak is the Tigers' longest since 2005, when Auburn scored in 13 straight quarters during games 8-11 of the season. Auburn also had a streak of 16 quarters that season, during games 2-5.
POINTS BEFORE THE HALF
Auburn has been proficient at scoring points just before halftime, with scores in the last two minutes of the second quarter in all three games this season. In the season opener, Wes Byrum capped a quick three-play drive with a 49-yard field goal on the last play of the first half. Against Mississippi State, Auburn marched 78 yards on eight plays in just 1:13 before Kodi Burns scored on a 1-yard run with just 16 seconds left in the half. Against West Virginia, Darvin Adams' 4-yard TD catch with 1:34 left before halftime finished a 11-play, 68-yard drive in 3:24.
OFFENSE KEEPS ON ROLLING
Auburn ranks eighth nationally in total offense, averaging 515.0 yards per game. The Tigers started the season with back-to-back games of more than 500 yards, totaling 556 yards in the season opener against Louisiana Tech and 589 yards in the SEC opener against Mississippi State. It marked the first time Auburn had back-to-back games with at least 500 yards of offense since 1970, when the Tigers had 566 yards against Florida and 664 against Mississippi State.
Auburn totaled 400 yards last Saturday against West Virginia, marking the first time since 2004 (400 against Tennessee, 472 against Louisiana Tech and 522 against Arkansas) that Auburn had three consecutive games of 400 or more yards of total offense. The last time Auburn did it to open a season was in 2000 when it tallied more than 400 yards in its first four games.
Auburn ranks sixth nationally in rushing offense, averaging 263.7 yards per game on the ground. The Tigers collected 301 yards rushing against Louisiana Tech in the season opener before running for 390 yards against Mississippi State the following week. The last time Auburn had back-to-back games with at least 300 yards rushing was in 1985, when Auburn had three straight games with more than 300 yards rushing (Ole Miss, 438; Florida State, 413; Georgia Tech, 377).
TODD TAKING CHARGE
Senior quarterback Chris Todd is off to a blazing start to this season. He has established a career high in passing yards twice already this season, first with 255 yards against Louisiana Tech, then with 284 yards against West Virginia. He also threw for a career-best four scores against the Mountaineers, becoming the first Auburn quarterback to throw four touchdown passes in a game since Daniel Cobb had five against Louisiana Tech in 2001. Todd is currently third in the SEC in total offense (240.0).
Todd has already thrown more touchdown passes this season than last, and his numbers have shown a marked improvement across the board:
Year Cmp-Att-Int Pct. Yds TD Eff.
2009 43-80-1 53.8 725 6 152.12
2008 86-156-6 55.1 903 5 106.64
Sophomore wide receiver Darvin Adams has emerged as perhaps Auburn's top target downfield, leading the team in catches (15), receiving yards (261) and touchdown receptions (four). Adams caught three touchdown passes against West Virginia, becoming the first Tiger to haul in at least three scores in a game since Alexander Wright caught four TD passes against Pacific in 1989. Adams, who entered the season with three catches for 18 yards during his career, ranks tied for third in the SEC in receptions per game (5.0) and fourth in receiving yards per game (87.0).
Auburn has two of the nation's top 32 rushers, including one who leads the SEC and ranks ninth nationally. Senior Ben Tate, who ranks ninth in Auburn history with 2,308 career rushing yards, averages 116.3 yards rushing per game. He needs just 504 more yards rushing to crack Auburn's all-time top five. Freshman Onterio McCalebb is fourth in the SEC and 32nd nationally, averaging 94.0 yards rushing per game. McCalebb also ranks second in the SEC and 30th nationally in all-purpose yards, averaging 148.0.
GOING FOR SIX IN THE RED ZONE
Auburn's offense has been efficient in the red zone, as the Tigers have not only scored on 11 of 12 possessions in the red zone (91.7), but 10 of the 11 scores have been touchdowns. Auburn's TD percentage of 83.3 ranks second in the SEC behind only Ole Miss, and five of the scores have come on the ground and five through the air.
