Nov. 4, 2007
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
No. 18/17 AUBURN (7-3, 4-2 SEC) at No. 10/10 GEORGIA (7-2, 4-2 SEC)
SANFORD STADIUM (92,746) ATHENS, GA
NOVEMBER 10, 2007 3:30 PM ET/2:30 PM CT TV: CBS
GAME 11 QUICK FACTS
Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, 1976)
Auburn Record 78-32 (9th year)
vs. Georgia 5-3
Career Record 103-52 (23rd year)
vs. Georgia 7-5
Mark Richt (Miami, 1982)
Georgia Record 68-19 (6th year)
vs. Auburn 3-3
Overall Record 68-19 (6th year)
vs. Auburn 3-3
Auburn leads, 53-49-8
at Auburn UGA leads, 13-9-2
at Athens AU leads, 18-9
Neutral sites UGA leads, 27-26-6
at Atlanta, GA AU leads, 5-4-3
at Columbus, GA UGA leads, 21-16-2
at Macon, GA Tied, 2-2
at Montgomery, AL AU leads, 2-0
at Savannah, GA AU leads, 1-0-1
Last Meeting UGA 37, AU 15
Nov. 11, 2006 in Auburn, AL
Auburn 18 AP/17 USA Today/18 Harris/18 BCS
Georgia 10 AP/10 USA Today/11 Harris/10 BCS
Play-by-play Verne Lundquist
Analyst Gary Danielson
Sidelines Tracy Wolfson
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 130
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
Auburn plays its last road game of the season Saturday when the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry resumes for the 111th meeting between Auburn and Georgia. Georgia snapped a two-game Auburn winning streak in the series last year, but Auburn holds an 18-9 edge all-time in games played in Athens and has won six of its last seven at Sanford Stadium. The game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET and be nationally televised by CBS.
* The Auburn-Georgia series is tied with Oregon-Oregon State as the seventh-most played series in the nation, as Saturday's game will be the 111th meeting between the two schools.
* With the exception of war years, Auburn and Georgia have played continuously every year since 1898.
* Four of the last seven Auburn-Georgia games have been decided in the closing seconds.
* Auburn has won 15 consecutive games when wearing all white uniforms.
* Auburn has won nine of its last 11 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10.
* Auburn leads the SEC and is ranked fifth in the nation this season in scoring defense (14.5) and is eighth nationally in total defense (293.8).
* Auburn has held four of its last five opponents to single digits for the first time since 1988.
* During Will Muschamp's two seasons as defensive coordinator, Auburn has held 19 of its 23 opponents to 20 points or less.
* Auburn is the only Football Bowl Subdivision team to lead at the half in every game it has played this season.
* Auburn has scored on its opening drive in five of its last six games, averaging 11.2 plays and 72.0 yards on those five scoring drives.
* Over the last four seasons, Auburn has the fifth-best record out of all Football Bowl Subdivision teams with a mark of 40-8 (.833).
* Brandon Cox leads all active SEC quarterbacks with 25 career victories as a starter. Cox is 25-8 during his career.
* Auburn has had six of its 10 games decided in the last two minutes, including four of its six SEC games.
* Auburn has a turnover ratio of +10 in its seven victories and -7 in its three losses.
* Auburn has played 29 freshmen this season (15 true, 14 redshirt) and has had as many as three true freshmen starting on the offensive line.
* Of Auburn's 255 points scored this season, 171 (67 percent) have been scored by underclassmen.
GEORGIA QUICK HITTERS
Georgia has scored over 40 points in its last two games, which is the first time the Bulldogs have accomplished that feat since 2002 ... Georgia forced four turnovers last Saturday against Troy after forcing only eight turnovers total in their first eight games ... The Bulldogs have committed just nine turnovers all season, which leads the SEC ... Georgia also leads the SEC in red zone offense (94.1 percent) ... Redshirt freshman Knowshown Moreno is the second freshman in Georgia history to surpass 1,000 yards rushing, joining Herschel Walker ... Moreno has 541 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games ... Matthew Stafford has thrown 15 touchdowns and just six interceptions this season ... Mikey Henderson ranks 15th nationally in punt returns (13.5) ... Dannell Ellerbe leads the team with 65 tackles, which is 19 more than his next closest teammate.
DEEP SOUTH'S OLDEST RIVALRY
The Auburn-Georgia series is tied with Oregon-Oregon State as the seventh-most played series in the nation (Football Bowl Subdivision). It is the lone Southern series and one of just 23 in the nation to have reached the century mark in games played.
