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Auburn vs. the SEC, Part III

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Auburn battles the elite teams!

 

 

     War Eagle, everybody! today, we'll continue our look back at what the Auburn Tiger football team accomplished in the past decade. In the past two weeks, we've looked at Auburn's performance against the rank and file of the SEC. Against those teams, Auburn put together 39 wins and only 17 losses, winning nearly 70 percent of the time. Today, it's time to look at how Auburn did against the big boys.

 

     Three teams from the SEC have won BCS national titles in the past ten years. LSU did twice, winning the 2003 season and 2007 season titles. Florida did it in 2006 and 2008. Alabama took the 2009 crown. As the decade ended, these were the elite teams in the league. Despite a decade of turmoil in the Auburn program (2001 meltdown, 2003 Jetgate, revolving coordinators, Tuberville's departure...) Auburn managed to compile a winning record against these teams, going 14-12.

 

Series Recaps, after the jump!

Louisiana State (4-6)

     LSU and Georgia are the only SEC teams to post a winning record against Auburn in the 2000s. LSU entered the decade after one of their worst records in history, but many folks still felt that LSU was the most talented team in the Western Division. It didn't take long for the Tigers to start winning again, and winning big.

 

2000 (In Auburn) This battle of the unbeatens didn't start well for Auburn. After a few traded punts, LSU went deep on 2nd and 1, and Josh Booty connected with Josh Reed for a 75-yard score. For Auburn, a Ben Leard sack-fumble gave LSU the ball again quickly at the Auburn 22-yard line. The defense held, and LSU kicked a FG to take a 10-0 lead. Both teams managed field goal drives in the 2nd quarter, but LSU's John Corbello missed his 51-yard attempt. Auburn struck with a 20 yard TD pass from Ben Leard to tight end Robert Johnson, sandwiched between two Damon Duval field goals. Auburn led 13-10 at the half. After a shanked LSU punt early in the 2nd half, it was Leard to Clifton Robinson for the score, and Auburn had a ten point lead. Auburn senior corner Larry Casher was knocked out of the game with a concussion, and LSU went right to work. Replacement corner Tavarious Robinson was immediately attacked, and the result was another TD bomb from Booty to Reed. LSU's joy was short-lived, however. Auburn's Tim Carter took the kickoff at the goal line, and went the distance for the TD. The 4th quarter featured a lot of pounding Rudi Johnson runs, and LSU incomplete pass attempts. Late in the game Johnson finally found the end zone, and Auburn won it 34-17.

 

2001 (In Baton Rouge) In a rare Auburn – LSU game in December, the two Tigers battled in a duel for the Western Division title. The game had been postponed after the tragedy of 9-11, and the winner of this Dec 1 match would go to the SEC title game. After Auburn was penalized 15 yards for not leaving pre-game warmups in a timely manner, LSU went for the throat. An onside kick from the 50 was successful, and LSU's Lebrandon Toefield bashed through, over and around the Auburn defense for the score. Auburn answered when Jason Campbell went deep, and found Tim Carter behind the LSU secondary for a 72-yard TD. Incredibly, Auburn never went back to that play. Auburn attempted their own onside kick after that, and it failed. The Auburn offense could managed little for the rest of the game. LSU's Toefield, Dominic Davis, receiver Josh Reed and quarterback Rohan Davey moved methodically down the field. Auburn trailed 21-7 at the half, and lost 27-14 in a game that was not as close as the score indicated.

 

2002 (In Auburn) LSU was the defending SEC champ, and ranked 10th in the nation for this game. Auburn was 4-3 on the season, and reeling after an overtime loss to the Gators the week before. There was a catch, though. LSU was bringing sophomore quarterback Marcus Randle for his first SEC road start. Auburn limited LSU backs Joseph Addai and Dominic Davis pretty well, but Randle's scrambling was a problem. Fortunately the young QB heaved up a number of balls for grabs, and Auburn picked off 4 of them. Auburn kept the ball on the ground, as quarterback Jason Campbell attempted only 11 passes. Ronnie Brown rushed for 95 yards, and Tre Smith had 80, as the Auburn Tigers built a shocking 31-0 lead. LSU scored late, but the final was Auburn 31, LSU 7.

 

2003 (In Baton Rouge) A lightning storm delayed this game, and lightning struck Auburn when the game commenced. Matt Mauck lit up the Auburn secondary with a 64-yard TD pass to Devery Henderson to open the scoring. Auburn drove to the LSU 41, but Carnell Williams was blown up for a big loss on 4th and 1. Mauck was still hot, and the LSU drive ended with another TD pass, this one to Michael Clayton. Auburn went three and out, and Skylar Green lit up the Auburn punt coverage with a 44 yard punt return. With a short field, LSU was in the end zone again in the 1st quarter, and the rout was on. The rest of the game was a comedy of Auburn errors. A missed chip shot field goal by Phillip Yost. Two fumbled punts by Tre Smith. 3rd down pass routes run repeatedly short of the stake. Auburn managed a late Campbell to Mix touchdown to make the final LSU 31, Auburn 7.

 

2004 (In Auburn) There was talk of delaying this game after Hurricane Ivan had hit the state just days before, but it went on as scheduled at Jordan Hare. Defending national champ LSU took the opening kickoff, and marched 80 yards in 14 plays for the TD. A missed extra point by Ryan Gaudet would prove costly later. Auburn answered with their own 14 play drive, and got a John Vaughn field goal out of it. LSU was on the move again, with a 43-yard strike from Jemarcus Russell to Craig Davis and a facemask penalty on Junior Rosegreen gave LSU a first down at the Auburn 24. Auburn held, and LSU kicked the field goal to lead 9-3 early in the 2nd quarter. Much of the rest of the game was a punting duel. Auburn recovered a Marcus Randle fumble at the LSU 42, but could do nothing with it. From the LSU 5, the Bengal Tigers marched with pounding runs by Justin Vincent and Alley Broussard to the Auburn 32. A delay of game, a personal foul, and a sack by Bret Eddins ended that threat. Eddins' big hit knocked Marcus Randle out of the game. Auburn drove to the LSU 3, and turned it over on incomplete passes. Carnell Williams fumbled a punt back to LSU, but LSU could do nothing with it. Finally, with about six minutes left, Auburn had one more chance. A long drive came down to a 4th and 12 at the LSU 28. Under serious pressure, Jason Campbell found Courtney Taylor on the out for 14 and a key first down. Then on 3rd and 12, it was Cambell to Taylor in the back of the end zone for the tying score! Auburn's John Vaughn missed the PAT, but LSU was flagged for a personal foul. The second attempt went through, and Auburn had the lead! Jemarcus Russell led LSU to the Auburn 44 in the waning seconds, and fired on the slant to Dwayne Bowe. The ball tipped up off of Bowe's hands, and Junior Rosegreen snagged the tipped ball to seal the deal for Auburn. Auburn won one for the ages, 10-9.

 

