Oct. 11, 2009
Complete Sunday Notes Packet in PDF Format
#NR/NR/24 AUBURN (5-1, 2-1 SEC) VS. KENTUCKY (2-3, 0-3 SEC)
OCTOBER 17, 2009 6:30 PM CT TV: ESPNU
JORDAN-HARE STADIUM (87,451) AUBURN, AL
Gene Chizik (Florida, 1985)
Auburn Record 5-1 (1st year)
vs. Kentucky First meeting
Overall Record 10-20 (3rd year)
vs. Kentucky First meeting
Rich Brooks (Oregon State, 1963)
Kentucky Record 34-44 (7th year)
vs. Auburn 0-2
Overall Record 125-153-4 (25th year)
vs. Auburn 0-2
AU leads, 24-5-1
at Auburn AU leads, 12-1
at Lexington AU leads, 11-4
Neutral sites AU leads, 1-0-1
at Birmingham, AL Series tied, 0-0-1
at Montgomery, AL AU leads, 1-0
Last Meeting AU 49, UK 27
Nov. 5, 2005 in Lexington, KY
Current Streak AU, 15
Auburn RV AP/RV USA Today/24 Harris
Kentucky Not ranked
TELEVISION - ESPNU
Eric Collins Play-by-play
Brock Huard Analyst
RADIO - AUBURN ISP SPORTS NETWORK
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 200
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
After a pair of SEC road contests, Auburn returns home to host Kentucky Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT in the first meeting between the schools since 2005. The game will be televised by ESPNU.
* Auburn has won 15 straight games against Kentucky, with the Wildcats' last victory in the series coming in 1966.
* Auburn is 19-3 in home night games since the start of the 2000 season, including a 4-0 record this year.
* Auburn has won 12 consecutive games at Jordan-Hare Stadium with Gene Chizik on the coaching staff.
* Auburn is fifth in the nation in total offense (489.8), seventh in rushing offense (251.8) and 10th in scoring offense (38.3).
* Auburn has already scored 230 points this season, which is 22 more than the Tigers scored all of last year.
* Auburn is tied for 15th nationally in first downs (22.7) and has had at least 20 in five of six games.
* Auburn is tied for 15th in the nation in turnover margin (+1.0), and is tied for eighth in interceptions (nine) and tied for 14th in turnovers forced (14).
* Auburn has come from behind to win in four of its five games this season.
* Ben Tate leads the SEC and ranks eighth nationally in rushing (120.7), and has four 100-yard rushing games this season.
* Tate ranks eighth in school history in rushing (2,683 yards) and needs just 128 more to crack the top five.
* Chris Todd has 12 touchdown passes this season. Last year, Auburn had just seven touchdown passes as a team during the entire season.
* Todd ranks 11th in the nation in yards per completion (14.20), tied for 14th in touchdown passes (12) and 20th in passing efficiency (149.45).
* Sophomore Darvin Adams and junior Terrell Zachery have combined for 40 catches for 716 yards and nine touchdowns. They entered this season with a combined five catches for 42 yards and no scores.
* Wes Byrum ranks tied for second nationally in field goal percentage (91.7) among kickers who have attempted at least eight field goals.
AUBURN-KENTUCKY SERIES NOTES
Auburn has won 15 consecutive games in the series ... The Tigers' last loss to the Wildcats was a 17-7 decision in 1966 in Lexington ... Auburn has scored at least 41 points in each of the last four meetings, and has scored more than 30 points in 10 of the last 15 games ... In the last seven meetings, Auburn has totaled 27 rushing touchdowns and six passing touchdowns ... Auburn has rushed for at least 127 yards in all 15 games during the winning streak, while Kentucky has reached that total just five times during the streak.
