Looking back, Game 8: Tigers take care of business

Dec. 29, 2013

Sammie Coates caught two touchdown passes against Florida Atlantic (Anthony Hall photo)

Eighth in a series of stories on Auburn's journey to the BCS National Championship Game.

By Phillip Marshall

AUBURN, Ala. – A week after the biggest win of Auburn’s season and of Gus Malzahn’s career as a head coach, Auburn’s football team took care of business again.

Florida Atlantic came to town to pick up a check. And the Tigers did what they were supposed to do. They jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 45-10 victory. The Tigers improved to 7-1 as Gus Malzahn’s first season as Auburn head coach headed toward the home stretch filled with confidence.

Quarterback Nick Marshall threw just one pass before he was shaken up and gave way to freshman Jeremy Johnson, who completed 10-of-16 for 192 yard and two touchdowns.

Auburn got first-quarter touchdown runs of 8 yards by Tre Mason, 43 yards by Corey Grant and 10 yards by Marshall, who took a seat for good in the second quarter.

Johnson entered the game on thid-and-13 early in the second quarter and hit Sammie Coates with a 36-yard touchdown on his first play. He later hit Coates with a 67-yarder. Cody Parkey kicked a 43-yard field goal and Artis-Payne closed out the scoring with a 1-yard run.

With 10 different backs carrying the ball, Auburn piled up 422 yards on the ground. Artis-Payne led the way with 96 yards on 13 carries.

The defense was stellar, holding the Owls to 247 total yards.

“I really felt like our guys were ready to play,” Malzahn said. “There were a lot of questions about how we would respond after a big win. I'd say our guys answered that by jumping on them early and taking care of business."


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: