He notes the Volunteers played a "bear" front early in the game, daring Auburn to run the ball, but the Tigers were effective on the ground. Tate led the charge with 128 yards on 25 carries.
Tate had one of the most physical plays of the night when he walloped All-American safety Eric Berry. "I saw him at the last minute out of the corner of my eye and I just kind of lowered my shoulder and just went with it. I?just threw him right off. He is a good player, one of the best safeties in the country. Something like that makes me feel good."
Tate said SEC football is physical and what the Tigers saw on Saturday is typical of what they will see throughout the month of October. "The SEC is the toughest conference in football," he said.
In other news and notes:
*If University of Tennessee officials thought they were going to keep Auburn from having a road game Tiger Walk by prohibiting the band and cheerleaders from attending, they thought wrong. Auburn fans showed up at Neyland Stadium, Gate 7, two hours before the game to give their team a boisterous welcome prior to their first road game of the season.
*With Isom out, junior Bart Eddins made the start. The 6-4, 297-pounder from Montgomery began the season as the number two center behind Ryan Pugh. Eddins, who began his college career on defense, has been plagued by injuries, including a knee problem that has bothered him this year.
*After being delayed by rain the past two weeks, the weather was no factor vs. Tennessee. The temperature was 65 degrees at kickoff with blue skies and a full moon visible over the stadium.
*Auburn managed just 226 yards of total offense last year vs. the Vols. This year the Tigers surpassed that total in the second quarter.
*The Auburn offense produced 15 first half first downs, matching the team's total vs. the Vols in last year's 14-12 AU victory.
*In the first half, Ben Tate moved into eighth in Auburn's all-time rushing list passing Stacy Danley's 2,427 yards from 1987-1990.