KENTUCKY QUICK HITTERS
Kentucky dropped its third straight decision with a close 28-26 loss at South Carolina last Saturday to drop to 2-3 ... The Wildcats have 837 yards rushing and 837 yards passing this year, and have allowed 889 yards rushing and 885 yards passing ... Kentucky also has 2,496 all-purpose yards and has allowed 2,496 all-purpose yards ... Randall Cobb is second in the SEC in receptions per game (4.6) and sixth in receiving yards per game (62.0) ... Cobb is second in the SEC in punt returns (10.5) and Derrick Locke is third in the SEC and eighth nationally in kickoff returns (32.1) ... Locke leads the SEC in all-purpose yards (169.6) while Cobb is fifth (130.8) ... Corey Peters had 2.5 sacks against South Carolina ... Lones Seiber is Kentucky's all-time leading scorer and has made his last five field goal attempts.
BIG DAYS IN THE PAST
Over the years several Auburn players have rung up big individual days against Kentucky. Following is a look back through the AU history books at some of the top individual performances against the Wildcats.
1955: Former Auburn Governor and Tiger running back Fob James scored on a 68-yard run in a 14-14 tie in Birmingham.
1959: James Pettus returns a kickoff 88 yards for a TD in a 33-0 Auburn win.
1961: John McGeever went 82 yards with a blocked kick for a TD in Kentucky's lone win at Auburn.
1967: Loran Carter and Freddie Hyatt connected on a 70-yard TD pass in a 48-7 win in Auburn.
1969: Pat Sullivan set an Auburn record with four touchdown passes in a 44-3 win at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
1970: Wallace Clark rushed for 167 yards on 13 carries in a 33-15 AU win in Lexington.
1970: Pat Sullivan hit Terry Beasley for a 73-yard TD pass in Auburn's 33-15 win.
1971: Pat Sullivan passed for 253 yards in a 25-16 AU victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
1971: Terry Beasley hauled in nine Sullivan passes for 194 yards and a TD in the same 25-16 win.
1975: Clyde Baumgartner and Jeff Gilligan hooked up on a 72-yard scoring pass in a 15-9 win in Lexington.
1982: Al Del Greco kicked a school record six field goals at Jordan-Hare Stadium in an 18-3 Auburn victory.
2004: Carnell Williams ran for 149 yards and two scores on only 17 carries during a 42-10 Auburn win at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
2005: Auburn nearly has three 100-yard rushers, as Tristan Davis (162 yards on eight carries), Kenny Irons (103) and Tre Smith (99) help Auburn amass 388 yards on the ground.
Two members of the Auburn team played their high school ball in Kentucky. Senior quarterback Chris Todd led Elizabethtown to the 2003 Kentucky Class 2A State Championship game as a junior, while defensive back Gabe Barrett played for George Rogers Clark in Winchester.
Two members of the Kentucky squad are from the state of Alabama. Freshman running back Jonathan George is from Lincoln and sophomore offensive lineman Jake Lanefski is from Mobile.
* Kentucky running backs coach Larry Brinson was the running backs coach at Rice in 1995 when Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes was an offensive and defensive graduate assistant coach.
* Kentucky offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders held the same position at Tennessee in 2004-05 when Auburn assistant head coach/wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor was the Vols' running backs coach.
ON THIS DATE
Auburn has an all-time record of 10-5-1 on Oct. 17, but has lost two straight, both to Florida (1998 and 1992). Auburn's biggest games on Oct. 17 have come against Georgia Tech. In 1953, No. 6 Tech beat No. 19 Auburn, 36-6, but Auburn won the next two battles of ranked teams against the Yellow Jackets. No. 11 Auburn knocked off No. 4 Georgia Tech, 7-6, in 1959, and in 1970, the No. 8 Tigers won 31-7 against the No. 16 Yellow Jackets.
Auburn, which earlier this season concluded its sixth consecutive winning month of September, is 289-148-18 (.655) all-time in the month of October. The Tigers are 24-10 (.706) in their last 34 games in October.
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 269-67-7 (.794) all-time at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn has had nine straight winning seasons at Jordan-Hare Stadium, posting a mark of 55-13 (.809) 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 four opponents. The Tigers have accumulated a record of 19-3 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.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Auburn has 2,939 yards of offense in six games this year, which is 237 more than the Tigers had in their first nine games combined last year (2,702). Auburn would need to average just 116 yards per game over the final six regular-season contests to match last year's total of 3,635.
