'Super job': Auburn turns to defense in win over K-State
September 18, 2014
 
Auburn Tigers
Auburn Tigers
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
 (5) Auburn Tigers (3-0)
3
7
0
10
20
 (20) Kansas State Wildcats (2-1)
0
7
0
7
14
 
 
 Quick Stats
AU
KSU
 Total Plays
76
70
 1st Downs
22
20
     3rd down efficiency
10-18
8-14
     4th down efficiency
0-0
0-0
 Total Yards
359
285
 Passing Yards
231
245
     Comp-Att
17-31
24-40
     Yards per pass
7.5
6.1
 Rushing Yards
128
40
     Rushing attempts
45
30
     Yards per rush
2.8
1.3
 Penalties-Yards
6-46
0-0
 Turnovers
1
3
     Fumbles lost
0
1
     Interceptions thrown
1
2
 Time of Possession
31:00
29:00

 Stat Leaders
 Auburn
 Passing
C-Att
Yds
TD
Int
 N. Marshall
17-31
231
2
1
 Rushing
Car
Yds
TD
Long
 C. Artis-Payne
22
63
0
7
 Receiving
Rec
Yds
TD
Long
 D. Williams
8
110
1
39
 Kansas State
 Passing
C-Att
Yds
TD
Int
 J. Waters
24-40
245
0
2
 Rushing
Car
Yds
TD
Long
 D. Robinson
8
25
1
9
 Receiving
Rec
Yds
TD
Long
 C. Sexton
11
121
0
23

 2014 Schedule
08/30
W
 (6) Auburn 45, Arkansas 21
09/06
W
 (5) Auburn 59, San Jose St 13
09/18
W
 (5) Auburn 20, (20) K-State 14
09/27
-
 Auburn vs. La Tech
10/04
-
 Auburn vs. LSU
10/11
-
 Auburn @ Mississippi St
10/25
-
 Auburn vs. S Carolina
11/01
-
 Auburn @ Ole Miss
11/08
-
 Auburn vs. Texas A&M
11/15
-
 Auburn @ Georgia
11/22
-
 Auburn vs. Samford
11/29
-
 Auburn @ Alabama
12/06
-
 SEC Championship Game
   
By Charles Goldberg
AuburnTigers.com
 
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- In a game in which yards and points were a premium, Auburn's defense gave the Tigers room to breathe.
 
Whew, said Auburn.
 
The Tigers beat Kansas State 20-14 Thursday night in a Top 25 battle then didn't go to script, unless you played on defense. Auburn played a lot of defense.
 
"That was a big factor. Our defense really did a super job," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.
 
No. 5 Auburn led 20-7 until No. 20 Kansas State scored late. Too late.
 
Auburn's offense played keep-away the final 3:49, thanks, in part to a gutsy third-and-9 pass with 2:06 remaining. Thirty-nine yards later, Auburn happily was able to run out the clock.
 
"I told them after the game that this will be one of those games I really feel like will help us in the future," Malzahn said.
 
"We faced some major adversity tonight, and our guys responded well."
 
Auburn led 10-7 at the half, and at the end of the third quarter, too.
 
The Tigers didn't find any of that breathing room until early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Nick Marshall threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Duke Williams for a 17-7 lead. The Tigers made it 20-7 until K-State's late TD.
 
Kansas State wanted the ball back, of course.
 
Malzahn's call to throw it to Williams on that third-and-9 play prevented it.
 
"It was one of those deals that you run the football, take away 40 seconds and give them a chance to win the game. Or you can go ahead and try to win the game yourself," Malzahn said.
 
"We just felt strong that, 'let's give our guys a chance to win the game here.' We caught them in a defense we liked."
 
Kansas State could only watch the clock tick away after that. Marshall had pulled out another game, overcoming a few dropped passes and a running game that had trouble in the first half.
 
"He's got that knack," Malzahn said.
 
"When the game is on the line, he's got the knack. He did it all last year. He did it tonight. He found a way to help our guys win the game."
 
All the while, Auburn's defense was turning in a solid performance. K-State had only 40 yards rushing and turned away the Wildcats in three of five trips in the red zone.
 
Auburn's offense converted on 8-of-11 third-down plays in the second half.
 
The game that promised offense was all about defense most of the way. A scoreless third quarter said so.
 
Marshall's touchdown pass to Williams made it 17-7 lead with 14:10 remaining. Daniel Carlson kicked a 25-yard field goal with 6:28 left to make it 20-7. But K-State's cut the lead to 20-14 on Charles Jones' 1-yard TD run with 3:49 left.
 
The Wildcats never saw the ball again.
 
The Marshall-to-Williams' touchdown pass was pretty. Before then, both offenses struggled to score because of the defenses, dropped passes and three missed field goals by Kansas State.
 
Much of the pregame hype was about Auburn's Marshall and Kansas State's Jake Waters. But the two dual-threat quarterbacks were upstaged by the two defenses for much of the game.
 
Malzahn wanted his hurry-up offense to hurry up in the first half, but, even trying to make it happen by wind-milling his arms encouraging a better pace. But, for the most part, the Tigers couldn't snap it quickly.
 
Kansas State's defense had Marshall seemingly changing plays as the play clock ticked under 10, then 8, then 5 seconds time after time.
 
Auburn's first three drives produced only 38 yards and an un-Auburn-like two first downs. Marshall was intercepted, and a couple of receivers missed the ball. But he came through when it mattered.
 
After a Carlson 34-yard field goal made it 3-0 Auburn, Marcus Robinson's 3-yard TD run gave K-State a lead. But Marshall found Ricardo Louis, who made a nice catch, then made nicer moves dodging defenders on a 40-yard touchdown pass to give Auburn its 10-7 with 1:34 left in the first half.
 
That was the halftime score, too, after Kansas State's Jack Cantelle missed his second field goal try, this time a 42-yarder on the last play of the half.
 
Worse, he missed a chipped-shot 22-yard field goal in the third quarter.
 
Auburn's second-quarter touchdown drive pushed the Tigers' halftime stats to 173 total yards, five more than Kansas State. But the rushing yards were down across the board.
 
Auburn held K-State to 17 yards rushing in the first half. Auburn, which led the nation in rushing last season, had a modest 55.
 
Auburn rebounded in the second half, finishing the night with 359 yards.
 
 
 

 

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