PREVIEW: First look at Auburn

In what has grown into one of the biggest rivalries in the SEC, the LSU Tigers and the Auburn Tigers will lock horns Saturday afternoon in Auburn, Ala. in a game that could dteremine the SEC championship. The following is our first look at the Auburn Tigers.

QUICK FACTS:

 

AUBURN TIGERS

 

All-Time Series: LSU leads 21-18-1

 

Stadium: Jordan-Hare (87,451)

 

Conference: SEC

 

First Meeting: 1901, Auburn 28, LSU 0

 

Last Meeting: 2005, LSU 20, Auburn 17 OT



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Head Coach:

Tommy Tuberville,

60-25, 7 years at AU, 87-47 overall, 12 years

 

Current Ranking:

3rd AP, 4th Coaches

 

2005 in Review:

9-3, 7-1 SEC

 

Final '05 Ranking:

14, Both AP and Coaches

 

Off./Def. Systems:

Pro/4-3 Multiple

 

Returning Starters:

13; 5 offense, 6 defense, kicker, punter

 

Last Bowl Appearance:

2006 CapitalOne Bowl, Wisconsin 24, Auburn 10

 

Last Conference Championship:

2004

 

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STATISTICAL LEADERS

 

Rushing:

Kenny Irons – 41 carries, 252 yards, 3 TD

 

Passing:

Brandon Cox – 25-of-49, 440 yards, 3 TD

 

Receiving:

Courtney Taylor – 12 catches, 154 yards, 0 TD

 

Tackles:

Karibi Dede – 14 TT (10 S, 4 A)

 

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STAT BREAKDOWN

 

Offense:

 

Rushing Offense – 202 (22)

 

Passing Offense – 234 (44)

 

Total Offense – 436 (19)

 

Scoring Offense – 37 (18)

 

 

Defense:

 

Rushing Defense – 101 (51)

 

Passing Defense – 116 (9)

 

Pass Efficiency – (11)

 

Total Defense – 217 (12)

 

Scoring Defense – 7 (7)

 

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2006 SCHEDULE


Date / Opponent / '05 Result

 

S-2 / W 40-14, Washington State / ---

 

S-9 / W 34-0, at Mississippi State / W, 28-0

 

S-16 / LSUL, 20-17 / (OT)

 

S-23 / Buffalo / ---

 

S-28 / at South Carolina / W, 48-7

 

O-7 / Arkansas / W, 34-17

 

O-14 / Florida / ---

 

O-21 / Tulane / ---

 

O-28 / at Ole Miss / W, 27-3

 

N-4 / Arkansas State / ---

 

N-11 / Georgia / W, 31-30

 

N-18 / at Alabama / W, 28-18

 

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Head to Head:

 

 

Auburn QB vs. LSU LB

 

Brandon Cox vs. Darry Beckwith

 

Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox had a rocky start to his Auburn career last season. But over time, Cox has grown into a calming presence for the Tigers' offense. Cox isn't going to do anything really special; however, he is not going to make many mistakes to lose the game. He has one major target in the passing game in wide receiver Courtney Taylor. LSU has to get pressure on Cox, take away the pass and force them to win with Kenny Irons. Darry Beckwith did a number on Arizona's Willie Tuitama. Can he do the same with Cox?

 

 

 

Auburn LB vs. LSU RB

 

Will Herring vs. Jacob Hester

 

Jacob Hester rose to the forefront as a bona fide weapon on offense for the Tigers. He can run and catch the ball with equal ability and is one of the team's best blockers coming out of the backfield. One would expect Coach Les Miles to be ready to get Alley Broussard back into the regular mix at tailback. But look out for Hester. Will Herring, a safety-turned-linebacker and the captain of the Tigers' defense, will be there to try and make sure Hester and Broussard go nowhere.

 

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Player to Watch:

 

Kenny Irons

RB, Senior, 5-11, 200

 Dacula HS/South Carolina - Dacula, Ga.



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Why it is important to stop him?

 

Kenny Irons is widely regarded as one of the top running backs in all of college football. And he proved why last season when he racked up 218 yards on 27 carries in Auburn's 20-17 overtime loss at LSU. Irons has the ability to run with power, but he can break tackles (per 2005 LSU game) and possesses breakaway speed (cue up footage from Auburn's season opener with Washington State). The Tigers are balanced offensively, but they want Kenny Irons to carry their offense. And the senior Heisman candidate has no problem answering the ball.

 

Who has to stop him?

 

The LSU Tigers defensive line has been outstanding this season, despite having to replace three All-SEC-caliber starters. Irons ripped through that talented defensive front to the tune of 218 yards; the LSU D-Line had better be ready. Look for tackles Marlon Favorite and Glenn Dorsey to get acquainted with Mr. Irons. And linebackers Luke Sanders, Ali Highsmith and Darry Beckwith have been equally important in stopping the run.


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