Nov. 23, 2008
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
AUBURN (5-6, 2-5 SEC) vs. #1/1/1ALABAMA (11-0, 7-0 SEC)
NOVEMBER 29, 2008 2:30 PM CT TV: CBS
BRYANT-DENNY STADIUM (92,138) TUSCALOOSA, AL
Tommy Tuberville (Southern Arkansas, 1976)
Auburn Record 85-39 (10th year)
vs. Alabama 7-2
Overall Record 110-58 (14th year)
vs. Alabama 7-6
Nick Saban (Kent State, 1973)
Alabama Record 18-6 (2nd year)
vs. Auburn 0-1
Overall Record 109-48-1 (13th year)
vs. Auburn 2-4
Alabama leads, 38-33-1
at Auburn AU leads, 7-2
at Tuscaloosa AU leads, 6-0
Neutral sites UA leads, 30-19-1 (6-1)*
at Birmingham UA leads, 28-17-1 (6-1)*
at Montgomery, AL Tied, 2-2
Last Meeting AU 17, UA 10
Nov. 24, 2007 in Auburn, AL
*Birmingham games counted as neutral site until 1988 when ticket allocation changed.
Auburn Not ranked
Alabama 1 AP/1 USA Today/1 Harris
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 XM Radio TBA
LOCALLY WKKR-FM (97.7)
Sports USA Radio Network (Live)
Play-by-play Tom Dillon
Analyst Gary Barnett
Sidelines Pat Sperduto
Live video ESPN360.com
Live audio & stats www.auburntigers.com
Auburn and Alabama meet for the 73rd time in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 29, with much at stake for both teams. Auburn is looking for a seventh-straight victory over the Crimson Tide, which would make the Tigers bowl eligible for a ninth straight season. Alabama is looking to keep its undefeated season and No. 1 ranking intact while snapping the losing skid to Auburn.
* Auburn's current six-game winning streak over Alabama is the longest in school history and the second-longest by either team in the series.
* Seventeen of the last 20 meetings in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, including the last six in a row.
* Auburn has never lost in Tuscaloosa, owning a 6-0 record.
* Auburn has not allowed a first-quarter touchdown to Alabama since 1996.
* Tommy Tuberville's record of 7-2 in the Iron Bowl gives him the best winning percentage (.778) of any coach for either school that has coached in at least three Iron Bowl games.
* Auburn has 60 players on its roster from the state of Alabama, including 13 starters.
* Auburn has a 14-5 record in SEC road games since the start of the 2004 season.
* Auburn's offense has averaged 385.7 yards per game in its last three contests.
* Auburn's has not allowed an offensive touchdown in the first quarter all season, outscoring its opponents 63-13 in the quarter.
* Auburn ranks second in the nation is rushing touchdowns allowed, surrendering just four rushing touchdowns all season.
* Auburn ranks third in the nation in opponents' third-down conversion percentage, surrendering just 43 first downs in 156 attempts (27.6 percent).
* Auburn ranks 10th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 16.4 points per game.
* Auburn ranks 26th nationally in pass defense (178.9) and sixth in red zone defense (.690).
* Auburn ranks fourth nationally in kickoff returns (26.1) and 14th in the nation in punt returns (13.4).
* Auburn is tied for fourth in the nation with three kicks (punts or kickoffs) returned for touchdowns this season. Only 10 schools have at least three kicks returned for scores.
* Tristan Davis, who has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, is ninth nationally in kickoff returns (29.1) and Auburn's career record holder in kickoff return average (27.0).
* Junior Ben Tate needs just 53 yards rushing to become the 13th player in Auburn history with 2,000 career rushing yards.
AUBURN-ALABAMA SERIES NOTES
This will be the second time the teams have met on Thanksgiving weekend since 1992 ... Auburn has won a school record six straight games in the series, which is the second-longest winning streak in the series for either team ... The Tide won nine straight from 1973-81 ... Since 1980, with the exception of 1982, 1998, and 2003, at least one of the two teams has been ranked in the AP poll for every game ... The team leading at halftime has won 73.6 percent of the time (53-of-72) ... There have been 22 shutouts in the rivalry, with the Tigers winning eight ... The most recent shutout was a 9-0 Auburn victory in 2000 ... Seventeen of the last 20 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less ... The visiting team has won five of the last nine games after the home team had won the previous seven ... The game has been tied at the half on seven occasions, with Alabama winning six of those ... Since 1996 (last 12 meetings), the team trailing at the half has won five times--Alabama in `96, `98 and `99, Auburn in `97 and `04 ... The winner of the last nine meetings has outrushed the losing squad ... Auburn has held Alabama to 112 or fewer yards rushing in eight of the last 10 meetings ... In the last nine games, Alabama has thrown eight interceptions and just six touchdown passes.
