Complete Sunday Notes Packet in PDF Format
AUBURN (6-3, 3-3 SEC) VS. FURMAN (4-4, 3-3 SoCon)
NOVEMBER 7, 2009 12:30 PM CT TV: PAY PER VIEW
JORDAN-HARE STADIUM (87,451) AUBURN, AL
Gene Chizik (Florida, 1985)
Auburn Record 6-3 (1st year)
vs. Furman First meeting
Overall Record 11-22 (3rd year)
vs. Furman First meeting
Bobby Lamb (Furman, 1987)
Furman Record 60-33 (8th year)
vs. Auburn First meeting
Furman Record 60-33 (8th year)
vs. Auburn First meeting
Auburn leads, 3-0
at Auburn AU leads, 3-0
at Greenville AU leads, 8-2
Last Meeting AU 41, FU 0
Oct. 6, 1956 in Auburn
Current Streak AU, 3
Auburn Not ranked
Furman Not ranked
TELEVISION - PAY PER VIEW
Play-by-play Andy Burcham
Analyst Cole Cubelic
Pay-per-view will be available to cable subscribers and small dish owners who subscribe to DirecTV (Ch. TBA) or Dish Network (Ch. TBA). Fans should contact their local cable provider or small dish provider to order the game. Other home dish owners should call 1-800-TV-STARS to order the game.
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 TBA
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
Auburn hosts Homecoming this weekend as the Tigers meet Furman for the first time since 1956. It will mark the final regular season non-conference game for Auburn, which will be playing for the 10th consecutive Saturday.
* Auburn leads the series 3-0, surrendering just six points in the three meetings.
* Auburn has won its last 17 homecoming contests, matching the longest streak in school history.
* Auburn is 31-2-1 in its last 34 Homecoming games.
* Auburn is 10th in the nation in rushing offense (224.2), 22nd in scoring offense (31.9) and 26th in total offense (427.6).
* Auburn's current pace of 427.6 yards per game would result in a school-record 5,559 yards of offense by the end of the season.
* Auburn has 11 scoring drives this season that have taken less than one minute, and 10 of those ended with touchdowns.
* Auburn has had 12 plays this season of more than 40 yards, and eight of those resulted in touchdowns.
* Auburn has scored four non-offensive touchdowns this season, including three on defense, and returned a blocked PAT for a score as well.
* Auburn has held three of its last five opponents to less than 25 percent on third-down conversions.
* Ben Tate ranks 11th nationally in rushing (118.6), and has six 100-yard rushing games this season.
* Tate ranks fifth in school history in rushing (3,026 yards) and has posted the 18th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history, now with 1,067 so far this season.
* Auburn has 16 touchdown passes this season, including 13 from Chris Todd. Last year, Auburn had just seven touchdown passes as a team during the entire season.
* Sophomore Darvin Adams and junior Terrell Zachery have combined for 54 catches for 949 yards and 10 touchdowns. They entered this season with a combined five catches for 42 yards and no scores.
* Wes Byrum ranks tied for fourth nationally in field goal percentage (92.9) among kickers who have attempted at least 10 field goals.
* Antonio Coleman leads the team with 11.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, and is fifth in school history with 20.0 career sacks.
HOMECOMING ON THE PLAINS
This Saturday's game will mark the 96th observance of Homecoming at Auburn and the 83rd homecoming game for the Tigers.
Homecoming at Auburn began in June 1913, when Dr. Charles Thach, president of what was then Alabama Polytechnic Institute, issued a proclamation calling for "the observance of a Homecoming for all those loyal sons who, as former Auburn students, have passed through her portals and received her honors."
Homecoming festivities were held in connection with the spring commencement exercises until 1924. Auburn beat Clemson, 13-0, in Auburn's first Homecoming game. The game was played on old Drake Field, which is now the parking lot for the new student union.
Until the first section of Jordan-Hare Stadium was completed in 1939, Auburn sometimes observed Homecoming in Montgomery or Columbus, Ga., since adequate campus facilities were not available. Auburn did not have Homecoming games in 1930 and 1938. There was no football team in 1943 because of WWII.
