Archives for category: Auburn

Just as the Third Saturday in October post did a few weeks ago, let’s take a look at games from five, ten, 20 and 30 years ago in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. All were Georgia victories.

Auburn leads the series 54-53-8, but Georgia enters as a 15-point favorite tomorrow night on the Plains seeking to tie the overall record. The Tigers have led the series since 1988.

2007: #10 Georgia 45, #17 Auburn 20 (Athens)

Knowshon Moreno runs away from Auburn defenders in 2007.

Known as the Blackout Game on the Georgia side, the Bulldogs wore black jerseys for the first time in the modern era and jumped out to a 17-3 lead in the 2nd quarter. But Auburn responded and took a 20-17 lead in the 3rd quarter. A 24-yard touchdown run by RB Knowshon Moreno put the Bulldogs back on top for good as they ran off 28 consecutive points to end the game.

Georgia finished #2 after the bowl games behind fellow conference member and national champion LSU. They wore black jerseys again in the Sugar Bowl defeating Hawaii. Meanwhile, Auburn defeated Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #15.

Georgia’s “black magic” came to a screeching halt in 2008 against Alabama and in 2009 against Florida as they wore black helmets for the first time.

2002: #7 Georgia 24, #24 Auburn 21 (Auburn)

Georgia clinched its first SEC Eastern Division championship with its comeback win on the Plains. QB David Greene hit WR Michael Johnson in the back of the end zone on 4th-and-15 for the game winner. The Bulldogs defeated Arkansas 30-3 in the SEC Championship Game to secure Georgia’s first SEC Championship in 20 years. The Bulldogs beat Florida State in the Sugar Bowl, finishing 13-1 and #3 in the polls.

Auburn defeated Penn State in the Capital One Bowl, finishing 9-4 and #14.

Legendary Georgia Bulldog announcer Larry Munson on the call:

 

1992: #12 Georgia 14, Auburn 10 (Auburn)

Ray Goff’s best Georgia team (10-2) beat Pat Dye’s last Auburn team (5-6) as Georgia defenders laid on the pile as time expired on Auburn’s offense at the 1-yard line. Nine years later in 2001, Auburn defeated Georgia 24-17 in Athens in very similar fashion as Auburn defenders did the same thing at the 1-yard line.

After Georgia’s win in 1992, the Bulldogs defeated Ohio State (with QB Kirk Herbstreit and RB Robert Smith — yes, today’s ESPN analysts) in the Citrus (Capital One) Bowl and finished #8. Auburn lost to #1 Alabama and didn’t go bowling.

Two videos here — the first includes an image of Goff directing his players to lay down and the second includes Georgia announcer Larry Munson’s “Old Lady Luck” call of the play:

 

 

1982: #1 Georgia 19, Auburn 14 (Auburn)

In the days before an SEC Championship Game, many Auburn-Georgia games decided the fate of one’s chances to claim the conference crown. Such was the case in 1982 as Georgia was seeking its third consecutive SEC championship and was the #1 team in the country. Auburn was 7-2 in Pat Dye’s second year and trending up.

Auburn QB Randy Campbell and RB Lionel “Little Train” James led a late Auburn drive that ended as Georgia broke up a 4th down pass in the end zone.

#2 Penn State (with QB Todd Blackledge — another ESPN analyst) defeated #1 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl 27-23 for the 1982 national championship. Meanwhile, Auburn beat Alabama for the first time in ten years as freshman RB Bo Jackson scored late, and the Tigers beat Boston College in the Tangerine Bowl to finish 9-3 and #14.

Another Larry Munson call and he looks back on the 1982 Auburn-Georgia game:

 

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LSU enters league play for the first time Saturday night at Auburn. These two Tigers have played some memorable games with unlikely circumstances. LSU leads the overall series 25-20-1.

The infamous Earthquake game in 1988. LSU won 7-6 in Baton Rouge.

The Interception game in 1994. Auburn, trailing 23-9 in the 4th quarter, won 30-26 after returning three interceptions for touchdowns in Auburn.

The Fire game in 1996. The old Auburn Sports Arena, known as The Barn, burned to the ground during the game across the street from Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn. LSU won 19-15.

