Auburn Easily Defeats Mississippi State in SEC Opener, 43-14
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September 11, 2004
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Carnell Williams ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns, and Ronnie Brown added 147 yards rushing to lead No. 18 Auburn past Mississippi State 43-14 on Saturday.
Ronnie Brown rushed for 147 yards on 15 carries, and had 2 catches for 16 yards
Jason Campbell threw two of his three touchdown passes to Anthony Mix, and Auburn (2-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) scored on three of its first four possessions to give Sylvester Croom a loss in the first SEC game for the league's first black head football coach.
Auburn won its fourth straight in the series, the last three by an average of nearly 30 points, and this time the Tigers used a punishing ground game that took advantage of poor tackling by Mississippi State (1-1, 0-1).
Auburn's 283 rushing yards were more than three times the Bulldogs' rushing total, and the Tigers gained 465 total yards.
Williams, who rushed for a school-record six touchdowns in last year's win, scored on runs of 1 and 3 yards and surpassed the 100-yard mark for the second time this season.
Brown's 59-yard run in the second quarter set up Campbell's second TD pass of the game.
Campbell finished 8-for-17 for 139 yards with touchdown passes of 5 and 58 yards to Mix and 25 yards to Ben Obomanu.
Auburn's offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage all day, blowing the Bulldogs' defensive front off the ball and blasting spacious holes for the Tigers' tailbacks.
Williams ran for 78 yards in the first quarter, and the Tigers went up 14-0 on their first two possessions.
Meanwhile, Auburn's defense had Mississippi State's running game out of whack. The Bulldogs didn't advance inside the Tigers' 30 in the first half. Auburn led 21-0 at halftime.
Mississippi State rushed for 11 yards in the first half and finished with 81.
Jerious Norwood, the SEC's offensive player of the week after running for 112 yards last week, had just eight at halftime and finished with 41 yards.
Omarr Conner was 16-of-26 for 113 yards in his second start at quarterback for Mississippi State. The former high school quarterback played receiver last season. Backup Kyle York threw two touchdown passes to Jason Husband in the closing minutes.
Croom has enjoyed far better days against Auburn. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native and former Alabama standout is 10-5 as a player and coach against Auburn.