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September 4, 2008

Eagles continue preparations for Auburn

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss renews its rivalry after a 15-year hiatus with No. 9 Auburn Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium in front a regional television audience. The game will be television on Raycom Sports with affiliates all across the southeast.

The telecast will also be available as part of ESPN's GamePlan Package in select U.S. markets. GamePlan is a pay-per-view service offered via DirecTV, Dish Network and participating cable systems.

The game can also be seen through ESPN360.com. Please check your availability with ESPN360.

The Golden Eagles (1-0) enter the game on the strength of a 51-21 season-opening victory over Louisiana-Lafayette last weekend. Southern Miss established a school record in the game with 633 total offensive yards and junior running back Damion Fletcher rushed for a career-best 222 yards - the third highest total for a Golden Eagle rusher in a contest. Fletcher also became the fourth Golden Eagle to rush for over 3,000 yards in his career and currently ranks third overall at the school with 3,196.

A trio of freshmen also stood out in the win. Austin Davis, the first freshman to start in the Golden Eagles' season opener at quarterback since 1991, threw for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while rushing for 63 more and tallying a pair of running scores. True freshmen DeAndre Brown, who tallied four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown, and Terrance Pope, who added a fumble recovery in his debut, enjoyed solid first games as Golden Eagles as well.

The Golden Eagles face the Tigers (1-0) for the first time since the 1993 season when they dropped a 35-24 decision at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn, which beat Louisiana-Monroe 34-0 in its opener last weekend, hold a 16-5 overall advantage in the series.

Southern Miss, though, has won twice in the last four meetings. The Golden Eagles defeated the Tigers 13-12 in 1990 and 10-9 in 1991. Despite playing all 21 games in the series in the state of Alabama, the series has remained close as games have been decided by seven points or less in seven different games with the Golden Eagles winning four of those contests.

Fedora and his team look forward to the challenge ahead of playing in a hostile environment in front of 87,451 fans.

"Traditionally it is one or the loudest stadiums in the country, so we will have to prepare with some noise during practice this week," said Fedora. "We will also have to do a good job with out snap counts and the way we handle things. It will take some extra concentration on everyone's part."

Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville addressed the Auburn media Tuesday and said that his team was looking forward to its tough opponent this week in the Golden Eagles. "This is going to be a good challenge for us," said Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville. "It's an 11:30 start so it's going to be pretty humid, and it's going to be one of those (games) where we'll have a lot of people prepared to play. We're looking forward to it."

Following the Auburn tilt, the Golden Eagles remain on the road next week (Sept. 13) when they travel to Jonesboro, Ark., to face Arkansas State. The Red Wolves won their opener on the road, defeating Texas A&M 18-14 in College Station. Game time is 6 p.m.


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