ALABAMA QUICK HITTERS
Alabama is 11-0 for the first time since 1994 ... Alabama has outscored its opponents in the first quarter, 120-20, and 224-47 margin in the first half ... The Crimson Tide rank third in the nation in total defense (255.6) and rushing defense (75.1) and are sixth in scoring defense (12.5) ... Offensively, Alabama is second in the SEC and 23rd nationally in rushing offense (198.6) but 100th in the nation in passing offense (168.6) ... Junior Glen Coffee is third in the SEC in rushing with 1,091 yards this season (99.2 ypg) ... Rolando McClain leads the defense in tackles (77) and tackles for loss (10.0) ... Junior Leigh Tiffin has made 16 field goals this season and 46 in his career ... Junior Javier Arenas has set school records this season for career punt return yardage (1,146) and single-game punt return yards (153).
Auburn has 60 players on its roster from the state of Alabama, which easily surpasses Georgia (25) as the state that has produced the most members of this year's team. Included in the list of 60 players are 75 players listed on the current depth chart, including 13 starters (Montez Billings, Jason Bosley, Antonio Coleman, Tez Doolittle, Zac Etheridge, Chris Evans, Michael Goggans, Merrill Johnson, Sen'Derrick Marks, Mike McNeil, Jerraud Powers, Ryan Pugh and Tommy Trott).
AU-UA: THE 41-YEAR BREAK
Auburn and Alabama did not play for 41 years, from 1908 through 1947. There are two common misconceptions about the reason for the 41-year lapse. The first is that a fight broke out after a 6-6 tie in 1907 and caused both schools to discontinue the series. The second is that the state legislature got the two schools back together. Neither is true.
Auburn and Alabama quit playing because of money and officiating. Auburn wanted a northern umpire for the 1908 game, Alabama wanted a southern umpire. Auburn wanted to bring 22 players and allow $3.50 per day for expenses. Alabama wanted to bring 20 players and allow $3 per day for expenses. The two schools could never reach an agreement on these items and they became the bone of contention for years. After a period of time, scheduling became a problem.
The two schools quit playing in all sports. They renewed their athletic rivalry - the rivalry off the field never quit - in 1948 after actually "burying the hatchet" in Birmingham's Woodrow Wilson Park.
In the winter and spring of 1948, Auburn president Dr. Ralph B. Draughon and Alabama president Dr. John Gallalee decided the disagreement had gone on long enough and agreed the series should be renewed after doggedly fighting what they considered interference into their internal affairs by the state legislature. Several cities, including Montgomery and Mobile, were considered for the game site. Birmingham was chosen because it had the largest stadium in the state, 44,000-seat Legion Field.
Alabama won that renewal game, 55-0, in 1948. The Tide was a prohibitive favorite the next year, too, but Auburn pulled off one of its biggest upsets ever, 14-13, and one of the nation's great football rivalries was reborn.
PUNT BAMA PUNT
One of the most incredible Auburn-Alabama games was played on Dec. 2, 1972. A few days before the game, Alabama head coach Bear Bryant incited the rivalry when he told reporters that he would rather, "beat that cow college once than beat Texas 10 times." That set the stage as second-ranked Alabama brought a 10-0 record into Legion Field to meet the ninth-ranked Tigers, who were 8-1.
For the entire game, Bama's defense held the Auburn offense in check. With 5:30 remaining in the game, 16-point favorite Alabama held a seemingly insurmountable 16-3 lead. The Tigers, perhaps fueled by Bryant's remarks, came roaring back for one of the best finishes in Auburn-Alabama history. Auburn's Bill Newton blocked two Alabama punts and David Langer ran both in for touchdowns as Auburn came back to win 17-16. Newton and Langer will forever be remembered by Auburn fans for their play in the now famous "Punt Bama Punt" game.
BO OVER THE TOP
One of the more memorable games from the 1980s was the 1982 affair which is remembered for "Bo over the top." Auburn had a nine-year losing streak against Alabama entering the game, but Bo Jackson's 1-yard leap over the Alabama goal line on fourth down with 2:26 left capped a 66-yard drive and gave Auburn a 23-22 victory, setting the stage for what Auburn people consider the Tigers' "coming out" party in the 1980s.
