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(13) Auburn 13, (19) Vanderbilt 14

Game Rating:
Average Rating:
4.6 / 5.0 (519 votes)
#13AUB (4-2)1300013
#19VAN (5-0)077014


6:00 PM ET, October 4, 2008
Vanderbilt Stadium,
Nashville, TN

Auburn's offense looks to get on track against upstart Vandy

Vanderbilt Beats Auburn, 14-13
Top 25 Overview
Nashville, TN - 6:00 PM ET
Upstart Vanderbilt has a chance to go 5-0 for the first time since 1943 when it hosts Auburn. Auburn has won 13 straight games against Vanderbilt. This will be the first time the Tigers have played a ranked Vanderbilt team.
Complete Top 25 Overview
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Auburn's defensive line will be too much for a young Vanderbilt offensive line when the teams meet Saturday.
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· Complete Standings
In Close Games (7 points or less. Since 2001)
AUB16 - 7
VAN6 - 18
Record When Scoring... (Since 2001)
Total YardsAUB
322.3 / 104th
288.6 / 115th
Passing YardsAUB
173.8 / 103rd
105.8 / 117th
Rushing YardsAUB
148.5 / 60th
182.8 / 35th
Points ScoredAUB
18.7 / 107th
26.6 / 64th
Full Team Stats: Auburn | Vanderbilt
Individual Leaders
Auburn Passing
Vanderbilt Passing
Auburn Rushing
Vanderbilt Rushing
Auburn Receiving
Vanderbilt Receiving
Full Player Stats: Auburn | Vanderbilt

Auburn, struggling to score, is trying to be patient with first-year offensive coordinator Tony Franklin. Building an offense that contributes to a successful team often takes a few games, or in Vanderbilt's case, seven years.

Coming off another poor game on offense, the 13th-ranked Tigers face the surprising 19th-ranked Commodores in a Southeastern Conference matchup Saturday night.

Auburn's hired Franklin -- the former offensive coordinator at Troy -- in the offseason to install his successful spread offense, but the Tigers (4-1, 2-1 SEC) rank in the bottom half of the conference in all the major statistical categories.

Vanderbilt (4-0, 2-0), meanwhile, has had Ted Cain running its offense for the past seven years under coach Bobby Johnson, posting a few productive seasons. But now that offense has led the Commodores to their first national ranking since 1984.

Averaging 29.8 points and 202.0 rushing yards, Vanderbilt has a chance to go 5-0 for the first time since 1943, when it played only five games due to World War II.

Those are the kind of numbers that the Tigers would love to be producing right now. They're averaging 19.8 points, but have been held under 15 twice.

Auburn was held to a season-low 226 yards in a 14-12 win over Tennessee last Saturday.

"I just don't think I've done a very good job of coaching it," Franklin said. "I mean, it's pretty obvious that these guys don't look well-coached. And that's me. I have not done a good job of coaching. The finger's pointing at me and it deserves to be."

The adjustment to Franklin's offense has been rocky. Auburn has scored three offensive touchdowns in three SEC games, ranks 112th nationally in third-down conversions and no better than 90th in six other offensive categories.

The Tigers' quarterback situation remains unsettled, with Chris Todd and Kodi Burns combining to throw for three touchdowns against four interceptions.

"We're 4-1 and played a very tough schedule to this point and we haven't seen hardly anything from this offense," Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville said. "Once we get going, it's going to be much better. There's no panic mode.

"One day we'll have the talent where we can say, 'We'll run 100 percent of what Tony likes to run.' Right now we don't have the talent in some areas. We have to take advantage of our offensive talent versus the defense that we play."

Other than Todd, most of Auburn's current players were recruited when the team was still running the West Coast offense. Todd remains the starter, but Burns, who brings more mobility to the position, is back in the mix after not playing for two games.

The Tigers will try to take advantage of a Commodores team that has given up a league-high 364 yards a game. Vanderbilt, though, has held its opponents to 17.0 points per contest, and its offense has held the ball for an average of 31:04 minutes.

Cain, Johnson's first hire upon arriving at Vanderbilt, has helped put the SEC's smallest school in position to play one of its most important games in decades. The Commodores rushed for two touchdowns in their last game, a 23-17 victory over Mississippi on Sept. 20.

Now, after a bye week, Vanderbilt expects to have receiver George Smith back from a stress fracture in his foot. The senior is a productive third receiver who has yet to play a game this season.

Quarterback Chris Nickson, who hurt his shoulder against Mississippi, threw Sunday for the first time and should have a chance to play Saturday. He has thrown three TDs with no interceptions, managing a ground-based offense that has the ranked Commodores confident entering this marquee matchup.

"We want to play important games," said Johnson, who won two games in each of his first three seasons after arriving at Vanderbilt in 2002. "This is exactly what we wanted. We want to compete in this great conference and win. We'll find out if we can continue to do that."

But Johnson has seen a fast start fall apart before, going 4-0 in 2005 before fizzling to a 5-6 finish.

"We've got plenty of work to do instead of worrying about polls and what people think about us," Johnson said. "It's very flattering, yes, but we've got a lot of work to do."

Auburn has won 13 straight games against Vanderbilt, dating back to the 1955 Gator Bowl that the Commodores won 25-13. This will be the first time the Tigers have played Vanderbilt with the Commodores ranked.

College Football Scores

Other Scores:

Wednesday, October 1st
Louisiana Tech 3 Final
17 Boise State 38
Thursday, October 2nd
Pittsburgh 26 Final
10 South Florida 21
Oregon State 28 Final
15 Utah 31
Friday, October 3rd
8 Brigham Young 34 Final
Utah State 14
Saturday, October 4th
1 Oklahoma 49 Final
Baylor 17
Kentucky 14 Final
2 Alabama 17
4 Missouri 52 Final
Nebraska 17
5 Texas 38 Final
Colorado 14
6 Penn State 20 Final
Purdue 6
7 Texas Tech 58 Final
Kansas State 28
23 Oregon 10 Final
9 USC 44
12 Florida 38 Final
Arkansas 7
13 Auburn 13 Final
19 Vanderbilt 14
14 Ohio State 20 Final
18 Wisconsin 17
16 Kansas 35 Final
Iowa State 33
Western Kentucky 13 Final
20 Virginia Tech 27
Texas A&M 28 Final
21 Oklahoma State 56
Hawaii 32 Final
22 Fresno State 29 OT
24 Connecticut 12 Final
North Carolina 38