No. 4 Tigers Hit the Road to Face No. 1 Florida
Jan. 15, 2009
The No. 4 Auburn gymnastics team (1-1, 0-1 SEC) will hit the road to take on No. 1 Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC) Friday night at 6 p.m. CT in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Fla. Live stats will be available on www.GatorZone.com and live video will also be available on GatorVision.tv.
"We need to go in there and hit; we need to hit on bars to get us off to a good start," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "Florida has a great team. They have a lot of gymnasts returning and a lot of depth. If we can do our job on bars and vault like we have been, I think it will be close going into the third rotation."
The last time that Auburn topped the Gators was on Feb. 13, 2004, in Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum, winning 197.000-196.900, but Auburn has not won in Gainesville since Jan. 22, 1993. Robert Dillard coached the Tigers to a 191.300-191.250 victory.
Florida, then ranked No. 3, opened its 2009 campaign with a 196.50-195.075 win over then-ranked No. 10 Oklahoma on Jan. 9, in Gainesville. The Gators' 196.50 is the fourth-highest opening total in school history.
"They are really good and are really tough to beat at home," Thompson said. "It will be a good chance for us to get another great score on the road. If we can go two great road scores out of the first three weeks, we're set to hold on. It will be fun."
The Tigers are coming off of a narrow home loss, 195.675-195.650, at the hands of then-No. 6 Alabama on Jan. 9. Despite the loss, Auburn jumped from preseason No. 15 to No. 4 in GymInfo's first set of rankings on Jan. 11. Thompson's squad is averaging a 196.012 through two meets and holds a top-10 ranking on all four events.
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