LEXINGTON, Ky. — Two Auburn players unexpectedly didn’t make the trip for the Tigers’ game against Kentucky.
Backup quarterback Clint Moseley and linebacker Eltoro Freeman weren’t on the sideline at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.
Moseley, a redshirt freshman, traveled for the team’s only other road game this year against Mississippi State.
Cam Newton, Barrett Trotter and Neil Caudle were the only quarterbacks on this trip. Trotter, whose injured right knee was a hot topic all week, wore a brace but was moving fine during warmups.
Freeman, a backup on the weak side to senior Craig Stevens, missed his first game this year. No reason was given prior to the game for his absence.
The junior played in each of the first five games, starting twice while Stevens served a two-game team-imposed suspension. He had 18 total tackles and two tackles for a loss this year.
Freeman missed three games last season. Two were for injuries and one was for personal reasons.
Big first half
Auburn scored 31 points in the first half for the third time this season. The Tigers previously put up 31 points against Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe.
It marked the first time since 1995 Auburn has topped 30 points at the break in back-to-back contests. The Tigers scored 35 first-half points that year against Kentucky and 31 against Mississippi State.
The 31 points were the most Auburn scored after one half in an SEC game since putting up 31 against South Carolina on Oct. 1, 2005.
Season of change
True freshman Steven Clark replaced Ryan Shoemaker as Auburn’s punter, averaging 33.5 yards on his first two attempts, both of which resulted in fair catches.
Shoemaker handled Auburn’s punts the first four games but struggled, averaging 38.9 yards per kick. The Tigers entered the game 11th in the SEC in net punting.
Clark was preparing to enter the end of the ULM game last week, but Auburn didn’t need him.
Clark is Auburn’s 15th true freshman to get into a game this season.
Good and bad
Freshman tailback Mike Dyer had the longest run of his career in the first half, but he also had his second fumble.
Dyer ran six times for 40 yards before the break. Twenty-seven of those yards came on a first-quarter run.
But he also put the ground for the second time in his career. Dyer got upended at the end of a 7-yard run in the second quarter, letting the ball squirt away. He got up and hustled to recover it, though, getting into a scrum as the ball was pushed out of bounds. Auburn maintained possession.
The biggest cheers from the Auburn contingent Saturday night might have been about a game more than 400 miles away.
Tigers fans twice broke out in cheers as news of state rival Alabama’s loss to South Carolina spread.
A group gathered in the corner of one upper deck to peer into a luxury box, which showed the Gamecocks’ 35-21 upset of the Crimson Tide.
They cheered loudly in the pre-game when USC running back Marcus Lattimore scored a late touchdown. They erupted again when the final score was announced over the PA during the first half.
Remembering Dean Foy
Auburn remembered beloved former dean James E. Foy, who died in his sleep at the age of 93 Friday night.
Foy was an Alabama graduate but joined Auburn as assistant director of student affairs. He eventually served as dean of student affairs until 1978.
The James E. Foy-Omnicron Delta Kappa Sportsmanship Trophy given to the winner of the Iron Bowl is named in his honor.
“Dean Foy was a true gentleman who was loved, respected and revered by the Auburn family,” Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said. “He lived the Auburn Creed, he embodied Auburn values and he set a great example for all of us to follow. … His legacy of class, character, service and sportsmanship will endure for generations to come.”
LT Lee Ziemba started his 44th straight game. He is five shy of Will Herring’s school record of 49. … LB Daren Bates forced his second fumble this season, knocking the ball loose from Derrick Locke in the second quarter. Stevens recovered for Auburn, which capitalized with a 38-yard field goal by Wes Byrum. … WR Kodi Burns caught his first pass this year, a 33-yarder Newton threw while falling out of bounds in the second quarter.