Oct. 7, 2007
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No. 22/25 AUBURN (4-2, 2-1 SEC) vs. ARKANSAS (3-2, 0-2 SEC)
RAZORBACK STADIUM (72,000) FAYETTEVILLE, AR
OCTOBER 13, 2007 6:45 PM CT TV: ESPN
GAME 7 QUICK FACTS
Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, 1976)
Auburn Record 75-31 (9th year)
vs. Arkansas 4-4
Career Record 100-51 (13th year)
vs. Arkansas 5-7
Houston Nutt (Oklahoma State, 1981)
Arkansas Record 70-46 (10th year)
vs. Auburn 5-4
Overall Record 106-68 (15th year)
vs. Auburn 5-4
AU leads, 9-6-1
at Auburn AU leads, 4-2-1
at Fayetteville AU leads, 4-3
Neutral sites Tied, 1-1
at Memphis, TN AU leads, 1-0
at Little Rock, AR UA leads, 1-0
Last Meeting UA 27, AU 10
Oct. 7, 2006 in Auburn, AL
Current Streak UA, 1
Auburn 22 AP/25 USA Today/25 Harris
Arkansas NR AP/NR US A Today/RV Harris
Play-by-play Mike Patrick
Analyst Todd Blackledge
Sidelines Holly Rowe
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.
SATELITTE RADIO SIRIUS 125
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
Auburn brings a three-game winning streak to Fayetteville when the Tigers visit Arkansas Saturday at 6:45 p.m. in a game that will be nationally televised by ESPN. Auburn was victorious in its last two visits to Fayetteville, but will be looking to avenge a 27-10 loss to the Razorbacks last season. Arkansas enters the game on a two-game winning streak, winning its last two games by a combined score of 100-22.
* Auburn leads the series with Arkansas 9-6-1, and has won four of the seven games played in Fayetteville.
* Over the past five seasons, Auburn has the nation's second-best record in games played away from home (road or neutral site games) with a mark of 18-5 (.783).
* Auburn has won its last 14 consecutive games when wearing all white uniforms.
* Over the last four seasons, Auburn has tied for the fourth-best record out of all Football Bowl Subdivision teams with a mark of 37-7 (.841).
* Auburn is 2-0 this season in games nationally televised by ESPN, with victories over Kansas State and Florida.
* Auburn is ranked 14th nationally in total defense (293.3) and passing defense (177.0) and is 17th in scoring defense (17.0).
* After has a turnover ratio of +7 in its four victories and -9 in its two losses.
* In the last two games, Auburn has had six scoring drives of at least nine plays and five that covered at least 74 yards.
* Brandon Cox
has completed 44-of-62 (.710) passes for 527 yards, two scores and just one interception, in the last three weeks after completing 37-of-75 (.493) passes for 436 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions in the first three games.
* Auburn's freshmen kickers have excelled, as Wes Bryum
has connected on 8-of-10 field goals including the game-winning field goal at Florida, and Ryan Shoemaker
leads the SEC in punting, averaging 45.1 yards per punt.
* Auburn started three true freshmen on the offensive line each of the past three games, and has played 26 freshmen this season (15 true, 11 redshirt).
* Of Auburn's 170 points scored this season, 128 (75.3 percent) have been scored by underclassmen.
* Tommy Tuberville
earned his 100th career coaching victory last Saturday against Vanderbilt.
* Auburn has outscored its opponents 62-16 in the second quarter this season.
* Auburn has won 13 of its last 17 games decided by seven points or less.
AU-ARK SERIES NOTES
Auburn won five of the first seven (5-1-1) meetings in the series, before Arkansas won four of the next five contests ... The winning team has scored 21 or more points in every game of the series except 2003 ... Eight winning scores in the series have been 30 or more points ... Seven of the 16 games between the two schools have been decided by seven points or less ... Auburn's come-from-behind victory in its last trip to Fayetteville in 2005 was the only time the team trailing at the half rallied to win since 1994 ... In the last five meetings, Arkansas has averaged 230.8 yards rushing, but only 140.8 yards passing.
