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Auburn Football vs. the SEC



How the Tigers fared in the past decade!



     War Eagle, everybody! Last week, we looked back at the past decade for the Southeastern Conference. Admittedly, it was an Auburn-slanted view. This series of posts will look at how Auburn did against each of the SEC teams, head to head. While the past couple of years has left a lot to be desired performance-wise, the 00s have been a very good Auburn decade in comparison to decades in the 20th century.


Auburn's SEC record.



Winning Percentage


























     As the table shows, Auburn has played SEC football in eight decades. Only one, the 1980s, had a higher winning percentage. Auburn has seen more SEC wins in the past ten years than any other decade. That's something to celebrate!


Opponent by Opponent recaps, after the jump!



     This week, we'll look at Auburn's games against most of the SEC Eastern division teams. Auburn has broken even or better against every East team except for Georgia. Next week we'll examine the bulk of the West. The last in this series will look at how Auburn fared against teams that won a national championship.


Vanderbilt (5-1)

     Auburn had the good fortune in the early part of the decade to play Vandy four straight years near the end of the Woody Widenhoffer era, and in the beginning of the Bobby Johnson era.


2000 (in Auburn) This was supposed to be a tight game, and it was 3-0 Auburn after one quarter. Then Damon Duval threw a touchdown pass on a fake field goal, and Auburn cruised to 3 2nd quarter touchdowns. Vandy never mounted any significant offensive threat, and Auburn won 33-0.


2001 (in Nashville) Both teams were struggling going in, and that continued in this game. Auburn took a 7-0 lead on a 51 yard Carnell Williams run, and could do little else the first half. The Commodores, led by Senior QB Greg Zolman wore the Tiger defense out in the second half, to the tune of 3 touchdowns. Damon Duval kicked a 49-yard FG with 4:59 left to play, and Auburn survived a Vandy fake FG late, to take a 24-21 victory.


2002 (in Auburn) Tiger linebacker Carlos Dansby mugged freshman Vandy QB Jay Cutler for a sack-fumble-touchdown early, and Auburn cruised to a 31-6 victory.


2003 (in Nashville) Auburn came into this game having been outscored 40-3 in their first two games, and the game was scoreless after one quarter. Jeris McIntyre broke through the scoring drought on a 31-yard strike from Jason Campbell, and the Tigers mauled Vandy, 45-7.


2007 (in Auburn) In another predicted close matchup, Auburn ran early and often to a 28-0 halftime lead. The Tigers coasted to a 35-7 win.


2008 (in Nashville) Some folks forget that Auburn was a ranked team in 2008. The Tigers came into the Music City at 4-1, ranked 7th in the nation. The offensive disfunction reached new depths of ineptitude on Auburn's first drive, as coordinator Tony Franklin called the EXACT SAME run to the right about ten times in a row. I don't believe Auburn has ever put a worse offense on the field. A missed extra point doomed the Tigers to a 14-13 loss, the first to Vandy in 53 years. Auburn would not win another SEC game till 2009.


Kentucky (2-1)

     Auburn's two victories came in the early, probation-hobbled first years of the Rich Brooks administration.


2004 (In Auburn) Kentucky quickly put the ball on the ground against Auburn, and Auburn had a 21-0 lead before most folks were in their seats. The Tigers eased back on the throttle, and cruised to a 42-10 win.


2005 (In Lexington) This was supposed to be another easy win for the Tigers, but someone forgot to tell young Wildcat back Rafael Little. The speedy tailback gashed Auburn for 124 yards on 17 carries, to go along with Andre Woodson's 335 yard passing effort. The Wildcats scored, but they had no answer for the Auburn ground game. Auburn got 162 yards from Tristan Davis, 103 from Kenny Irons, and 99 from Tre Smith. The Tigers pulled away for a 49-27 victory.


2009 (In Auburn) Kentucky came in with starting quarterback Mike Hartline out, and still punished the Auburn defense. Auburn's offense had nothing in the passing game, and was held to their worst day of the year. Kentucky scored twice on long drives in the 4th quarter, and won 21-14.


South Carolina (2-0)

     The Gamecocks haven't beaten Auburn since the Great Depression.


2005 (In Auburn) Carolina coach Steve Spurrier had the misfortune of bringing in the very green quarterback Antonio Hefner for his first start in Jordan Hare. The obviously nervous Hefner called timeouts on the first and third plays of the game, and couldn't get the Gamecocks into the end zone till the waning minutes of the 4th quarter. Auburn wasted South Carolina, 48-7.


2006 (In Columbia) Carolina was again searching for a quarterback, and Spurrier settled on wide receiver Syvelle Newton. Newton scrambled like nobody's business, and Auburn had a narrow, shrinking lead at half, 14-10. Auburn ate clock in the third quarter, and John Vaughn nailed a 24 yard field goal with 6:22 left in the period. Then, the Tigers executed a perfect onside kick, and ate the entire rest of the third quarter. The Tigers took a 24-10 lead early in the 4th, then survived a furious comeback attempt, winning 24-17.