No. Opponents Series
1. 116 Minnesota-Wisconsin UM, 59-49-8
2. 115 Missouri-Kansas Tied, 53-53-9
3. 114* Nebraska-Kansas NU, 88-23-3
4. 113 Texas-Texas A&M UT, 73-35-5
5. 112* Miami (OH)-Cincinnati UM, 59-46-7
112* North Carolina-Virginia UNC, 57-51-4
7. 110 Auburn-Georgia AU, 53-49-8
110 Oregon-Oregon State UO, 55-45-10
9. 109 Purdue-Indiana PU, 68-35-6
109 Stanford-California SU, 54-44-11
* includes 2007 meeting
The Auburn-Georgia series has taken hospitality to a new level. Auburn owns a winning record in Athens (18-9) while Georgia has a winning mark on the Plains (13-9-2). The Tigers have won 10 of their last 12 games at Sanford Stadium.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville is 3-1 against Georgia in Athens and 2-2 versus the Bulldogs on the Plains. Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden never beat Georgia in Auburn (0-1-1), but never lost to the Bulldogs in Athens (3-0), and Pat Dye had a better record in Athens (4-2) than he did against Georgia in Auburn (3-3).
Even legendary Georgia coach Vince Dooley (1964-88), an Auburn graduate, had better success against the Tigers in Auburn (7-5-1) than he did in Athens (4-8).
MORE AU-UGA SERIES NOTES
Through 110 meetings, Georgia has outscored Auburn by just 20 points (1,685-1,665) ... In games decided by three points or less, Auburn leads, 8-5-8 ... In games decided by seven points or less, Georgia leads, 21-19-8 ... This will mark the 17th consecutive meeting and the 30th time in the last 31 years that one or both schools have been ranked when playing each other ... The last time that neither team was ranked entering the game was in 1991 ... In the last 11 meetings between the two schools, the lower ranked or unranked team has won seven times (UGA-1996, AU-1997, AU-1999, AU-2000, AU-2001, AU-2005, UGA-2006), with the higher ranked team winning just four (UGA-1998, UGA-2002, UGA-2003, AU-2004) ... Auburn has had more individual 150-yard rushing performances against Georgia (nine) than any other opponent ... The Tigers have had at least one rushing touchdown in 18 consecutive games against Georgia and 29 of the last 30 in the series.
World war has been the only thing strong enough to keep Auburn and Georgia from playing football. The two teams did not play in 1943, only because Auburn did not field a team due to World War II. The two teams did not play in 1917 and 1918 because of WWI. With those two exceptions, Auburn and Georgia have played continuously since 1898.
The Auburn-Georgia series (110 games) is older than the Georgia-Georgia Tech series (99 games) and the Auburn-Alabama series (71 games). Auburn and Georgia first played in 1892. They first played their intrastate rivals in 1893.
Of Auburn's major rivals whose games were once played at neutral sites, Georgia is the only school to come to Auburn without argument. In fact, both Auburn and Georgia used a home-and-home AU-UGA series as the base for major stadium additions.
Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia Tech all indicated they would drop Auburn rather than play at what was then known as Cliff Hare Stadium.
The 2007 Auburn-Georgia game in Athens will be a sellout crowd and have a gate of more than $1 million.
Ralph "Shug" Jordan, who was an assistant at Georgia before becoming Auburn's winningest head coach, often used the Auburn-Georgia series, his favorite rivalry, as an example of the growth of college football.
One of his favorite stories was how gate receipts from early Auburn-Georgia games were divided. It involved Auburn's Cliff Hare and Georgia's Charles Herty, their friendship and the relationship between the two schools that brought college football to the Deep South.
"They would come to Dean Hare's house on Gay Street in Auburn after the game in Columbus to divide the money," Jordan said. "They would take the gate receipts out of an old cigar box, spread it on the kitchen table and say, `a dollar for you and a dollar for us' until the game proceeds were divided equally between the two schools."
Today, it takes a team of accountants in Auburn, Athens and the SEC office in Birmingham weeks to do what two gentlemen, Hare and Herty, used to do in a matter of minutes.
UGA 56, AU 49: AN SEC FIRST
The 1996 Auburn-Georgia game, the 100th in the series, was the first SEC game ever to go into overtime. Georgia won 56-49 in four OTs. It was the longest game in SEC history, until the 2001 Arkansas-Ole Miss game that lasted seven overtime periods.
