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Countdown to Kickoff: 74 Days

Kenny Irons makes his first appearance in the countdown.

We continue the countdown to kickoff and head inside 75 days as we hit 74 on the dot today, and in our look back throughout Auburn history, we hit one of the better Tiger teams of the new millennium.

Auburn opened 2005 with a whimper, ending a fifteen game winning streak at the hands of Georgia Tech (okay, at the hands of Megatron Calvin Johnson), as Brandon Cox’s first start resulted in four interceptions and an 0-1 start to the season.

Five wins later, the Tigers were back in the rankings and the offense had started to churn behind Kenny Irons. After a 182-yard effort at Arkansas in a win over the Hogs and a freshman Darren McFadden, Auburn turned south toward Baton Rouge for a second straight road game at LSU.

At Tiger Walk outside Death Valley, Irons found a camera (as he was wont to do), and boldly screamed a prediction that he was going to get 200 yards on the Bayou Bengal defense.

He was right.

LSU jumped on top on a punt return touchdown from Skyler Green in the first quarter, and John Vaughn hit his only field goal of the night in the second quarter to pull Auburn within 7-3 at halftime. Facing yet another classic Auburn-LSU defensive struggle, Kenny Irons broke out and got the offense going early in the third quarter with a 74-yard touchdown scamper.

Irons ended up surpassing the 200-yard mark with a total of 218 yards on 27 carries, but it wasn’t enough. In one of the crueler twists of bourbon fate at Tiger Stadium, John Vaughn missed five field goals, including a potential game-winner at the end of regulation, and the game-tying try in the first overtime, clanking a kick off the upright to give Les Miles a win in his first foray into the rivalry.

I promise tomorrow will have a happier ending. War Eagle!