1997 Auburn Football Statistics
Auburn 21, Clemson 17
(January 2, 1998 at Atlanta, Georgia)
Quarterback Dameyune Craig ran for one touchdown and set up another with a 29-yard pass as 13th-ranked Auburn overcame three blocked punts to record a 21-17 victory over Clemson in the Peach Bowl at Atlanta.
Clemson (7-5) took a 17-6 lead with 1:48 to go in the third quarter on a 48-yard field goal by David Richardson, but Auburn (10-3) rallied behind Craig. On the ensuing possession, he scrambled 16 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 17-12 with 13:29 to play.
After a failed two-point conversion, the Tigers defense forced a punt. Craig again went to work, this time rolling right and stopping just at the line of scrimmage before finding Karsten Bailey on the right sideline. Bailey was barely able to put his right foot down inbounds, giving Auburn a 29-yard gain to the Clemson 7.
On the next play, Rusty Williams went off right tackle, slipped through a crease and scored to make it 18-17 at the 8:45 mark. An interception by inside linebacker Takeo Spikes led to a 22-yard field goal by Jaret Holmes, his third of the game, completing the scoring.
Clemson made one final push, reaching the Auburn 48 after a 27-yard pass from Nealon Greene to Rod Garner on 3rd-and-5. But Greene threw four straight incompletions, the last one tipped by Spikes, that gave the ball back to Auburn with 2:30 remaining. Auburn ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
Auburn improved to 14-10-2 in bowl games and won the Peach Bowl for the second time. The Tigers defeated Indiana in the 1990 Peach Bowl.
Both of Clemson's touchdowns came as the result of blocked punts. Chad Speck returned a blocked kick 19 yards in the second quarter to give Clemson a 7-3 lead. Rahim Abdullah blocked a punt in the second half which was recovered by Mal Lawyer at the Auburn 2, setting up a two-yard run by Terry Witherspoon with 5:15 left in the third quarter that made it 14-6.
Holmes made 3-of-5 field goals, but the misses came from 51 and 50 yards. He made a 52-yard field goal to open the scoring, tying the Peach Bowl record held by Indiana's Pete Stoyanovich.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Clemson............. 0 7 10 0 - 17 Auburn.............. 3 3 0 15 - 21
Tennessee 30, Auburn 29
(Dec 6, 1997 at Atlanta, GA)
Marcus Nash’s 73-yard catch and run in the fourth quarter provided the winning points as Tennessee defeated Auburn, 30-29, in the sixth SEC Championship Game. Peyton Manning’s scoring pass to Nash capped a 13-point Vol comeback.
Tennessee jumped out to an early lead when Manning hit Peerless Price on a 40-yard score on the first drive of the game. But Auburn took advantage of Vol miscues to score on a pair of Jaret Holmes field goals, a 24-yard Brad Ware fumble recovery and a 51-yard Dameyune Craig-to-Tyrone Goodson pass. The Tigers led 20-10 heading into the intermission.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns early in the third quarter before Manning hit Price for another score, this one from 46 yards out, late in the third. However, Auburn’s Charles Dorsey blocked the PAT, which was returned by Quinton Reese for a 29-23 Tiger lead.
Auburn enjoyed that lead until Nash caught a five-yard pass from Manning, dodged a tackle and raced 73 yards up the sideline for the game-winning score.
The Tigers’ last legitimate scoring chance for ended when Karsten Bailey fumbled a reception at the Vol 40.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Tennessee........... 7 3 13 7 - 30 Auburn.............. 13 7 9 0 - 29
Auburn 18, Alabama 17
(Nov 22, 1997 at Auburn, AL)
Jaret Holmes’ 39-yard field goal with 15 seconds left gave Auburn an 18-17, come-from-behind win over arch-rival Alabama. The victory also sealed the Tigers’ first-ever trip to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.
Holmes, who connected on all four of his field goal attempts against the Crimson Tide, split the uprights from the left hashmarks to cap an Auburn rally from 11 points down.
A pair of Holmes’ first quarter field goals gave Auburn a 6-0 lead, but Alabama gained the momentum and scored 17 unanswered points behind senior quarterback Freddie Kitchens. Shaun Alexander’s 12-yard run with 4:20 left in the third quarter gave Alabama a 17-6 lead.
Auburn quickly responded with a five-play, 72-yard drive that ended on Fred Beasley’s one-yard scoring dive. A two-point pass was dropped, keeping Alabama ahead by five, 17-12.
