Irons Looking For A Big Finish To 2006

Auburn running back Kenny Irons talks about his frustrating senior year and his injury situation.

Auburn, Ala.--For Kenny Irons the 2005 season was a magical year. Despite not starting until the fourth game of the season the Dacula, Ga., native finished the year with the sixth-best single-season rushing total in Auburn history.

Coming into this year he was looking for bigger and better things, but injuries have limited his productivity. That has been especially true lately as Irons missed both the Buffalo and Tulane games because of ankle injuries. In games in which he could have easily added to his 581 yards this season, Irons says he's fine with sitting out if he can be rested up for the stretch run the Tigers face this year beginning with Saturday at Ole Miss.

"I know I'm going to play," Irons says. "Last week I figured I was going to play because Arnold (trainer Arnold Gamber) cleared me to go, but I guess Coach didn't need me. Ben Tate is a great guy and a great back and he went out and did a great job. What did they need me for? He was out there tearing up the field. I might as well sit there and eat some nacho cheese. Get some cheese dip from Moe's and some nachos and I'm good. Get me a triple lindy and I'm good to go."

This isn't the first time Irons has suffered as a senior. During his senior year of high school he broke a bone in his hand and played injured for much of the year. With it happening again this season, he says all he can do is just move forward and try to get ready, which has been the case the last two weeks. With Saturday off Irons has looked much better and he says he's at 90-95 percent of full speed for this week's SEC road game vs. the Rebels.

Irons is anxious to get back on the field and play the game he loves.

Irons hurt his left ankle early in the year and that was followed up with a turf toe injury that hobbled him for weeks. He also had a groin problem and now an injury to his right ankle has him anxious to get back on the field once again full speed.

"My left ankle got better," Irons says. "It was hurting, but it go better for the Florida game. I was feeling good, ripping it and feeling good, but against Florida a guy came in with his helmet and hits me right on my ankle and I'm out again. It just upsets me because you know you're going to have a great game and I was looking like I could have ran all over Florida's defense. Then you get injured and it kind of hurts me inside."

With four games left in the regular season Irons is still in easy reach of another outstanding season despite the struggles he's gone through. He can begin his strong finish this week against Ole Miss and that would be big for an Auburn offense that is at its best when Irons is in top form. He says that he is looking to finish strong because that will determine his and his team's season.

"It's very important," Irons says. "It's the last four games of the season and we've got three SEC games left. I just want to go out there and physically be back. I check the leader board and I'm ranked number four now (total rushing yards). I have to get back to the top. That's very important."


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