Georgia (4-6)

     This was a very competitive series in the first half of the decade. It's gotten rather ugly in Georgia's favor in the past 4 years.


2000 (In Auburn) Auburn was driving early, but was stunned by a devastating 75 yard interception return for a TD. Georgia came in off a dramatic win over Kentucky in which quarterback Corey Phillips had passed for over 400 yards, setting a Bulldog record. Inexplicably, coach Jim Donnan kept the training wheels on Phillips, and Georgia went to halftime with a modest 13-3 lead. Auburn's Rudi Johnson came out running hard in the second half, and the Tigers scored 20 straight points before Donnan turned Phillips loose. Georgia came back, and had a chance to win at the end. Donnan opted for the tying field goal from the 2 yard line with over two minutes to play. The game went to overtime, where again the Bulldogs couldn't convert inside the Tiger ten. A field goal gave Georgia the lead, but a Ben Leard sneak for the touchdown gave Auburn the 29-26 overtime win.


2001 (In Athens) Favored Georgia led for much of the game, but Auburn kept handing the ball to freshman tailback Carnell Williams. Williams rushed 41 times for 167 yards, and scored the go-ahead TD with less than two minutes left. Georgia drove the ball down to the Auburn one yard line with just 15 seconds left, but coach Mark Richt opted for an unbalanced line and a power handoff, and had no timeouts left. Spencer Johnson made the stop for no gain, and Auburn won 24-17.


2002 (In Auburn) The Tiger defense terrorized Bulldog quarterback David Greene for a half, and the Tigers built a 14-3 halftime lead. Injuries took down backs Ronnie Brown and Brandon Johnson in the second half, and the Tigers desperately tried to hold off the surging Bulldogs. Late the game Auburn forced a 4th and 15 from the Tiger 19 yardline. Greene tossed up a desperation heave to the back of the end zone, where Michael Johnson caught it for the Bulldog win, 24-21.


2003 (In Athens) The Tigers did little right in this one, managing only a couple of missed field goal attempts in the first three quarters. A 99-yard Georgia interception return gave the Bulldogs a commanding 26-0 lead early in the 4th quarter, and Georgia won 26-7.


2004 (In Auburn) This was a match against two heavyweights. Georgia opened with a drive deep into Tiger territory, but left empty after a blocked field goal. Auburn turned to the screen and the option pitch to drive to a 7-0 lead. A blocked Auburn punt gave Georgia the ball in Tiger territory, but David Greene was picked off in the end zone by Carlos Rogers. The Tigers answered with a running back pass from Carnell Williams to Anthony Mix for the TD. The Tigers led 17-0 at the half. Georgia's best drive of the 3rd quarter was blunted when Reggie Brown caught the ball over the middle, then fumbled it away on a violent hit from Auburn's Junior Rosegreen. Brown was knocked out, and the blow seemed to stagger the Georgia offense. Auburn powered to a 24-6 win.


2005 (In Athens) This was a see-saw offensive thriller for the ages. Kenny Irons opened the scoring on a 30-yard burst, then Georgia answered with a field goal, then a short TD pass to tight end Leonard Pope. A short Kenny Irons run and another UGA field goal made it Auburn 14, Georgia 13 at the half. The Bulldogs scored first in the second half, with a TD pass from D. J. Shockley to Mohammed Massaquoi. Auburn answered with a big end around by Ben Obomanu. Thomas Brown punched it in for the Bulldogs, then Bulldogs fumbled it away on their next possession. Karibi Dede scooped and scored for the Tigers, giving Auburn a 28-27 lead. Georgia answered with a FG drive. With time winding down, Auburn faced a 4th and 10 at the Tiger 35. Brandon Cox connected over the middle with Devin Aromashodu, who set sail for the Bulldog end zone. At the Georgia 9, the ball was knocked out on a desperation strip by Paul Oliver, and the ball tumbled into the end zone. Courtney Taylor recovered in the end zone, but it was not a TD. The "Kenny Stabler rule" spotted the 4th down fumble at the spot. Auburn ran the clock down, and John Vaughn nailed a 20 yard field goal for the win. Auburn prevailed, 31-30.


2006 (In Auburn) In the rain, Auburn suffered through a miserable game. Tiger quarterback Brandon Cox was sacked 4 times, and threw 4 interceptions, leading to a 23 point Georgia second quarter. The Tigers trailed 30-7 at half, and were blown out 37-15, officially ending any BCS hopes for the Tigers for the rest of the decade.


