Auburn's Jacobs returns to home state

Updated: October 22, 2003, 1:49 PM ET

AUBURN, Ala. -- Brandon Jacobs figures a police escort might not be enough to protect him from LSU fans.

"I might just have to go down there and ride with the cops," the Auburn tailback and Napoleanville, La., native said. "I'm a big thing down there, as far as fans wanting me to go there, and I know they're going to treat me bad."

Jacobs showed exactly why he was such a coveted recruit last week, rushing 31 times for 182 yards against Mississippi State. He's a few years removed from his days at Assumption High School, where he ran for 3,022 yards and 38 touchdowns as a senior.

Jacobs put up huge numbers the past two years at Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas, then stuck to his guns and came to his original college choice last winter.

He joined an Auburn backfield crowded with star runners in Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown and a solid third-teamer in Tre Smith. The 6-foot-4, 257-pound Jacobs has carved himself a spot in that no longer ironclad rotation with a pair of 100-yard games.

Brown, a 1,000-yard rusher last season, has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury but is expected to play against LSU. Smith has been the odd man despite a 126-yard effort against Alabama last season.

This game is a bit more personal for Jacobs, who'd love to put on a show for his homestate fans.

"That's all he's been saying: (I'm) going back home," Williams said. "I think it's going to be a good game for him go back and play in front of his homeboys back home."

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DON'T COME A-ROCKING: Crazy. That's the word that Auburn players use most to describe the atmosphere at LSU's Tiger Stadium. Two years ago, it got downright scary.

That's when a group of LSU fans rocked Auburn's team bus and rushed Tuberville and his wife after the game, behavior for which LSU's chancellor later apologized.

"There's just certain things you do and don't do, and I think they crossed the line a little bit putting Coach Tuberville and his family in harm's way," Auburn defensive tackle DeMarco McNeil said.

Tuberville helped ignite those bad feelings on their previous visit in 1999 when he and some of his players lit up victory cigars on the field.

Auburn had been blown out by Alabama the previous week.

"It was a bad couple of weeks for coach Tubs," Tuberville said.

Defensive tackle Spencer Johnson recalls fans running up to him with cigars after the 2001 game. He also remembers wanting to go to his coach's aid and uses terms like "raging" and "really wild" to describe LSU's fans.

Luckily, the coaches wouldn't let the players off the bus to aid their coach or confront fans.

"They were mooning us and hitting the bus, little kids about 4 years old throwing us the bird and stuff like that," Johnson said. "It was crazy."

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WHO'S THE KICKER?: Philip Yost might have claimed place-kicking duties with a 42-yard field goal against Mississippi State. He replaced John Vaughn,who had pushed a 38-yarder left of the uprights in the first quarter.

"It's all about production," said Tuberville, who indicated that practice performance would dictate the starter. "If one of them is drastically different from the other, we'll go with whoever's most consistent."

Yost has made both of his attempts this season, including a 57-yarder against Western Kentucky to tie the school record.

Vaughn has made half of his eight kicks.

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QUIET PLEASE: Tuberville isn't one of those coaches who like to use artificial noise at practice to simulate the surroundings for games in hostile environments.

"I did it one time, that's when I was an assistant at Miami and we were getting ready to play Florida State," Tuberville said. "We all had headaches all week long and got the heck beat out of us.

"It didn't work, so I'm not big on that. You have to learn by being there. Our players have been in tough situations before, especially most of the offensive guys."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index