Auburn, Malzahn secure 31-24 win in opener

 
Auburn
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
 Washington State
7
14
3
0
24
 Auburn
8
17
3
3
31
Washington State
 
 
 Quick Stats
AU
WSU
 First Downs
16
28
 Rushing Yards
297
120
 Passing Yards
99
344
 Total Yards
396
464
 Total Plays
65
88
 Fumbles-Lost
3-1
0-0
 Penalties-Yards
5-30
5-21
 Interceptions-Yards
0
3-22
 3rd Down Conversions
4-13
7-17
 4th Down Conversions
0-0
2-4
 Sacks By-Yards
2-10
1-4
 Field Goals
3-4
1-1
 Time of Possession
28:33
31:27

 Stat Leaders
 Passing
C-Att
Yds
TD
Int
 AU - Marshall
10-19
99
0
0
 WSU - Halliday
35-65
344
1
3
 Rushing
Car
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Grant
9
149
1
75
 WSU - Caldwell
7
57
0
24
 Receiving
Rec
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Coates
3
44
0
34
 WSU - Marks
9
81
0
14
By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com
 
AUBURN, Ala. -- Gus Malzahn won his debut as Auburn's head coach Saturday, thanks to some huge plays from Tre Mason and Corey Grant and a defense that intercepted three passes that saved the day.
 
The Tigers beat Washington State 31-24 on a hot, hold-your-breath Saturday night in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
 
Mason returned a kickoff 100 yards for a TD and Grant scored on a 75-yard run. The Tigers' three interceptions were one more than they had all last season.
 
It was an uneven start for new quarterback Nick Marshall, but the offense was still right up Malzahn's run-first alley. The Tigers needed all that rushing to beat the Cougars.
 
Robenson Therezie's second interception in the end zone with 4:46 left in the fourth quarter helped mightily, too. The Tigers held on fourth down with 2:09 left after that.
 
It was all a good start for an Auburn team that went 3-9 last year.
 
It didn't start well for Auburn. Washington State took the opening drive and marched easily in for a 7-0 lead, with Jeremiah Laufasa scoring on a 4-yard run.
 
The Tigers' defense came around in the middle of the quarter when Robenson Therezie intercepted a pass, setting up Auburn on the Washington State. Mason scored on an 8-yard run, and the Tigers took the lead on a little trickery. Ryan White took a direct snap on the conversion play and barely made it in for an 8-7 lead with 2:26 left in the first quarter. 
 
Washington State took the lead back, at 14-8, with 8:02 left in the second quarter. That lasted 16 seconds, or the time it took Mason to return the kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. That made it 15-14 Auburn.
 
Washington State regained the lead at 21-15. But on Auburn's first play after the kickoff, Corey Grant raced 75 yards for a touchdown and a 22-21 lead. A Cody Parkey career-long 47-yard field goal made it 25-21 with 1:11 left in the half.