Holmes connected from 31 yards out with nine minutes remaining to cut the lead to 17-15. Auburn was forced to punt the ball back to Alabama with under three minutes remaining.
After one Crimson Tide first down, Alabama faced a third-and-8 from its own 36 with under a minute left. Kitchens completed a screen pass to fullback Ed Scissum, who fumbled after being hit by Tiger safety Martavius Houston. Auburn’s Quinton Reese recovered at the Alabama 33, setting up Holmes’ game-winning kick.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Alabama............. 0 10 7 0 - 17 Auburn.............. 6 0 6 6 - 18
Auburn 45, Georgia 34
(Nov 15, 1997 at Athens, GA)
Auburn reeled off 24-straight, first-half points and scored the first 14 points of the second half to upset once-beaten Georgia, 45-34, in the 101st renewal of the South’s oldest rivalry.
After Georgia drove 80 yards for a touchdown on the first series of the game, Auburn quickly responded with a TD march of its own, culminating with Dameyune Craig’s one-yard sneak.
Auburn took the lead for good on its next drive, when Jaret Holmes connected on a 29-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead after one quarter.
After Jeff Dunlap intercepted a Mike Bobo pass deep in Georgia territory, it took Demontray Carter just four plays to score from 11 yards out to give Auburn a 17-7 lead. Auburn again took over in Georgia territory, this time at the 38, and again took four plays to score before Fred Beasley ran in from the five.
Leading 24-14 in the third, Auburn put the game away on a 76-yard Dameyune Craig-to-Karsten Bailey scoring pass and a six-yard Craig run.
The win signalled a return to the running game, as the Tigers rushed for 159 yards and ran for five scores. Carter led the Tigers with 93 yards on 14 carries.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Auburn.............. 10 14 14 7 - 45 Georgia............. 7 7 0 20 - 34
Mississippi State 20, Auburn 0
(Nov 1, 1997 at Auburn, AL)
Mississippi State used a heavy blitz to hound Dameyune Craig and pull a 20-0 upset over homestanding Auburn.
The Bulldogs forced six Tiger turnovers, two of which led directly to 10 MSU points. The key play of the game occured midway through the second quarter, when Anthony Derricks stepped in front of a Craig pass at the Bulldog 10 and returned the interception 90 yards for a 10-0 State lead.
Craig was just 20-of-54 for 270 yards and four interceptions. Compounding the problem was the second-quarter injury to Tyrone Goodson, who caught four passes for 112 yards before leaving with a second degree shoulder separation.
Auburn continually misfired inside the red zone, where all four trips resulted in turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions).
Mississippi State stopped Auburn’s final threat when Izell McGill picked off a Craig pass at the MSU 10 with eight minutes left in the game. Bulldog running back James Johnson put the game away on a 38-yard scoring run with 2:41 left.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Mississippi State... 3 10 0 7 - 20 Auburn.............. 0 0 0 0 - 0
Auburn 26, Arkansas 21
(Oct 25, 1997 at Fayetteville, AR)
Auburn jumped out to a 26-7 fourth-quarter lead and held on to spoil Arkansas’ homecoming with a 26-21 win in rainy Fayetteville.
Jaret Holmes connected on all four of his field goal attempts. The senior also did his part defensively, placing all five of his punts inside the Razorback 20.
Holmes 36-yard field goal midway through the first quarter put Auburn ahead 3-0. Late in the first quarter, a strong hit by Tiger Jimmy Brumbaugh caused an Arkansas fumble, which was returned 13 yards by Marcus Washington for the touchdown and a 10-0 Auburn lead.
Holmes added a 27-yard field goal in the second quarter, but Arkansas finally got on the board when C.J. McLain returned a Dameyune Craig fumble 52 yards for a Hog score.
A pair of Holmes field goals and a 70-yard touchdown pass from Craig to Karsten Bailey had Auburn up 26-7 in the fourth quarter. But with 9:48 left, the Razorbacks scored on a 20-yard pass from Clint Stoerner to Anthony Eubanks. Two minutes later, Stoerner hooked up wit Anthony Lucas on a 43-yard score to cut the Tiger lead to five.
Auburn’s offense took six minutes off the clock before giving the ball back deep in Arkansas territory, crippling any Hog comeback.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Auburn.............. 10 3 10 3 - 26 Arkansas............ 0 7 0 14 - 21
Florida 24, Auburn 10
(Oct 18, 1997 at Auburn, AL)
Seldom-used fifth-year senior quarterback Noah Brindise led Florida on a 97-yard, 14-play scoring drive midway through the third quarter to snap a 10-10 hafltime tie and lead the Gators to a 24-10 win.