The Tigers have shown drastic improvement in every offensive category this season. Averages and NCAA rankings from major offensive categories are shown below:
Scoring 38.3 (10th) 17.3 (T110th)
Total offense 489.8 (5th) 302.9 (104th)
Rushing offense 251.8 (7th) 137.5 (69th)
Passing offense 238.0 (41st) 165.4 (99th)
First downs 22.7 (T15th) 16.5 (102nd)
Red zone offense 91.3 (T24th) 57.1 (119th)
RECORD-SETTING SCORING RUN
Auburn ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense at 38.3 points per game, and more impressively, Auburn has already scored more points in the first six games of this season that it did in all 12 games last season. Auburn scored 208 points last year, and already has 230 this season.
Auburn scored 40+ points in three straight games against Mississippi State, West Virginia and Ball State, marking the first time the Tigers have ever scored 40 or more points in three consecutive contests.
OFFENSE KEEPS ON ROLLING
Auburn ranks fifth nationally in total offense, averaging 489.8 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 Sept. 19 against West Virginia, 560 yards Sept. 26 against Ball State and 459 yards Oct. 3 at Tennessee. It marked the first time Auburn had five straight games with at least 400 yards of offense since games 6-10 of the 1994 season.
Auburn ranks seventh nationally in rushing offense, averaging 251.8 yards per game. 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).
BIG MAN TATE
Running back Ben Tate is having a stellar senior season, leading the SEC and ranking eighth nationally averaging 120.7 yards per game. Tate has four 100-yard rushing games this season, which is the most by an Auburn player since Kenny Irons had eight in 2005. Tate has also added 11 catches for 66 yards and four kick returns for 121 yards (30.2 yards per return). His average of 151.8 all-purpose yards per game ranks 21st nationally. He has already surpassed his rushing total from last year, when he led the team with 664 yards rushing.
Tate ranks eighth in Auburn history with 2,683 career rushing yards. He needs just 128 more to crack the top five.
Ben Tate isn't the only Auburn running back excelling this season, as freshman Onterio McCalebb is sixth in the SEC averaging 73.2 yards rushing per game. McCalebb also ranks sixth in the SEC in all-purpose yards, averaging 128.3, and is 10th in the league in kickoff return average (24.7).
Auburn has demonstrated a knack for making big plays this year, with nine plays of at least 46 yards, including six of at least 60. Chris Todd has thrown passes of 93, 65 and 46 yards to Terrell Zachery and 82 yards to Mario Fannin. Onterio McCalebb has runs of 62 and 48 yards, Ben Tate and Zachery both have runs of 60 yards and Neil Caudle had a 52-yard scamper. Last season, Auburn had just four plays all year that covered at least 46 yards, and none that went for 60.
Senior quarterback Chris Todd is off to a blazing start this season. He has established a career high in passing yards three times already this year, first with 255 yards against Louisiana Tech, then with 284 yards against West Virginia, then with 287 yards against Ball State. He also threw for what was then a career-best four scores against the Mountaineers, before tying the school record with five the next week against Ball State. Daniel Cobb is the only other Auburn player to throw for five scores, doing it in an overtime game against Louisiana Tech in 2001.
Todd is the first Auburn quarterback in history to throw at least four touchdown passes in consecutive games, and his nine TD passes in a two-week span were two more than Auburn had as a team during the entire 2008 season.
Todd ranks 11th in the nation in yards per completion (14.20) and 20th nationally in passing efficiency (149.45). His 12 touchdown passes are tied for 14th most in the NCAA.
Year Cmp-Att-Int Pct. Yds TD Eff.
2008 86-156-6 55.1 903 5 106.64
2009 96-166-1 57.8 1363 12 149.45
FROM A TO Z
Sophomore Darvin Adams and junior Terrell Zachery were a pair of unknown wideouts prior to the season, but both have had breakout seasons. Adams leads the team in catches (25), receiving yards (387) and touchdown receptions (five), while Zachery has 15 grabs for 329 yards (21.9 ypc) and four touchdowns. The duo entered this season with a combined five catches for 42 yards during the course of their careers.
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. Zachery's four TD receptions have averaged 53.8 yards this year, including a school-record 93-yarder.
THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT
Auburn's offense has excelled at both striking quickly and putting together sustained drives. The Tigers have had 17 scoring drives that used less than two minutes on the clock, including 14 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.
The Tigers also already have seven 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.
FIRST DOWN FLURRY
Auburn is currently tied for 15th nationally in first downs per game, averaging 22.7. The Tigers have had at least 20 first downs in five of six games this year, including 29 against Mississippi State and 27 against Louisiana Tech. 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.
O-LINE PAVES THE WAY
Much of Auburn's offensive success can be attributed to the Tigers' offensive linemen. Tackles Andrew McCain and Lee Ziemba, guards Mike Berry and Byron Isom and center Ryan Pugh have a combined 87 starts under their belt. They have not only helped Auburn rank among the national leaders in scoring offense, total offense and rushing, but have allowed just five quarterback sacks this season, which leads the SEC and is tied for 13th nationally. Virtually the same group last year surrendered 21 sacks.
Auburn's offense has not only been explosive, it has been consistent. The Tigers have scored at least once in 22 of 24 quarters this season, and started the season by scoring in the first 20 quarters of the year. Auburn has scored a touchdown in 18 of the 24 quarters played this year, including a streak of 14 in a row earlier this year.
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 21 of 23 possessions in the red zone (91.3), which ranks tied for 24th in the nation, but 16 of the 21 scores have been touchdowns. Auburn's TD percentage of 69.6 ranks third in the SEC behind only Arkansas and Ole Miss. Nine of the scores have come on the ground and seven through the air.
BUSINESS AS 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).
In the last three seasons, his teams have reached at least 400 yards of offense in 30 of 34 games (88.2 percent).
BYRUM ON TARGET
Junior Wes Byrum has excelled during his junior season, connecting on 11-of-12 field goals and all 27 extra point attempts. Among kickers who have attempted at least eight field goals, Byrum's percentage of .917 ranks tied for second nationally. Byrum, who ranks fifth in school history with 39 career made field goals, is second in the SEC with 12 field goals and tied for second in scoring with 60 points. He made a career-high four field goals in a 26-22 win at Tennessee, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
DEFENSE HOLDING TOUGH
It's easy to overlook the job Auburn's defense has done because of the offensive output, but the unit has helped Auburn to a 5-1 start despite a rash of injuries.
The Tigers have managed despite missing projected starters or second-stringers S Mike McNeil, CB Aairon Savage, LB Spencer Pybus and DE Nosa Egaue for all six games, DE Antonio Carter, DL Zach Clayton and DB D'Antoine Hood for three games each and LB Eltoro Freeman for two games.
TURNOVERS TELL THE TALE
Auburn currently is tied for 15th in the nation in turnover margin, with a margin of +1.0 per game. The Tigers have forced 14 turnovers in their first six games and committed just eight. As a result of that differential, Auburn has scored 48 points off of opponent turnovers, and allowed just 30 points.
TOTALING THE TAKEAWAYS
Auburn ranks tied for eighth in the nation with nine interceptions and tied for 14th with 14 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 interceptions. 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 and Josh Bynes have both collected interceptions and recovered fumbles this season.
JUNIOR LINEBACKERS LEAD DEFENSE
A pair of experienced junior linebackers have stepped up to lead Auburn defensively this season. Craig Stevens leads the team and ranks third in the SEC with 55 tackles, while Josh Bynes is fifth with 51. Last year Stevens had 54 tackles all season, and Bynes had 53. Both players have also recorded interceptions, while Stevens leads the team with 5.0 tackles for loss and Bynes recorded a safety against Ball State. Stevens has recorded double-digit tackles in three of his last four games, including a career high 12 at Arkansas.
COLEMAN MAKES AN IMPACT
Antonio Coleman, a first-team preseason All-SEC selection, has 19 tackles including 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, an interception which he returned for a touchdown against Mississippi State and a fumble recovery. Coleman ranks tied for sixth in school history with 17.0 career sacks.
Gene Chizik won his first five games as head coach at Auburn, which made him a part of 20 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. The 20 straight victories matches the longest winning streak by any Auburn head coach or assistant coach in school history.