Auburn is 69-8-5 in Homecoming games. Mississippi State (16 times) has been the most common Homecoming guest.
AUBURN HOMECOMING COURT
At halftime of Saturday's game, the Homecoming Queen will be crowned on the east side of the field. A pool of more than 50 applicants went through two rounds of interviews and cuts before the five finalists were announced.
The queen will be elected by a vote of the Auburn student body on Friday, Nov. 6 and the winner's name is kept in anonymity until the announcement.
The five finalists are Grace Anthony, Christian Becraft, Kimmey Henderson, Grace Ann Sooter and Abby Womack. All applicants must be an undergraduate with senior status and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or better. Each applicant was also nominated by a member of one of the 300 campus organizations.
Auburn has won 17 straight Homecoming contests, which matches the longest streak in school history (1953-69) ... The Tigers' average margin of victory in those 17 games is +24.1 ... Auburn has scored 25 or more points in 22 of the last 26 Homecoming games, including 30 or more points in 20 of those contests ... Auburn is 31-2-1 in its last 34 Homecoming games ... This will be the fourth Homecoming game to be played on Nov. 7 and first since 1998 ... Auburn is 3-0 in its previous Nov. 7 Homecoming games, with wins over Mississippi State (1964), North Texas State (1981) and Central Florida (1998).
AUBURN-FURMAN SERIES NOTES
Auburn and Furman will meet for the fourth time, although the last meeting was in 1956 ... Auburn also had wins in 1955 and 1946 ... The average score has been 39.7-2, with the Tigers winning by scores of 26-6 (1946), 52-0 (1955) and 41-0 (1956).
Seven members of the Furman squad are from the state of Alabama: sophomore OG David Barrington (Montgomery), sophomore FS Matthew Gordon (Birmingham), senior OG Tyler Haynes (Birmingham), freshman QB Josh Hollingsworth (Hamilton), junior ROV Max Lerner (Birmingham), junior FLK Adam Mims (Birmingham) and freshman TB Jerodis Williams (Prattville).
FURMAN QUICK HITTERS
Furman is the Southern Conference's All-Time Winningest Football Program (228-172-11) and has a league-high 12 Southern Conference Championships ... The Paladins are coming off a 52-27 loss to No. 7 Appalachian State last Saturday that dropped them to 4-4 ... Furman has allowed just six quarterback sacks all season, which ranks fifth in the FCS, but has also collected just six ... Quarterback Jordan Sorrells needs 72 yards passing to become Furman's all-time leader in passing yards ... Tersoo Uhaa rushed for a career high 114 yards against Appalachian State and leads the team with nine touchdowns ... Adams Mims is tied for 10th in the FCS in receptions per game (6.9) ... Kadarron Anderson has 103 tackles already this season, ranking third nationally among FCS players averaging 12.8 per game.
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 270-68-7 (.793) all-time at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn has clinched its 10th straight winning season at Jordan-Hare Stadium, posting a mark of 56-14 (.800) 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.
ON THIS DATE
Auburn has an all-time record of 9-4 on Nov. 7. The Tigers' last game played on Nov. 7 was the 1998 Homecoming game against Central Florida, which Auburn won, 10-6. Auburn is 3-1 when playing as a nationally-ranked team on Nov. 7, with wins over Mississippi State in 1970 (56-0) and 1959 (31-0) and over Georgia Tech in 1936 (13-12), and a loss to No. 4 Florida State (34-6) in 1987.
Auburn is 214-166-21 (.560) all-time in the month of November. The Tigers are 11-5 in their last 16 games in November.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Auburn has 3,848 yards of offense in nine games this year, which is already more than the Tigers had all of season last year (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 31.9 (22nd) 17.3 (T110th)
Total offense 27.6 (26th) 302.9 (104th)
Rushing offense 224.2 (10th) 137.5 (69th)
Passing offense 203.3 (77th) 165.4 (99th)
First downs 20.6 (42nd) 16.5 (102nd)
Red zone offense 92.9 (14th) 57.1 (119th)
RECORD PACE FOR OFFENSE
Auburn's average of 427.6 yards per game would rank as the fourth highest single-season average in Auburn history, and the highest since 1995. With the Tigers now bowl eligible, if Auburn maintains that pace, it would finish the season with a school-record 5,559 yards. The current school record for yards in a season is 5,469, set in 2004.