2005 (In Baton Rouge) Auburn drove the ball deep into LSU territory on the opening drive, only to suffer a 41-yard missed field goal by John Vaughn. The teams then traded punts, and LSU's Skylar Green took an Auburn punt 66 yards to the house for a 7-0 LSU lead. Early in the 2nd quarter, Auburn managed a second drive behind a big throw from Brandon Cox to Devin Aromashodu, and hard running from Kenny Irons. John Vaughn nailed a 26-yard field goal, and Auburn trailed 7-3. LSU answered, and this time it was Chris Jackson's turn to miss from 38 yards out. Neither team could mount a threat from there, and the half ended at 7-3. Auburn's opening drive of the 3rd quarter was again into LSU territory, but ended with another John Vaughn miss, this time from 54. LSU stalled on their first two drives, and then Kenny Irons broke through the LSU line, and went the distance for a 74-yard TD run! Auburn had the lead, but it was short-lived. LSU drove 80 yards in 7 plays, and retook the lead on a strike from Russell to Dwayne Bowe. LSU's next drive appeared headed for paydirt, but ended when Colt David missed a field goal attempt from 28 yards. Kickers struggled all night, in this one. Auburn got it going again, driving into LSU territory. Kenny Irons was running wild, and then Auburn went away from him for 3 plays. John Vaughn missed a 37-yarder. Auburn got another chance with 9:27 left in the 4th quarter. It came down to 4th and 5 at the LSU 5, with under 5 minutes to play. Cox lofted one to Anthony Mix in the back of the end zone for the score, and a 17-14 lead! LSU answered quickly. After Dwayne Bowe dropped a potential winning TD in the end zone, Chris Jackson connected on a 44 yard field goal to tie it. 1:40 remained in regulation. Auburn drove 49 yards to set John Vaughn up in the waning seconds. Vaughn missed from 49 yards out. The game went to overtime. After Early Doucet dropped another LSU TD pass in the end zone, Chris Jackson kicked LSU ahead 20-17. Auburn went 3 and out, and in came Vaughn to keep Auburn in the game. The 39 yard attempt hit the upright, no good. Vaughn had missed 5 of 6 field goals on the day, and Auburn fell 20-17 in overtime.

 

2006 (In Auburn) This one was another early season battle of unbeatens. Both teams were determined to stop the run, and both squads were fearful of passing downfield. LSU managed the first threat of the game, driving to the Auburn 32. An apparent 4th down conversion catch by Jacob Hester was overturned by replay, and Auburn held. A Craig Steltz interception gave LSU the ball at the Auburn 29, but again the visitors from Louisiana were turned back. Auburn's Kody Bliss turned in a 62-yard punt to get Auburn back in good field position. With 12 minutes left in the half, Auburn engineered a 16-play drive that ended when John Vaughn clanged a short field goal attempt off the left upright, no good. LSU answered with a 13-play drive. On the last play of the first half, Colt David was true for LSU from 42 yards. LSU led 3-0. Auburn forced an LSU punt early in the 3rd, and went on another march, powered by the hard-running Kenny Irons. Auburn survived an apparent Brandon Cox knee injury, and Cox hit Carl Stewart on a wheel route down to the LSU 2 yard line. Cox scored on a sneak on 3rd down, and Auburn led 7-3. Somehow, with almost no offense, Auburn kept hanging on. LSU had three real chances at the end. First, an apparent LSU interception by Jessie Daniels was wiped out on an interference call. On LSU's next possession, Early Doucet was mugged early by Auburn's Zach Gilbert, and the flag was waved off. It would have given LSU a first down in the red zone. LSU had one last chance, at the Auburn 24. Russell threw underneath to Craig Davis, who was butted down at the 4 yard line by Eric Brock. The game was over, and Auburn had survived, 7-3!

 

2007 (In Baton Rouge) Auburn took the opening kickoff and drove for a score, with Brandon Cox hitting Montez Billings on a diving grab in the end zone from 17 yards out. Midway through the first, LSU answered with a 46-yard connection from Matt Flynn to Keiland Williams. LSU brought in backup QB Ryan Perrilloux to try and spark the offense. A predictable quarterback draw followed, and Auburn's Zach Etheridge knocked the ball away. Jerraud Powers recovered, and Auburn was marching in LSU territory. Fullback Carl Stewart scored on the belly-play, and Auburn led 14-7. Auburn stopped LSU at midfield, and ate the rest of the first half clock on a 12-play drive. Wes Byrum hit a chip shot field goal to give Auburn a 17-7 lead at the half! The celebration would be short lived. LSU chewed, stomped, slashed and gunned their way though the Auburn defense at will in the second half. LSU mistakes held them down for a while, including interceptions, bushels of penalties and dropped balls, but the dam broke in the 4th quarter. With 8:23 left, a Colt David field goal gave LSU a 23-17 lead, and Auburn was very lucky that it wasn't a lot more. Auburn senior Brandon Cox led the Tigers on a march from there. With 3:21 left in the game, Cox hit Rod Smith on a short TD pass, and Byrum's PAT put Auburn ahead, 24-23. After an ill-advised squibb kick, Auburn played deep zone on defense, and LSU kept running the ball. Flynn scrambled for 10, then 7. Then Murphy twice, then Hester for another set of downs. Auburn choked up, and went to man to man. LSU quickly faced a 3rd and 7 at the Auburn 22, and the clock ran. And ran. Finally, it was inside 10 seconds, and the LSU offense was still on the field. LSU finally snapped it, and went with the go route to Demetrius Byrd. Auburn defender Jerraud Powers had his back to the ball, and it was an LSU touchdown. LSU won, 30-24.