ARKANSAS QUICK HITTERS
Arkansas has the nation's No. 2-ranked rushing offense, averaging 338.4 yards per game ... Darren McFadden ranks third in the NCAA in rushing (155.8), and teams with Felix Jones (126.2 yards per game which ranks No. 8) to form the top rushing duo in the NCAA ... McFadden has rushed for at least 100 yards in all five games this season, while Jones has four 100-yard efforts ... Arkansas' passing offense ranks 105th (169.2), yet the Razorbacks are still ranked eighth in total offense (507.6) and 10th in scoring offense (42.6) ... The Razorbacks rolled up 713 yards of offense Sept. 29 against North Texas, which was the second-best mark in school history and third-highest total in the NCAA this season ... Arkansas has only allowed four sacks all season ... Freshman kicker Alex Tejada has made 10-of-11 field goals ... Arkansas ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency defense (91.76) ... The Razorbacks allowed UT-Chattanooga just 11 passing yards last Saturday.
* Arkansas defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, in his fifth year with the Razorbacks, was an All-American defensive tackle at Auburn. Rocker made history in 1988, becoming the first player in the SEC to win the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Trophy in the same year. A two-time All-American, Rocker recorded 354 career tackles, including 48 behind the line of scrimmage. Rocker was also a three-time All-SEC selection.
* Arkansas defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Reggie Herring was linebackers coach at Auburn from 1986-91, and he is the father of Auburn freshman linebacker Adam Herring. Reggie Herring was also the defensive coordinator at Clemson when Auburn tight ends coach Steve Ensminger was the offensive coordinator for Clemson from 1997-98.
* Razorback wide receivers/specialists coach James Shibest coached former Auburn players Rudi Johnson (RB) and Daniel Cobb (QB) at Butler County CC. Shibest was a receiver at Arkansas from 1983-86 and had five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown in a 21-15 loss to Auburn in the 1984 Liberty Bowl.
Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville is a native of Arkansas, and is joined this season by true freshmen Kodi Burns (Fort Smith), Adam Herring (Springdale) and Lee Ziemba (Rogers).
A native of Camden, Ark., Tuberville graduated from Harmony Grove High School, and went on to play free safety at Southern Arkansas University.
After graduating from SAU in 1976, Tuberville was an assistant coach at Hermitage High School for two seasons before serving as its head coach from 1978-79. From 1980-84, Tuberville was a defensive ends and linebackers coach at Arkansas State University.
Four members of the Arkansas squad are from the state of Alabama. Freshman defensive end Damario Ambrose and sophomore flanker London Crawford are from Mobile, junior guard Cody Green is from Oneonta and redshirt freshman linebacker Ryan Powers is from Athens.
ON THIS DATE
Auburn owns an all-time record of 10-3 in games played on Oct. 13, and has won four in a row. The last time Auburn played on Oct. 13 was in 2001, when the unranked Tigers stunned No. 1 Florida, 23-20, on a 44-yard Damon Duval field goal with 10 seconds left. The Tigers also had a memorable game on Oct. 13, 1984, when the 16th-ranked Tigers went to Tallahassee and upset No. 9 Florida State, 42-41, when Brent Fullwood scored from four yards out with just 48 seconds left to cap a 76-yard drive.
Auburn is 285-143-18 (.659) all-time in the month of October, including a 21-12 mark under Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers are 21-6 in their last 27 games in October.
Over the past five seasons, Auburn has the nation's second-best record in games played away from home (road or neutral site games). The Tigers are 18-5 (.783) since the start of the 2003 season outside of Jordan-Hare Stadium, trailing only USC (26-4, .867), with Boise State and LSU (21-6, .778) in third. In SEC games, Auburn has won seven straight road games, and is 13-1 against SEC teams outside of Auburn since the 2004 season.
WINNING IN WHITE
Auburn has won its last 14 games when wearing all white following a 35-7 home victory over Vanderbilt in which the Tigers wore all white in recognition of the 1957 national championship team. Auburn has not lost when wearing white jerseys since the final road game of the 2003 season at Georgia. The Tigers went 5-0 in all white uniforms in 2004, 3-0 in 2005, 4-0 in 2006 and are 2-0 in 2007 including a 20-17 victory at then-No. 4 Florida. Also included in that streak is the 2004 SEC Championship game against Tennessee and a 2007 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Nebraska. Auburn also has road wins at Alabama (twice), Ole Miss (twice), Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi State during that span.
