Auburn Defeats Western Kentucky, 48-3
September 27, 2003
The Tigers (2-2) outgained the Hilltoppers (3-1) 567-163 to win their second straight game. The loss snapped Western Kentucky's 13-game winning streak that included last year's I-AA national championship.
Western Kentucky came into Jordan-Hare Stadium yielding 15.7 yards rushing per game this season. It took the Tigers two plays to eclipse that mark.
The Auburn offensive line, which averages 317 pounds per player, manhandled Western Kentucky's smaller defensive front, opening gaping holes for the running backs all afternoon.
Ronnie Brown also had 11 carries for 80 yards and a 5-yard touchdown and Carnell Williams added 71 yards and a 29-yard touchdown on eight carries for the Tigers.
When Auburn took to the air, quarterback Jason Campbell was nearly flawless. He completed 12 of 13 passes for 173 yards and a 36-yard touchdown pass to Silas Daniels in one half. Campbell's only incompletion hit receiver Courtney Taylor right in the hands, but he dropped it.
After being criticized for his poor play in season-opening losses to Southern California and Georgia Tech, Campbell had his second straight strong outing, albeit against another overmatched opponent.
He directed touchdown drives on five of the six possessions he played that gave Auburn a 35-0 lead late in the first half. Backup Josh Sullivan played on two drives in the second quarter and all but one drive in the second half.
Tre Smith had two 1-yard scoring runs and Philip Yost tied a school record with a 57-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half to give Auburn a 38-0 lead.
The Tigers were just as dominating on defense. Western Kentucky was averaging 51.3 points and 431.3 yards of offense in wins over decidedly inferior competition when compared to Auburn.
On Saturday, the Hilltoppers managed just 11 yards and no first downs in the first half. They finally got their first first down of the game with 13:30 to go in the third quarter.
Freshman quarterback Justin Haddix was 10-for-17 for 116 yards, most of which came in the fourth quarter against Auburn's second- and third-team defense. His 5-yard touchdown pass to Shannon Hayes late in the fourth quarter was negated by a penalty for an ineligible receiver downfield.
Matt Lange's 24-yard field goal in the third quarter accounted for Western Kentucky's only score. Tim Duckworth blocked another Lange attempt late in the game.
Murphy's parents even came out on the field while he was placed on a stretcher. He was taken to the university's medical center and diagnosed with a severe concussion with more tests planned.