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Auburn vs. Miss State Preview

Information Courtesy of Auburn Sports Information...

SEPTEMBER 12, 2009

· 6:00 PM CT • TV: FSN




Gene Chizik (Florida, 1985)
Auburn Record 1-0 (1st year)
vs. Mississippi State First meeting
Overall Record 6-19 (3rd year)
vs. Mississippi State First meeting

Dan Mullen (Ursinus, 1994)
MSU Record 1-0 (1st year)
vs. Auburn First meeting
Overall Record 1-0 (1st year)
vs. Auburn First meeting

AU leads, 57-23-2
at Auburn AU leads, 25-6
at Starkville AU leads, 11-4-1
at Neutral sites AU leads, 21-13-1
at Birmingham, AL AU leads, 14-11-1
at Columbus, MS AU leads, 1-0
at Jackson, MS AU leads, 5-2
at Montgomery, AL AU leads, 1-0
Last Meeting AU 3, MSU 2
Sept. 16, 2008 in Starkville, MS
Current Streak AU, W1

Auburn Receiving Votes
Mississippi State Not ranked

Bob Rathbun Play-by-play
Dave Archer Analyst
Jenn Hildreth Sidelines

The Auburn ISP Sports Network provides radio coverage to over 50 stations that cover the Southeast. Rod Bramblett (play-by-play), Stan White (color), Quentin Riggins (sideline), Paul Ellen (studio) and Andy Burcham (locker room) provide gameday analysis.


Live audio & stats

Auburn opens the 2009 Southeastern Conference schedule Saturday evening when the Tigers host Mississippi State in a battle between two schools with first-year head coaches. The game begins at 6 p.m. CT and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.

* Auburn is 42-28-5 in SEC openers, and is 15-1 in its last 16 league openers.
* Auburn has won 20 of the last 27 meetings in the series, and has held Mississippi State to 19 or fewer points in 10 straight games.
* Auburn is 3-0 all-time in games played on Sept. 12, and has never surrendered a point on that date.
* Auburn is 16-3 in home night games since the 2000 season, including victories over four nationally-ranked teams.
* Auburn has won 16 consecutive games overall and nine consecutive games at Jordan-Hare Stadium with Gene Chizik on the coaching staff.
* Auburn's 24-point margin of victory against Louisiana Tech was the largest in an Auburn head coaching debut since Carl Voyles won his debut 32-0 over Samford in 1944.
* Onterio McCalebb leads the SEC in all-purpose yards (197), and became the first Auburn freshman to rush for 100 yards in a season opener since Bo Jackson in 1982.
* Auburn totaled 556 yards of offense during the season opener, which is the most in a game by the Tigers since the 2005 season.
* Senior Ben Tate ranks 12th in school history with 2,076 career rushing yards, and needs just 9 yards to pass James Bostic for 11th.
* Senior defensive end Antonio Coleman has 15.5 career sacks, which ranks tied for 10th in Auburn history for career sacks.
* Auburn has 12 true freshmen currently listed on the depth chart, plus a pair of redshirt freshmen.
* Auburn has eight players on its squad that have already graduated, which is tied for fifth most in the nation among FBS schools.
* Auburn has won 50 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points in a game, dating back to a 56-49, four-overtime loss to Georgia in 1996.
* Now in its 70th year as home to the Auburn football team, Jordan-Hare Stadium is the nation's tenth-largest on-campus stadium with a capacity of 87,451 fans. The Tigers are 266-67-7 (.793) at Jordan-Hare Stadium, including a 52-13 (.800) mark since the start of the 2000 season.

Auburn is 42-28-5 in SEC openers, and is 15-1 in its last 16 league openers. The Tigers had their 14-game winning streak in openers snapped in 2007 by Mississippi State.

In its last 11 SEC openers, Auburn has outscored its opponents, 337-112. This is the sixth straight year Auburn has opened SEC play with Mississippi State. The Tigers won 3-2 last year, 34-0 in 2006, 28-0 in 2005 and 43-14 in 2004, with MSU winning 19-14 in 2007. The Tigers defeated Ole Miss, 19-9, in 1997; 17-0, in 1998; 35-27, in 2000; and 27-21 in 2001. In 1999, Auburn defeated LSU, 41-7, and beat Vanderbilt 31-6 and 45-7 in 2002 and 2003.