THE 1980'S: thE NEW CHAPTER
Though Alabama dominated the series through the 60s and 70s, the rivalry reached new heights in the 80s as the average margin of victory was a mere 6.4 points. Some classic battles were waged in the decade.
Two games that epitomize the series came in 1985 and 1986. Auburn won the 1986 meeting on a Lawyer Tillman reverse into the endzone with 32 seconds remaining to down Bama 21-17. Alabama won the 1985 game, 25-23, on a 52-yard Van Tiffin field goal as the clock expired.
A historic new page was added to the rivalry in 1989 when Alabama came to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium for the first time. The game was held on Dec. 2, 1989, exactly 17 years after Auburn's 1972 miracle win over the Tide. Just like the 1972 meeting, Bama came into the game with a 10-0 record and a No. 2 ranking. Before a Jordan-Hare Stadium then-record crowd of 85,319, Auburn ended Alabama's national title hopes with a monumental 30-20 victory.
SETTING A SACKS RECORD
In Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2005, Auburn set a new school record by sacking Alabama quarterbacks 11 times. Auburn record five sacks during the first quarter alone while holding Alabama to minus-17 yards of offense in the period. Seven different players had at least half a sack for Auburn, led by 3.5 sacks from Stanley McClover.
TUBS IN THE IRON BOWL
Auburn's Tommy Tuberville has a 7-2 record as a head coach in the Iron Bowl. Tuberville's winning percentage of .778 in the Iron Bowl is the best by any coach for either school that has coached at least three Iron Bowl games. Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant holds the record for most Iron Bowl victories with 19, but his winning percentage of .760 (19-6) falls just below Tuberville's winning percentage.
TUBS Vs. RANKED TEAMS
Auburn is 20-21 against nationally-ranked teams during the Tommy Tuberville era, including a 12-7 record since the 2004 season. The Tigers have beaten at least one nationally-ranked team during each of Tuberville's previous nine seasons on the Plains.
TIGERS VS. NO. 1-RANKED TEAMS
Saturday's game will mark the 10th time Auburn has played the nation's No. 1-ranked team. The Tigers have a 3-6 record in their previous nine opportunities. The last time Auburn played a team ranked No. 1 was on Oct. 13, 2001, when the Tigers toppled Florida, 23-20, at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn's other two victories over No. 1-ranked teams were a 36-33 win at Florida in 1994, and a 27-13 victory over Georgia in Columbus in 1942.
The Tigers have played a No. 1-ranked Alabama team three times previously, dropping all three. The top-ranked Tide won 25-18 in 1979, 35-0 in 1973 and 34-0 in 1961, with all three games taking place in Birmingham.
SUCCESS IN TUSCALOOSA
Auburn enters the game against Alabama with a perfect record against the Tide in games played in Tuscaloosa. The Tigers are 6-0 in Tuscaloosa, including a 4-0 mark since Alabama resumed playing its home games in the series in Bryant-Denny Stadium rather than in Legion Field in Birmingham in 2000. Auburn's first two victories in Tuscaloosa came in 1895 (48-0) and 1901 (17-0) before returning to Tuscaloosa in 2000 and earning a 9-0 victory. The Tigers also earned victories in 2002 (17-7), 2004 (21-13) and 2006 (22-15). Auburn has allowed a total of just 35 points in the six games it has played against Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
TIGERS DOMINATE FIRST QUARTER VS. TIDE
Auburn has dominated the first quarter against Alabama in recent seasons, outscoring the Crimson Tide 83-14 in the last 11 opening periods dating back to the 1997 game. Alabama has not scored a first-quarter touchdown against Auburn since 1996, collecting just four field goals and a safety in the last 11 meetings. Auburn has shut out Alabama in the opening period in seven of the last 11 games, while the Tigers have scored 10 or more points in the first quarter in five of those 11 contests. During Auburn's current six-game winning streak, the combined score during the opening quarter is 63-8.
PENTAGON TO BROADCAST IRON BOWL TO U.S. TROOPS
U.S. troops deployed around the world will be able to watch this year's matchup between Auburn and Alabama live on the Armed Forces Network.Responding to requests from Alabama military personnel stationed overseas, including members of Alabama Air National Guard's 117th Air Refueling Wing deployed in Kyrgyzstan, the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) contacted the Pentagon to request a live broadcast of this year's game. An official from the Office of the Secretary of Defense confirmed that the network plans to show the Iron Bowl live.