The Auburn defense has performed admirably, despite a rash of injuries. The Tigers have played games this season without defensive starters Tray Blackmon (four missed games), Merrill Johnson (four), Aairon Savage (two), Quentin Groves (one) and Jonathan Wilhite (one), and yet still rank in the top 20 in the nation in total defense (14th, 293.3) and scoring defense (17th, 17.0)
NO PASSING ZONE
Despite playing nonconference games against New Mexico State (No. 9 in the NCAA in pass offense, 340.8 yards per game) and Kansas State (No. 27 in NCAA, threw 58 passes vs. AU), Auburn ranks 14th nationally in pass defense, allowing just 177 yards per game, and is ranked No. 13 in pass efficiency defense (101.30). The Tigers, whose defense ranks fourth nationally in yards per completion (9.0), held both Mississippi State (41 yards) and Vanderbilt (88 yards) to less than 100 yards passing this season.
20 OR LESS
Since Will Muschamp took over as defensive coordinator prior to the 2006 season, Auburn has held 16 of its 19 opponents to 20 points or less. The Tigers, who have allowed just 14.9 points per game since Muschamp's arrival, are 15-1 in games in which they hold their opponents to no more than 20 points.
Since the 2004 season, Auburn has held 35 of its 44 opponents to 20 points or less.
Auburn's senior class has had almost as much success as any in the country. Since the start of the 2004 season, Auburn has tied for the fourth-best record in the NCAA. The Tigers are 37-7 (.841) over the last four seasons. The top teams since the 2004 season are as follows:
1. USC 40-4 .909
2. Texas 38-6 .864
3. Boise State 36-6 .857
4. Auburn 37-7 .841
LSU 37-7 .841
6. Ohio State 36-7 .837
7. Wisconsin 36-8 .818
8. Louisville 35-8 .814
West Virginia 35-8 .814
10. Boston College 34-8 .810
TURNOVERS PROVE CRUCIAL
Turnovers have played a big role in determining Auburn's success this season. In Auburn's two losses, the Tigers committed five turnovers in each game while forcing just one total in the two games (-9 margin). In the four victories, Auburn has committed just five total turnovers while forcing 12 (+7 margin). Against New Mexico State on Sept. 22, Auburn forced six turnovers, which was the most by the Tigers since forcing six against Tennessee in 2004.
Auburn scored just seven points off turnovers in its two losses, but has 51 points off turnovers in its four wins.
RUSHING GAME IMPROVING
The return of junior RB Brad Lester has benefitted an already improving running game for Auburn. The Tigers averaged just 93.5 yards rushing in their first two games, but have averaged 195.8 in their last four, with three games over 200 yards rushing. Four different players (Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, Brad Lester, Kodi Burns) have rushed for at least 77 yards in a game during the last four games.
COX TURNS THE CORNER
After a rough start to the season, senior QB Brandon Cox has excelled during Auburn's three-game winning streak. After three games, Cox had completed 37-of-75 (.493) passes for 436 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions for a quarterback rating of 90.97. In the last three weeks, Cox has completed 44-of-62 (.710) passes for 527 yards, two scores and just one interception, for a quarterback rating of 149.79. With 5,842 career passing yards, Cox is now just 184 yards behind Dameyune Craig for fourth on Auburn's all-time passing yardage list, and needs only 442 yards to catch Pat Sullivan for third.
Auburn has had 26 freshmen (15 true, 11 redshirt) play this season. The starting lineup has included four true freshmen on offense, including right tackle Lee Ziemba, right guard Chaz Ramsey, left tackle Ryan Pugh and quarterback Kodi Burns. Redshirt freshmen Craig Stevens and Zac Etheridge have started every game defensively, while redshirt freshman Mike Berry started the first three games at right guard. The kicking game features true freshman placekicker Wes Byrum as well as redshirt freshman punter Ryan Shoemaker.
On Sept. 22 vs. New Mexico State, Burns became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Tigers since Gabe Gross in 1998. In his 13 years as a head coach, Tommy Tuberville had never before started a true freshman at quarterback.
In addition, redshirt freshman running back Mario Fannin is second on the team in rushing, while true freshman safety Mike McNeil has collected 21 tackles.
Auburn has a lot of young talent on the squad this season, and to illustrate this point, one need look no further than the scoring column on the statistics sheet. Of Auburn's 170 points scored, 128 (75.3 percent) have been scored by freshmen and sophomores. True freshman Wes Byrum leads the team with 44 points, while redshirt freshman Mario Fannin is second with 30 points and sophomore Ben Tate is third with 24 points. True freshman Kodi Burns and sophomore Gabe McKenzie have two touchdowns each, while sophomore Antonio Coleman reached the end zone once.
