News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

College Football Notes


DALLAS — Auburn’s Kenny Irons likes to talk trash, which is nothing new to those who follow the Tigers.

But for Nebraska’s players, they’re apparently taking it to heart.

A reporter asked Nebraska linebacker Corey McKeon about Irons’ statement that the Cornhuskers haven’t faced a running game like Auburn’s this season. To say McKeon took offense would be like saying the Tennessee River is heavy with barge traffic.

“Does anyone have statistics on ’em?” McKeon said. “Like, are they the No. 1 running game in the nation? Well, apparently, they’re the best ever. It’s like we’re playing Herschel Walker in his college days for Georgia. That’s what I’ve been hearing.”

McKeon then issued a response, saying he hopes Auburn runs the ball all day at him.

“If they want to keep running the ball, we’re going to keep tackling them,” he said.

“And when it comes down to it, if they want to play into our hand, that’s good for us.”

Lesson learned: Auburn went into the Capital One Bowl a year ago on a high, having beaten Alabama for the fourth straight time and having not lost a game since mid-October. And then, Wisconsin smoked Auburn 24-10 in the bowl.

Receiver Courtney Taylor said that won’t happen this time. Though the Tigers are again coming off a win over Alabama, last year’s bowl game set a tone for the team this time around.

“We will never take anybody for granted,” Taylor said. “We don’t care what anyone says about how weak they are. We’re coming to play Auburn football, and that’s it.”

Bradley Handwerger,
Daily Sports Writer


TAMPA, Fla. — Tennessee wide receiver Bret Smith has been declared academically ineligible to play in the Outback Bowl on Monday against Penn State.

A senior, Smith had a career-high 39 catches, 453 yards and five touchdowns this season.

The Associated Press

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