The Cigar game in 1999. Auburn players celebrate with cigars on LSU’s field after a 41-7 win. Many LSU fans mark this picture as the spark to the rivalry.

Auburn kicker/punter Damon Duval gets into it with the LSU band in 2001 in Baton Rouge. LSU won 27-14.

LSU WR Demetrius Byrd catches the winning touchdown in 2007 after Les Miles elects to throw for the endzone with two seconds left even though a field goal would have won the game.

Miss. St./Auburn:

Clarion Ledger: Mullen Hopes Miss. St. Can Focus on Job at Hand

Birmingham News: Miss. St. Becomes Chizik’s Signature Defeat

Florida/Tex. A&M:

Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s Defense Was Key to Win at Texas A&M

Houston Chronicle: Texas A&M a Winner, Big 12 a Loser After Another College Football Weekend

LSU/Washington:

The News Star: Washington May Have Misjudged LSU’s Edge Speed

Georgia/Missouri:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Missouri’s Richardson Makes Amends with Richt After Georgia’s Win

Kansas City Star: This Is Just the Start of the Tigers’ Climb

In perhaps the ugliest game in the modern SEC era, 9th-ranked Auburn — yes, 9th-ranked — defeated Mississippi State 3-2 in Starkville (appropriately named that night) in 2008. The Tigers’ Wes Byrum connected on a 2nd quarter field goal for a 3-0 lead. That’s all Auburn needed after Mississippi State only mustered a safety in the 4th quarter.

Tommy Tuberville was breaking in new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin in what turned out to be a disastrous year for the Tigers and led to Tuberville’s dismissal. Mississippi State was also looking for a new head coach after 2008 as Sylvester Croom was dismissed.

Here are the low-lights set to “Baby I’m Burning” by Dolly Parton via those lovable fools at Everyday Should Be Saturday:

 

Mullen is 0-5 vs. Auburn as Florida’s offensive coordinator and Mississippi State’s head coach (Credit: Butch Dill, Getty Images)

While it may have cooled over the last year, Dan Mullen’s name has been a hot one in the college football world after a very successful stint as Florida’s offensive coordinator (2005-2008) that included two national championships (2006, 2008) and early success as Mississippi State’s head coach (2009-present) leading the Bulldogs to a 52-14 Gator Bowl win over Michigan after the 2010 season.

However, Mullen has yet to record a victory over Auburn in five tries as an offensive coordinator and head coach. The Tigers hung the only loss on Florida’s 2006 national championship team, beating the 2nd-ranked Gators 27-17 in Auburn. Tommy Tuberville’s squad with now-Florida head coach Will Muschamp serving as defensive coordinator followed it up in 2007, defeating 4th-ranked Florida in Gainesville’s Swamp 20-17 on a game-ending Wes Byrum kick.

Mullen is 0-3 as Mississippi State’s head coach against Gene Chizik’s Auburn, losing 49-24 in 2009, 17-14 in 2010 and 41-34 in 2011. The last two games have featured a late Auburn defensive stop to secure victory. The Bulldogs were one of several teams in 2010 to “almost, but not quite” beat the national champion Tigers and Cam Newton, who’s recruitment allegations involved both programs. Last year, Mississippi State entered the game as the ranked team at #16, but failed to take advantage as Chris Relf was stopped at the goal line in the waning seconds.

Auburn and Mississippi State open their conference slates against each other in Starkville this Saturday at 12 pm EDT.

Tennessee orange and N.C. State red (Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)

Tennessee orange, N.C. State red, Auburn blue and Clemson orange were on full display this weekend at the Georgia Dome during the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. Due to the proliferation of high-definition televisions in households across the country, Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO, and his crew decided to revive the long-standing college football tradition of both teams wearing their home colors before the advent of black-and-white televisions. It’s possible as long as the uniforms are of easily contrasted colors, and the Chick-fil-A Bowl first implemented it for last year’s bowl game between Auburn (blue) and Virginia (orange).

Auburn blue and Clemson orange (Credit: Dave Martin, AP)

Visiting teams were relegated to wearing white as a contrast so that viewers during the black-and-white television era could easily identify the teams from each other. The NCAA’s Article 3a read “players of opposing teams shall wear jerseys of contrasting colors, and the visiting team shall wear white jerseys.”