One of the keys to Auburn's offensive success the past two weeks has been the Tigers' ability to control the ball. Entering the Florida game, Auburn had just one scoring drive of at least 10 plays, but against the Gators, all four of Auburn's scoring drives reached double digits in plays. The Tigers' opening drive of 14 plays for 86 yards in 7:32 set new season highs in plays, yards and time.
Against Vanderbilt, the Tigers had three scoring drives of at least seven plays and 74 yards, including a season-long 92-yard scoring drive that took 10 plays.
SECOND QUARTER SUPERB
The second quarter has been Auburn's best quarter this season, as the Tigers have outscored their opponents 62-16 during the period. Auburn has outgained its opponents 630-325 in the second quarter and has scored during the second quarter in all six games while shutting out its opponents during the quarter four times.
FRESHMAN KICKERS SHINE
Auburn was forced to replace perhaps the nation's top kicking trio after all three kickers from last season graduated. The Tigers lost Lou Groza finalist John Vaughn, the team's all-time leading scorer with 312 career points; Kody Bliss, who ranked third in the nation in punting with a 45.7-yard average; and Matt Clark, who led the nation last season with 51 touchbacks on 66 kickoffs (77 percent). But the newcomers have excelled in the first five games.
True freshman Wes Byrum has made eight field goals in 10 attempts, including the game winner from 43 yards on the final play at No. 4 Florida Sept. 29, and a season-long 49-yard field goal against South Florida. He also resumed the kickoff duties Sept. 22 against New Mexico State and has had seven touchbacks in the last three games.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Shoemaker leads the SEC in punting, averaging 45.1 yards per punt. After Shoemaker suffered an injury against South Florida Sept. 8, his replacement, true freshman Patrick Tatum, averaged 42.0 yards per punt with seven of his 11 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. Tatum was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week against New Mexico State Sept. 22 after placing all four of his punts inside the 20-yard line and running for a first down on a fake punt.
COX LEADS ALL SEC QBs IN WINS
Brandon Cox earned his 22nd career victory as a starting quarterback during Auburn's 35-7 victory against Vanderbilt. Cox, who is 22-7 as a starter, leads all SEC quarterbacks in career victories. Tennessee's Erik Ainge is second with 20, followed by Kentucky's Andre Woodson (16).
ON YOUR MARKS
Sophomore Sen'Derrick Marks played a key role in the victory over Florida Sept. 29, blocking a field goal for the second time this season and collecting two tackles for losses. Marks, who has 24 tackles including five for losses this season, accomplished a rare double the previous Saturday against New Mexico State, collecting an interception and a fumble recovery. He became the first Tiger to intercept a pass and recovery a fumble in the same game since Karibi Dede in 2005 at Arkansas.
Junior wide receiver Rodgeriqus Smith had a career night against Florida Sept. 29, setting career highs with nine catches for 102 yards. It marked the second straight game in which he set a career high in receiving yards, after totaling 86 yards and two touchdowns Sept. 22 against New Mexico State. Smith, who leads Auburn with 23 catches for 378 yards and three touchdowns this season, became the first Auburn player to catch two touchdown passes in one game since Ben Obomanu against Louisiana Tech in 2004.
Smith's 58-yard touchdown pass from Kodi Burns against the Aggies was the longest pass play of the season for Auburn, and Smith also has the team's second- and third-longest pass receptions of the season, with a 55-yard catch against Kansas State and a 36-yard reception against Mississippi State.
Auburn achieved a new school first with its 20-17 victory at No. 4 Florida Sept. 29. It marked the first time in school history that an unranked Auburn team won a road game against a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 5. The Tigers had been 0-8 in those games prior to the victory over the Gators.
Including neutral site games, it was Auburn's first win as an unranked team over an AP Top 5 team away from Auburn since defeating No. 4 Tennessee, 10-6, in Birmingham, in 1972.
Including neutral site games and road games, prior to Saturday's win, Auburn was 2-21 all-time when unranked and playing an AP Top 5 team.