2007 (In Athens) Georgia jumped on Auburn early for a 17-3 lead. The Tigers fought back, and took a 20-17 lead in the third quarter. The Tigers fizzled out after that, and the Bulldogs scored 4 touchdowns on their next 4 possessions. Auburn took a 45-20 beating.


2008 (In Auburn) The Tigers laid it all on the line in this ballgame, taking an early lead on a 52-yard TD pass from Kodi Burns to Mario Fannin. A 35-yard Fannin run early in the 4th quarter gave the Tigers a 13-10 lead, but Matthew Stafford hit A. J. Green to give Georgia the lead back. Late in the game the Tigers drove twice inside the Bulldog 25, and turned it over on downs on incomplete passes. Georgia hung on, 17-13.


2009 (In Athens) The Tigers jumped on Georgia with two early drives for a 14-0 lead. Then, the Tiger defense suffered the loss of linebacker Eltoro Freeman, and proceeded to give up 169 rushing yards and 31 Bulldog points. Auburn kept it close in the 4th quarter with a 99 Demond Washington kick return for the score. Georgia led late on a 24 yard Caleb King gallop, but the Tigers drove it to the Bulldog 22. From there Ben Tate went backward, and a Chris Todd heave to the goal line was knocked out of Mario Fannin's hands by Georgia DB Bacarri Rambo. Then Todd was sacked, Auburn wasted timeouts, then false started. The Tigers turned it over on downs, and Georgia won, 31-24.


Tennessee (5-0)

     The Tigers didn't win a game against the Vols in the 1990s, but made up for it with a vengeance in the 2000s.


2003 (In Auburn) Tennessee came in with the patented Phillip Fulmer I-formation ground attack, but ran into a stone wall against the Auburn D. Meanwhile, the Auburn offense was gashing the Volunteer defense for 264 rushing yards, and 421 total. Auburn cruised to a 28-7 lead before Fulmer abandoned the run in the 4th quarter. Casey Clausen threw two 4th quarter TD passes, and was leading the Vols down the field again in the waning moments. Mercifully, the game ended when Carlos Rogers picked off an errant ball at the Tiger 18. Auburn held on, 28-21.


2004 (In Knoxville) The Tigers turned the heat up on two freshman Vol quarterbacks, Brent Shaeffer and Eric Ainge. The pair looked confused and befuddled as the Tigers held 'em to a first half field goal. Meanwhile, the Al Borges offensive machine chewed over, around and through the Vols for a shocking 34-3 halftime lead! Auburn dialed the fireworks back in the second half, and safety Junior Rosegreen came up with 5 interceptions, as Auburn won 34-10.


2004 (in Atlanta, SEC Championship game) Auburn jumped all over the Vols again for an early 14-0 lead, but a fumbled Auburn punt gave the Vols a short field to punch it in. Auburn answered with a Jason Campbell to Courtney Taylor TD pass, and the Tigers drove it again before half. A tipped ball interception in the end zone saved Tennessee, but the Tigers still led 21-7. Auburn took a couple of blows in the second half. First, Jason Campbell lost a fumble deep in Tiger territory, and the Vols scored off that miscue. Then, Gerald Riggs ripped the Tiger D for an 80-yard TD run to tie the game. Jason Campbell answered with two TD bombs, one to Devin Aromashodu, and one to Ben Obomanu. The Tigers reasserted command of the game, and ended it taking knees deep in Vol territory. Auburn won the game, and the SEC title, 38-28.


2008 (In Auburn) In this one, the Tigers put on an absolute stinker of an offensive performance. The Tigers only netted 226 yards, and one early score when Robert Dunn got behind the UT secondary for a 18-yard TD pass from Chris Todd. That was it for Tiger offensive scoring. The Vols were actually worse on offense than Auburn! After clawing for two first half field goals, the Vols gave it back when Jonathan Crompton botched a handoff in his own end zone. Jake Ricks recovered for the Tigers, and it was a touchdown. The Vols would manage a short Montario Hardesty TD run in the 3rd quarter, but the two point try to tie failed. After that, the Auburn D slammed the door. Time and time again, the Vols could not manage a first down. Auburn prevailed 14-12.


2009 (In Knoxville) With the Vol running game going nowhere, Jonathan Crompton was slinging the rock. Crompton's passes fell short, long, or through the hands of numerous Vol receivers. Meanwhile, Auburn was cashing two field goal drives, and Ben Tate ran over the Vol defense for a 13-0 Tiger lead in the 2nd quarter. Crompton executed the 2 minute drill, and Auburn led 13-6 at the half. The Tigers seemed to put the game away early in the 4th quarter with a quick-hitting TD pass from Chris Todd to Terrell Zachary, to give the Tigers a 23-6 lead. Crompton got hot, and led the Vols to two late TDs. Auburn hung on, 26-22.