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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Road game brings new challenge for Auburn

I wrote a story for today's newspaper about Auburn going on the road for the first time this year and the different set of circumstances that brings. Here's how it starts:
AUBURN, Ala. — Of the players on Auburn’s roster, freshman running back Onterio McCalebb might be the only one who has stepped onto the field at Neyland Stadium in a competitive game.

It was last year. He was at Hargrave Military Academy. Tennessee’s JV squad was the opponent. Suffice to say, the stands weren’t standing room only.

“This is going to be a whole different thing playing in front of 110,000,” McCalebb said.

It will be a new challenge for the Tigers (4-0, 1-0 SEC) this Saturday when they travel to Knoxville to face Tennessee (2-2, 0-1) in front of a different shaded sea of orange.

Because of the unbalanced SEC schedule, it’s Auburn first trip to Neyland Stadium since a 34-10 victory in 2004, meaning no current member of the team has played a major college game there.

“It’s a big atmosphere,” said left guard Mike Berry, who, as one of three Tennessee natives on the roster, has made a few trips to the stadium. “One-hundred ten thousand (fans). It gets real loud.”
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