Chizik, who has seen 12 straight wins at Jordan-Hare Stadium, is just the third coach in Auburn history to win his first five games as head coach. Terry Bowden won his first 20 games from 1993-94, and Mike Donahue went 5-0 in 1904 before losing the 1905 season opener.
Chizik also became just the third SEC coach since the conference expanded in 1992 to win his first five games, joining Bowden and Houston Nutt, who won his first eight games at Arkansas.
YOUNG GUNS GET FIRST ACTION
A whopping 31 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, DE Robert Hill, RB Davis Hooper, DL Chris Humphries, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, DL Derrick Lykes, RB Onterio McCalebb, DB Ikeem Means, OL Andrew Parmer, DB Blake Poole, LB Ashton Richardson, OL Darrell Roseman, WR Travante Stallworth, OL John Sullen, DL Jamar Travis, DB Demond Washington, WR Jay Wisner and TE Bailey Woods.
In addition, 12 players have made their first career starts: WR Darvin Adams, DB Daren Bates, OL Bart Eddins, DL Nick Fairley, LB Eltoro Freeman, LB Adam Herring, OT Andrew McCain, RB Onterio McCalebb, DL Jake Ricks, RB Eric Smith, OL John Sullen and WR Terrell Zachery.
Auburn has had 19 freshmen (14 true, five redshirt) play this season. Three true freshman have earned starts this season, including safety Daren Bates, who has started all six games. Running back Onterio McCalebb and offensive guard John Sullen have started one game each. The 14 true freshmen that have played include: Bates, McCalebb, Sullen, WR Deangelo Benton, WR Emory Blake, LB Jonathan Evans, DE Dee Ford, LB Harris Gaston, WR Anthony Gulley, TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, DB Ikeem Means, DB Blake Poole, WR Travante Stallworth and DL Jamar Travis.
Auburn has had to come from behind in four of its five victories, including a fourth-quarter comeback to defeat West Virginia Sept. 19. 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. The Tigers trailed Ball State 7-0 in the first quarter before scoring the game's next 30 points.
Of Auburn's 12 seniors, eight have seen time in at least 30 games during their careers, including five with at least 40 games under their belt. Tommy Trott leads the group, having played in 45 career games, including 43 of a possible 44 over the past four seasons. Gabe McKenzie is the only player who has played in all 44 games over the past three seasons. Antonio Coleman is next with 43 games played, followed by Walter McFadden (42 games), Ben Tate (40), Jake Ricks (37) and Andrew McCain (33).
Junior Lee Ziemba has the longest staring streak on the Auburn squad, having started all 31 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 21 straight contests, while junior Craig Stevens has 19 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.
30+ POINTS EQUALS VICTORY
Auburn has won 53 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 122-2 when scoring 30 points.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
In the last 10 seasons, Auburn is 76-9 (.894) when scoring 20 or more points in a game. Dating back to the start of the 1993 season, Auburn is 119-16-1 (.879) 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 19-9 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 19 wins were by three points or less, with just four losses coming by that margin.
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.
SCORES IN THREE STRAIGHT FOR THE D
Auburn's defense scored points defensively in three straight games for the first time since available data dating back to 1967. Antonio Coleman returned an interception 20 yards for a score against Mississippi State, Craig Stevens had a 15-yard interception return for a TD against West Virginia and Josh Bynes recorded a safety against Ball State.
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.
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.
Auburn began 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
Four members of the Auburn team have been named to 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 and Chris Todd have 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.
RUNNING BACK FACTORY
Auburn has produced four running backs that are currently on NFL rosters, which is tied for most in the NFL according to information compiled by www.kickoffzone.com. Ronnie Brown, Heath Evans, Tony Richardson and Carnell Williams are all former Tigers who are currently in the NFL. The list also does not include former Tiger Brandon Jacobs, who lettered at Auburn in 2003 before transfering to Southern Illinois. Only three other schools (LSU, Miami (Fla.) and Texas) have produced four current NFL running backs.
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 opened the season with Louisiana Tech, which won the Independence Bowl last season. The Tigers' second non-conference game was against West Virginia, which defeated North Carolina in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. The following week the Tigers hosted 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.