TIGERS TOUGH ON TOP TEN
Auburn has won nine of its last 13 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press top 10, and has 15 wins in 23 attempts over Top 10 teams since 2001 while beating at least one top 10 team every year for the previous seven years, which is the longest streak in school history.
Last year, Auburn won at No. 4 Florida, 20-17, and in 2006, the Tigers beat No. 6 LSU (7-3) and No. 2 Florida (27-17). 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.
In 2003, the Tigers beat No. 7 Tennessee (28-21), then the new No. 7 team, Arkansas, the following week (10-3). In 2002, Auburn beat No. 10 LSU (31-7), No. 9 Alabama (17-7) and No. 10 Penn State in the Capital One Bowl. The streak started in 2001 with a 23-20 victory over No. 1 Florida.
MANY HAPPY RETURNS
Auburn's return specialists have excelled this season, as the Tigers rank fourth nationally in kickoff returns (26.1) and 14th in punt returns (13.4). Individually, Tristan Davis leads the SEC and is ninth nationally in kickoff returns (29.1) and Robert Dunn is first in the SEC and fourth nationally in punt returns (17.0). Both have returned kicks for touchdowns, with Davis collecting two.
The Tigers have not allowed their opponents as much success returning kicks, as Auburn is second in the SEC in net punting (37.6) and fourth in the SEC in kickoff coverage (44.5).
TIGER RETURN TDs
Auburn is tied for second nationally with kickoffs returned for touchdowns this season, and is tied for fourth with three punts/kickoffs returned for scores. National leaders in each category are:
Team PR+KOR=KR TD
Kansas State 5+1=6
Fresno State 3+1=4
Florida Int'l 2+1=3
Oklahoma State 2+1=3
Penn State 1+2=3
Team KO Return TDs
Penn State 2
NC State 2
DAVIS SETTING RECORDS
Tristan Davis has set several kickoff return records for Auburn this season. His season average of 29.1 is on pace to set the Auburn single-season record, and his career average now stands at 27.0, which is also tops in school history. He set an Auburn single-game record with 182 kickoff return yards Oct. 11 vs. Arkansas, and is the first known Tiger to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same season. Davis brought back his first return against Arkansas 97 yards for a touchdown, which was the sixth-longest kickoff return in school history, then returned the opening kick 95 yards for a score against UT Martin. Davis' 1351 career kickoff return yards is third best in school history.
In the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Robert Dunn snapped an Auburn streak of 144 consecutive games and 374 punt returns without a touchdown, which was the longest streak in the nation, by returning a kick 66 yards for a score.
Dunn, who was only 10 years old the last time Auburn had a punt return for a touchdown, appeared to accomplish the feat again Sept. 6 against Southern Miss, but what would have been a 65-yard return for a score was reduced to 47 yards due to a block in the back at the 18-yard line that occurred 5 yards behind Dunn, who was about to cruise into the end zone.
Dunn, who has had six of his 13 returns this season go for at least 17 yards, finished the Southern Miss game with 103 punt return yards, becoming the first Tiger to have more than 100 punt return yards in a game since Joe Walkins against Ball State on Sept. 1, 2001.
OFFENSE GETTING UNTRACKED
Auburn's offense has averaged 385.7 yards of offense in its last three games, which is nearly 100 yards more than the 288.5 yards per contest that the Tigers averaged entering the Ole Miss contest. Since halftime of the Ole Miss game, the Tigers have gained 1,077 yards in the last 10 quarters, averaging 107.7 yards per quarter.
Auburn has also seen a drastic improvement in the number of big plays produced, totaling 15 plays of at least 20 yards in the last three games, after collecting just five in the previous four games combined.
SCORING FROM ALL AVENUES
In addition to the run and the pass, Auburn has scored touchdowns this season on two kickoff returns, a punt return, an interception return and two fumble returns. This is the first season since records began in 1970 that Auburn has scored on a punt return and on a kickoff return in the same season. In the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Auburn scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams for the first time in a game since a 73-7 victory in 2003 over ULM.
FANTASTIC FIRST QUARTERS
Auburn's defense has not allowed a touchdown in the first quarter this season, as the Tigers have outscored their opponents 63-13 in the first quarter this season, with the only opposing touchdown coming on a special teams miscue. Auburn's fast starts have helped the team hold the lead at the half in nine of their 11 games played this season.