Auburn ranks 10th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 224.2 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).
Auburn's current pace of 224.2 yards per game is just 0.4 yards per game shy of cracking the top 10 in school history. If the Tigers maintained that pace, the total of 2,915 after a bowl game would be sixth most in school history.
200+ GROUND GAMES
Auburn has already posted six games with at least 200 yards rushing. That total already equals the number of 200-yard rushing games that Auburn had in the two previous seasons combined. Auburn had four 200-yard rushing games in 2007, and just two in 2008.
PUTTING UP POINTS
Auburn ranks 22nd nationally in scoring offense at 31.9 points per game, and more impressively, it took Auburn just six games this season to score more points than it did in all 12 games last season. Auburn scored 208 points last year, and already has 287 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.
Auburn's offense has not only been explosive, it has been consistent. The Tigers have scored at least once in 29 of 36 quarters this season, and started the season by scoring in the first 20 quarters of the year. Auburn has scored a touchdown in 23 of the 36 quarters played this year, including a streak of 14 in a row earlier this season.
Auburn has demonstrated a knack for making big plays this year, with 10 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 while Tate has added a 53-yarder, 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.
BIG MAN TATE
Running back Ben Tate is having a stellar senior season, ranking third in the SEC and 11th nationally averaging 118.6 yards per game. With 1,067 yards rushing, Tate has posted the 18th 1,000-yard rushing season in Auburn history. He has six 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 14 catches for 67 yards and five kick returns for 139 yards (27.8 yards per return). His average of 141.4 all-purpose yards per game ranks 27th nationally.
Tate ranks fifth in Auburn history with 3,026 career rushing yards. He needs 342 more to catch Joe Cribbs for fourth.
Auburn has had to come from behind in five of its six 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, and trailed Ole Miss 7-0 before scoring 31 unanswered points.
Senior quarterback Chris Todd has shown drastic improvement this season after offseason shoulder surgery. He has established a career high in passing yards three times 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 22nd in the nation in yards per completion (13.51) and 46th nationally in passing efficiency (135.34). His 13 touchdown passes are tied for 34th most in the NCAA.
Year Cmp-Att-Int Pct. Yds TD Eff.
2008 86-156-6 55.1 903 5 106.64
2009 126-226-3 55.8 1702 13 135.34
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 (32), receiving yards (512) and touchdown receptions (six), while Zachery has 22 grabs for 437 yards (19.9 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 20 scoring drives that used less than two minutes on the clock, including 17 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.
In fact, Auburn has 11 scoring drives that have taken less than one minute, and 10 of those ended with touchdowns.
The Tigers also already have eight scoring drives of at least 10 plays this season, including four that took at least 13 plays. Last year, Auburn only had two scoring drives all season that used at least 13 plays.
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 102 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 12 quarterback sacks this season, which is tied for 35th nationally. Virtually the same group last year surrendered 21 sacks.
FIRST DOWN FLURRY
Auburn is currently 42nd nationally in first downs per game, averaging 20.6. The Tigers have had at least 20 first downs in five 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.
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 26 of 28 possessions in the red zone (92.9), which ranks 14th in the nation, but 19 of the 26 scores have been touchdowns. Auburn's TD percentage of 67.9 ranks fourth in the SEC behind only Arkansas, Ole Miss and Kentucky. Ten of the scores have come on the ground and nine 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 31 of 37 games (83.8 percent).
BYRUM ON TARGET
Junior Wes Byrum has excelled during his junior season, connecting on 13-of-14 field goals and all 34 extra point attempts. Among kickers who have attempted at least 10 field goals, Byrum's percentage of .929 ranks tied for fourth nationally. Byrum, who ranks fifth in school history with 41 career made field goals, is fourth in the SEC with 13 field goals and in scoring with 73 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.
