#17 Auburn Falls to #9 LSU, 31-7
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October 25, 2003
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU's freshmen running backs teamed up with quarterback Matt Mauck and a smothering defense to derail Auburn.
Justin Vincent ran for 127 yards and Mauck passed for 223 yards and three touchdowns as No. 9 LSU beat Auburn (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) 31-7 on Saturday night.
The victory left LSU (7-1, 4-1) and Auburn (5-3, 4-1) tied for second place in the SEC West behind Mississippi, which beat Arkansas Saturday to remain undefeated in conference play.
LSU outgained Auburn 381 yards to 193 yards, including a 157-53 edge in rushing yards.
"I think we got them frustrated a little bit," LSU defensive end Marcus Spears said. "But they ran hard and when we hit them, we had to hit them hard or they weren't going down. They have three good backs that can make plays and we had to do all we could to stop them from making those plays."
Carnell Williams, who ran for 496 yards and eight touchdowns in Auburn's previous three games, was held to 61 yards on 20 carries.
"LSU's defensive line controlled the trenches," said Williams. "They beat us in all phases. I can't say their start should have affected us. We still should have executed our offense."
Mauck completed 17 of 28 passes, Vincent averaged more than 9 yards per carry, and fellow freshman Alley Broussard ran for 35 yards and a touchdown. Devery Henderson had six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
"Our backs did a great job of hitting the holes," said LSU offensive guard Stephen Peterman.
Jason Campbell completed 19 of 27 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown for Auburn but he also was sacked four times.
"We have got no excuses," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. "They lined up and whipped us on both sides. We couldn't tackle in the first quarter. Offensively we didn't make anything work."
After the start of the game was delayed 19 minutes because of lightning, LSU scored three first-quarter touchdowns. Auburn had allowed only two first-quarter touchdowns in the past 13 games.
Mauck opened the scoring with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Henderson, and connected with Michael Clayton on an 18-yard play.
After a 44-yard punt return by Skyler Green to the Auburn 28, Broussard scored on a 5-yard run to make it 21-0 with 2:58 left in the first quarter.
Ryan Gaudet missed a 50-yard field goal for LSU in the second quarter and John Vaughn's 35-yarder for Auburn went wide right, leaving the score 21-0 at halftime.
Gaudet made a 33-yarder with 8:28 remaining in the third quarter to put LSU up 24-0. Mauck found Henderson again for a 16-yard touchdown strike with 3:46 left in the quarter.
Auburn, which had won five straight after opening the season with two losses, avoided a shutout when Campbell hit Anthony Mix with a 6-yard touchdown pass with 6:10 left in the game.
"It was just an awful day for us," Williams said.