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A spirit that is not afraid

Staying on track


Before the season started, I predicted the Tigers would go 10-2 with losses to either Arkansas or LSU at home and Alabama in the Iron Bowl, but fortunately, that's not the way it turned out.

The Tigers are 9-0 and look to make a run at a conference, maybe even a national, title.

Auburn convincingly beat Ole Miss 51-31, in a game which saw several big plays from players other than Cameron Newton.

Demond Washington had a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown, Onterio McCalebb had a 68-yard touchdown run, and Michael Dyer had a 30-yarder to throw in the mix.

Dyer led the Tigers with 180 rushing yards, making it the third game he's rushed for at least 100 yards or more.

Dyer's 180 yards ranks third for most yards in a game by an Auburn freshman, and his 723 yards on the season trails Bo Jackson's freshman year running record by only 106 yards.

Washington earned SEC Co-Special Teams Player of the Week and Paul Hornung's Most Versatile Performances of the Week honors after a great showing against the Rebels.

Washington returned five kickoffs for 176 yards, including a 95-yard return for a touchdown in the second quarter.

His return for a touchdown was only the second of his career, while his 176 return yards are the third most in a game in Auburn history.

Defensively, Washington had six tackles, intercepted a pass and had a pass break up.

This performance showed the Tigers can still win even if teams contain Newton, something of importance if the Tigers want a shot at any title.

Saturday marks the 97th observance and 84th homecoming game for Auburn.

Auburn won its 18th straight Homecoming game last year, breaking the record for the longest streak in school history, which had been set from 1953-69.

Auburn has scored 25 or more points in 23 of the last 27 Homecoming games.

This week a 5-3 Chattanooga team is coming to the Plains.

Second-year Chattanooga coach Russ Huesman has the Moc football program heading in the right direction after a 6-5 record his first year as coach.

The performance marked the Moc's first winning season since 2005 and earned Huesman 2009 Southern Conference Coach of the Year honors.

The Mocs are coming off a 49-35 loss against Elon, and things aren't looking any better this week.

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Auburn has the nation's second-best offense, averaging 496.2 yards per game and will most likely play most of the second half with freshmen and the second string.

Key players for the Mocs include junior wide receiver Joel Bradford and freshman defensive back Kadeem Wise.

Bradford ranks first among Football Championship Subdivision schools in receiving yards and is fourth in receptions.

Bradford hauled in 66 passes for 1,027 yards and seven scores, while Wise is tied for second nationally with six interceptions.

Auburn should easily win this one and get ready for the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry.

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