Auburn and Georgia have split two overtime games between the two schools. Georgia claimed the 1996, four-overtime contest, with Auburn claiming a 29-26 overtime victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2000.
The outcome of the three games in the AU-UGA series from 2000-02 all came down to the wire and two were decided on the final play, with the other being won in the last two minutes. The 2005 battle was also decided in the closing seconds.
In 2000, Auburn scored 20 unanswered points at the start the second half to take a 23-13 lead. However, Georgia scored 10 straight points in the fourth quarter, including a 19-yard Billy Bennett field goal with 41 seconds remaining, to send the game to overtime. After Bennett's 25-yarder gave the Bulldogs a three-point lead in the extra period, Auburn QB Ben Leard's sneak from a yard out gave Auburn a 29-26 win.
Auburn broke a 17-17 tie in 2001 in Athens with 6:47 remaining as Carnell Williams' 1-yard run gave the Tigers a 24-17 advantage. After holding Auburn to a three and out, Georgia retained the ball with 1:10 remaining and drove down to the Tigers' 1-yard line before Auburn stopped the Bulldogs on the final play of the game. Dontarrious Thomas and company stopped Georgia's Jasper Sanks short of the goal line as time expired.
In 2002 at Auburn, Georgia won 24-21 on a touchdown pass from David Greene to Michael Johnson with 1:25 remaining on a 4th-and-15 from the Auburn 19-yard line.
The 2005 contest will be remembered for Brandon Cox's 62-yard pass play to Devin Aromashodu on fourth-and-10 that set up John Vaughn's winning 20-yard field goal with six seconds left. The game featured eight lead changes, including four in the fourth quarter.
TUBERVILLE IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With a dramatic 29-26 overtime victory over Georgia in 2000 on the Plains, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville became the first coach since Shug Jordan to claim victory in his first home meeting in the series.
Since 1959, when the Auburn-Georgia series moved to a home-and-home basis, a combined seven coaches have led the Tigers and Bulldogs with only Jordan and Tuberville successfully defending the home field in their first attempt.
In addition, Tuberville is the only coach in school history to beat Georgia in his first three seasons as head coach. Mike Donahue won his first two meetings against the Bulldogs in 1904 and 1905, before losing the 1906 game.
WILLIAMS SETS RECORD IN 2001
In 2001's 24-17 win in Athens, then-freshman Carnell Williams set a new Auburn record when he carried the ball 41 times against Georgia. Williams' 41 carries broke the old record of 38 set by both Stacy Danley (1988) and Bo Jackson (1985). For the game, Williams rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns and was named the SEC Player of the Week following his performance.
100-YARD RUSHERS VERSUS UGA
Since 1970, Auburn has had 24 100-yard rushing performances against Georgia, including two 100-yard rushers in three games (1974, `78, `79). The Tigers have had a 100-yard rusher in five of the last seven years. Rudi Johnson gained 152 yards in 2000, Carnell Williams followed with 167 yards in 2001, Ronnie Brown ran for 124 yards in 2002, Williams went for 101 in 2004 and Kenny Irons rushed for 179 yards in 2005. From 1982-85, Auburn had four straight 100-yard rushers vs. the Bulldogs when the feat was accomplished by Lionel James (1982, 8-111, TD), Bo Jackson (1983, 18-118), Tommie Agee (1984, 9-115) and Jackson (19-121, 2 TD).
A total of 24 players on the Auburn roster call the state of Georgia home. Auburn players from the Peach State are: TE Cole Bennett (Dalton), LB Tray Blackmon (LaGrange), LB Robert Clifton (Augusta), OT Antwoin Daniels (Forsyth), RB Tristan Davis (East Point), RB John Douglas (Augusta), WR Robert Dunn (Augusta), RB Mario Fannin (Hampton), QB Blake Field (Thomasville), LB Bo Harris (Conyers), OL Michael Hatter (Snellville), OL Byron Isom (Jonesboro), FB Jason King (Newnan), RB Brad Lester (Lilburn), WR Charles Olatunji (Lilburn), S Aairon Savage (Albany), DS Robert Shiver (Thomasville), WR Chris Slaughter (Fort Valley), WR Rodgeriqus Smith (Snellville), LB Brian Summerhill (Acworth), WR James Swinton (Tucker), FB Jeffrey Tarver (Stone Mountain), NG Josh Thompson (Statesboro) and TE Bailey Woods (Marietta).