FIRST DOWN FLURRY
Auburn is currently tied for seventh nationally in first downs per game, averaging 25.3. The Tigers had 27 in the season opener against Louisiana Tech, 29 Sept. 12 against Mississippi State and 20 against West Virginia last Saturday. Last season, Auburn only reached 20 first downs in a game twice all year, with a high of 26 against UT Martin. Auburn had not had as many as 27 first downs in a game since collecting 28 at Arkansas in 2005, and the last time Auburn had at least 29 first downs was in the 2004 SEC Championship game against Tennessee.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Auburn's offense has excelled at both striking quickly and putting together sustained drives. The Tigers already have five scoring drives of at least 10 plays this season, including three that took 13 plays. Last year, Auburn only had two scoring drives all season that used at least 13 plays. In addition, all six of the Tigers' scoring drives against Mississippi State covered at least 72 yards.
The Tigers have also had nine scoring drives that used less than two minutes on the clock, including seven that resulted in touchdowns. In 12 games last year, Auburn had just 10 scoring drives that took less than two minutes, and only six of those ended with touchdowns.
O-LINE PAVES THE WAY
Much of Auburn's offensive success can be attributed to the Tigers' offensive linemen. Auburn's starting five of tackles Andrew McCain and Lee Ziemba, guards Mike Berry and Byron Isom and center Ryan Pugh have a combined 74 starts under their belt. They have not only helped Auburn rank among the national leaders in total offense and rushing, but have allowed just two quarterback sacks this season.
NOTHING UNUSUAL FOR MALZAHN
Auburn's gaudy offensive numbers are nothing new to first-year offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. His Tulsa teams led the nation in total offense in both 2007 (543.9 yards) and 2008 (569.9). Last year's Tulsa team also led the country in third-down conversions (57.0 pct.) and yards per play (7.27). Two of the three previous college squads that he coached finished in the top 10 in the nation in rushing, as the 2008 Tulsa team ranked fifth (268.0 yards) and his 2006 Arkansas squad was fourth (228.5).
DEFENSE HOLDING TOUGH
It's easy to overlook the job Auburn's defense has done because of the offensive output, but the unit has excelled despite a rash of injuries. In addition to the 10 turnovers and eight interceptions forced by Auburn, the Tigers rank 28th in pass efficiency defense (100.75) and 38th in sacks (2.33).
The Tigers have managed despite missing projected starters or second-stringers S Mike McNeil, CB Aairon Savage, DE Antonio Carter, LB Spencer Pybus and DE Nosa Egaue for all three games, DB D'Antoine Hood for two games and LB Eltoro Freeman and DL Zach Clayton for one game each.
COLEMAN MAKES AN IMPACT
Antonio Coleman, a first-team preseason All-SEC selection, is off to a strong start to the season. He has 16 tackles including four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception which he returned for a touchdown against Mississippi State and a fumble recovery. Coleman ranks eighth in school history with 16.5 career sacks, and this season, he is tied for second in the league in tackles for loss and and tied for fourth with two sacks.
JUNIORS LEAD THE WAY
Although Auburn is without several expected contributors on defense due to injury, several veterans are still leading the charge, including a trio of juniors. Junior linebackers Josh Bynes and Craig Stevens have 28 and 26 tackles, respectively, to lead the team, while junior safety Zac Etheridge is third with 19. Bynes and Stevens both have interceptions, while Stevens is second on the team with 3.5 tackles for loss and Etheridge has 1.5.
BYRUM ON TARGET
Junior Wes Byrum has been perfect so far during the 2009 season, connecting on all five of his field goal attempts and 16-of-16 extra points. Byrum, who ranks third in the SEC in scoring (10.3) and tied for 15th in the nation in field goals made (1.67), now ranks seventh in school history with 33 career made field goals.
30+ POINTS EQUALS VICTORY
Auburn has won 52 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 121-2 when scoring 30 points.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
In the last 10 seasons, Auburn is 74-8 (.902) when scoring 20 or more points in a game. Dating back to the start of the 1993 season, Auburn is 117-15-1 (.883) when scoring 20 or more points in a game.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES
Auburn has had a knack for winning close games in recent seasons. Since the 2003 Capitol One Bowl, Auburn is 18-9 in games decided by seven points or less, even after posting just a 2-4 record in such games during the 2008 season. Nine of the 18 wins were by three points or less, with just four losses coming by that margin.
