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Auburn notes: Jonathan Jones' INTs; a Jordan-Hare record
Oct. 26, 2014

Auburn's Jonathan Jones takes center stage, with a fancy move after an interception in the end zone

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. — Jonathan Jones saw South Carolina go for it on fourth down time and time again. 

His conclusion? 

"I don't even think they brought a punter," the Auburn defensive back said.

South Carolina brought a punter, all right, but instead of using him more than once, the Gamecocks elected to go for it six times on fourth down. The Gamecocks threw 53 passes, too.

Jonathan Jones caught two of them in the fourth quarter to help Auburn beat the Gamecocks 42-35 Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium in front of a capacity crowd of 87,451 for the seventh consecutive sellout, an Auburn record.

Jones increased his interception total to a team-best five this season. That's the senior's career total, too. 

His final interception, on the last play of the game, was a nice diving catch in the end zone. His first interception came early in the fourth quarter, also in the end zone, that kept the game tied at 35-all. Auburn seized up that turnover and scored on its next drive.

 "I guess it was big," Jones said. "We were going back and forth. They were scoring. We were scoring."
Jones and the rest of the defense were challenged by South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who found a way to run 86 plays by going for it, and usually making it, on fourth down.

"After the second one, I said, 'they're not going to punt tonight.' They were dialing up good plays and making plays," Jones said.
Jones was playing deeper than most on South Carolina's final-play Hail Mary. It landed in his hands.

"We practice that," he said. "We all went up for the ball, and somehow I came down with it."

Auburn intercepted three, in all, and leads the SEC with 13. The Tigers are second in fewest interceptons allowed.
 Here are some notes from Auburn athletics…

• Auburn has tied Florida State for the longest active home win streak nationally at 14 games; Auburn is 13-0 at Jordan-Hare Stadium since Malzahn took over as head coach for the 2013 season.

• Quan Bray is back leading the nation in punt returns, averaging 25.2 yards per return.

• Duke Williams is third in receiving yards per game, at 75.3 yards.

Auburn is first in the SEC in rushing offense, averaging 281 yards per game; and is second in passing efficiency.

• Auburn had its third three-interception game of the season (San Jose State, Mississippi State, South Carolina).

• With three interceptions, Auburn now has 13 on the season and 26 in 21 games since the beginning of the 2013 season. Six Auburn players have intercepted a pass this season.

• Ricardo Louis’ third quarter 75-yard touchdown run was the longest offensive play of the season for Auburn.  

• Gus Malzahn is 18-1 at home as a collegiate head coach (5-1 in 2012 at Arkansas State, 8-0 in 2013 and 5-0 in 2014 at Auburn).

• Quarterback Nick Marshall rushed for 89 yards and is second in Auburn career quarterback rushing with 1,649 yards. Phil Gargis (1973-76) is the school record holder with 1,884 yards rushing.

• With 228 yards of total offense (139 yards passing, 89 yards rushing) on the night, Marshall moved into seventh place on the school’s career list with 4,728 yards of total offense, passing Reggie Slack (1986-89).

• Marshall’s second quarter reception was the second of his career and the first thrown by someone other than himself (37-yard reception on a deflected pass last year vs. Mississippi State).

• Marshall threw one touchdown pass and rushed for a career-high three more, making him responsible for 44 touchdowns in his career, passing Bo Jackson (1982-85) for eighth in school history. He is two behind Brandon Cox (2004-07) and Carnell Williams (2001-04) for sixth with 46. 

• Jonathan Wallace completed a pass to Marshall in the second quarter, which came 364 days after his last completion (Oct. 26, 2013 vs. Florida Atlantic).

• With 167 yards, Cameron Artis-Payne now has seven 100-yard games in his career.

• Artis-Payne now has 839 yards rushing on the season and 1,441 for his career, which ranks 30th in Auburn history

• Ricardo Louis had a 75-yard touchdown run was the longest rush of his career and was the longest rush by an Auburn player this season. He finished with 102 yards on three carries, the first 100-yard rushing game of his career.

• Kris Frost finished the game with a career-high 14 tackles, 11 of which were solo. His previous best was seven, done twice.

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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