Auburn played nearly the first seven quarters of its season without allowing a point, surrendering its first score of the season with just 2:33 left in the third quarter against Southern Miss after going 102:27 without being scored upon.
TOUGH TO SCORE AGAINST
Auburn has allowed just 180 points through its first 11 games, ranking the Tigers 10th in the nation in scoring defense at 16.4 points per game. Seven of Auburn's 11 opponents have been held to 17 points or fewer, and only one opponent has scored more than 26 points against the Tigers this season. If the Tigers continue their pace, it will mark the sixth consecutive season that Auburn will finish in the top 10 in the nation in scoring defense.
Under first-year defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, Auburn's defense has been stellar in several areas beyond scoring defense. The Tigers are ranked in the top 30 nationally in several defensive categories, including third-down conversion defense (27.6, 3rd), red zone defense (.690, 6th), total defense (309.2, 24th), pass defense (178.9, 26th), first downs allowed (16.6, T28th) and pass efficiency defense (110.61, 30th).
THIRD DOWN DOMINATION
Auburn's defense has been terrific on third downs this season, as the Tigers rank third in the nation in opponent third-down conversions. Auburn opponents have converted just 43-of-156 third downs for 27.6 percent. Six of Auburn's 11 opponents have been held to less than 30 percent on their third-down conversion attempts, including Mississippi State which was 0-of-14 on Sept. 13.
Auburn went more than eight quarters earlier this year without allowing a third-down conversion. From a first-quarter Southern Miss conversion until LSU converted in the second quarter Sept. 20, the Tigers had played 28 straight third downs without allowing a first down.
Forcing third and long has been the key, as 85 of the 156 attempts (54.5 percent) have come with seven or more yards needed for a first down.
SECONDARY TO NONE
Auburn's secondary has been solid despite a lack of depth this season, as the Tigers rank 26th nationally defensively in pass defense (178.9) and 30th in pass efficiency defense (110.61). The Tigers are allowing only 5.61 yards per pass attempt, which is the 11th-best mark in the nation.
Auburn has held five opponents to 157 or fewer yards passing, including two that failed to reach 100. Tennessee threw for just 67 yards Sept. 27, and Mississippi State had 78 yards through the air Sept. 13.
Auburn opponents should be ready for more of the same in the future, as there are no seniors in the group of starters or top reserves.
NOT GIVING UP GROUND
Auburn's defense has allowed just four rushing touchdown this season, which is the second-best mark in the nation this season. Only Alabama, with three rushing touchdowns allowed, has surrendered fewer rushing touchdowns than Auburn this season. In fact 108 of the 119 FCS school have allowed at least twice as many rushing touchdowns as Auburn.
COLEMAN LIGHTING UP QBs
Junior defensive end Antonio Coleman has collected six sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss this season, with those marks ranking fourth and sixth in the SEC, respectively. Coleman, who also has a team-high 13 quarterback hurries this year, now has 14.5 sacks during his career, and needs just one more to crack Auburn's career top 10. He has 30 tackles for loss during his career.
Junior All-American candidate Sen'Derrick Marks has been a terror on the defensive line for the Auburn defense. Marks has nine tackles for loss, which ranks him ninth in the SEC this season. Marks, who had a 35-game starting streak snapped Nov. 8 vs. UT Martin, now has 29 tackles for loss during his career.
Auburn's sophomore safeties have been at or near the top of the leaderboard for tackles all season. Free safety Zac Etheridge currently has the lead with 64 tackles (34 solo, 30 assists), just four ahead of strong safety Mike McNeil with 60 (38 solo, 22 assists). They have also combined for five pass deflections, 4.5 tackles for loss, an interception, a fumble recovery and a sack this season.
Auburn is 214-165-21 (.561) all-time in the month of November, including a 20-9 mark under Tommy Tuberville. The Tigers are 11-4 in their last 15 games in November.
INJURIES NOT HELPING
Injuries have played a major role in Auburn's season, as Auburn has had 16 players who have appeared on the two deep miss a combined 62 games due to injury this season, including four starters lost for the remainder of the season due to injury - linebacker Tray Blackmon, offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey, tight end Tommy Trott and defensive back Aairon Savage. Other players lost for the year include defensive back T'Sharvan Bell, defensive end Raven Gray, defensive back Marcus Jemison, wide receiver Philip Pierre-Louis and defensive end Jomarcus Savage.