* Tigers' offensive line coach Hugh Nall played at Georgia from 1977-80 and received his degree from Georgia in 1983. Nall was a four-year letterman and member of the Bulldogs 1980 national championship team. Nall was a student-assistant coach at Georgia in the spring of 1981 under Wayne McDuffie.
* Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was a four-year letterman at Georgia as a safety from 1991-94 and was part of two bowl teams. He was a defensive co-captain as a senior.
* Auburn tight ends coach Steve Ensminger was the quarterback coach/passing game coordinator at Georgia from 1991-93.
* Head coach Tommy Tuberville and Georgia defensive coordinator/secondary coach Willie Martinez were graduate assistants together at Miami in 1984.
* Georgia assistant head coach/defensive line/recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner was a nose guard at Auburn from 1984-88, earning All-SEC honors as a senior. Garner also served in various capacities at Auburn (recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach/ assistant strength and conditioning coach) from 1990-95.
* Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels played at Auburn from 1984-87, and was a first-team All-American in 1987 and a two-time first-team All-SEC selection. He was a G.A. coach at Auburn from 1992-93, and later coached at LSU with Will Muschamp from 2003-04.
* Georgia Director of Football Operations Steve Greer was Auburn's freshman coach in 1972-73 and a defensive ends coach on the Plains from 1979-80.
* Georgia associate head strength and conditioning coach Keith Gray was a strength and conditioning graduate assistant at Auburn from 1997-99.
BATTLE OF THE PUNT TEAMS
Saturday's game will feature one of the nation's top punting units against one of the NCAA's top punt return teams. Auburn leads the SEC and ranks third nationally in net punting (39.8), thanks in part to punters Ryan Shoemaker (SEC-best 44.6 average) and Patrick Tatum (43.4 average). Shoemaker and Tatum have combined to place 22 kicks inside the 20-yard line with just three touchbacks.
But Auburn's punt team will be challenged by Georgia's return unit that ranks 12th nationally, averaging 15.0 yards per return. The Bulldogs, led by Mikey Henderson who ranks 15th nationally averaging 13.5 yards per punt return, have 300 return yards this season
ON THIS DATE
Auburn owns an all-time record of 9-5-1 in games played on Nov. 10, and has won six of its last seven. The Tigers last played on this date in 2001, earning a 24-17 win at Georgia. Auburn's most lopsided victory on this date was a 60-0 route of Cincinnati in 1984.
Auburn is 212-162-21 (.563) all-time in the month of November, including a 17-6 mark under Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers are 22-6 in their last 28 games in November.
THREE OR LESS
Auburn has held each of its last two opponents to just three points, beating Ole Miss (17-3) and Tennessee Tech (35-3). Surprisingly, that's not a rare occurrence at Auburn, as it marks the third straight season that the Tigers have held back-to-back teams to three points or less. Last year, Auburn won consecutive games against Mississippi State (34-0) and LSU (7-3), and in 2005, the Tigers won back-to-back games against Mississippi State (28-0) and Ball State (63-3).
FOUR OF FIVE IN SINGLE DIGITS
Auburn has held four of its last five opponents to single digits, as Vanderbilt (seven points), Arkansas (seven), Ole Miss (three) and Tennessee Tech (three) each posted just one score against the Tigers. It marked the first time that Auburn held four of five opponents to single digits since 1988, when the Tigers kept five straight opponents in single figures, falling at LSU (7-6) before beating Akron (42-0), Mississippi State (33-0), Florida (16-0) and Southern Miss (38-8).
DEFENSE EXCELS DESPITE INJURIES
The Auburn defense has performed admirably, despite a rash of injuries. The Tigers have played games this season without defensive starters Aairon Savage (five missed games), Tray Blackmon (four), Merrill Johnson (four), Quentin Groves (two), Zac Etheridge (one), Craig Stevens (one) and Jonathan Wilhite (one), and yet still rank fifth in the nation in scoring defense (14.5) and eighth in the nation in total defense (293.8).
NO PASSING ZONE
Despite playing non-conference games against New Mexico State (No. 6 in the NCAA in pass offense, 330.7 yards per game) and Kansas State (No. 16 in NCAA, threw 58 passes vs. AU), Auburn ranks 10th nationally in pass defense, allowing just 179.8 yards per game, and is ranked No. 16 in pass efficiency defense (105.43). The Tigers, whose defense ranks tied for fifth nationally in yards per completion (9.7), held both Mississippi State (41 yards) and Vanderbilt (88 yards) to less than 100 yards passing this season.
