Ben Tate scores.
Nov. 7, 2009
AUBURN - Auburn racked up 63 points on 655 yards of total offense to pick up a school-record 18th-consecutive Homecoming win, downing Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) member Furman, 63-31, Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Auburn improves to 7-3 on the season while the Paladins fall to 4-6.
Five different Tigers scored touchdowns in the game with Darvin Adams leading the team with a game-high three touchdown receptions. Auburn was able to spread the wealth in the victory as eight different Tigers logged at least one rush and nine hauled in at least one reception.
"It was great to go out there and get a win," said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. "We played a lot of young guys today and we played every senior who we have on our squad, which is really important for us to be able to do that."
Quarterback Chris Todd completed his first 14 passes of the game en route to finishing the day 17-of-18 with 256 yards and four touchdown passes. Connecting on 94.4 percent of his passes, Todd broke the Auburn single-game record for completion percentage.
"It was really good to see Chris. He was on the run for a lot of his throws, and he was very efficient in what he did," said Chizik. "It is hard to complete that many in a row. It was good to see him come out and fire on all cylinders."
Auburn scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters of the game, taking a 42-3 halftime lead. Adams put the Tigers on the board first, hauling in a 6-yard touchdown reception to cap off Auburn's first possession of the game.
Furman responded in its first possession, marching up the field for a 23-yard Matthew Cesari field goal. After allowing 51 yards in the Paladins' first possession of the game, the Tiger defense would go on to allow only eight more yards the rest of the half.
Auburn would go on to score on its next four possessions of the first half. Ben Tate got the run started with a 9-yard touchdown run at the 7:00 mark in the first quarter, followed by a 24-yard Mario Fanin touchdown reception from Todd with 1:10 left in the opening period.
Adams scored the first two touchdowns of the second quarter, catching a 23-yard pass at the 12:03 mark and a 41-yard pass with 7:53 left. Tate scored his second and final touchdown of the day with 41 seconds left in the half on a 5-yard run.
Furman came out and scored two touchdowns in the first five minutes of the second half. The first came on a Jerry Williams 6-yard run while the second came on a 19-yard run by Tersoo Uhaa with 10:33 left in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 42-17.
Eric Smith scored his first career touchdown as he scored Auburn's first touchdown of the second half, pounding the ball in on a 2-yard run with 1:18 left in the third quarter.
Freshman Anthony Gulley scored his first career touchdown to open the fourth quarter, breaking free on a 13-yard run with 9:50 left in the game. He would break free again less than five minutes later as Gulley racked up a 50-yard run for his second career touchdown with 5:03 left to play.
Furman scored a pair of touchdowns of its own in the fourth quarter, first on a Williams 1-yard run and finally on a 17-yard pass from Chris Forcier to R.J. Webb with 21 seconds left, capping off the 63-31 Auburn win.
Gulley led the Auburn rushing attack for the day, tallying 77 yards on his two runs. Senior Ben Tate was second on the team with 75 yards on 12 runs while Fanin followed with 60 yards on six attempts.
Adams picked up his second career 100-yard receiving game as he picked up 115 yards on six receptions, all of which came in the first half. Freshman Deangelo Benton, who entered the game without a reception this season, finished second on the team with 88 yards on six catches. Fellow freshman Emory Blake finished third with 32 yards on five receptions.
Todd led the offense, going 17-of-18 for 256 yards and four touchdowns, all in the first half. Junior Neil Caudle stepped in for the second half, going 10-for-12 with 117 passing yards. The pair combined to go 27-for-30, connecting on 90 percent of their passes to set a new Auburn single-game record.
Defensively, freshman Ikeem Means led the team with six tackles, followed by Jonathan Evans and Woody Parramore with five each. Ashton Richardson tallied four tackles, 2.5 of them coming for loss, and a sack. Senior Antonio Coleman also picked up a sack, the 21st of his career, moving him into a tie for third all-time at Auburn in career sacks.
With the win, the Tigers look ahead to the "Oldest Rivalry in the Deep South" as Auburn travels to Georgia on Nov. 14. The Bulldogs improved to 5-4 on the season Saturday with a 38-0 win over Tennessee Tech.
"The Auburn-Georgia game is the oldest rivalry in the South and is just as good as it gets," said Chizik. "We are really, really looking forward to it. It is going to be a great venue. It is always a great game between the two teams and we are excited about it."
The game will air on either ESPN or ESPN2 and will kick off at 6 p.m. CT.