Senior Rodgeriqus Smith became the seventh player in Auburn history to accumulate 100 career receptions during Auburn's game against Vanderbilt Oct. 4. Smith, who leads the team with 28 catches for 293 yards and a score this season, now has 112 career catches, which ranks sixth in school history. Smith also has 1,559 career receiving yards, which ranks ninth best in Auburn history.
SLAUGHTERING HIS CAREER MARKS
Sophomore wide receiver Chris Slaughter had a career game against Ole Miss Nov. 1. Slaughter hauled in eight passes for 131 yards to lead all Tiger receivers and post the first 100-yard receiving game by an Auburn player this season. Slaughter matched the number of catches he had accumulated in his first 17 games combined as a Tiger, and more than tripled his career receiving yardage. He entered the game with eight career catches for 39 yards. He also had not previously had a reception of more than nine yards in his career, but had grabs of 42, 37 and 16 yards against Ole Miss. Seven of his catches for 126 yards came in the second half.
SPREADING IT AROUND
Auburn has had 19 different players catch passes this season, and 18 of the 19 have had multiple receptions. The Tigers had 11 different players catch passes Sept. 6 vs. Southern Miss, marking the most players to catch a pass in a game for Auburn since 2005 against Ole Miss.
RUNNING BACK U.
Auburn is continuing its tradition of producing high-caliber running backs, with two backs on the squad that have over 1,600 career rushing yards. Junior Ben Tate leads the team with 652 yards rushing and ranks 14th in Auburn history with 1,947 career yards. Tate needs 53 yards to become the 13th player in Auburn history with 2,000 career rushing yards. Senior Brad Lester has 278 yards this season and has pushed his career total to 1,678, which ranks 19th. They were the first pair of Auburn running backs to enter a season with more than 1,000 yards rushing each since Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown in 2004.
Sophomore quarterback Kodi Burns rushed for 158 yards on just 13 carries during Auburn's 37-20 victory over UT Martin Nov. 8, becoming the first Auburn quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game since Phil Gargis had 129 yards against Florida State on Oct 23, 1976. Burns' 158 yards were just two shy of the Auburn record for a quarterback, held by Gargis with a 160-yard effort against Georgia in 1974, and were the most by any Auburn player since Kenny Irons rushed for 183 yards in the 2006 season opener against Washington State. It was also the most yards rushing by any SEC quarterback since Tim Tebow ran for 166 yards at Ole Miss on Sept. 22, 2007.
300 THROUGH THE AIR
Kodi Burns' spectacular rushing performance against UT Martin came one week after he established career marks throwing the ball against Ole Miss. Burns threw for a career-high 319 yards, completing 27-of-43 passes, and became the first Auburn quarterback to post a 300-yard passing game since Brandon Cox threw for 342 yards in the 2005 season opener against Georgia Tech. The Tigers had played 45 straight games without having a 300-yard passing effort.
Burns' 319 yards tied for 20th most in a game by an Auburn quarterback, his 27 pass completions tied for the eighth most in a game in Auburn history, and his 43 pass attempts are tied for 12th most in Auburn history in a single game. He entered the game with 309 yards passing for the entire season.
DURST CONTINUING TO EXCEL
Redshirt freshman Clinton Durst, who burst onto the scene in the spring and was the Special Teams MVP of the A-Day game after averaging 48.3 yards on three punts, ranks fourth in the SEC and 29th nationally, averaging 42.0 yards per punt this year with 16 punts placed inside the 20-yard line. His kicks, which have included 20 fair catches, have helped Auburn ranks second in the SEC and 16th nationally in net punting at 37.6 yards per kick.
Durst took the job from sophomore Ryan Shoemaker, who was a first-team preseason All-SEC selection this season after averaging 42.4 yards per punt last year.
NO SHUTOUTS ALLOWED
Auburn has scored in 74 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.
Auburn shut out Louisiana-Monroe in the season opener, 34-0, for its first shutout since a 27-0 win against Arkansas State on Nov. 4, 2006. It marked the ninth shutout by Auburn during the Tommy Tuberville era, and was the first shutout in a season opener since a 31-0 victory over ULM in the 2004 opener.
Auburn's nine shutouts since the 2000 season are tied with LSU for the most in the SEC during that span. No other SEC school has more than four shutouts since 2000.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES
Auburn's one-point loss to Vanderbilt Oct. 4 snapped a string of five straight victories for Auburn in games decided by four points or less. It was the first one-point loss for Auburn since a 30-29 defeat at the hands of Tennessee in the 1997 SEC Championship game in Atlanta.