TIGERS TOUGH ON TOP TEN
Auburn has won nine of its last 11 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10, including a 20-17 win Sept. 29 against No. 4 Florida, and wins last season against then-No. 2 Florida and then-No. 6 LSU. The Tigers have won five of their last six against top-ten teams and six straight at home. The only losses against top-10 teams since the 2004 season have come at LSU, in overtime in 2005 by a 20-17 score and this season by a 30-24 score when LSU scored on a 22-yard pass play with just one second left.
Also in 2005, Auburn posted victories at No. 9 Georgia (31-30) and against No. 8 Alabama (28-18). In 2004, Auburn defeated No. 5 LSU (10-9), No. 10 Tennessee (34-10), No. 8 Georgia (24-6) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (16-13) in the NOKIA Sugar Bowl.
During the Tommy Tuberville era, Auburn is 15-11 in games played against top 10 teams, and has won 15 of its last 21 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 20 games against top 10 teams.
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 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. 1 Florida. In 2002, Auburn beat No. 10 LSU (31-7) and won at No. 9 Alabama (17-7). In 2003, the Tigers beat No. 7 Tennessee (28-21), then beat the new No. 7 team, Arkansas, the following week (10-3).
In 2004, Auburn defeated No. 5 LSU (10-9), No. 10 Tennessee (34-10), No. 8 Georgia (24-6) and No. 9 Virginia Tech (16-13). The 2005 season included wins against No. 9 Georgia (31-30) and No. 8 Alabama (28-18), and in 2006 Auburn beat No. 6 LSU (7-3) and No. 2 Florida (27-17).
WINNING IN WHITE
Auburn has won its last 15 games when wearing all white following a 9-7 win at Arkansas Oct. 13. 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 3-0 in 2007 including a 20-17 victory at then-No. 4 Florida and a 35-7 home victory over Vanderbilt, when the team wore all white to honor Auburn's 1957 national championship team. 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), Arkansas (twice), Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky and Mississippi State during that span.
KINGS OF THE FIRST HALF
Auburn is the only Football Bowl Subdivision team to have the lead at halftime in every game it has played this season. Kansas has been tied at the half twice and led the remaining seven games on its schedule at the half.
Auburn has led or been tied at the half in 12 consecutive games dating back to last year. The Tigers were tied at half against Nebraska in the 2006 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The last time Auburn trailed at the half was against Georgia in 2006.
In addition, Auburn has allowed just 13 total points in the first half of the last six games, outscoring Florida, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, LSU, Ole Miss and Tennessee Tech by a combined score of 90-13. In the last six games, Auburn has gained 1,201 yards of offense in the first half, to just 668 yards for its opponents.
Auburn has started five of its last six games with a lengthy scoring drive. At Florida Sept. 29, the Tigers marched 86 yards on 14 plays and took 7:32 off the clock before scoring on a 6-yard run by Kodi Burns. Against Vanderbilt Oct. 6, Auburn went 80 yards on nine plays in 4:19 before Ben Tate scored from 4 yards out.
On Oct. 13 at Arkansas, Wes Byrum's 22-yard field goal capped a 14-play, 67-yard drive that consumed 6:12. On Oct. 20 at LSU, Brandon Cox's 17-yard scoring strike to Montez Billings capped an 11-play, 63-yard scoring drive that took 4:50.
Last Saturday against Tennessee Tech, the Tigers drove 64 yardson eight plays in 3:10 before Tate scored on a 2-yard touchdown run.
In those five games, Auburn's opening drive has averaged 11.2 plays for 72.0 yards while taking 5:17 off the clock. And even when Auburn's opening drive scoring streak was snapped Oct. 27 against Ole Miss, the Tigers still drove 40 yards on 10 plays before a fumble stopped the drive.
One of the keys to Auburn's offensive success the past six 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. Against Arkansas, all three scoring drives were at least eight plays long, including another 14-play drive. Three of the four scoring drives Oct. 20 at LSU used at least nine plays, all three scoring drives against Ole Miss were at least nine plays long, and Auburn had drives of 14, 12 and eight plays against Tennessee Tech.
Auburn has averaged 33:58 in time of possession the last four weeks, and now ranks second in the SEC for the season with an average of 31:31.
