Georgia Tech 23

(1-0, 1-0 away)

(16) Auburn 14

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: ESPN

8:45 PM ET, September 3, 2005

Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

1 2 3 4 T
GT 10 7 0 623
#16AUB 0 14 0 014

Top Performers

Passing: B. Cox (AUB) - 342 YDS, 2 TD, 4 INT

Rushing: P. Daniels (GT) - 23 CAR, 111 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: B. Obomanu (AUB) - 6 REC, 90 YDS, 1 TD

Rebuilding Auburn puts win streak on line against Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech (0-0) at No. 16 Auburn (0-0) 8:45 pm EST ----------------------------------------------------------------

AUBURN, Alabama (Ticker) - Minus four first-round draft picks, the Auburn Tigers put the nation's third-longest winning streak on the line Saturday.

With running backs Carnell Williams and Ronnie Brown, cornerback Carlos Rogers and quarterback Jason Campbell gone, the 16th-ranked Tigers will have to hope a rebuilt offense and stingy defense is enough to tame Georgia Tech and pick up their 16th consecutive win in Saturday's season opener.

After going 13-0 last season, coach Tommy Tuberville's squad did not get a crack at USC in the Orange Bowl. However, the the Tigers did get a schedule that has five consecutive home games to open the campaign.

Brandon Cox will take over the offense from Campbell, the 2004 SEC Player of the Year. Cox has an accurate arm but has attempted just 34 career passes.

Junior Tre Smith is the most experienced running back to replace Williams and Brown. He has 631 yards and nine touchdowns on 118 career carries but missed 10 games last season with a shoulder injury.

The defense led the nation by allowing only 11.31 points per game last season, and all three starting linebackers return. If a replacement for Rogers can be found, the defense should be tough under first-year coordinator David Gibbs.

After going 7-5 with a bowl victory a year ago, the Yellow Jackets will be hard-pressed to continue a string of eight straight seasons with a bowl appearance. A tough non-conference slate features three bowl teams, and the Yellow Jackets travel to Virginia Tech, Miami and Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Quarterback Reggie Ball may be challenged by freshman Taylor Bennett and will have to regain the form that made him 2003 ACC Rookie of the Year if Georgia Tech is to have any success. He needs to improve on a 49.7 percent completion rate from a year ago, then hope running back P.J. Daniels' recovery from in-season knee surgery goes well.

Bell's job should be made easier by sophomore wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who had 837 receiving yards and seven TDs last year.

The defense returns eight starters from a formidable unit that showcases speed. End Eric Henderson is the best of the bunch but must stay healthy for a defense that ranked third in the conference in fewest yards allowed.

Auburn holds a 47-40-4 edge over Georgia Tech in a series that dates to 1892.


Passing Leaders

J. Thomas50.91594175
T. Byerly69.214810
N. Marshall60.12315187
J. Johnson75.743630

Rushing Leaders

J. Thomas1769655.55
Z. Laskey1617884.99
C. Artis-Payne27714825.411
N. Marshall1467805.311

Receiving Leaders

D. Smelter3571520.47
D. Waller2132815.65
D. Williams4573016.25
S. Coates3071723.94