 

2008 (In Auburn) Everyone remembers the 2008 Auburn season as an absolute disaster, but the fact was that this game was a battle of division-leading front-runners. Both teams were undefeated. Both teams struggled to move the ball early. Young quarterbacks Chris Todd and Andrew Hatch both struggled. Late in the first quarter, a Hatch scramble set up Colt David for a 46 yard field goal attempt, and it was good. LSU led 3-0 at the end of one. Early in the second quarter, Todd connected with Tim Hawthorne for 29 yards, then was the beneficiary of an interference flag on LSU. Ben Tate capped the drive for Auburn on a one yard plunge. LSU turned Charles Scott loose for several first downs, but the drive bogged down and came up empty on a 50-yard miss by Colt David. Chris Todd would throw it right back to LSU on an interception, but again LSU got nothing. Desperate to generate some offense, LSU made a change and inserted Jarrett Lee at quarterback. Lee's first attempt was a screen, and Auburn end Gabe McKenzie batted the ball up, intercepted it, and ran it in for the Auburn TD! Auburn led, 14-3 at the half. Auburn took the second half kick, and drove to the LSU 19, before 3 straight bad plays ended the scoring threat. LSU came out firing. Jarrett Lee torched the Auburn D for a 39-yard strike to Chris Mitchell, and the game was back on. Auburn survived a successful LSU onside kick without giving up any points, and again drove into LSU territory. Another Todd interception killed the drive. Jarrett Lee continued his red-hot ways, burning Auburn with two long completions. Then it was Keiland Williams on the halfback pass for the score to Demetrius Byrd. Auburn could do little on offense, and LSU was back to work again. Auburn finally held at the Auburn 15 yard line, and Colt David hit the short FG to put LSU ahead 20-14 with 8:27 left in the game. Chris Todd got it done for Auburn in the clutch, but it happened too quickly. A 58-pass and run to Tim Hawthorne had Auburn knocking on the door quickly. Todd hit Robert Dunn for the score with over 6 minutes left in the game. Auburn led 21-20, but could they stop LSU? Answer: yes! LSU went 3 and out, but Auburn failed to run hardly ANY clock. There was an incomplete pass, and a run out of bounds. On the next LSU possession, Jarrett Lee was unstoppable. He hit pass after pass, and hit the game-winner to Brandon LaFell with a minute left. LSU held on to win, 26-21.

 

2009 (In Baton Rouge) There was little drama coming into this game. LSU was ranked 4th in the nation, and Auburn was reeling after losses to Arkansas and Kentucky. Chris Todd's arm looked shot, and he managed only 47 passing yards in the game. LSU cruised to a 17-0 halftime lead, and held a commanding 31-3 margin at the end of the third. Auburn's reserves scored late, to make the final 31-10, LSU.

 

Florida (3-3)

     The Gators came into the decade as one of the league's strongest teams, and left it that way. In the middle, the Gators suffered a swoon that resulted in the firing of Ron Zook. The Gators have been Auburn's nemesis over the past quarter century, beating the Tigers 13 of 21 times. Auburn lost seven straight to Florida from 1995 through 2000.

