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Monday Edition of Auburn News and Notes

By Jay Coulter
jccoulter@gmail.com

The dust is settling on Saturday’s win over third-ranked Florida and it continues to feel just as good as it did two days ago. Auburn has established itself as a road killer in the SEC; but even for these wonder kids, Saturday’s win was unique.

The Tiger's victory over Florida marks the first time an unranked Auburn team has gone on the road and defeated a top 5 opponent. Auburn was 0-8 previously in games played under those circumstances.

The news is not good for defensive end Quentin Groves. He suffered three dislocated toes on his right foot at the end of the third quarter Saturday night. Groves is expected to be out until at least the LSU game and perhaps longer.

Things are even worse for junior running back Tristan Davis. Coming back from a broken toe suffered during the first week of fall practice, Davis broke his right foot, meaning his season is done. The injury suffered at Florida was unrelated to the broken toe.

The Florida players, coaches and fans are taking the loss hard. This Saturday night’s game at top-ranked LSU was to be the college football showcase of the year. Now, it’s just another good game among many scheduled for the weekend.

"I’ve never experienced anything like that," Gator freshman cornerback Joe Haden said. "It hurts so bad. You look in the stands and it looked like people’s lives were over. It just hurts everybody."

"I’m sick to my stomach," Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. "I’m not sick to my stomach about the effort, but when you lose, it sucks."

Urban Meyer’s called timeout as Wes Byrum was about to kick the game winner is becoming common place around the college game this year. Coaches have always "iced" the kicker, but now they play the odds and wait literally until right before the snap. Tommy Tuberville says he’s OK with it.

"That's football," said Tuberville. "You've got to use it in terms of getting in the head of the kicker. That was pretty close. I don't know if I would have waited that long to make that call. That could have backfired.

"That's good coaching, especially with a true freshman, on the road for the first time, kicking a game-winning kick. I thought it was pretty heads up – after we won. While it was going on, I didn't think a lot of it."

Tuberville is aware of the challenge he faces on Saturday when the Commodores visits Jordan-Hare. This is not your daddy’s Vanderbilt team.

"If we think about (the Florida win) too long, we'll start this thing over again next week talking about how we could have played better if we'd gotten the game out of our minds," said Tuberville. "That's a job of myself, the coaching staff and the seniors on the team, which we talked about today.

"It's always great to win a big game, especially on the road, but it's worse if you don't get it off your mind and lose the next week because you weren't focused."

Vandy comes into the game with a 3-1 overall record. Saturday’s contest kickoffs at 11:30 a.m. CT and will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports.

Our friends over at Orange and Blue Hue.com have issued an apology to Auburn. You will remember from Saturday’s post, that these guys have been ultra critical of the Tigers this season. Not anymore. Check out their post. It’s good stuff.

By kickoff Saturday night, Auburn fans were discovering their Tigers may not be as bad as once thought. Kansas State knocked off Texas earlier in the day and South Florida crushed West Virginia on Friday night. ``We finally found out we're pretty good," Tuberville said after the game.

Football is a game of inches. Auburn could easily be 5-0 right now and in the mix for a national championship. How does the old saying go; things are never as bad as they seem.

Here’s a good story from longtime columnist Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun. It’s very complementary of Auburn and the game they played on Saturday.

Here’s another one that was written Saturday, prior to the game and reminds Florida fans of the importance of the Auburn-Florida series. Both are excellent reads.  

Auburn has qualified as one of four finalists for the "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" competition on ESPN, for the Tigers' last-second victory over No. 4 Florida, 20-17, Saturday night in Gainesville.

Auburn earned a second-straight win over the Gators in as many years and a Pontiac Game Changing Performance nomination when kicker Wes Byrum nailed a perfect 43-yard field goal as time expired, to defeat the defending national champions.

Now it is up to Auburn fans to determine if the Tigers earned the "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" award for the fifth week of the 2007 NCAA® Football Season.

AU fans can go to pontiac.com/ncaa, where they can view video clips of the four finalists and vote for their favorite play. Voting ends at midnight on Wednesday. ESPN will announce this week's "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" winner, on Thursday night, during the Pontiac Performance Halftime Report.

The winning university earns a $5,000 contribution from Pontiac to their general scholarship fund. Additionally, the winning play will be nominated for the "Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the Year" award and the chance to win a $100,000 General Scholarship from Pontiac.