Auburn had plenty of motivation to beat Tennessee last Saturday, thanks to some Volunteer fans who went trash-talking via the postal service.
"There were several notes that were sent to us from Tennessee fans, especially to me," Auburn receivers coach Trooper Taylor said on the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page, on Monday. "Coach (Gene) Chizik's and my mailbox were full.
"I've got one letter here. It's on my desk right now. Somebody tried to make it like it was Lane Kiffin sending it to me. It said 'You should have joined the most elite staff in the country while you had the chance. We will beat your - you know what - this weekend.'"
Taylor, who coached at UT from 2004 to 2007, said the card was signed by someone evidently impersonating Kiffin and UT junior safety Eric Berry.
Taylor said the point spread also motivated his team. UT was a two-point favorite despite a 2-2 record coming into the game. Auburn was 4-0.
"Obviously it was (motivation)," Taylor said. "We put that up (on the bulletin board)."
Taylor, however, maintained that winning on Saturday wasn't significantly special just because he coached at UT.
"It's better to win, period," he said. "I don't want to lose at all."
Taylor said the game was emotional because of all the relationships he still has among the Vols.
"It was tough because of the relationships but it was good because I got to see those guys," Taylor said.
Taylor said several Vols came over and talked to him before the game.
"They were giving me the blues," Taylor said with a chuckle. "But it was all in good fun."
The win against UT vaulted Auburn into the Top 25 for the first time this season. The Tigers are ranked 17th in the Associated Press Poll and 19th in the USA Today coaches' poll.
"It's huge because everybody wants respect and everybody wants to reap the benefits of their hard work," Taylor said. "This team, I think, deserves to be there. It's exciting for our program."