YOUNG GUNS GET FIRST ACTION
A whopping 26 Auburn players have played in their first career games as Tigers so far this season. The list of first-timers included: DB Gabe Barrett, DB Daren Bates, DB T'Sharvan Bell, WR Deangelo Benton, WR Emory Blake, OL Jorell Bostrom, LB Watson Downs, LB Jonathan Evans, DL Nick Fairley, LB Eltoro Freeman, DE Dee Ford, LB Harris Gaston, WR Anthony Gulley, DS Josh Harris, DL Chris Humphries, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, DL Derrick Lykes, RB Onterio McCalebb, DB Ikeem Means, LB Ashton Richardson, OL Darrell Roseman, WR Travante Stallworth, OL John Sullen, DB Demond Washington, WR Jay Wisner and TE Bailey Woods.
In addition, 10 players have made their first career starts: WR Darvin Adams, DB Daren Bates, DL Nick Fairley, LB Eltoro Freeman, LB Adam Herring, OT Andrew McCain, RB Onterio McCalebb, DL Jake Ricks, RB Eric Smith and WR Terrell Zachery.
Freshman running back Onterio McCalebb became the first Auburn freshman to rush for at least 100 yards in each of the first two games in a season, totaling 148 in the opener against Louisiana Tech and 114 Sept. 12 against Mississippi State. His 148 yards in the opener was the seventh highest single-game total by a freshman in school history.
A NIGHT OF FIRSTS
Auburn established several firsts during its game against Mississippi State Sept. 12. To begin, Ben Tate and Onterio McCalebb both went over 100 yards rushing for the second straight game, marking the first time in school history that the Tigers have had two 100-yard rushers in back-to-back games.
McCalebb established another first by becoming the first Tiger freshman ever to rush for 100 or more yards in each of the first two games of the season.
Finally, Darvin Adams had 116 yards receiving, marking the first time in school history that Auburn had two 100-yard rushers and a 100-yard receiver in the same game. It nearly marked the second straight game that Auburn accomplished that feat, as Terrell Zachery had 104 yards receiving at one point during the season opener, but lost 6 yards on his final reception and finished with 98 yards receiving for the game.
TOP SEC OPENER TOTAL
Auburn's total of 589 yards of offense against Mississippi State was a school record for the most yards ever in an SEC opener. The previous record was 527 yards in the 1995 season opener against Ole Miss. Auburn's 589 yards were tied for 11th most in any game in school history and tied for fourth most in an SEC game, and the most since the Tigers also had 589 yards at Kentucky in 2005.
Chris Todd and Terrell Zachery teamed up to make school history during Auburn's season-opening win against Louisiana Tech, connecting on a 93-yard touchdown pass. The play was the longest play from scrimmage in school history, surpassing a 92-yard rush by Ralph O'Gwynne vs. Loyola on Nov. 21, 1936. The longest pass play in school history had been an 87-yard pass from Jason Campbell to Silas Daniels on Oct. 9, 2004, also against Louisiana Tech.
Gene Chizik ERA BEGINS ON THE PLAINS
A new era of Auburn football is underway as Gene Chizik is in his first season as Auburn's head coach. It marks Chizik's second stint on the Plains, as he previously served as defensive coordinator from 2002-04, helping lead the Tigers to a perfect 13-0 record in 2004 while earning the Frank Broyles Awards as the nation's top assistant coach. His defense led the nation in scoring that season (11.3 ppg) and the Tigers were 30-9 overall during his previous three-year stint.
Chizik went on to help guide Texas to the 2005 national championship while serving as assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator for the Longhorns. After two seasons in Austin, he was named head coach at Iowa State, where he spent two more years prior to returning to Auburn.
Chizik's reputation as an outstanding teacher is evident by the fact that he coached three consecutive Thorpe Award Winners, starting with Auburn's Carlos Rogers in 2004, followed by Texas' Michael Huff and Aaron Ross in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
Freshmen will play a key role in determining Auburn's level of success this year, as 12 true freshmen were listed on the initial depth chart.
The depth chart included DB Daren Bates, WR Deangelo Benton, WR Emory Blake, DE Nosa Eguae, LB Jonathan Evans, DE Dee Ford, LB Harris Gaston, WR Anthony Gulley, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, RB Onterio McCalebb, QB Tyrik Rollison and OL John Sullen.
Two redshirt freshmen were also on the depth chart: DB T'Sharvan Bell and DT Derrick Lykes.
AUBURN BY THE NUMBERS
The Tigers return 46 lettermen from last season, including 24 on offense, 18 on defense and four specialists. Auburn returns seven starters on offense and seven on defense.