 

2000 (In Gainesville) Both teams came into this game having suffered troubling losses to Mississippi State. Florida's had come two weeks prior, when the Bullies ran all over the Gators. Auburn had been shut down in Starkville a week later. Auburn managed only one scoring drive in this game, a 13 yard fade from Ben Leard to Deandre Green early in the 2nd quarter. Florida scored touchdowns on its first five possessions of the game, all Rex Grossman completions. Auburn trailed 35-7 at half, and lost 38-7.

 

2000 (In Atlanta, SEC Championship Game) Auburn held together better in the second matchup, but it was still much of the same story. Florida refused to let Rudi Johnson run the ball, and Auburn was slow to turn to the pass. Meanwhile, it was Grossman to Reche Caldwell twice in the first quarter for scores. With Florida leading 21-0 close to halftime, UF coach Steve Spurrier still had 'em gunning. Grossman was picked off by Rodney Crayton of the Tigers, and the Tigers went on the move. Heath Evans barreled for 24 on a draw, setting up Damon Duval for a 44 yard field goal. Florida led 21-3 at the half. Auburn appeared to want to make a game of it on the first drive of the second half. Demarco McNeil stripped Rex Grossman of the ball and fell on it at the Florida 24 yard line. Auburn couldn't punch it in, though, and had to settle for another Duval field goal. Grossman took the Gators 80 yards in 11 plays, and that was the ball game after the TD pass. Ben Leard left the game with an injury, and Auburn had no chance on offense after that. Florida won 28-6.

 

2001 (In Auburn) The weather was the story in this one, as were Auburn injuries. A front was blowing through, with howling winds and driving rains. Auburn was very banged up in the front seven, and at times were playing three freshman linebackers. It was quite comical seeing freshmen Karlos Dansby, Derrick Graves, Mayo Sowell and Phillip Pate arguing about where they should line up! Florida could not take advantage. Auburn had it first, and went 3 and out. Damon Duval's punt was held up by the wind, and UF started on the Auburn side of the field. Somehow, the Tiger D held the Gators out, and Florida settled for a field goal. Auburn's Tim Carter took the kickoff, broke tackles, and turned the corner for 68 yards. Another 3 and out brought in Damon Duval, and he tied the game at 3-all. A Roderick Hood interception staved off one Gator TD, then Auburn yanked freshman quarterback Jason Campbell in favor of Daniel Cobb. Cobb opened with a 31 yard wheel route pass to Cassinius Moore. Moore kept pounding on the ground, and Daniel Cobb finished the drive on a sneak. Auburn led 10-3. Near the half, Florida generated a 13-play drive that culminated in a 32-yard Jeff Chandler field goal. At the half, Auburn led 10-6. In the 2nd half, Florida's first drive was derailed by a Phillip Pate interception, but the Tigers could not capitalize. Then Florida drove it, with Rex Grossman hitting Reche Caldwell for the score. The wind whirled up again, and it was raining sideways. Steve Spurrier decided that the Gators would punt on 3rd down, but they fumbled the snap. On 4th down, they did get it away. Neither team could do much on offense during the deluge. On the Gators' next possession, the punt snap was again fumbled. This time, Auburn recovered on the Gator 2 yard line. On 3rd and goal, Chris Butler powered it in off the right side for the Auburn score! Auburn led, 17-13. Grossman was wild again on the next UF possess. Mayo Sowell picked off the errant pass, and Auburn had it in Gatorland again. The Florida defense held, and Damon Duval hooked in the field goal from 32 yards. Auburn now led 20-13. The Gators tied it quickly. Grossman hit Jabar Gaffney behind the Auburn secondary, and Gaffney was off for 80 yards, taunting Auburn's Rod Hood the last 15 yards. Hood slammed Gaffney down 8 yards deep in the end zone right in front of an official, and there was no call. (Do you think the new taunting rules will be enforced fairly? I don't!) The Gators tied it, 20-all. Auburn fumbled it away twice in the 4th quarter, but Florida could not take advantage. Karlos Dansby picked off a fluttering Grossman air ball at the Tiger 6 yard line, and Auburn had one last chance. Daniel Cobb moved the Tigers down field, and with ten seconds left, Damon Duval came on. From 44 yards out, the kick headed for the sideline, then hooked back through the uprights! Auburn had done it! The Tigers beat the #1 ranked Gators, 23-20!

