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Daily Archive for October 2nd, 2007

what auburn did to 1 florida fan LOL


Vandy has strong D

original article here. 


Auburn offense to face stout Vanderbilt defense

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After six years of rebuilding, Vanderbilt coaches finally have the defense they envisioned.

The Commodores visit Auburn on Saturday, and currently rank second in the Southeastern Conference and 17th nationally in total defense, allowing just 273.0 yards per game.

Vanderbilt allowed an average of 352.6 yards per game last season and 395.6 in 2005.

“We are faster than we’ve ever been, and we have some guys who have played a bunch of plays,” sixth-year Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson said Monday during his weekly news conference. “Speed, athletic ability, it’s all gone up over previous years.”

The Commodores (3-1, 1-1 SEC) turned in a defensive gem last Saturday, holding Eastern Michigan to 173 yards of total offense and producing six turnovers in a 30-7 victory.

Auburn (3-2, 1-1 SEC) is coming off its upset victory at defending national champion Florida, and will be Vanderbilt’s biggest threat thus far.

“I feel like our defense is the best it’s been,” defensive tackle Theo Horrocks said. “It’s definitely an SEC-caliber defense now, and it just adds confidence to the whole unit, knowing we can play with anybody.”

Vanderbilt intercepted five passes last Saturday, its most since 1993, including one for a touchdown by cornerback D.J. Moore. They currently are tied for first and rank 10th nationally in interceptions with 10. They also rank third in the SEC in points allowed per game, with 16.2, and are second in first downs allowed.

Johnson said the increased speed and depth on defense has allowed defensive coordinator Bruce Fowler to be more aggressive in his play-calling.

With a cast of defensive playmakers, Vanderbilt coaches couldn’t decide on a defensive player of the week Sunday. Instead, the entire unit was given the award.

“I was very impressed. I was thrilled,” Johnson said. “It was a good group effort by our defense.”

Lester will not start

view full article here.

After serving a six-game academic suspension, Auburn tailback Brad Lester will make his much anticipated season debut Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Lester entered the fall as the projected starter after rushing for 848 yards and 14 touchdowns as a backup the last two seasons. But don’t expect the junior to trot out on the field early in the first quarter against the Dores.

AP: Todd Van Emst
Lester has scored 17 career touchdowns.

“(Lester) won’t start. He’ll have a role to play,” said AU head coach Tommy Tuberville. “This is the first game of the season for him. First games are tough because you’re usually not in playing shape even thought he has been practicing a lot.”

Sophomore Ben Tate, who leads the Tigers with 410 rushing yards, is expected to start his sixth consecutive game Saturday. Redshirt freshman Mario Fannin, who is second on the team with 267 rushing yards, will be the primary backup.

“Ben Tate and Mario both will play before (Lester),” said Tuberville. “He will play some, depending on how he does and how he handles the situation will determine how much. He’ll earn more and more playing time.

“The other two guys have put a lot into the first five games.”

Once Lester makes it into the game, he should provide a lift for an AU rushing offense that’s eighth in the SEC averaging 146.2 yards per game. His teammates are definitely excited about the possibilities.

“It’s exciting,” said center Jason Bosley. “I’ve been looking forward to it. I asked him every week, ‘When you coming back, when you coming back?’ And finally, he’s coming back. He’s a playmaker. He scores touchdowns.”

While Tate and Fannin have both shown improvement over the course of the season, Lester’s experience and fresh legs will be a welcome addition to the lineup.

“He’s so quick and he hits the hole,” said Bosley. “When you get out in open space and he’s behind you, he sets up the block real well and he’ll cut it right off you. He hits it so fast and keeps his feet going. He runs over people.”

Offensive coordinator Al Borges is counting on Lester to provide more scoring for an offense that ranks 10th in the SEC with 27.0 points per game.

“He’s a big-play kind of guy,” said Borges. “He’s fresh and he’s fired up to play. Brad Lester, when he’s right, is worth a touchdown or two a game. If you give him enough room to do it, he’ll do it.”

In addition to playing backup tailback, Lester is also expected to return kicks against the Commodores.