Auburn's current roster of 113 players includes 13 seniors, 31 juniors, 27 sophomores, 11 redshirt freshmen and 31 freshmen. The underclassmen (69) represent 61.1 percent of the Tigers' roster.
A number of walk-ons joined the program after the first day of classes on August 17.
THE SENIOR CLASS
Head coach Gene Chizik has a senior class that includes 12 players at Auburn in 2009. It marks the smallest senior class at Auburn since the 2001 squad had 10 seniors.
The 2009 seniors include: DE Antonio Coleman, H Clayton Crofoot, P Clinton Durst, OT Andrew McCain, CB Walter McFadden, TE Gabe McKenzie, DB Woody Parramore, DL Jake Ricks, DB Aairon Savage, RB Ben Tate, QB Chris Todd and TE Tommy Trott.
Of Auburn's 13 seniors, seven have seen time in at least 30 games during their careers. Tommy Trott leads the group, having played in 42 career games, including 40 of a possible 41 over the past four seasons. Antonio Coleman and Gabe McKenzie are next with 40 games played, followed by Walter McFadden (39 games), Ben Tate (37) and Jake Ricks (34).
Junior Lee Ziemba has the longest staring streak on the Auburn squad, having started all 27 games over the past three seasons. Only three other players have starting streaks that date back to the 2007 season. Juniors Zac Etheridge and Ryan Pugh both have started 17 straight contests, while junior Craig Stevens has 15 straight starts under his belt
Two other players have started every game since the start of the 2008 season: senior Walter McFadden and juniors Michael Goggans.
Auburn begins the season with eight graduates on its roster, which is tied for fifth most among all FBS schools.
The Tiger graduates include: WR Montez Billings (Public Administration), DE Antonio Coleman (Criminology), CB Walter McFadden (Public Administration), TE Gabe McKenzie (Criminology), DB Aairon Savage (Exercise Science), RB Ben Tate (Criminology), QB Chris Todd (Business Finance) and TE Tommy Trott (Public Administration).
Listed are the top 10 FBS programs in the nation in terms of number of players who have completed their bachelor's degrees prior to the start of the 2009 season.
1. Alabama 12
2. Boston College 10
Virginia Tech 10
4. Miami (Fla.) 9
Penn State 9
6. Auburn 8
East Carolina 8
Notre Dame 8
Texas Tech 8
Three members of the Auburn team have been named to preseason watch lists for national awards.
Antonio Coleman leads the way, landing on four watch lists, including those for the Lombardi Award (best lineman or linebacker), Bronko Nagurski Award (best defensive player), Chuck Bednarik Award (best defensive player) and Ted Hendricks Award (best defensive end).
Ben Tate has been named to the Maxwell Award watch list, for the nation's outstanding player, and Tommy Trott is on watch list for the John Mackey Award, which goes to the nation's top tight end.
Auburn has demonstrated a proficiency for placing players in the National Football League. As of Aug. 24, 37 former Auburn Tigers were listed on NFL rosters. The Seattle Seahawks have the most former Tigers, with four former Auburn players on the roster, while the San Diego Chargers have three. Twenty-seven of the 32 teams have at least one former Auburn player on the roster.
Auburn is one of just two teams in the Southeastern Conference that is playing three non-conference games this season against teams that went to bowl games last season. South Carolina is the other.
Auburn opens the season with Louisiana Tech, which won the Independence Bowl last season. The Tigers' second non-conference game is against West Virginia, which defeated North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. The following week the Tigers host Ball State, which fell to Gus Malzahn's Tulsa team in the GMAC Bowl, 45-13.
AUBURN FOOTBALL: EVERY DAY ...
This season Auburn is debuting a new weekly 30-minute show offering fans a reality-based, behind the scenes style production that will chronicle the inner-workings of the Tigers' football program through the entire 2009 season. The program follows the high and lows of competing as an SEC football player, with wired up coaches and players and exclusive interviews.
The show may be viewed across the state of Alabama and the Southeast on television stations as well as the Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) regional cable network. The show will also be streamed via the internet at www.auburntigers.com. The show will air either Friday nights or Saturday mornings in all markets.
TIGERS ON CSS
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.
CSS is a 24-hour regional sports network serving approximately 5.8 million households across 12 Southeastern states.