The Tigers Take Down The Commodores
September 14, 2002
AUBURN (AP)--Carnell Williams ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns and Auburn returned two fumbles for scores as the Tigers beat Vanderbilt 31-6 Saturday in the SEC opener for both teams.
On his 20th and final carry of the day, Williams ran for a 65-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to help Auburn (2-1) win its 10th straight conference opener and 11th straight against Vanderbilt (1-2).
The Commodores blew any chance at a comeback when Auburn's Mayo Sowell knocked the ball loose from redshirt freshman quarterback Jay Cutler early in the fourth quarter. Spencer Johnson picked it up and ran 27 yards for the game's final score.
Karlos Dansby also forced a fumble by Cutler and brought it back for a 7-yard TD in the first half. Vanderbilt committed four turnovers in blustery conditions.
The weather didn't affect the accuracy of Auburn quarterback Daniel Cobb, though. He was 13-of-18 for 143 yards.
Cutler was 11-of-22 for 120 yards but was intercepted twice, one week after he accounted for five touchdowns in a win over Furman.
The Tigers led just 14-6 at halftime, their offense stifled by a blocked field goal on the opening series and a fumble, both of which came after the team had driven inside the Commodores' 10-yard line.
Auburn scored shortly after the blocked field goal, when Dansby ran untouched into the backfield and nailed Cutler. Dansby scooped the ball up for Auburn's first fumble return for a touchdown since 1997.
Williams ran for a 23-yard TD on Auburn's next possession, but Vandy added two field goals by Greg Johnson in the second quarter.
Williams shook off a tackle at the line and ran untouched along the left sideline for his 65-yarder. He sat out the fourth quarter.
Williams has five touchdowns this season, all on runs of 20-plus yards.