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October 1, 2007

Byrum, Powers named SEC Players of the Week

Auburn sophomore defensive back Jerraud Powers has been named the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Week, while freshman kicker Wes Byrum earned the league's Special Teams Player of the Week award, the conference office announced Monday.

Powers led Auburn with seven tackles (four solo, three assists) and added a pass breakup during the Tigers' 20-17 victory at No. 4 Florida Saturday. He spearheaded a defense that held the Gators to just 17 points, 312 yards of offense and 14 first downs. Entering the contest, Florida was averaging 49.2 points, 517.8 yards and 25 first downs per game.

In addition, Powers helped Auburn shut out Florida in the first half, as the Tigers became the first team to hold Florida scoreless during the opening half since South Carolina on Nov. 14, 1992. The Tiger defense allowed just one play over 25 yards and held Florida without a first down on five of 10 offensive possessions.

Powers is tied for the team lead with 29 tackles this season, including two for losses. He also has four pass break-ups.

Byrum kicked two field goals vs. the Gators, including the game-winner as time expired from 43 yards. He actually made the final field goal twice, but his first attempt was nullified by a timeout called just before the snap. It was his third field goal of more than 40 yards this season.

Byrum also hit a 30-yarder with 6:09 left in the third quarter to give Auburn a 17-3 lead, and added two extra points and one touchback on four kickoffs. He has made eight of his 10 field goal attempts this season and leads Auburn with 39 points scored.

Byrum's game-winner helped Auburn qualify as one of four finalists for the "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" competition on ESPN.

Auburn fans can help determine if the Tigers earn the $5,000 general scholarship fund award for the fifth week of the season by going to pontiac.com/ncaa and voting for their favorite of the four nominated plays. Voting began on Sunday and ends at midnight on Wednesday. ESPN will announce the winner on Thursday night during the Pontiac Performance Halftime Report.

This marks the second straight week that Auburn has had the SEC's Special Teams Player of the Week after Patrick Tatum earned the honor following the New Mexico State game. The Tigers' Quentin Groves was also honored as the Defensive Lineman of the Week following Auburn's season-opening victory over Kansas State.

Auburn returns to action Saturday when the Tigers host Vanderbilt. The game kicks off at 11:30 a.m. CT and will be televised by Lincoln Financial Sports.


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