Sunday, September 28, 2008


Just watch: Vanderbilt will be a trendy pick against Auburn on Saturday in Nashville. And it makes sense, too. So far this season, the Commodores have sported a big-play defense, a steady offense that steps up when it counts, and opportunistic special teams. And the Tigers have had sketchy quarterback play and a shoot-themselves-in-the-foot offense, but also one of the nation's toughest defenses.

Don't be so sure. Historically, this is the time of year that the Tigers turn their season around. Take a look at the Tuberville era:

2000: Auburn destroys Vanderbilt 33-0 on the Plains en route to a berth in the SEC Championship game.

2001: Coming off a humiliating loss at Syracuse, the Tigers couldn't stop Lew Thomas but slipped past Vanderbilt 24-21 in Nashville thanks to an unsuccessful fake field goal late in the game that involved the holder running the option and pitching to the kicker. Auburn won four straight, including a victory over No. 1 Florida and Steve Spurrier.

2002: In Bobby Johnson's first season, the Tigers rebounded from a loss to USC by pounding Vandy 31-6 on the Plains.

2003: After failing to score against USC and Georgia Tech, a winless Auburn team went to Nashville and found just what the doctor ordered: A 45-7 victory.

2007: A shaky Auburn team with a record of 3-2 hosted Vanderbilt and won 35-7.

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