Auburn's senior class has had almost as much success as any in the country. Since the start of the 2004 season, Auburn owns the fifth-best record in the NCAA. The Tigers are 39-8 (.830) over the last four seasons. The top teams since the 2004 season are as follows:
1. USC 43-5 .896
2. Texas 42-6 .875
3. Boise State 40-6 .870
4. Ohio State 40-7 .851
5. Auburn 40-8 .833
6. LSU 39-8 .830
7. West Virginia 37-8 .822
8. Louisville 37-9 .804
9. Boston College 36-9 .800
10. Wisconsin 38-10 .792
Virginia Tech 38-10 .792
Brandon Cox has led Auburn on scoring drives that gave Auburn the lead with less than four minutes left in the game five times this season.
In the season opener against Kansas State, Cox capped a six-play, 57-yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Gabe McKenzie with just 2:01 left to give Auburn a 16-13 lead, before a defensive score made the final 23-13. The next Saturday against South Florida, a nine-play, 51-yard drive set up a 46-yard field goal with just 2:54 left that gave the Tigers a 20-17 lead, but the Bulls rallied to win in overtime.
Cox took Auburn 35 yards in 10 plays to set up the winning 43-yard field goal on the game's final play during a 20-17 victory at Florida Sept. 29. At Arkansas Oct. 13, he drove Auburn 50 yards on eight plays to set up the winning 20-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in a 9-7 victory.
On Oct. 20 at LSU, Cox drove Auburn 83 yards on nine plays before hitting Rodgeriqus Smith with a 3-yard touchdown pass that put Auburn ahead 24-23, although LSU would score with one second left for a 30-24 victory.
COX TURNS THE CORNER
After a rough start to the season, senior QB Brandon Cox has excelled during Auburn's last seven games. 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 seven weeks, Cox has completed 100-of-150 (.667) passes for 1,183 yards, six scores and just one interception, for a quarterback rating of 144.78. Cox, who has thrown 89 consecutive passes without an interception, is now third on Auburn's all-time passing yardage list with 6,498 yards. The school record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception is 156 by Ben Leard in 1999.
COX LEADS ALL SEC QBs IN WINS
Brandon Cox earned his 25th career victory as a starting quarterback during Auburn's 35-3 win against Tennessee Tech last Saturday. Cox, who is 25-8 as a starter, leads all SEC quarterbacks in career victories. Tennessee's Erik Ainge is second with 23, followed by Kentucky's Andre Woodson (17).
Auburn games have not been lacking for excitement this season, as six of the first eight 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, and his 20-yarder with 21 seconds left lifted Auburn to a 9-7 win at Arkansas Oct. 13. 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.
All three of Auburn's losses have been close calls. Auburn lost to LSU 30-24 when LSU scored on a 22-yard pass play with just one second left. Against Mississippi State Sept. 15, Auburn had a potential game-winning drive stall at the Bulldog 9-yard line with just 48 seconds left. The Tigers' other loss against South Florida ended in overtime.
Junior wide receiver Rodgeriqus Smith leads Auburn with 43 catches for 593 yards and five touchdowns. All three of those totals surpass what he accumulated during his first two seasons combined. Smith had his second 100-yard receiving game Oct. 27 against Ole Miss, catching eight balls for 111 yards and a score. He had a career-high nine catches for 102 yards Sept. 29 at Florida, and now ranks 17th in Auburn history with 1,154 career receiving yards. He needs 15 catches in the last three games to equal the school single-season record of 58 receptions.
Smith's 58-yard touchdown catch from Kodi Burns against New Mexico State was the longest pass play of the season for Auburn, and had a 55-yarder against Kansas State, which is tied for second-longest on the team this year.
Sophomore Montez Billings has emerged as a steady complimentary receiver to Rodgeriqus Smith. Billings had just one catch in the first four games, but has 20 in the last six, including 11 catches combined at Arkansas and LSU, which was two more than he had in his career prior to that point. Billings set career highs in catches (six) and receiving yards (78) and scored his first career touchdown on a 17-yard grab from Brandon Cox Oct. 20 at LSU.
Rodgeriqus Smith and Montez Billings have taken charge in the Auburn passing game over the past five games, getting the bulk of the catches. In the first five games, Smith had 11 catches for 253 yards and two scores, while Billings had just one catch for five yards. In the last five games, Smith has 32 catches for 340 yards and three touchdowns, while Billings has 20 catches for 267 yards and a score.
