Oct. 15, 2011
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn's defense held the Florida offense to just 194 total yards, including just 66 on the ground, as No. 24 Auburn won 17-6 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The defense held Florida to a pair of first-half field goals and posted a shutout in the second half in moving to 5-2, 3-1 SEC.
Auburn's offense churned out 155 yards on the ground, 73 from Michael Dyer and 43 from Onterio McCalebb, and 123 through the air as Clint Moseley entered after halftime and threw for 90 yards on 4-of-7 passing. Philip Lutzenkirchen had three catches for 48 yards.
Auburn took advantage of a muffed punt return by Florida's Chris Rainey following a 50 yard Steven Clark punt to score its first touchdown of the game. Daren Bates recovered the fumbled at the Florida 32 and the offense needed just three plays to cover the 32 yards, capped by a Barrett Trotter 25 yard touchdown pass to DeAngelo Benton. Barrett finished the night 2-for-8 for 33 yards including his first career touchdown.
Florida answered with a pair of second-quarter field goals to get to within a point, 7-6, at the half as the Auburn defense held Florida to 104 total yards in the first half.
A McCalebb 14-yard touchdown run down the sideline on the first play of the fourth quarter capped a seven-play, 66-yard scoring drive as Auburn went up 14-6.
The Auburn defense stopped Florida on a key fourth down attempt with 9:30 left in the fourth quarter as Florida drove to the Auburn 16 yard line but couldn't convert on a pass to the left flat.
Holding a 14-6 lead and starting on its own three, Auburn went three-and-out but again Florida couldn't hold onto the punt as Robert Clark fumbled the return, allowing Ikeem Means to pick it up. Six plays later Cody Parkey converted on a 42 yard field goal to cement the win as Florida got the ball back with just 35 seconds left.
Auburn returns to the field next Saturday at No. 1/2 LSU. The game will air live on CBS at 2:30pm CT.
No. 24 Auburn holds on for 17-6 win over Florida
By JOHN ZENOR, AP Sports Writer
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- The Auburn Tigers made use of two things that can redeem a struggling offense: big special teams plays and a backup quarterback.
Onterio McCalebb opened the fourth quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run, Ikeem Means recovered a muffed punt late and No. 24 Auburn beat Florida 17-6 in a defensive game that saw seven players take snaps at quarterback. The Tigers also owned the special teams play.
"The kicking game was off the charts," Tigers coach Gene Chizik said. "I really feel it was the difference in the ball game."
Two schools that have combined to win three of the last five national titles with creative attacks, turned to backup QBs in the second half in search of some offensive life.
The Tigers (5-2, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) got a spark from No. 2 quarterback Clint Moseley but also received plenty of help from Florida (4-2, 2-3), which committed three turnovers with two on muffed punts.
The Gators would have had the ball near midfield with about 3 minutes left but Robert Clark had the ball squirt through his arms after calling a fair catch. Cody Parkey then put the game away with a 42-yard field goal with 35 seconds left.
Parkey, who had two earlier misses, nailed the final attempt after getting pushed back 5 yards by a false start penalty. The last five meetings between the teams have gone down to the final minute, with Auburn winning four of them.
Chizik pumped his fists in the air going off the field well after game's end, pointing with both hands toward the "AU" on the back of his jacket as he went.
"We have fought and clawed and scratched our way to five wins, and that's how we're going to do it," he said. "It was just the right people making plays at the right time, and I think that's what won the ball game."
Chizik had plenty to celebrate for a team coming off a lopsided defeat at Arkansas. The Tigers showed periodic signs -- again -- that they could still exceed expectations after losing most of their key players from last year's national title team.
Moseley then took over in the second half. He wound up having the strongest night of the four primary quarterbacks, going 4 of 7 for 90 yards and a couple of big gainers.
With quarterback John Brantley and tailback Jeff Demps out with ankle injuries, the Gators had to rely on two freshmen passers.
Florida started Jacoby Brissett for the second straight game, but he also was replaced in the second half. He and Jeff Driskel, two of the top-rated quarterback prospects in this year's class, both completed half of their passes but for mostly short gains.
Driskel was 9 of 18 for 75 yards. Brissett, whose first attempt was intercepted downfield, completed 5 of 10 passes for 45 yards, and both were sacked twice.
Chris Rainey also lost a mishandled punt.
"Turnovers kill us," said Gators coach Will Muschamp, a former Auburn defensive coordinator. "These three turnovers lead to 10 points and really cost you the football game."
The Tigers, whose defense ranked at the bottom of the SEC, turned up the heat with blitzes and heavy pressure on the two youngsters, and held Chris Rainey to 33 yards on 16 rushes.
They had also stopped Florida on a fourth-down attempt from their 16 with just under 10 minutes to play.
It was another blow for a Florida team that was coming off losses to No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama by a combined 79-21.
Auburn outgained Florida 278-194 in total yards. Mike Dyer ran 23 times for a workmanlike 73 yards and Wildcat QB Kiehl Frazier gained 43.
The Tigers finally stretched the lead to 14-6 with McCalebb's touchdown run on the opening play of the fourth quarter on a zone read by Frazier.
Moseley got Auburn into that position with passes of 15 and 23 yards to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen.
Then Driskel took Florida to Auburn's 16 with help from two 15-yard personal foul calls.
Muschamp opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 but Driskel overthrew Deonte Thompson. Muschamp said kicker Caleb Sturgis, who had made two field goals, was hurt and unavailable for a third.
After the Tigers went three-and-out, Florida lined up to go for another fourth down near midfield but had to punt after a false start. David Lerner buried the Tigers at the 3 with 5:31 left.
All they could do was burn a couple of minutes off the clock with three straight runs up the gut by Mike Dyer, but the Clark's miscue on the ensuing punt -- another high, arching boot by Steven Clark -- gave Auburn's offense a chance to put it away.
"Those things were in the clouds," Chizik said.