Auburn scored its fourth non-offensive touchdown of the season last Saturday against Ole Miss, and also added a blocked PAT return for two points. Three Tigers have returned interceptions for scores this season (Antonio Coleman, Walter McFadden, Craig Stevens) and Neiko Thorpe returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.
THIRD DOWN D GETTING STRONGER
Auburn's defense has gotten stronger this season on third-down plays, and now ranks tied for 31st in the nation in opponent third down conversions (34.8 percent). Auburn has held its opponents under 25 percent on third down conversions in three of the last five games, including a season-low 20 percent (3-of-15) by Ole Miss last Saturday. The Rebels were 0-for-6 on third downs in the second half.
DEFENSE HOLDING TOUGH
Auburn's offense has stolen most of the headlines, but the defensive unit has performed admirably 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 nine games, DL Zach Clayton for five games, DE Antonio Carter and DB D'Antoine Hood for three games each and LB Eltoro Freeman for two games.
In addition, DT Sen'Derrick Marks and CB Jerraud Powers left school after their junior years to enter the NFL.
TOTALING THE TAKEAWAYS
Auburn ranks tied for 17th in the nation with 11 interceptions and tied for 27th with 18 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.
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 fifth in the SEC with 77 tackles, while Josh Bynes is tied for seventh with 73. Last year Stevens had 54 tackles all season, and Bynes had 53. Both players have also recorded interceptions, while Stevens is second on the team with 7.0 tackles for loss and Bynes recorded a safety against Ball State. Stevens has recorded double-digit tackles in three games this season, including a career high 12 at Arkansas.
COLEMAN'S SPECIAL SENIOR SEASON
Antonio Coleman, a first-team preseason All-SEC selection, has 35 tackles including a team bests of 11.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks, an interception which he returned for a touchdown against Mississippi State, a blocked kick, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Coleman is third in the SEC in tackles for loss and sixth in sacks, and he ranks fifth in Auburn history with 20.0 career sacks.
Senior Walter McFadden leads the team with four interceptions this season, which ranks tied for second in the SEC and tied for 25th nationally. McFadden's four picks are tied for the most by an Auburn player in a single season since Junior Rosegreen had six in 2004. McFadden returned an interception 29 yards for a score last Saturday against Ole Miss, marking his second career interception return for a touchdown. He had a 93-yarder against Tennessee Tech in 2007.
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 freshmen have earned starts this season, including safety Daren Bates, who has started all seven 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.
Of Auburn's 12 seniors, eight have seen time in at least 30 games during their careers, including six with at least 40 games under their belt. Tommy Trott leads the group, having played in 48 career games, including 46 of a possible 47 over the past four seasons. Gabe McKenzie has also played in 46 of 47 games since 2006. Antonio Coleman also has 46 career games played, followed by Walter McFadden (45 games), Ben Tate (43), Jake Ricks (40) and Andrew McCain (36).
Junior Lee Ziemba has the longest staring streak on the Auburn squad, having started all 34 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 24 straight contests, while junior Craig Stevens has 22 straight starts under his belt.
Senior Walter McFadden has the fifth-longest streak, having started every game since the start of the 2008 season (21 straight).
30+ POINTS EQUALS VICTORY
Auburn has won 54 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 its history, Auburn is now 274-4 all-time when scoring at least 30 points.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
In the last 10 seasons, Auburn is 77-9 (.895) when scoring 20 or more points in a game. Dating back to the start of the 1993 season, Auburn is 120-16-1 (.880) 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 19-10 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.
Auburn 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 also 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.
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. He had 148 in the opener against Louisiana Tech and 114 against MSU.
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 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 was part of 12 straight wins at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the stretch, 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.
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 was tied for fifth most among all FBS schools.
The Tiger graduates included: 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, wihle Todd has also been added to the Manning Award watch list. 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.
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 19-4 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.
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.