Auburn 34, ULM 0 Game Notes, Part I

News and notes from Auburn's season-opening 34-0 football victory over ULM is featured.

Auburn, Ala.--Robert Dunn entered the opening game of the 2008 football season in Coach Tommy Tuberville's "doghouse," but that didn't keep the senior from putting himself in the Auburn record book on Saturday night.

Dunn was demoted from his first string status at wide receiver, but kept his assignment as the number one punt returner. That proved to be a good thing for the Tigers as Dunn dashed and cut his way through the ULM coverage for 66 yards up the middle for a touchdown late in the first quarter to put Auburn ahead of ULM 14-0.

Dunn's score ended a streak of 144 games by the Tigers without a touchdown on a punt return not counting blocked punts like the one Tre Smith scored on in a 27-17 victory vs. Florida in 2006.

Auburn's streak without a punt return score was the longest in the nation among Division I teams. The last time the Tigers took one the distance was in 1996 when Robert Baker did it vs. South Carolina.

Dunn's play is the 10th longest punt return for a score in Auburn history.

In other news and notes from the opener:

*The last time the Tigers scored on offense, defense and on special teams in the same game was in 2003 vs. ULM.

*Despite not being sold out on Friday, the game proved to be a tough ticket with fans circling the stadium with their hands in the air looking for one, two, three, four or even more tickets prior to kickoff. At start time there were still hundreds of people outside the gates looking for ticket. The last of the unsold seats were gone at the east and west stadium ticket booths more than an hour before kickoff as a capacity crowd of 87,451 watched.

*Junior Gabe McKenzie, who made the move from tight end during preseason, made his defensive end debut on the third series of the game.

*Freshman cornerback Neiko Thorpe made his college debut on the third defensive series.

*Freshman Eric Smith played on the kickoff team and made his first appearance at running back on the third series.

*Redshirt freshman wide receiver Quindarius Carr made his first college catch in the opening quarter.

*Sixth-year senior noseguard Tez Doolittle made his season debut on the second series in his comeback from an Achilles tendon injury suffered last preseason.

*Walk-on quarterback Brent Poole, a true freshman from Charles Henderson High in Troy, dressed for the game.

*Cornerback Ryan Williams, who is in Tommy Tuberville's "doghouse," did not dress for the contest.

*Freshman receiver Philip Pierre-Louis was the first player to touch the ball for the Tigers as he returned the opening kickoff. However, that was his last play of the night after suffering an injury on the play.

*In the pre-game starting lineup announcements, both Kodi Burns and Chris Todd were announced as the starters at quarterback.

*Ben Tate's 49-yard run in the second quarter was the longest of his college career.

*Mike Blanc, John Douglas, Michael Goggans, Byron Isom, Mike McNeil and James Swinton all made their first career start as college players.


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