 

2002 (In Gainesville) Both teams entered this game struggling. Auburn had just been blasted for over 400 rushing yards in an ugly loss to Arkansas at home. Early in the matchup in the Swamp, the SEC's leading rusher Carnell Williams broke his leg and was lost for the season. The Gators were already up 14-0, and the cause looked hopeless. Sophomore Ronnie Brown replaced Williams, and promptly barreled up the gut for a 26-yard touchdown. Auburn had pulled within 14-7 midway through the 2nd quarter, but the Gators kept the ball the most of the rest of the half with the short passing game. A crazy decision to run a fake punt from the Auburn 8 yard line (with less than 2 minutes left in the half!) backfired, but the Auburn defense bailed 'em out, holding Florida to a field goal. The Gators led 17-7 at the half. Auburn had some success moving the ball in the 3rd quarter, but managed to derail drives with fumbles and errant passes. Florida had success too, and knocked in two more field goals, leading 23-7 at the end of 3. Auburn brought in Jason Campbell at QB, and fed the Gators a heavy dose of Ronnie Brown. 5 plays later, Brown punched it in from the one. Campbell took the shotgun quarterback draw in for two points, and the Gator lead was cut to 23-16. The teams traded punts, then Auburn got it back with 5:20 left in the game. This time, Jason Campbell fired a dart downfield to Ronnie Brown, who galloped through defenders for a 54-yard touchdown. Campbell again scrambled for two, and the game was tied at 23-all! The Auburn defense held after trading penalties with the Gators, and Auburn had it with 3:13 left. The ball was at the Gator 42, after a failed 4th down for the Gators. Jason Campbell led 'em down the field. There was a clutch pass to Robert Johnson on 3rd down. Auburn chewed the ball down to the Gator 6 yard line, and forced a timeout with 30 seconds left. In came Damon Duval for the winner. The kick was low, nearly hitting a lineman in the back. The Gators easily blocked it, and the game went to overtime. The Gators went on offense first. On 3rd and 10, Rex Grossman made a desperation heave to the back of the end zone, between two Auburn defenders. It was caught by Taylor Jacobs for the TD. On Auburn's possession Jason Campbell took off on 3rd and 5, and fumbled the ball away. Florida won, 30-23 in overtime.

 

2006 (In Auburn) The #2-ranked Gators came in heavily favored, after an Auburn melt-down at home against the Arkansas Razorbacks a week before. No one gave the Tigers much chance in this one, and oddsmakers had Florida as a 21-point favorite. Luckily, Brandon Cox and the Tigers weren't listening to the doomsayers. Cox led the Auburn offense after the opening kickoff on a 13-play drive that ended in a John Vaughn field goal. The Gators ran over the Tiger defense to the 2 yard line, but tackle Pat Sims nailed DeShaun Wynn for a loss, and the Gators had to settle for the tying field goal. Auburn ate some more clock, then punted it back. The Gators moved easily down the field again, and early in the 2nd quarter Chris Leak hit Dallas Baker for the score. Auburn moved it down the field, but Tommy Trott fumbled the ball away at the 3 yard line, and Auburn still trailed 10-3. On the very next play, Florida was called for holding in the end zone, giving Auburn a safety. Behind 10-5, Auburn took the free kick and went on another march. After 11 plays, John Vaughn was good from 31 yards, and Auburn had cut the Gator lead to 10-8. Florida went 80 yard in 3 plays, with Tim Tebow gashing off the right side for a 16 yard TD. Auburn put together a 9 play drive, and John Vaughn hit the field goal with 30 seconds left in the half. Florida led 17-11. Florida had pretty much run at will in the first half, but the second half was a different story. A Quentin Groves sack ended the Gators' first possession, then Tristan Davis blocked the punt, and Tre Smith scooped and scored, somersaulting into the end zone! Auburn led, 18-17. A punt trading contest followed. The Gators mounted an early 4th quarter drive, but a Chris Leak fumble (or poorly called incompletion, depending upon whom you ask...) ended it. Auburn put together a drive after that, but John Vaughn missed from 45 yards. Chris Leak's next pass was picked off by Eric Brock, and returned to the Gator 28. Auburn ran the 4th quarter clock down to 32 seconds, and John Vaughn was true on the field goal. Auburn led, 21-17. Florida's last gasp ended on a hook and lateral play when Chris Leak lost the handle on a lateral, Auburn's Patrick Lee scooped up the loose ball, and ran it in for a touchdown. Auburn won a shocker over the eventual national champions, 27-17.

