Auburn-Tennessee Preview Capsule

No. 7 Auburn (8-1, 4-1 SEC) at Tennessee (4-5, 1-4), noon (ESPN)

Line: Auburn by 7 ½.

Series Record: Auburn leads 27-21-3.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Auburn wants to maintain its top-10 ranking in its final regular-season road game before closing the regular season by hosting Georgia and No. 1 Alabama. Tennessee is seeking to end a 19-game losing streak against top-10 teams. Tennessee hasn't beaten a top-10 opponent since a 51-33 victory over No. 10 Georgia on Oct. 7, 2006.

KEY MATCHUP

Auburn running game vs. Tennessee run defense: Auburn leads the SEC with 306.2 yards rushing per game. Tennessee has allowed 201.7 yards rushing per game and 5.1 yards per carry to rank last in the SEC in run defense. In its last game, Tennessee gave up 339 yards rushing in a 31-3 loss to No. 9 Missouri.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Auburn: RB Tre Mason has rushed for 921 yards and leads the SEC with 13 touchdown runs. Mason rushed for 168 yards and a career-high four touchdowns last week in a 35-17 victory over Arkansas.

Tennessee: QB Joshua Dobbs made his first career start last week and showed flashes of potential by rushing for 45 yards on seven carries and going 26 of 42 for 240 yards passing. Dobbs, a freshman, must do a better job of protecting the football Saturday after throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble against Missouri.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn has posted the biggest turnaround of any FBS team through its first nine games this season. Auburn was 2-7 at this point last year. ... Four of Auburn's eight wins have been decided by eight points or less. ... Auburn has scored at least 30 points in five straight games. Auburn has won each of its last 84 games in which it has reached the 30-point mark. ... Tennessee is facing its fifth straight team ranked 11th or higher and is playing a third consecutive game against a top-10 foe. The Volunteers last faced three straight top-10 teams in 1964. ... The Vols are 27-2 in homecoming contests since 1984. ... Tennessee linebackers coach Tommy Thigpen and secondary coach Willie Martinez both worked at Auburn last year on former coach Gene Chizik's staff.

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