By Jay Coulter
Game Day is finally within sight. We are in game week mode here at Track’em Tigers and it feels good. We can now turn our attention to Kansas State. I don’t know about you, but I love big openers. Playing a team from a major conference on national television is as good as it gets in early September.
Today we’ll look at the game notes for this Saturday’s contest. I tracked down some really good info from the Auburn Sports Information Department and several other sources. Tomorrow we’ll be checking in on Tommy Tuberville’s weekly press conference.
Something we’re excited about for Thursday is a scouting report on Kansas State from Tye over at Bring On the Cats. He covers Kansas State football for SB Nation. I’ll be writing a scouting report for Auburn to appear on his site the same day. We hope to do this kind of thing as much as possible throughout the season.
Let’s look at this weekend’s match-up with the Big 12 Kansas State Wildcats…
Saturday’s contest marks the first meeting between these two schools since 1979 when Auburn, led by coach Doug Barfield defeated KSU 26-18. Auburn is 2-0 lifetime against the Wildcats. Of course, this was prior to the run of KSU legendary coach Bill Snyder who turned the school’s football fortunes around.
Saturday’s game will be televised by ESPN with Ron Franklin, Ed Cunningham and Holly Rowe handling the broadcasting duties. For my money, it doesn’t get any better than Ron Franklin.
The game will also be carried live on ESPN radio with Dave Barnett, Rod Gilmore and Joe Schad handling the duties. The game can also be heard across the Auburn Radio Network and on Sirius channel 126.
Kansas State is coached by Ron Prince. He’s in his second season in Manhattan and comes to Jordan-Hare with a 7-6 overall record. Tommy Tuberville starts his ninth season on the Plains and has a record of 71-29 in that time.
Auburn starts the season ranked 14th in the country in the Coaches Poll and 18th in the Associated Press. It marks the fifth straight season that Auburn has been ranked in the preseason top 25.
Auburn’s game with Kansas State will mark the second in a row against the Big 12, having defeated Nebraska 17-14 in the Cotton Bowl in January.
Auburn is 11-1 in home night games since the 2000 season.
The Tiger’s 87 season-opening victories is second most in SEC history behind Alabama. However, they have lost three of their last five openers. Last year, Auburn defeated Washington State 40-14 in the opener at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
With Tuberville as coach, Auburn is 41-0 when scoring 30 or more points in a game.
The Tigers are 138-44-5 during the month of September, including a 28-5 mark under Tuberville. Auburn has won eight straight home games in September.
Defensive-end Quentin Groves needs just four more sacks to break the all-time Auburn career sack record held by Gerald Robinson (1982-85) who has 26.
How’s this for season openers? Bo Jackson rushed for 290 yards in the Tigers 1985 season opener against Southwest Louisiana. Alexander Wright had 263 receiving yards in the opener against Pacific in 1989. Both are season-opening records in the SEC.
Brandon Cox begins his senior campaign on the Plains. History suggests that Auburn will fare well. In the last 10 seasons where a senior quarterback has been behind center, Auburn has averaged 9.4 wins a year. Their overall record in those years is 97-22-2.