Conversely, the other receivers and tight ends have seen a drop in their production. In the first four games, they combined for 33 catches for 303 yards, but in the last six games have combined for only 17 catches for 235 yards.
TURNOVERS PROVE CRUCIAL
Turnovers have played a big role in determining Auburn's success this season. Auburn committed five turnovers in losses to South Florida and Mississippi State while forcing just one total in the two games, and has a -7 turnover margin in its three losses. In the seven victories, Auburn has committed just eight total turnovers while forcing 18 (+10 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 14 points off turnovers in its three losses, but has 65 points off turnovers in its seven wins.
20 OR LESS
Since Will Muschamp took over as defensive coordinator prior to the 2006 season, Auburn has held 19 of its 23 opponents (82.6 percent) to 20 points or less, including eight in single digits. The Tigers, who have allowed just 14.2 points per game since Muschamp's arrival, are 18-1 in games in which they hold their opponents to no more than 20 points.
Since the 2004 season, Auburn has held 38 of its 48 opponents to 20 points or less.
COLEMAN DOMINATING DEFENSIVELY
Antonio Coleman took over a starting spot at defensive end after senior Quentin Groves was injured Sept. 29 at Florida, but the sophomore has played like a starter all season long. Coleman leads the team and is tied for 22nd nationally in tackles for loss with 12.5, and also leads the Tigers in sacks (six). His 12.5 tackles for loss are already more than anyone on the squad had last season. Coleman also returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Kansas State.
In his first 41 career games, senior Patrick Lee had just one interception, grabbing a pick last season against Arkansas State. But Lee has been on an interception binge lately, picking off four passes in the last six games. He had his first interception of the season Sept. 29 at Florida, then picked off passes against Vanderbilt, LSU and Ole Miss. Lee, whose four interceptions are the most in a season by a Tiger since Junior Rosegreen had six in 2004, also had a career-high eight tackles Oct. 27 against Ole Miss.
Patrick Lee is just one of several Auburn defensive backs who has played well this season. Auburn has picked off at least one pass in seven consecutive games, grabbing ten interceptions during that span. Walter McFadden's 93-yard interception return for a score against Tennessee Tech last Saturday was the third-longest interception return in school history.
LESTER'S MIDAS TOUCH CONTINUES
Brad Lester's ability to reach the end zone has continued this season, with three scores in his first four games. For his career, Lester has now scored 20 career touchdowns (17 rushing, two receiving, one kickoff return) on only 270 touches. His rate of one touchdown for every 13.5 touches easily tops Auburn's top TD scorers such as Bo Jackson (one TD every 15.3 touches), Stephen Davis (15.4), Carnell Williams (18.3), Ronnie Brown (19.3) and Joe Cribbs (21.6).
RUSHING GAME IMPROVING
The return of junior running back Brad Lester benefitted an already improving running game for Auburn. The Tigers averaged just 93.5 yards rushing in their first two games, but have averaged 176.9 in their last eight, with 17 touchdowns and four games over 200 yards rushing. Four different players (Ben Tate, Mario Fannin, Brad Lester, Kodi Burns) have rushed for at least 87 yards in a game during the last eight games.
GROVES EQUALS SACKS RECORD
Quentin Groves tied the Auburn record for career sacks with a second-quarter sack Oct. 20 at LSU. Groves now has 26 career sacks, tying the record set by Gerald Robinson (1982-85). He had two sacks in the opener vs. Kansas State, and the second came with just over a minute left and Auburn clinging to a 16-13 lead, resulting in a fumble that was returned 34 yards for a touchdown by Antonio Coleman, to seal the victory.
GROVES No. 2 IN NCAA IN CAREER SACKS
Senior Quentin Groves ranks second among among active NCAA players in career sacks with 26, despite missing two games this season with an injury. UCLA's Bruce Davis leads the country with 26.5, followed by Groves, USC's Lawrence Jackson (25.5) and Fresno State's Tyler Clutts (23).
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 255 points scored, 171 (67 percent) have been scored by freshmen and sophomores. True freshman Wes Byrum leads the team with 68 points, while redshirt freshman Mario Fannin and sophomore Ben Tate are tied for second with 30 points. True freshman Kodi Burns and sophomore Gabe McKenzie have two touchdowns each, while sophomores Montez Billings, Antonio Coleman and Walter McFadden have reached the end zone once each, and sophomore Zack Kutch has an extra point.
