Auburn wins Homecoming on way to SEC showdowns
September 27, 2014
 
Auburn Tigers
 
1st
2nd
3rd
4th
F
 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (2-3)
0
3
7
7
17
 (5) Auburn Tigers (4-0)
7
17
0
21
45
 
 
 Quick Stats
AU
LT
 Total Plays
70
68
 1st Downs
23
14
     3rd down efficiency
6-14
5-18
     4th down efficiency
0-1
1-1
 Total Yards
473
321
 Passing Yards
219
216
     Comp-Att
14-22
20-35
     Yards per pass
10.0
6.2
 Rushing Yards
254
105
     Rushing attempts
48
33
     Yards per rush
5.3
3.2
 Penalties-Yards
5-51
5-40
 Turnovers
0
2
     Fumbles lost
0
1
     Interceptions thrown
0
1
 Time of Possession
28:17
31:43

 Stat Leaders
 Passing
C-Att
Yds
TD
Int
 AU - Marshall
10-17
166
3
0
 LT - Sokol
20-35
216
0
1
 Rushing
Car
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Artis-Payne
22
116
1
37
 LT - J. Craft
9
41
0
36
 Receiving
Rec
Yds
TD
Long
 AU - Bray
3
91
2
44
 LT - Taylor
8
80
0
20

 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
W
 (5) Auburn 45, La Tech 17
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
 
AUBURN, Ala. -- Bring on all those SEC Top 25 teams, Auburn said Saturday, but the Tigers couldn't say it before being tested by a non-conference homecoming opponent in Jordan-Hare Stadium that, finally, couldn't stop Quan Bray.
 
The Tigers beat Louisiana Tech 45-17 to send everybody home happy, though the Bulldogs put up a fight until Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall turned in a highlight-reel scramble that ended with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Bray for a 31-10 advantage with 14:24 left in the game, and then by Bray putting the game away with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown a minute later.
 
Bray finished with three catches for 91 yards, and, with his two punt returns, accounted for 189 all-purpose yards.
 
"Overall, extremely happy that we won," said Auburn coach Gus Malzahn. "We're 4-0 and we've played some good teams. We're in a good spot now, and we're fixing to enter the grind."
 
No kidding. Next up for Auburn is nationally-ranked LSU at 6 p.m. next Saturday in Jordan-Hare. Then Auburn plays more SEC ranked teams, in order, in Mississippi State, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Georgia before playing Samford and then nationally-ranked Alabama.
 
Auburn improved to 4-0 and will take a 1-0 SEC record into the LSU game. Louisiana Tech fell to 2-3.
 
"We've just go to keep improving," Malzahn said. "We did that last year, and that's hard to do. Very few teams can do that. That's our challenge to figure out how to get better each week."
 
The injury bug did Auburn no favors, as offensive and defensive starters alike missed a least some time Saturday.
 
But Bray didn't miss any time. He scored on that 44-yard touchdown catch and a 37-yard TD catch before returning the punt for the score, his second return for a touchdown this season for a 38-10 lead early in the fourth quarter.
 
"We talked before the season about seniors. This is their year," Malzahn said. "We asked them to play the best they've ever played before. He's really been raising his level. He really made impact plays to help us win."
 
Jeremy Johnson sealed the win six minutes later when he threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Uzomah.
 
The Tigers did most of their good work in a condensed time: Scoring two touchdowns in a minute and two seconds late in the first half for a 24-3 lead. The Marshall-to-Bray touchdown pass early in the fourth followed by Bray's punt return put the game on an easier street.
 
Auburn's defense ruled the first quarter, and the second quarter for that matter.
 
"I think our defense did a very good job, especially in the first half when the offense was sputtering a little bit early," Malzahn said. "It gave us a short field, and that was a big factor."
 
The Tigers' offense caught up with their defensive brothers just before halftime with two scores that turned a sluggish 10-0 advantage into a 24-0 lead.
 
Marshall did that, closing fast and finishing the first half rushing for 94 yards on 11 carries and hitting 6-of-9 pass for 98 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with 105 rushing yards and hit 10-of-17 passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns.
 
Louisiana Tech finally scored on the last play of the half to make it 24-3, then once in the third quarter and again in the fourth.
 
That didn't much, not after defensive end Montravius Adams set up two of Auburn's first-half touchdowns. The first came when he caught a pass that was deflected from Kris Frost. Adams rumbled to the Louisiana Tech 5. Cameron Artis-Payne scored on the next play. Adams recovered a fumble to set up another score.
 
"Our D-line really set the tone playing in their backfield early," Malzahn said.
 
Auburn finally broke loose late in the second half with a nice Marshall-led drive, and a little good fortune, when a pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage, but landed in Duke Williams' hands 18 yards away for a 17-0 lead.
 
"He's a special player," Malzahn said.
 
Adams recovered a Louisiana Tech fumble in short order, and Marshall threw a picture-perfect 37-yard touchdown pass to Bray down the left sideline for a 24-0 lead with 34 seconds left in the first half. Jonathan Barnes kicked a 25-yard field goal on the last play of the half to make it 24-3.
 
Louisiana Tech cut it to 24-10 midway through the third quarter when Kenneth Dixon scored on a 1-yard run. Auburn didn't score in the third quarter, but closed with 21 points in the fourth when Bray scored on a catch and punt return and Uzomah scored on the pass from Johnson.
 
Malzahn said he didn't know the status of his injured players for the LSU game.
 
"We'll get them checked out and we'll know a little bit more," he said.
 
Auburn, overall, passed this checkup. But tougher games await.
 
"The critical component each week to improve," Malzahn said. "We don't want to peak yet. We still want to continue to go up."
 
 
 

 

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