Auburn holds off Mississippi upset bid

Published October 29, 2006

OXFORD, Miss. - No. 7 Auburn turned the ball over and committed costly penalties Saturday but got past Mississippi 23-17.

"All of them are on scholarship, and all of them are Division I players," Auburn linebacker Quentin Groves said. "If you go out there (with the attitude) that, 'Okay, this is going to be an easy win,' you're going to be in for a dogfight."

Earlier this season, the Rebels lost to then-No. 10 Georgia 14-9 and Alabama 26-23 in overtime.

"This shows everyone ... that Ole Miss is coming," said linebacker Patrick Willis, the SEC's leading tackler going in who had 15 more. "We are right around the corner, and we will turn that corner."

Auburn gained 428 yards, including a season-high 253 passing by Brandon Cox. Kenny Irons added 106 rushing. But it tied a season high with two turnovers and committed nine penalties for a season-high 84 yards.

It wasn't until Eric Brock and Aairon Savage picked off Brent Schaeffer on consecutive drives in Rebels territory that Auburn began to turn the tide after a 7-7 halftime tie.

Brock's set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Brad Lester that put the Tigers up 14-10 with 5:50 left in the third. Savage's set up John Vaughn's 31-yard field goal (and school-record 47th of his career) with 55 second left in the third.

But Ole Miss, with help from Auburn, wasn't finished. Schaeffer tied it at 17 with a 3-yard pass to Lawrence Lilly 2:54 into the fourth. The play was set up by a late hit on Schaeffer and defensive holding in the end zone.

However, a 45-yard kickoff return by Tristan Davis and 20-yard pass by Cox on third down set up Vaughn's 20-yarder to make it 20-17 with 7:35 left. His 29-yarder sealed it with 35 seconds left.

No. 13 Arkansas 44, Louisiana-Monroe 10

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Darren McFadden accounted for two touchdowns and Arkansas capitalized on a pair of botched punt snaps, then pinned Louisiana-Monroe deep in its own territory with two punts to give Houston Nutt his 100th coaching victory.

"I think they won the game," Nutt said of the special teams. "If you look at their mistakes and look how we downed the ball inside their 1-yard line."

McFadden ran for 129 yards and a touchdown and threw for a score.

Alabama 38, FIU 3: Javier Arenas returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Ramzee Robinson an interception 34 yards for a touchdown for the host Crimson Tide. Up 10-3 at halftime, Alabama started to pull away when Arenas raced down the left sideline. Robinson's score came early in the fourth quarter. Alabama quarterback John Parker Wilson limped off late in the first half, favoring his left leg. He returned for two series then was replaced by Jimmy Barnes.

Kentucky 34, Miss. St. 31: Andre Woodson threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns for the visiting Wildcats. Kentucky broke a 14-14 halftime tie by scoring on four of its first five possessions in the second half, including Alfonso Smith's 3-yard run and Woodson's 33-yard pass to Keenan Burton for a 31-17 lead 1:46 into the fourth. The Bulldogs cut it to 34-31 with 2:20 left on a 36-yard pass from Michael Henig to Tony Burks.