Originally created 10/10/01

Auburn hoping for another huge upset



AUBURN, Ala. -- If Auburn is looking for reasons to take heart with No. 1 Florida coming to visit, the best place might be in past history.

There was the 1993 game when Terry Bowden's first team upended the fourth-ranked Gators in the program's only 11-0 season.

In 1994, Auburn accomplished a rarity, beating the heavily favored, top-ranked Gators at "The Swamp" in one of the program's most memorable victories.

More recent history doesn't favor the Tigers (4-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference), who are 21-point underdogs entering Saturday night's game with the Gators (5-0, 3-0).

Since 1994, Steve Spurrier has made the Tigers pay, winning the last seven games by an average score of 35-12.

As if they needed the extra motivation, the Tigers are embracing the underdog status.

"Nobody in the world gives us a chance, but as long as we believe we can beat them, I think we have a great opportunity," quarterback Jason Campbell said Tuesday.

Added cornerback Roderick Hood: "We're not looking to go in and lose. Deep down inside our hearts and with the unity on this team, we're going to try to win this ball game."

Auburn does have that history to build on.

-In 1993, Scott Etheridge hit a 41-yard field goal with 1:21 left and Calvin Jackson had a 96-yard interception return against Danny Wuerffel.

-Bowden called the 1994 game Auburn's "Super Bowl." The 16-point underdogs had five interceptions against Terry Dean and Wuerffel. The last set up Patrick Nix's 8-yard touchdown pass to Frank Sanders with 30 seconds left for Auburn's second win in eight tries against a No. 1 team.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville knows Florida will be determined not to relinquish the No. 1 ranking they just regained after entering the season atop the poll.

Miami lost the top spot despite beating Division I-A freshman Troy State 38-7.

"They're going to want to make a good showing so they can keep that No. 1 ranking because Miami plays Florida State," Tuberville said. "It's not just how you play, it's how much you play and dominate.

"We won't catch them napping."

The Gators beat Auburn twice last season by a combined score of 66-13.

Some memories linger more than others. After freshman quarterback Rex Grossman threw touchdown passes on the first five possessions, he commented that even Florida's scout team "at least stopped us one out of five, maybe."

"That always sticks in the back of our heads," Hood said. "That's going to give us drive all week.

"We'll show you a scout team if you want to see a scout team."

Hood's bravado aside, Auburn's players are shying away from trash-talk, perhaps not wanting to irritate a team that has outscored league opponents 140-25.

James Callier can't help but respect the Gators - and he's from Miami.

"If you don't, then you're lying to yourself," the defensive end said. "They've done it year in and year out.

"They've got a lot of great players at skill positions. They've got a great quarterback, who does what he's told and can get the job done. And they've got a great coaching staff. When you've got all those components, that makes for a great football team, which they are."

Tuberville knows his team is far from great right now, needing late field goals to beat Mississippi State and Vanderbilt the past two weeks.

The Tigers will have little margin for error this week, including avoiding last week's failed fake punt in their own territory.

"I don't know that we have to play a perfect game, but I think we have to play better than how we've played, more consistently," Tuberville said. "We have to play a smart game, not just on the players' part but on my part. Last week, we took some chances and they didn't work."

TIGER TALES: Cornerback Travaris Robinson is doubtful and linebacker Tavarreus Pounds is out for up to a month with a sprained ankle. Pounds' loss means fullback Brandon Johnson will log more time at linebacker in practice ... Tuberville is 0-4 against the Gators at Mississippi and Auburn ... The Tigers have 15 players who hail from Florida.