Auburn has had 29 freshmen (15 true, 14 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 been regulars in the defensive starting lineup, 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 a redshirt freshman (Ryan Shoemaker) and a true freshman (Patrick Tatum) sharing punting duties.
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 is tied for eighth on the team with 33 tackles.
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 10 games.
True freshman Wes Byrum has made 13 field goals in 17 attempts, including game winners from 43 yards on the final play at No. 4 Florida Sept. 29 and 20 yards with 21 seconds at Arkansas Oct. 13. He had a season-long 49-yard field goal against South Florida and has had seven touchbacks on kickoffs.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Shoemaker leads the SEC and ranks 10th nationally in punting, averaging 44.6 yards per punt, while true freshman Patrick Tatum has averaged 43.4 yards per punt with nine of his 16 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.
SECOND QUARTER SUPERB
The second quarter has been Auburn's best quarter this season, as the Tigers have outscored their opponents 79-19 during the period. Auburn has outgained its opponents 902-643 in the second quarter and has scored during the second quarter in eight of 10 games, while shutting out its opponents during the quarter seven times.
TIGERS BOWL ELIGIBLE
After earning its sixth victory of the season Oct. 27 against Ole Miss, Auburn became eligible to go to a bowl game for the eighth straight season. The streak is the second-longest in Auburn history, trailing only the nine straight bowl appearances from 1982-90. Auburn also went to seven straight bowls from 1968-74. Auburn has appeared in 33 bowl games entering the 2007 season, which is 16th-most in the NCAA, and owns a 18-13-2 record in those games.
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 260-64-7 (.796) at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a 46-10 (.821) 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.
TUBERVILLE HITS THE CENTURY MARK
Tommy Tuberville recorded his 100th career victory as a head coach during Auburn's 35-7 win over Vanderbilt on Oct. 6. Tuberville currently owns a career record of 103-52 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).
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 78-32 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.
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.
Auburn defense was impressive in its first two road games, holding two of the SEC's top offenses far below their season averages. Sept. 29 in Gainesville, Auburn held Florida to 17 points, 312 yards of offense and 14 first downs, which was 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.
At Arkansas on Oct. 13, Auburn held the Razorbacks to just seven points, 193 yards including 67 rushing, and 11 first downs, which was over 35 points below their scoring average of 42.6 points per game, 314 yards below their average of 507.6 (271 yards below their rushing average of 338.4) and 12 first downs below their average of 23.4. Auburn held the nation's top rushing duo of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones to a combined 85 yards, which was 197 yards below their combined averages.
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.
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 the Florida win, Auburn was 2-21 all-time when unranked and playing an AP Top 5 team.
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.
FILLING IN ADMIRABLY
Junior linebacker Chris Evans, who leads Auburn with 57 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 SIGNAL CALLER = SUCCESS
With senior Brandon Cox back for his third season as Auburn's starting quarterback, history is on his side. The previous 10 seasons that Auburn had a senior returning as the starter at quarterback, the Tigers won at least eight games every year, averaging 9.7 wins per season during those campaigns. Auburn's combined record during those 10 seasons was 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 previous 10 seasons that Auburn 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
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 turned 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. Cox is the fourth-oldest starting quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision, being younger than only Ben Olsen of UCLA (2/23/83 DOB), Colt Brennan of Hawaii (8/16/83) and Adam Tafralis of San Jose State (8/30/83).
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 an Oct. 6 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.
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 at least 40 games during their careers. Cole Bennett and Eric Brock lead the group with 49 career games played, followed by Quentin Groves (48), while King Dunlap, Josh Thompson and Patrick Lee have seen action in 46 games. Zach Gilbert is next with 45 games played, followed by Carl Stewart (44), Brandon Cox (41) and Leon Hart (40).
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 10 games this season. Senior Josh Thompson, junior Rodgeriqus Smith and sophomore Sen'Derrick Marks all have started the last 23 games.
NO SHUTOUTS ALLOWED
Auburn has scored in 60 consecutive games, which is the second-longest streak in school history. The Tigers have not been shut out since a 23-0 loss to USC to open the 2003 season. It will be a while before Auburn could challenge the school record. The Tigers scored in 149 straight games from Oct. 4, 1980 through Nov. 14, 1992.
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 26-13 in games decided by seven points or less and has won 14 of its last 19, including all five games last season.
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.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 65-6 when scoring 20 or more points in a game, including a 63-5 mark in the regular season. Dating back to 1995, Auburn is 86-13 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.
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.
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.
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 ... 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).