However, UCLA and USC had worn their colored jerseys against each other from 1929 to 1981 as they shared the Los Angeles Coliseum as a home field during that time. In 2006, the head coaches of both schools at the time, Karl Dorrell (UCLA) and Pete Carroll (USC), expressed interest in rejuvenating the tradition. The measure was put back in place for the 2008 game with the visiting coach, Pete Carroll, sacrificing one timeout under NCAA rules of improper equipment. Rick Neuheisel, then UCLA’s head coach, agreed to forfeit one of UCLA’s timeouts to even the playing field. The NCAA promptly changed the rule after the 2008 season to accommodate the renewed tradition of the UCLA-USC rivalry.

UCLA and USC have renewed their tradition from 1929-1981 of both teams wearing their colors

Under today’s rules, both teams must agree to wear colored jerseys — essentially leaving the decision to the home team — and they must be of easily contrasted colors.

Would Nick Saban ever do this? Um… (Credit: Paul Abell, US Presswire)

N.C. State’s, on Friday night, and Michigan’s, last night, 4th quarters were greeted with the “S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!” chant that’s all too familiar to the rest of the country as Tennessee and Alabama dominated their out-of-conference foes, respectively — Alabama’s was more of an evisceration actually. With its 26-19 win over Auburn, Clemson seemed to not just win one for the ACC but for the Northeast, Midwest and West Coast as well.

Tennessee’s WR Cordarrelle Patterson served notice to the conference that the Vols’ WR corp doesn’t need Da’Rick Rogers — they’re just fine, thank you. And Patterson wasn’t the only one to burn N.C. State All-American CB David Amerson, last year’s NCAA interception leader, as it seemed all orange-clad receivers had at least one moment against him.

While Tennessee’s passing attack looks up to speed, the Vols are still searching for a complimentary runner behind QB Tyler Bray, and new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri’s unit was very hit-and-miss on Friday night as well. Transitioning to a 3-4 defense can prove for some tough growing pains in the first year. Tennessee’s JUCO transfer nose tackle, the 6-foot 6-inch, 362-pound Daniel McCullers, has been a hit with Vols fans this off-season, but it remains to be seen if he can hold the point for the first year 3-4 defense.

‘Bama beat ’em blue, black and every other color. (Credit: LM Otero, AP)

After Michigan forced a 3-and-out on Alabama’s first possession of the game, the Wolverines were so jacked up they almost floated through the hole in Jerry’s World’s roof. Too bad that’s where their game went after that series, but that had more to do with Alabama than Michigan. Nick Saban has a program — or a “system” or a “standard” — that’s a little hard to believe in the limited 85-man scholarship era. The old saying of “I’ll beat you with my team today, and I’ll beat you with your team tomorrow,” that’s credited to Bear Bryant can almost be applied to Saban today. Good luck beating the Crimson Tide when Nick has more than a week to prepare.

Why didn’t Auburn play QB Kiehl Frazier more last year? This was a question we pondered in 2011 and in Auburn’s 26-19 loss to Clemson last night, he showed why he should have been given more consideration. He was only 11-for-27 but his athleticism should have had him working more in 2011 and, in turn, working out his accuracy issues. But credit the other quarterback in the Georgia Dome Saturday night with Clemson’s comeback win. QB Tahj Boyd, in a gritty performance that saw his helmet come off multiple times, led the ACC Tigers to 10 consecutive points to close the game.

Frazier could have worked out the kinks last year. (Credit: Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images)

Auburn, like Tennessee, is adjusting to a new defensive coordinator with ex-Georgia assistant Brian Van Gorder. Named the Frank Broyles “Assistant of the Year” in 2003, he should have Auburn much better on defense this year with DEs Corey Lemonier and Dee Ford coming off the edge. Also like the Vols, the Tigers are experimenting with what they have in their offensive backfield. RB Onterio McCalebb has always been an edge runner, but RB Tre Mason showed out with 100+ yards last night. Auburn goes to Starkville next week to open conference play against Mississippi State.