SEC Honors Pair of Tigers

Kenny Irons

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn juniors Kenny Irons and Joe Cope have been honored as SEC Players of the Week for their strong performances in a 31-30 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs.

Irons took over the conference lead in rushing and scored two touchdowns vs. the Bulldogs. He ran the ball 37 times for 179 yards and caught three passes for 31 yards.

Cope graded 97 percent overall and was credited with six pancake blocks as Auburn improved to 6-1 in the SEC and 8-2 overall with the victory at Sanford Stadium on Saturday night.

Joe Cope is a walk-on from Andalusia High School.

Cope injured an ankle vs. the Bulldogs and was replaced in the fourth quarter by Jonathan Palmer. Offensive line coach Hugh Nall said he expects to have his starting center ready for duty this Saturday vs. Alabama. "I am planning on him being back," Nall said.

Nall added that Palmer did a good job in relief duty vs. the Bulldogs. "That was a good experience for him," the coach said. "That was a good defensive front."

Irons now has 1,102 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 5.3 yards per carry. His average of 110.2 yards leads the SEC. In conference games, the transfer from South Carolina is averaging 119.7 and he has rushed for at least 100 yards seven times this season. Last season, he redshirted as a transfer.

Kenny Irons was also named SEC Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 182 yards in a victory at Arkansas.

A native of Dacula, Ga., Irons says he thoroughly enjoyed the victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. "That was a lot of fun," he said. "Our offensive line did a great job against Georgia and overall we played a great game. It couldn't have had a better ending with John Vaughn coming through to kick the winning field goal."

Cope, a walk-on from Andalusia, won the starting job in preseason. He has played in just 12 college games and started all 10 games for the Tigers.

Cope says he and the Tigers are looking forward to this week's showdown with Alabama, which will play at Auburn at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. "This is a huge game right here," he says. "For the fans, this is their game. They love it."

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