Brindise entered the week as Florida’s third-string quarterback, but after starter Doug Johnson was suspended for violating team rules and true freshman backup Jesse Palmer had thrown his second interception on the first drive of the second half, Gator coach Steve Spurrier opted for Brindise.
Florida proceeded to convert three-straigt third-down attempts before Brindise connected with Jacquez Green on a 10-yard scoring pass.
The Gators took an early 10-0 lead on a 12-yard pass from Green to Jamie Richardson and a 22-yard Collins Cooper field goal. But Palmer’s first interception was returned by Brad Ware to the Florida 49. Five plays later, Dameyune Craig found Tyrone Dillard on a tight end screen for a 15-yard touchdown.
Auburn tied the score on the final play of the first half on Jaret Holmes’ 20-yard field goal.
The Tigers fumbled away any hopes of a win with five minutes remaining when Tyrone Goodson coughed up the football at the Auburn 31 and Florida returned it to the Tiger 6. Two plays later Green scored on an end around to put the game away.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Florida............. 10 0 7 7 - 24 Auburn.............. 7 3 0 0 - 10
Auburn 49, Louisiana Tech 13
(Oct 11, 1997 at Auburn, Alabama)
Auburn celebrated its 71st homecoming game by defeating Louisiana Tech, 49-13.
Dameyune Craig set an Auburn record by with his fourth-straight, 300-yard passing game. Against Tech, the senior threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns on 20-of-32 passing.
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards for a three yard Tim Rattay-to-Cedric Williams scoring pass. The point after failed, so when Auburn marched downfield and scored on Craig’s 11-yard pass to Hicks Poor, the extra point gave the Tigers a 7-6 lead.
Auburn would score 28 more unanswered points, starting with Takeo Spikes 65-yard interception return for a touchdown.
By halftime, Craig had thrown for 207 yards and three scores, including a 12-yarder to Karsten Bailey and a 23-yarder to Tyrone Goodson.
Goodson finished the day with eight catches for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
The Auburn offense had 550 yards, including a team-high 63 yards rushing in the debut of freshman tailback Demontray Carter.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Louisiana Tech...... 6 0 7 0 - 13 Auburn.............. 21 14 7 7 - 49
Auburn 23, South Carolina 6
(Oct 4, 1997 at Columbia, SC)
Another 300-yard passing game by Dameyune Craig and a stellar Tiger defensive performance, highlighted by six sacks, kept Auburn undefeated with a 23-6 road win over South Carolina.
Auburn held the Gamecocks to just 198 yards of offense, including minus-three yards on the ground. The defense was led by Jimmy Brumbaugh and Charles Dorsey, who had two sacks apiece.
South Carolina took an early 3-0 lead on Steve Florio’s 44-yard field goal. However, Auburn took the lead for good on the second play of the second quarter when Craig found Karsten Bailey on a post pattern for a 36-yard touchdown pass.
Florio connected on another field goal, this one from 29 yards, right before halftime to make the score 7-6 at the intermission.
Craig directed an 11-play, 85-yard drive early in the second half that resulted in an eight-yard scoring toss to Tyrone Goodson.
The oddest play of the day came early in the fourth quarter. USC’s Homar Torrance intercepted a Craig pass at his own 13, but was stripped of the ball by the receiver, Bailey. The ball bounced into the endzone, where it went out of bounds. The play was ruled a South Carolina safety, giving Auburn a 16-6 lead and the ball.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Auburn.............. 0 7 7 9 - 23 South Carolina...... 3 3 0 0 - 6
Auburn 41, Central Florida 14
(Sep 27, 1997 at Auburn, AL)
Dameyune Craig accumulated 417 yards of total offense and Auburn snapped a 14-14, second-quarter tie with 27-unanswered points in a 41-14 win over upstart Central Florida.
The game was billed as the battle of the "DCs", featuring Craig and UCF signal-caller Daunte Culpepper. Culpepper was as good as advertised, going 19-of-30 for 210 yards and a touchdown. But Craig stole the show, completing 27-of-40 for 360 yards and two TDs. He also led all rushers with 57 yards and a touchdown on six carries.
The two teams exchanged scores until Fred Beasley’s one-yard run with 2:59 left in the first half put Auburn up 21-14.