Under Tommy Tuberville, the Tigers are now 17-8 in games decided by four points or less, and have won eight of their last 12. Since the 2000 season, Auburn is 7-1 in games decided by just one or two points.
WHEN SCORING 20+ POINTS
Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 69-9 when scoring 20 or more points in a game, including a 66-8 mark in the regular season. Dating back to 1995, Auburn is 90-16 when scoring 20 or more points in a game.
30+ POINTS EQUALS VICTORY
Under Tommy Tuberville, Auburn is 46-0 when scoring 30 or more points in a game. Auburn has won 51 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points. This season alone, four different SEC schools have lost when scoring at least 30 points (Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and LSU).
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 120-2 when scoring 30 points.
TUBERVILLE IN TENTH SEASON
Tommy Tuberville is in his tenth season at Auburn in 2008 and his 14th 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 will each coach his 16th season in the league this year.
Tuberville has amassed a record of 85-39 in his 10 seasons at Auburn and an overall mark of 110-59. He has led the Tigers to eight straight bowl appearances.
Tuberville is fourth all-time at Auburn in wins, and is the fourth-longest tenured coach in school history.
14 AND COUNTING
In his 14th year as a head coach, Tommy Tuberville has five assistant coaches who have been with him all 14 years. That group includes: defensive tackles 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.
TUBERVILLE'S TOP 10
In recognition of Tommy Tuberville's 10th season at Auburn, Auburn fans had the opportunity to vote for the 10 biggest wins during the Tommy Tuberville era this summer on www.auburntigers.com. More than 4,500 votes were cast, and the results were as follows:
No. 10 Auburn 17, Alabama 10 11/24/07
No. 9 Auburn 34, Tennessee 10 10/2/04
No. 8 Auburn 7, LSU 3 9/16/06
No. 7 Auburn 28, Alabama 18 11/19/05
No. 6 Auburn 17, Alabama 7 11/23/02
No. 5 Auburn 31, Georgia 30 11/12/05
No. 4 Auburn 27, Florida 17 10/14/06
No. 3 Auburn 20, Florida 17 9/29/07
No. 2 Auburn 10, LSU 9 9/18/04
No. 1 Auburn 23, Florida 20 10/13/01
ANOTHER HALL OF FAME FOR TUBS
Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, who was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in February, was announced in October as part of the Southern Arkansas University Sports Hall of Fame class of 2008. Tuberville, a 1976 graduate of Southern Arkansas, played both football and golf for the Muleriders. He was honored at halftime of Southern Arkansas' Oct. 25 football game against Delta State along with six others.
THE SENIOR CLASS
Head Coach Tommy Tuberville has a senior class that includes 16 players at Auburn in 2008. The Tigers' group of 16 seniors is the fourth most during the Tuberville era. The largest group of seniors was 21 in 2006, while the 2004 group had 18 and last year's squad had 17. 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 2008 seniors include: C Jason Bosley, RB Tristan Davis, DT Tez Doolittle, WR Robert Dunn, LB Chris Evans, OL Tyronne Green, LB Courtney Harden, TE Bryan Harris, FB Ryan Hastie, LB Merrill Johnson, RB Brad Lester, WR Charles Olatunji, DS Robert Shiver, WR Rodgeriqus Smith, WR James Swinton and DB Jonathan Vickers.
Of Auburn's 16 seniors, eight have seen time in more than 35 games during their careers, including seven that have played in at least 40. Courtney Harden leads the group, having played in 45 of a possible 49 games over the past four seasons, and is followed closely by Merrill Johnson (44), Rodgeriqus Smith (44), Robert Dunn (42), Tyronne Green (41), Brad Lester (40), Chris Evans (40) and Robert Shiver (37). Green, Smith and Shiver are the only three members of the senior class to have played in all 37 games over the past three seasons.
SECOND SENIOR SEASON
The 2008 season marks the third straight year that Auburn has had a player on the squad repeating his senior season due to an injury. Tez Doolittle is back for his second stint as a senior after missing last year with an Achilles injury. In 2007, Cole Bennett repeated his senior season after breaking his ankle during the third game of the 2006 season. David Irons was granted a sixth year of eligibility prior to the 2006 season due to a season-ending knee injury he suffered in the 2004 preseason.
Junior Sen'Derrick Marks owned the longest staring streak on the squad until he sat out the UT Martin game, having started all 35 games over the past three seasons until that game. Rodgeriqus Smith had started 28 straight games until the Sept. 13 contest at Mississippi State.
