When Auburn meets Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl, they will do so without the help of linebackers Tray Blackmon and Kevin Sears, and tailback Brad Lester. All three were suspended by head coach Tommy Tuberville for "violation of team rules".
Suspensions are not new to Blackmon and Sears who served lengthy suspensions due to alcohol-related arrests in the offseason. Blackmon missed the first six games this season, but wound up starting four games. Sears was also suspended for last year's bowl game, and the first three games of this season. Lester, Auburn's second-leading rusher, ran for 510 yards and a team-leading 9 TD's.
RB Kenny Irons led the team with 821 yards but scored just 4 TD's. Ben Tate was the No. 3 rusher with 369 yards and 3 scores.
Over-all, Auburn was 4th in the SEC in rushing but just 10th in passing. Brandon Cox was 153-for-250 for 2,087 yards, 13 TD's and 9 INT's. He was sacked 29 times as the Tigers were tied for the second-most sacks allowed in the SEC.
Defensively, Auburn gave up just 13.5 points per game but the secondary only had 9 picks for the second-lowest total in the league.
Nebraska appeared in the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 1999, losing 21-7 to Oklahoma. The Cornhuskers were 3rd in the Big 12 in passing, 4th in rushing, and scored an average of 31.8 points per game.
Zac Taylor threw for 3,071 yards with 25 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Seven different receivers had at least 307 yards but Maurice Purify led them all in yardage and touchdowns. Purify had 33 catches for 621 yards and 7 scores.
Nebraska's Brandon Jackson was the Big 12's second-leading rusher with 951 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Nebraska's pass defense was the second-worst in the conference. The team gave up almost twice as much yardage through the air as it allowed on the ground, surrendering an average of 223.3 passing yards per game.
This is Nebraska's first Cotton Bowl appearance since 1980. The 'Huskers have had just three trips to this bowl game and their only win came against Texas in 1974 by a score of 19-3.
Auburn's only other Cotton Bowl appearance was a 36-16 loss to Texas A&M in 1986.