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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Running Auburn-Kentucky pre-game post

You're looking LIVE at the outside of Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Ky., where tonight's Auburn-Kentucky matchup will start.

I haven't been to Kentucky before. It seems very nice. Couldn't have run into a nicer group of Wildcat fans in the parking lot (which was extremely close to the stadium, by the way). One Kentucky fan seemed to think the Tigers would roll in this one. He was particularly wary of Cam Newton, predicting something like a 40-17 final. I don't know if it will be that lopsided. My prediction was 42-31 Auburn. I guess we'll see.

The weather? Gorgeous. Absolutely perfect out. 83 degrees, feels like 80. Should cool off a bit as the sun sets. Just a great night for football.

As usual, I'll update the blog with any pertinent info as the game gets closer to starting. For instant updates — and occasionally witty comments during the game — follow along on Twitter.

Some pre-game minutia:
  • Auburn leads the series 24-6-1. Kentucky’s win last year at Auburn snapped a 15-game losing streak in the series that dated back to 1966.
  • Auburn hasn’t traveled to Lexington, Ky., since 2005, when it won 49-27 as Kenny Irons rushed for three touchdowns.
  • The Tigers have won their past seven games in Lexington.
  • Auburn is 5-0 for the second straight season and the fourth time in the last seven years.
  • The Tigers' No. 8 ranking is their highest since 2006.
  • Auburn is eight nationally in rushing offense (269.0 ypg), 11th in total offense (475.4 ypg) and 20th in scoring offense (36.6 ppg).
  • Newton is second nationally in pass efficiency (191.44) and fourth in the SEC in rushing (474 yards). He is on pace to be the first player in SEC history to pass for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 in the same season.
  • Auburn has stuffed the run this year, giving up 92.8 yards per game, the 12th-best mark in the country.
  • The Tigers have allowed 10 points in the fourth quarter and overtime this year.
  • Auburn has forced eight turnovers the last two weeks.
  • DT Nick Fairley leads the SEC in sacks (5) and tackles for a loss (11.5). He has at least 1.5 TFLs in every game this season.
  • Auburn has won 59 straight games when scoring or more points, dating back to 1996.
  • Kentucky has two of the most dynamic players in the SEC in running back Derrick Locke and wide receiver Randall Cobb, who gashed the Tigers’ defense last year for 235 rushing yards.
  • Wildcats QB Mike Hartline missed last year’s game with a knee injury but has been sharp this season, throwing eight touchdown passes. His 1,222 passing yards are second-most in the SEC.
  • Kentucky has allowed only two sacks all year, despite leading the SEC in pass attempts.
  • The Wildcats have the SEC’s best passing defense (141.8 ypg) but the second-worst rushing defense (166.2 ypg).
  • Kentucky WR Chris Matthews’ five touchdown receptions lead the SEC.
UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: Only three quarterbacks are out for the pre-game walkthrough: Newton, Barrett Trotter and Neil Caudle. No Clint Moseley in sight. Not sure if he's still in the locker room or not here. Trotter's got a good-sized brace on his right knee. Don't know if that means he'll be available tonight or not.

UPDATE, 5:54 p.m.: LB Eltoro Freeman isn't on the field for pre-game warmups. Didn't see him at the pre-game prayer either. He might not have made the trip.

UPDATE, 6:00 p.m.: Special teams standouts Craig Sanders and Demetruce McNeal are both here. There was some concern they got nicked up last week, I believe.


Tar Heel Tiger said...

Fantastic report, AB. Thanks so much for the info.

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