Quick Hitters:

***LB Merrill Johnson returned to practice Tuesday but his status for the Vandy game remains uncertain. Johnson has missed the last three games with a severely bruised shoulder.

“Merrill practiced some Tuesday,” said Tuberville.

***DE Quentin Groves will have a second set of x-rays Tuesday on his dislocated toes. He’s expected to miss a couple of weeks.

“He’s still sore,” said Tuberville. “He did not practice. We’ll have to see how that comes out.”

Groves will be the fifth defensive starter to miss a game due to injury this season.

“It’s getting pretty serious with the injuries. It’s hard to improve when you don’t have guys out there in practice.”

***Tuberville needs one more victory to become the fifth active coach in the SEC with 100 career coaching wins.

***Of Auburn’s 135 points scored this season, 111 (82.2 percent) have been scored by underclassmen.

***The Tigers practiced for more than two hours in full pads Tuesday morning. It was another physical workout according to Tuberville.

“We didn’t have a great practice so we did some things to get their attention,” he said.

***Auburn hosts Vanderbilt Saturday at 11:30 a.m. CT in Jordan-Hare Stadium. The game will be carried live on Lincoln Financial Sports.

Throwbacks for Vandy game


Auburn will wear white uniforms and helmets with no AU logo and a gray facemask against Vanderbilt in honor of the 1957 National Championship team.

Bryum is the man!


“I had a couple of people come up to me, and then a couple of people grabbed them and told them to shut up and leave (me) alone,” Byrum said.

Only one player breached the last-minute rules of etiquette. Tight end Tommy Trott approached Byrum to fulfill their season-long tradition.

“Before every kick that’s kind of big, Tommy Trott comes up to me, as we’re on the field, and says, ‘Don’t mess this up,’ and turns around and goes back to the line,” Byrum said. “(On Saturday), he looked at me and said, ‘All right Wes, I’m sorry, but I’ve got to do this: Don’t mess this up.’ And then he turned around and walked back to the line.

“It’s kind of a joke now. It lightens things up on the field. It lets me know they’re all behind me on the line.”

AUBURN — A kicker on the verge of attempting a game-winning field goal is about as popular as a pitcher about to throw a no-hitter.

Protocol requires that no one talk to him, wish him luck or even get near him.

In the waning minutes of the fourth quarter Saturday, Auburn true freshman kicker Wes Byrum was the loneliest man at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

As most of the college football world knows by now, Byrum made the 43-yard game-winning field goal to give Auburn a 20-17 upset victory in one of the toughest places to play in the country.

In his first college season, Byrum has made 8 of 10 field goals, including three longer than 40 yards.

His coaches haven’t been surprised.

“I don’t think the kid gets nervous,” said special teams coach Eddie Gran, who recruited Byrum out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Byrum actually made the winning kick twice. Florida head coach Urban Meyer called a timeout moments before the first attempt.

Auburn players had rushed the field and had to be herded back to the sidelines. Gran said Byrum was unfazed.

“You look at his eyes, you look at the way he acts,” Gran said. “They brought everybody back (off the field) and he said, ‘That’s fine. Let’s go.’”

Rather than be annoyed at Meyer’s last-second timeout, Byrum said he considered the free on-field warm-up kick to be a gift.

“I was a little bit more comfortable,” he said. “I just hit the first one, so when it was time to hit the second one, I just kind of went back there and did the same thing.”

Byrum said he has more than a dozen friends attending UF. He might have gone there too, but the Gators weren’t offering a new scholarship for a kicker this year. At Auburn, Byrum knew he would have a chance to start immediately.

“I had about 15 friends standing outside (the stadium) waiting for me,” he said. “They all congratulated me. They were like, ‘I hate you, but I love you. We’re OK with it because it was you.’”

Byrum faced distractions even before his winning kick. Fans at the Swamp are only a few feet from the sidelines. When it became clear that the game would come down to Byrum’s foot, Florida fans unloaded their full arsenal of insults.

“I was getting everything,” said the 18-year-old Byrum. “Guys were screaming all types of things. The girls were saying whatever they could think of to anybody that walked by. I just didn’t look at any of them once. I just kept kicking and didn’t pay any attention to them.”