TUBERVILLE HITS THE CENTURY MARK
Tommy Tuberville recorded his 100th career victory as a head coach during Auburn's 35-7 win over Vanderbilt. Tuberville currently owns a career record of 100-51 in 13 seasons as a head coach. He became the fifth active SEC coach to have 100 career victories, joining Steve Spurrier, Phillip Fulmer, Rich Brooks and Houston Nutt, and just the third to earn 100 victories while coaching at an SEC school (Spurrier and Fulmer).
Holding Florida to 17 points, 312 yards of offense and 14 first downs was quite a feat for the Auburn defense. The Tigers held Florida more than 32 points below their scoring average of 49.2 points per game, more than 200 yards below their average of 517.8, and 11 first downs below their average of 25 per game.
In addition, Auburn held Florida scoreless in the first half, becoming the first team to shut out the Gators in the first half since South Carolina led 3-0 at the break on Nov. 14, 1992 in Gainesville.
TOPPLING THE TOP TEN
Auburn's 20-17 victory at No. 4 Florida Sept. 29 allowed the Tigers to keep an impressive streak alive, as the Tigers have now beaten at least one Associated Press Top 10 team every year for the last 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. 1Florida. In 2002, the Tigers beat No. 10 LSU (31-7) and won at No. 9 Alabama (17-7). In 2003, Auburn beat No. 7 Tennessee (28-21), then beat the new No. 7 team, Arkansas, the following week (10-3).
In 2004, Auburn earned wins against 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).
TIGERS TOUGH ON TOP TEN
Auburn has won nine of its last 10 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10, including a 20-17 win last Saturday against No. 4 Florida, and wins last season against then-No. 2 Florida and then-No. 6 LSU. The Tigers have won five straight games against top-ten teams and six straight at home. The only loss against a top-ten team since the 2004 season came in overtime at LSU in 2005 by a 20-17 score.
Also in 2005, Auburn posted victories at No. 9 Georgia (31-30) and against No. 8 Alabama (28-18). In 2004, the Tigers 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 15-10 in games played against top 10 teams, and has won 15 of its last 20 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 19 games against top 10 teams.
Auburn games have not been lacking for excitement this season, as four of the first six games were decided in the final two minutes. Wes Byrum's field goal on the game's final play gave Auburn a 20-17 win at No. 4 Florida Sept. 29. Against Mississippi State Sept. 15, Auburn had a potential game-winning drive stall at the Bulldog 9-yardline with just 48 seconds left. The Tigers' other loss against South Florida ended in overtime. And in Auburn's victory over Kansas State, the Tigers were clinging to a three-point lead before a fumble return for a touchdown with just 1:11 left sealed the victory.
GROVES LEADS NCAA IN CAREER SACKS
Senior Quentin Groves is the NCAA's leader among active players in career sacks with 25, although that claim is in jeopardy following a foot injury suffered against Florida that could keep him out of the lineup for an undetermined amount of time. USC's Lawrence Jackson is second nationally with 24 sacks, followed by Tommy Blake of TCU with 20.
IN A RUSH
Auburn accomplished some rare feats in a victory over New Mexico State Sept. 22 that echoed a 2005 victory over Kentucky. Both Ben Tate (111 yards) and Mario Fannin (103 yards) went over the century mark, marking the first time since that game at Kentucky that Auburn had two 100-yard rushers in the same game. In the game at Lexington, Tristan Davis rushed for 162 yards and Kenny Irons had 103.
In addition, Fannin rushed for three touchdowns, becoming the first Auburn back since Irons in that same game at Kentucky to rush for three scores in one game. Fannin had a 67-yard touchdown run late in the game, which was the longest play from scrimmage for Auburn since Davis raced 75 yards for a score in that same game at Kentucky.
ON THE RUN
True freshman quarterback Kodi Burns saw his first game action when he entered the Mississippi State game Sept. 15 midway through the first period. Burns ended the game with 87 yards rushing and his first career touchdown. Had it not been for an 11-yard sack, Burns would have been just two yards short of becoming the first Auburn quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game since Phil Gargis had 129 yards against Florida State on Oct. 23, 1976.
GROVES IN A GROOVE
Senior defensive end Quentin Groves was named to preseason watch lists for the Lombardi Award, the Bednarik Award, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Hendricks Award, and his play through the first five games showed why. Groves is tied for the team lead with six tackles for losses, ranking ninth in the SEC, and has 22 tackles, including a career-best nine against South Florida. Groves also had two sacks, a forced fumble and 18 quarterback hurries through five games, but missed the Vanderbilt game due to an injury.
