tampabay.com

Auburn survives last pass into end zone

Compiled from Times wires
Published September 29, 2006


COLUMBIA, S.C. - Kenny Irons ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns in his return to South Carolina and No. 2 Auburn knocked away a last-chance pass to keep its unbeaten season alive with a 24-17 victory over the Gamecocks on Thursday night.

Along with Irons' ground game and their rock-solid defense, the Tigers (5-0, 3-0 SEC) had a passing game that helped them take every snap of the third quarter.

Brandon Cox was 9-for-13 for 125 yards in the third quarter. He led a long opening drive that led to a 24-yard field goal, then Auburn recovered an onside kick and drove for a touchdown and a 24-10 lead on Irons' 1-yard run to open the fourth quarter.

Irons left the Gamecocks program when he got into then-coach Lou Holtz's doghouse.

On the onside kick, no South Carolina player was within 3 yards of the ball when it landed, and Jerraud Powers recovered for Auburn.

South Carolina (3-2, 1-2) closed to 24-17 on Syvelle Newton's 25-yard pass to Jared Cook with 8:25 to go. Then the Gamecocks got the ball back one last time, driving to the Tigers 6. However, on fourth down, Newton's floater to Sidney Rice was batted away by Patrick Lee with 19 seconds left.

Auburn has won 19 of its past 20 regular-season SEC games.

BYU 31, NO. 17 TCU 17: John Beck threw for 321 yards and three second-half touchdowns and the visiting Cougars ended the longest active winning streak in Division I-A at 13 games.

BYU (3-2, 1-0 Mountain West) beat a Top 25 team for the first time since Colorado State in 1999. TCU (3-1, 0-1) hadn't lost since 21-10 at SMU in Game 2 last season.

Beck completed 23 of 37 five days after sitting out a victory over Utah State to rest his sore ankles. He threw a 40-yard touchdown to Michael Reed to start the second half, then a 26-yarder to Matt Allen and a 4-yarder to Jonny Harlin, who made a one-handed catch with a defender on his back.

Ohio State and West Virginia have won 11 games in a row, now the best in I-A.

NOTRE DAME: For the first time in more than 30 years, the Irish will make 5,000 season tickets available next season, charging a fee to help pay for more than $40-million in repairs to their stadium.

The tickets will be offered first to alumni, donors and others affiliated with the university ahead of the general public.

In addition to the cost of a season ticket, $413 this year, there will be an annual fee of $2,000 per ticket for sideline seats; $1,500 per ticket for seats in the corner of the stadium; and $1,250 per ticket for end zone seats.

STATE GAMES

USF VS. NO. 23 RUTGERS: 8 tonight, ESPN2

NO. 5 FLORIDA VS. ALABAMA: 3:30 Saturday, Ch. 10

MIAMI VS. HOUSTON: 6 Saturday, ESPN2