Burns Takes Center Stage for Rivalry Game

An Auburn football report features comments from sophomore quarterback Kodi Burns.

Auburn, Ala.--After watching the 2006 Auburn-Georgia game as a recruit and viewing the game from the sideline in 2007, Kodi Burns will be the center of attention for the Auburn offense when the SEC's oldest rivalry is resumed on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"It was an exciting game even though Auburn didn't do as good," Burns recalls of the 2006 game the Bulldogs won at Jordan-Hare Stadium. "I just found out that was one of the oldest rivalries in the South. It means a lot to these fans and lot of tradition goes with it. This will be a fun game to play in as a starter for the first time."

The sophomore from Fort Smith, Ark., will be making his fifth collegiate start this week as the Tigers and Bulldogs square off on the gridiron for the 112th time. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m. CST for a game that will be televised regionally by Raycom Sports.

Burns is coming off his best rushing performance. He gained 158 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 31 and 58 yards in Auburn's 37-20 victory over Tennessee-Martin.

"It was just great blocking," Burns says. "The linemen really read their blocks and read their gaps and the running backs and receivers blocked downfield. I think it was the last play I scored on Chris Slaughter was downfield 25 yards blocking for me and then Mario Fannin turns around about 10 yards away from the end zone to knock the guy out so I could go down and score.

"I think the biggest difference was the blocking," Burns adds. "Guys got hats on hats."

After attacking Ole Miss the previous week with the deep passing game in the second half, the Tigers concentrated on running the ball and throwing short passes last Saturday.

"We really didn't throw the ball downfield too much," Burns says. "Just for whatever reason, we just kind of stuck to the quick game in the passing game, dinking here and there. It worked at times.

"We had a couple of chances on some shots actually and I got sacked a couple times. They were bringing corner blitzes and a few blitzes that we hadn't seen before on film, but they kind of got to us a little bit. As the second half came around, we started moving the ball a lot better. Even though it wasn't down the field, we did move the ball."

Burns heads into Saturday's game completing 54.8 percent of his passes this year. He has thrown for 758 yards with one touchdown and seven interceptions. He is averaging 5.2 yards per rush and has gained 447 yards and lost 70 for a net of 377.


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