The Tigers added to that lead early in the second half when Craig scored on an eight-yard run. Six minutes later, Rusty Williams converted a third-and-one toss sweep into a 24-yard scoring run to put Auburn up 34-14.
Auburn capped the scoring early in the fourth quarter when Craig found tight end Kevin McLeod for a four-yard scoring toss.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Central Florida..... 0 14 0 0 - 14 Auburn.............. 7 14 13 7 - 41
Auburn 31, LSU 28
(Sep 20, 1997 at Baton Rouge, LA)
Dameyune Craig led Auburn on an 80-yard, 10-play drive in the game’s final three minutes to deliver a 31-28 upset of 10th-ranked LSU. Rusty Williams capped the drive on a one-yard touchdown plunge with :30 remaining.
LSU attempted a 65-yard FG on the game’s final play, but Quinton Reese blocked it to seal the Auburn win.
Auburn jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter on Craig TD passes to Fred Beasley (26 yards) and Hicks Porr (25).
LSU’s Cecil Collins, who rambled for 232 of his team’s 377 rushing yards, scored Auburn’s lead to 14-7 with a three-yard run late in the first stanza.
Auburn quickly answered, as Williams scored from 10 yards out with 13.41 left before halftime. But LSU tied the game in the second quarter on a one-yard dive by quarterback Herb Tyler and a 38-yard pass from Tyler to Nemessis Bates.
Auburn’s Jaret Holmes hit a 34-yard field goal for the only points of the third quarter and a 24-21 Auburn lead. But Collins put LSU back up with a 42-yard dash with 13:34 left in the game.
Craig and the Auburn offense took over at its own 20 with 3:13 left. Craig then completed five of eight passes to move Auburn to the LSU 6, where Williams carried twice for the winning score.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Auburn.............. 14 7 3 7 - 31 LSU................. 7 14 0 7 - 28
Auburn 19, Ole Miss 9
(Sep 13, 1997 at Auburn, Alabama)
Trailing upstart Ole Miss 6-3 late in the third quarter, Auburn scored 16 points in the game’s final 17 minutes to deflate the Rebels and win its first SEC game of 1997.
While the Tiger defense was keeping an SEC opponent out of the endzone for the first time in seven years, the Auburn offense was struggling behind an ineffective running game.
Auburn took a 3-0 lead on Jaret Holmes first-quarter 26-yard field goal, but the Rebels tied it after using a fake punt to set up Steve Lindsey’s 52-yard field goal.
Ole Miss surged ahead when Lindsey connected from 23 yards out midway through the third quarter, but Auburn quickly drove down field, converted a key third-and-21 and took a 10-6 lead on Fred Beasley’s three-run plunge.
After another Lindsey field goal made it 10-9, Ole Miss took over at its own three. But Ryan Taylor sacked Rebel QB Stewart Patridge in the endzone on a bootleg, shutting down any Ole Miss upset bid.
Auburn took the ensuing free kick and drove 51 yards for a Dameyune Craig to Tyrone Goodson 16-yard TD pass to finisht the scoring.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Ole Miss............ 3 0 3 3 - 9 Auburn.............. 3 0 7 9 - 19
Auburn 28, Virginia 17
(Sep 4, 1997 at Charlottesville, VA)
Dameyune Craig hit Karsten Bailey on scoring passes of 57 and 77 yards and Ryan Taylor returned an interception for a touchdown as Auburn opened the 1997 season with a road non-conference win at Virginia, 28-17.
Craig passed for 247 yards and also ran in a score.
On Auburn’s first possession, UVA blocked a Jaret Holmes punt, but Holmes recovered in the endzone for a safety and a 2-0 Virginia lead.
While Auburn’s offense misfired on its first three possessions, the Cavaliers lost their best chance to add to their lead when Thomas Jones fumbled a pitch on the Auburn one and Tiger Brad Ware recovered.
Auburn followed with a 10-play, 98-yard drive that was capped by Craig’s 17-yard touchdown scramble to give the Tigers a 7-2 halftime lead.
Taylor, a converted safety playing his first game at linebacker, picked off Virginia’s Aaron Brooks on the first play of the second half and returned the interception 25 yards for a 14-2 Tiger advantage.
Craig hit Bailey on his two long scores in the second half to put the game away. On both scores, Bailey beat the UVA defender deep.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Auburn.............. 0 7 14 7 - 28 Virginia............ 2 0 7 8 - 17
Last Modified January 2, 1998
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