Auburn vs. Kentucky: A Look At Their Football History

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Auburn vs. Kentucky: A Look At Their Football History

The Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats are two of the more prominent football programs in the NCAA, with both of them playing in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

While they don’t have that great a rivalry, especially when compared to some of the top rivalries in college football, they do have a history dating back close to 90 years.

The Tigers have the bragging rights in that regard as they’re 27-6-1 in that matchup and have won the last three games. The Tigers haven’t lost to the Wildcats since 2009 and their single draw goes way back to the year 1955. 

As mentioned above, the history between these two programs is hardly bitter, but they have played some memorable games since that first-ever meeting in Lexington in 1934.

The Tigers weren’t having a great year back then, with Jack Meagher going through his first season as both head coach and athletic director for the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Meagher would go on to coach the Tigers until 1942 and is famed for his “Meagher’s Marauders” because of the aggression his players exhibited at Auburn. 

The Tigers went 2-8 in that first season, though, as they were only able to beat Oglethorpe and Georgia Tech. The Wildcats beat them 9-0 that term. 

One of their most memorable games came in 2010, with the Wildcats going undefeated and winning the National Championship. The Tigers gave them quite a run and they were very much aware that they were in a game from early on. They came up with a close 37-34 in a matchup that saw Cam Newton make one of the most memorable plays of his college career as he threw a 33-yard pass to Kodi Burns while a Kentucky player was bringing him down with a tackle. 

The Tigers scored their biggest win over KY on October 7, 1967, during Shug Jordan’s 17th season in charge. Auburn went 6-4 that year – with a 3-3 conference record – and defeated Kentucky via a 48-7 blowout. 

The team was loaded with NFL potential then. Center Forrest Blue was drafted 15th overall in 1968 and went on to become a three-time All-Pro and a four-time Pro Bowler. He died from CTE complications in 2011 aged 65. 

Wide receiver Fred Hyatt also went pro that year as he was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round, while Tom Banks, another center, went in the eighth round and was a four-time Pro Bowler by the time he retired.

The teams haven’t met since September of 2020. Auburn went into that game as a 10-point favorite. In such high-stakes games, Kentucky residents, keen on supporting their team, often look to the top KY sportsbooks for placing their bets. 

Back then, betting on such close matchups would have been particularly exciting, though the Tigers ultimately secured a 28-13 victory. Auburn responded by scoring a touchdown of their own before things cooled off.

The Wildcats were subjected to an awful call after Chris Rodriguez gave them a 14-8 lead that was erased by the officials. Just two plays later, they made the strange decision to throw the ball from the one-yard line and had it run back the full 100 yards for a Tigers touchdown. 

That score was also scraped off due to a targeting penalty but Auburn scored a TD to start the second half. The Wildcats scored again but failed with their attempt at the two-point conversion and things went downhill from there as their secondary crashed and burned, as did their linebackers. 

The Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats share a mutual respect for each other. Both teams have produced some high-quality players over the years, and their matchups have always been highly anticipated by fans of both programs.

Auburn will be looking to extend their winning streak against Kentucky to four games the next time they meet, while the Wildcats will be looking to turn the tide in their favor and come away with a victory.

But for now, they will be simply looking to improve as they’ve both had very poor seasons in 2023. Kentucky is sixth in the SEC East with a 3-5 conference record while Auburn is fifth in the West at 3-4 – both teams are 6-5 overall with one game left to play.

from The War Eagle Reader

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