GROVES NEARING SACKS RECORD
Quentin Groves had two sacks in the season-opening victory against Kansas State, pushing his career sacks total to 25. His second sack with just over a minute left and Auburn clinging to a 16-13 lead forced a fumble that was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by Antonio Coleman, sealing the victory. Groves needs just one more sack to tie the Auburn all-time record of 26 sacks held by Gerald Robinson (1982-85).
FILLING IN ADMIRABLY
Junior linebacker Chris Evans, who leads Auburn with 35 tackles this season, earned his first career start against South Florida Sept. 8. The result was the highest tackles total by an Auburn player in almost five years. Evans tallied 14 tackles (five solo, nine assists), which was the most by an Auburn player since Karlos Dansby had 14 tackles at Florida on Oct. 19, 2002. He posted a team-high eight tackles in the following game against Mississippi State, becoming the first Auburn player since Dansby in 2002 to have at least 22 tackles in two games.
Senior quarterback Brandon Cox is not only the oldest player on the Auburn team, he's older than 18 quarterbacks currently on NFL rosters. Cox, who will turn 24 on Oct. 31, is nearly two full years older than the No. 1 pick in last year's NFL draft, JaMarcus Russell, who was born Aug. 9, 1985.
SENIOR SIGNAL CALLER = SUCCESS
With senior Brandon Cox back for his third season as Auburn's starting quarterback, history would suggest that the Tigers would have a successful season. The last 10 seasons that Auburn has had a senior returning as the starter at quarterback, the Tigers have won at least eight games every year, averaging 9.7 wins per season during those campaigns. Auburn's combined record during those 10 seasons is 97-22-2, and the Tigers won SEC Championships in 1983, 1987, 1989 and 2004 and SEC Western Division Championships in 1997 and 2000.
Incidentally, Auburn went 10-0 against Georgia during those 10 seasons, and 8-2 against Alabama with seven straight wins.
Below are the last 10 seasons that Auburn has had a senior returning as the starter at quarterback:
Year Quarterback Record Notes
1979 Charlie Trotman 8-3
1983 Randy Campbell 11-1 SEC Champs
1985 Pat Washington 8-4 Cotton Bowl
1987 Jeff Burger 9-1-2 SEC Champs
1989 Reggie Slack 10-2 SEC Champs
1993 Stan White 11-0 1st 11-win season
1995 Patrick Nix 8-4 Outback Bowl
1997 Dameyune Craig 10-3 SEC West Champs
2000 Ben Leard 9-4 SEC West Champs
2004 Jason Campbell 13-0 SEC Champs
Eight players made their first career starts in the season opener against Kansas State, and 10 players played in their first collegiate games. Starting for the first time were OG Mike Berry, SS Zac Etheridge, OG Tyronne Green, CB Jerraud Powers, WR Prechae Rodriguez, DT Pat Sims, RB Ben Tate and OT Lee Ziemba. Berry, Etheridge and Ziemba played in their first collegiate games, as did K Wes Byrum, DE Antoine Carter, LB Bo Harris, WR Tim Hawthorne, K Morgan Hull, FS Mike McNeil, and P Ryan Shoemaker.
TUBERVILLE IN NINTH SEASON
Tommy Tuberville is in his ninth season at Auburn in 2007 and his 13th 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 are both coaching in their 15th seasons in the league this year.
Tuberville has amassed a record of 75-31 during his tenure at Auburn and has led the Tigers to seven straight bowl appearances.
Tuberville is fourth all-time at Auburn in wins, and is the fifth-longest tenured coach in school history.
Now in its 68th 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 258-64-7 (.795) at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a 44-10 (.815) mark over the past eight years. AU went 7-0 at home in both 2000 and 2004, and posted a 6-1 mark in 2005.
UNDER THE LIGHTS AT JORDAN-HARE
Auburn has been tough to beat in night games at Jordan-Hare Stadium in recent seasons, accumulating a record of 13-2 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 had a four-game winning streak in home night games prior to an overtime loss to South Florida Sept. 15.
Auburn honored its 1957 national championship team during last Saturday's game against Vanderbilt. The team wore their white road uniforms and helmets with no AU logos and gray facemasks, similar to those worn during the 1957 championship season.