 

2007 (In Gainesville) Before this game started, I suspect I was not alone in hoping that Auburn would at least keep the game close, and not get blown out. With home losses to South Florida and Mississippi State already, few thought the Tigers had any chance against the defending national champion, 4th ranked Florida Gators. A false start doomed Florida's first drive, and Brandon Cox and Co. went to work. 14 plays later, Kodi Burns had galloped up the middle on the quarterback draw for the opening score. Again, the Gators killed their drive with a false start. Then, it was Auburn's turn to false start and end a drive. Florida put together a long drive starting at the beginning of the second quarter that covered 66 yards in 11 plays, but stalled at the Tiger 17. The field goal was blocked by SenDerrick Marks, and the Gators came up empty. Auburn got it rolling again, driving 80 yards in 10 plays. Ben Tate capped the drive up the gut for 3 yards, and Auburn led the heavily favored Gators 14-0! Tim Tebow took Florida on another drive, but with the clock winding down, Auburn's Eric Brock took the ball away from Louis Murphy, and Auburn ran the clock out on the half. Florida stoned Auburn on the first possession of the second half, then Tim Tebow hit the bomb to Percy Harvin. Patrick Lee saved the TD, then the Auburn defense denied Tebow three times inside the 10. Joey Ijjas settled for the short field goal. Auburn couldn't move on the next series, but Tim Tebow heaved one up for grabs that Pat Lee came down with for the Tigers. A ten play Tiger drive off the interception resulted in a 30 yard Wes Byrum field goal, and Auburn led 17-3. Auburn forced another Gator punt, but then Ben Tate fumbled it back to Florida on the first play, at the Auburn 38. It took 9 plays, but Florida got it into the end zone early in the 4th quarter. The Tiger D was starting to look tired. Auburn punted it back after 8 plays, and the Florida offense started picking up steam. 9 plays and 89 yards later, Tim Tebow was in the end zone, and Joey Ijjas kicked the tying extra point with 7:36 left in the game. Auburn could manage only 5 plays before punting it back. Florida opened the drive with a screen to Harvin, who inexplicably danced backwards before being put down by SenDerrick Marks for a 6 yard loss. On 4th and long, the Gators played it safe and punted away. The kick was shanked badly out of bounds, and Auburn took over on their own 39 with 3:38 left in the game. Auburn ground out 10 plays for 35 yards, and set freshman kicker Wes Byrum up for a 43 yard attempt. Byrum's kick shaved just inside the upright, but Florida Corch Urban Meyer had called timeout before the snap. Byrum's second kick was like a heat-seeking missile right down the middle! Time expired, and Auburn had won it, 20-17!

 

     The Alabama series recap was supposed to follow here, but I'm afraid I'm out of time this week! My apologies! We'll save the relishing of a decade featuring seven wins over the Tide till next week! War Eagle, and have a great weekend!

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