Nov. 3, 2007
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Brandon Cox had a short day of work.
The Auburn quarterback led the Tigers to three early scores, then sat back and watched as his teammates rout Tennessee Tech 35-2 Saturday.
Cox only played in Auburn's first three series, which all ended in touchdowns.
"We went out there and we were three for three. We really didn't run that many plays," Cox said. "We got 21 points and for the first team I think it was our best game."
Cox said the win was a good warmup for upcoming games against Southeastern Conference rivals Georgia and Alabama.
"Those two games are going to make or break our season," he said.
Cox completed his first seven passes and all together 9-of-11 for 167 yards and a touchdown in the homecoming game for Auburn (7-3).
The Golden Eagles (4-6), who play in the Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), fell to 0-19 against major college teams.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said the easy win gave him a chance to empty his bench, which included playing four quarterbacks.
"We tried to rest as many as we possibly could on the first and second team after about a quarter," Tuberville said. "They (Tennessee Tech) came in overmanned, but they came in and played strong. They had a good game plan and came in and gave us some problems on defense, but we were able to keep them out of the end zone."
Cox finished his work at 13:59 in the half when he completed a 16-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Robert Dunn, giving Auburn a 21-3 lead. It was the first of two touchdown catches for Dunn.
Backup Blake Field, seeing his first meaningful action of the year, led the Tigers for much of the remainder of the game completing 6 of 11 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown.
"I've been waiting for a while, just being patient," Field said. "It was time and the coaches told me to go. I just knew I had to stay patient and I would get in."
Tuberville said he was pleased with Field's play.
"It's the first time that he has played in a while," Tuberville said.
"We would have liked to have played Brandon a little bit more. We got up so quick, we wanted to get them all in there," Tuberville said.
The highlight for Tennessee Tech came early in the first quarter after Auburn had taken a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard run by Ben Tate.
Henry Sailes took the kickoff and raced 67 yards down the sideline to the Auburn 16. The Golden Eagles could only move the ball to the 10 and settled for a 28-yard Justin Kraemer field goal.
The Tigers took control from there. Cox threw a short pass over the middle to Carl Stewart, who raced 55 yards to the Auburn 2. Stewart ran it in on the next play.
Tennessee Tech coach Watson Brown wasn't fretting the lopsided loss.
"It was a neat day for our kids. Most of these kids have never done anything like this," he said.
Brown said he appreciated Tuberville going to the subs and not running up the score with starters.
"That showed a lot of class to me. Tommy got a lot of his guys some work too," said Brown.
Auburn only scored one offensive touchdown after Cox left. That came on the Tigers' first possession of the second half when Field completed a 20-yard pass to Dunn after a 13-play, 90-yard drive.
The Golden Eagles threatened in the fourth quarter driving from their 17 to the Auburn 9, but Walter McFadden intercepted Lee Sweeney's pass and raced 93-yards down the sideline for Auburn's final score. It was the third longest interception return in Auburn history.
Auburn held the Golden Eagles to 304 yards and forced four turnovers.
Mario Fannin ran 14 times for 59 yards for Auburn, while Derek White had 66 yards on 18 carries for Tennessee Tech.