The 2007 season marks the 50-year anniversary of Auburn's 1957 National Championship team. The '57 Tigers finished with a perfect 10-0 record, including a 7-0 mark in the SEC, and was selected as the national champion following the season by the Associated Press. Auburn outscored its opponents that season by a combined score of 207-28, posting six shutouts and ending the season with a 40-0 whitewashing of Alabama.
OL THIN ON EXPERIENCE
One concern entering the 2007 season for Auburn was a lack of experience on the offensive line. The Tigers lost four senior starters from last year's team, including first-round NFL draft pick Ben Grubbs. Senior tackle King Dunlap was the only returning starter, and his 14 career starts entering the season accounted for 70 percent of the just 20 career starts made by Auburn's entire offensive line unit prior to 2007. Junior Jason Bosley started four games at center last season, while Leon Hart had made the other two starts. By comparison, Auburn's starting offensive line during the 2007 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic vs. Nebraska had combined for 110 career starts (Grubbs - 38; Tim Duckworth - 22; Joe Cope - 20; Jonathan Palmer - 16; Dunlap - 14).
AUBURN BY THE NUMBERS
The Tigers return 49 lettermen from last season, including 21 on offense, 26 on defense and two specialists. Auburn returns five starters on offense and seven on defense.
Auburn's roster of 119 players includes 17 seniors, 23 juniors, 23 sophomores, 22 redshirt freshmen and 34 freshmen. The underclassmen (79) represent 66.4 percent of the Tigers' roster.
A number of walk-ons joined the program after the first day of classes on August 16.
13 AND COUNTING
In his 13th year as a head coach, Tommy Tuberville has five assistant coaches who have been with him all 13 years. That group includes: defensive tackles/noseguard 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.
THE SENIOR CLASS
Head Coach Tommy Tuberville has a senior class that includes 17 players this season. The Tigers' group of 17 seniors is the third most during the Tuberville era, falling behind the group of 21 from last season and the 2004 group that had 18. 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 2007 seniors include: TE Cole Bennett, SS Eric Brock, QB Brandon Cox, OT King Dunlap, DT Tez Doolittle, DB Zach Gilbert, DE Quentin Groves, DE Brandon Haley, OL Leon Hart, DB Josh Hebert, CB Patrick Lee, H Matthew Motley, RB Danny Perry, WR Prechae Rodriguez, RB Carl Stewart, DT Josh Thompson and CB Jonathan Wilhite.
Of Auburn's 17 seniors, 10 have seen time in more than 35 games during their careers, including eight with at least 40 games played. Quentin Groves, Cole Bennett and Eric Brock lead the group with 45 career games played, while King Dunlap, Josh Thompson and Patrick Lee have seen action in 42 games. Zach Gilbert is next with 41 games played, followed by Carl Stewart (40), Leon Hart (38) and Brandon Cox (37).
Brandon Cox had a streak of 24 consecutive starts at quarterback snapped Sept. 22 against New Mexico State. He had started every game since a 2005 contest against Western Kentucky.
The longest active starting streaks now for Auburn belong to three players who started all 13 games last year and the first six games this season. Senior Josh Thompson, junior Rodgeriqus Smith and sophomore Sen'Derrick Marks all have started the last 19 games.
A number of players have changed positions from last year entering the 2007 season.
Sen'Derrick Marks, who started all 13 games at defensive tackle last season, moved outside to a defensive end position this year.
Tristan Davis, who saw time at running back in 2005 before moving to safety last year, is once again a running back for the Tigers. Bart Eddins has moved from the defensive line back to the offensive line, while Michael Goggans moved from tight end to defensive end.
NO SHUTOUTS ALLOWED
Auburn has scored in 56 consecutive games, which is the third-longest streak in school history. The Tigers have not been shut out since a 23-0 loss to USC to open the 2003 season. The second-longest streak without being shut out is 58 games, but it would be quite a while before Auburn could challenge the school record. The Tigers scored in 149 straight games from Oct. 4, 1980 through Nov. 14, 1992.
Wes Bryum missed an extra point against New Mexico State, snapping a string of 119 consecutive made PATs by Auburn. Byrum had made his first 12 PATs after John Vaughn finished his Auburn career by making his final 107 consecutive PATs dating back to the 2004 season. Prior to Vaughn's only career miss, Auburn had made an SEC record 209 consecutive PATs from 1999-2004. Auburn has made 336 of its last 338 PATs.