Auburn leads the all-time series with Mississippi State, 57-23-2 ... Saturday's meeting between the two schools will mark the 55th consecutive year the two schools have played each other ... Auburn has won 20 of the last 27 in the series ... Mississippi State has been held to 19 or fewer points in each of the last 10 games in the series, averaging 11.1 points per game during that span ... Just 12 games in the last 39 years have been decided by seven points or less, including three consecutive from 1999-2001 ... Mississippi State has thrown for less than 100 yards against the Auburn defense in each of the last three meetings, averaging just 67 yards passing per game in those contests, and has not thrown for 200 yards against the Tigers since 2002.

Auburn won last year's meeting in Starkville by the unusual score of 3-2. It was the first SEC game in history to be decided by a score of 3-2, and the first known 3-2 game by any FBS teams since a Clemson victory over Duke in 1965. It was also Auburn's first victory when scoring three points or less since a 3-0 win at Miami (Fla.) on Oct. 4, 1974.

Mississippi State opened its 2009 season with a convincing 45-7 victory over Jackson State last Saturday in Dan Mullen's head coaching debut ... Quarterback Chris Relf led the team in rushing with 82 yards and a score, and also threw for three touchdowns on just 10 pass attempts ... Jamar Chaney led the defense with five tackles, while Corey Broomfield returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown ... The Bulldog defense allowed Jackson State just 194 yards of offense, including just 62 rushing ... Mississippi State was picked to finish sixth in the West in the SEC Preseason Poll conducted by the league's media ... RB Anthony Dixon and LB Jamar Chaney were second-team preseason All-SEC picks by the league's media, while Dixon was a second-team pick and Chaney a third-team selection by the SEC coaches.

Mississippi State has 16 players on its roster from the state of Alabama: DL Nick Bell (Bessemer), TE Kendrick Cook (Attalla), SN Aaron Feld (Homewood), RB Patrick Hanrahan (Springville), ATH Brandon Heavens (Bessemer), LB Terrell Johnson (Cullomburg), OL D.J. Looney (Birmingham), RB Adrian Marcus (Alabaster), OL Mark Melichar (Birmingham), DL Rodney Prince (Irondale), QB Chris Relf (Montgomery), DB Zach Smith (Altoona), RB Arnil Stallworth (Daphne), LB Bo Walters (Wilsonville), DB Louis Watson (Mobile) and LB Brandon Wilson (Tuscaloosa).

Auburn has three players on its team from the state of Mississippi: DB Daren Bates (Olive Branch), DB Drew Cole (Picayune) and OL Aubrey Phillips (Olive Branch).

* Mississippi State running backs coach Greg Knox was Auburn's wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 1999-2008.
* MSU defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Carl Torbush was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at North Carolina while Auburn safeties coach Tommy Thigpen was a star linebacker for the Tar Heels from 1989-92. Thigpen was a three-time All-ACC linebacker under Torbush's guidance. Thigpen also started his coaching career as a graduate assistant at UNC in 1998-99 while Torbush was the head coach.
* Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was the quarterbacks coach at Bowling Green from 2001-02, while Thigpen was coaching cornerbacks and the special teams coordinator for the Falcons.
* Mississippi State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Les Koenning was the wide receivers coach at Texas A&M in 1996 when Auburn offensive line coach Jeff Grimes was an offensive graduate assistant coach for the Aggies.

Auburn has not only never lost on Sept. 12, but the Tigers have never surrendered a point on that date. Auburn has played just three times on Sept. 12, and pitched a shutout all three times. The Tigers beat Kansas in 1987 (49-0), Samford in 1992 (55-0) and Ole Miss in 1998 (17-0).

Auburn is 145-47-5 (.749) all-time in the month of September, and has won 21 of its last 25 September contests. The Tigers have posted a winning record during the month of September in each of the previous five seasons, and 25 of the previous 27.