Three members of the offensive line now share the longest starting streak, having started all 24 games dating back to the start of the 2007 season: seniors Jason Bosley and Tyronne Green and sophomore Lee Ziemba.
Auburn has had 23 players play in their first collegiate games at Auburn this season, including 12 true freshmen. The true freshmen that have seen action this season include: DB Harry Adams, WR Darvin Adams, DB Drew Cole, DB D'Antoine Hood, WR Philip Pierre-Louis, LB Spencer Pybus, DL Jomarcus Savage, RB Eric Smith, TE Vance Smith, DB Christian Thompson, DB Neiko Thorpe and WR Derek Winter. Others who have played in their first games at Auburn include: WR Quindarius Carr, OL Jared Cooper, H Clayton Crofoot, RB John Douglas, P Clinton Durst, OL A.J. Greene, RB Ryan Hastie, LB Adam Herring, WR Charles Olatunji, DB Mike Slade and QB Chris Todd.
Auburn began the season with eight graduates on the roster.
The Tiger graduates include: OL Jason Bosley (finance), RB Tristan Davis (criminology), DL Tez Doolittle (criminology), OL Tyronne Green (criminology), LB Courtney Harden (criminology), LB Merrill Johnson (criminology), WR Rodgeriqus Smith (business administration) and WR James Swinton (public administration).
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 2008 season.
1. Miami (Fla.) 13
2. Boston College 10
Virginia Tech 10
4. Maryland 9
5. Auburn 8
8. Arizona State 7
Ohio State 7
Penn State 7
AUBURN BY THE NUMBERS
The Tigers return 46 lettermen from last season, including 22 on offense, 20 on defense and four specialists. Auburn returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense.
Auburn's roster of 113 players includes 16 seniors, 18 juniors, 35 sophomores, 15 redshirt freshmen and 29 freshmen. The underclassmen (79) represent 69.9 percent of the Tigers' roster.
A number of walk-ons joined the program after the first day of classes on August 18.
Auburn has demonstrated a proficiency for placing players in the National Football League. Auburn had 27 players listed on opening day NFL rosters, which was tied for 12th most of any college in the nation. The Seattle Seahawks have the most former Tigers, with five former Auburn players on the roster, while the Washington Redskins have four.
WINNING IN WHITE
Auburn has won 17 of its last 21 games when wearing all white uniforms, including this season's road opener at Mississippi State and the Nov. 8 home game against UT Martin. The Tigers had a 15-game winning streak when wearing white jerseys starting with the 2004 season until Georgia broke the streak in white in Athens last November. The Tigers went 5-0 in all white uniforms in 2004, 3-0 in 2005, 4-0 in 2006 and 3-1 in 2007. The streak includes the 2004 SEC Championship game against Tennessee, a 2007 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Nebraska and last year's home victory over Vanderbilt when the team wore all white to honor the 1957 national championship team. Auburn also has road wins at Alabama (twice), Ole Miss (twice), Arkansas (twice), Mississippi State (twice), Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Kentucky during that span.
Now in its 69th 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 264-67-7 (.791) at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a 50-13 (.794) mark since 2000. AU went 7-0 at home in both 2000 and 2004, and posted a 6-1 mark in 2005.
UNDER THE LIGHTS AT JORDAN-HARE
Auburn has been tough to beat in night games at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a season-opening victory over Louisiana-Monroe this year. The Tigers have accumulated a record of 15-3 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.
OVER TWENTY MILLION SERVED
Auburn surpassed the 20 million mark in all-time total attendance at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the game against Louisiana-Monroe. The Tigers, now in their 69th season at Jordan-Hare Stadium, have drawn 20,594,615 fans. It took 51 seasons for Auburn to draw its first 10 million fans, but took just 18 more to draw the second 10 million. The Tigers surpassed 10 million fans during the fourth home game of the 1990 season - a 56-6 victory over Vanderbilt on Oct. 13.
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?
Linebacker Courtney Harden and defensive tackle Jermarcus Ricks are brothers ... Brad Lester was a high school teammates of the Atlanta Braves' Jeff Francoeur ... Walter McFadden's older brother Bryant plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers ... Clinton Durst was recommend to the Auburn staff by former Auburn and PGA golfer Buddy Gardner ... Neiko Thorpe's last name was Lipscomb until he had it legally changed to his father's last name this summer.