SENIORS GO FOR NEW MARK
Each of Auburn's last two senior classes have established new school records for victories in a four-year period, and this year's class has a chance to extend that streak. The 2005 senior class tied the old mark of 39 wins in four years, before last year's class finished with a new record of 41 victories in the last four years. With 33 of those wins coming in the last three seasons, this year's class needs eight wins to tie that record and nine to become the winningest senior class in Auburn history.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES
Auburn has had a knack for winning close ball games since Tommy Tuberville arrived as the Tigers' head coach. In his nine seasons at the helm, Auburn is 25-12 in games decided by seven points or less and has won 13 of its last 17, including all five games last season.
Auburn begins the season with 10 graduates on the roster, which is the third most of any Football Bowl Subdivision team.
The Tiger graduates include: TE Cole Bennett (business administration), SS Eric Brock (public administration), QB Brandon Cox (business administration), DT Tez Doolittle (criminology), DB Zach Gilbert (public administration), DE Quentin Groves (criminology), CB Patrick Lee (criminology), H Matthew Motley (exercise science), RB Carl Stewart (political science) and NG Josh Thompson (physical education).
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 2007 season.
1. Boston College 17
2. Washington 11
3. Auburn 10
4. Notre Dame 9
5. Arizona State 8
7. Ole Miss 5
10. Memphis 4
TIGERS GO HIGH DEFINITION
The most notable change to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 2007 season is a new high definition video board above the south end zone. The $2.9 million board is the first true HD video display in the SEC and makes Auburn just the second NCAA member institution to invest in true high definition LED video capabilities. The display measure approximately 30 feet high by 74 feet wide, and exceeds 2,200 square feet. It has the capability to show a single, wide screen image, and can also be split into multiple windows to show lineups, game statistics, out-of-town game information and much more.
FATHERS AND SONS
Senior fullback Danny Perry is the son of Director of Football Operations Jimmy Perry. The younger Perry is the first Tiger to have his father on the football staff since Joe Whitt, Jr., played wide receiver from 1998-99 while Joe Whitt, Sr., who coached at Auburn from 1981-2005, was a linebackers coach.
Previously, Gene Lorendo, an assistant coach from 1951-75, saw his son, Mac, letter at offensive tackle from 1970-72, earning All-SEC honors as a senior, and Paul Davis, an assistant coach from 1967-80 and 1987-90, watched his son, Rhett, letter at split end from 1972-73.
In addition, Auburn freshman linebacker Adam Herring is the son of Arkansas defensive coordinator Reggie Herring.
Auburn has demonstrated a proficiency for placing players in the National Football League. As of Aug. 21, 38 former Auburn Tigers were listed on NFL rosters. The Seattle Seahawks have the most former Tigers, with five former Auburn players on the roster, while the Washington Redskins and Atlanta Falcons have four each.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 65-5 when scoring 20 or more points in a game, including a 63-4 mark in the regular season. Dating back to 1995, Auburn is 86-12 when scoring 20 or more points in a game.
30+ POINTS EQUALS VICTORY
Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 42-0 when scoring 30 or more points in a game. Auburn has won 47 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 22 years, Auburn is 116-2 when scoring 30 points.
BRAMBLETT RECEIVES SPORTSCASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Rod Bramblett, who handles the play-by-play duties of Auburn football, men's basketball and baseball on the Auburn ISP Sports Network, has been named the 2007 Sportscaster of the Year in the state of Alabama by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
A Valley, Ala., native, Bramblett became Auburn's lead announcer for football and men's basketball in 2003. Bramblett, 41, has served as the voice of Auburn baseball since 1993. This is the first time he has received this Sportscaster of the Year honor.
Bramblett is a 1988 graduate of Auburn.
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 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Cole Bennett started his freshman year at Auburn already having accumulated 27 credit hours ... Bennett was also married during the summer of 2007, joining Quentin Groves as married players on the Tigers' squad ... Oscar Gonzalez is originally from Cuba and is bilingual ... Linebacker Courtney Harden and defensive tackle Jake Ricks are brothers ... Brad Lester was a high school teammate of the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur ... Carl Stewart plays the violin ... Josh Thompson proposed to his girlfriend, Renee Steptoe of Statesboro, Ga., on the field following Auburn's 55-20 victory over New Mexico State Sept. 22 (she said yes).