for this game

Auburn rallies late to sink Kansas State

Sep 2, 2007 - 5:37 AM AUBURN, Alabama (Ticker) -- Brandon Cox showed his experience when Auburn needed it most.

Cox bounced back from a mediocre performance by hitting tight end Gabe McKenzie for a 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:01 to play to rally No. 18 Auburn to a 23-13 victory over Kansas State on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium in the season opener for both teams.

The combination of Auburn's intimidating home-field advantage and Cox's poise was enough to halt Kansas State's dominance in season openers.

The Wildcats (0-1) had a streak of 17 consecutive victories to open the season, last losing in the opener at Arizona State in September 1989.

"I was just trying to keep everybody up and keep our confidence up," Cox said. "Like Coach said, 'We just played Auburn football and found a way to win.' I really thought we had it all along. It was just a matter of when we would take it."

Bottled up for most of the game, Cox was 5-for-6 for 50 yards on the winning drive before capping it with a short pass to a wide-open McKenzie in the back of the end zone.

"He is a tough young man. He took a beating," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said of Cox. "We just couldn't get Brandon enough time to get the ball deep down the field enough times. When it all counted, it was good to see all of them step up and give him enough time to get it up down the field and make enough plays and score that touchdown."

The Tigers (1-0) then put the game in the hands of their heralded defense, which was outplayed by Kansas State throughout but came up big when in counted the most.

Facing a first-and-10 at their own 48 with 1:23 to play, Freeman was drilled from behind by star Auburn defensive end Quentin Groves. The crushing hit jarred the ball loose and Antonio Coleman scooped it up and returned it for a touchdown and a 23-13 lead with 1:11 to play.

"It feels great to score," Coleman said. "I just executed my technique perfectly on that play and was able to make a play. That 4.6 40 is what helped me get into the end zone."

It was Groves' second sack of the night and 25th career, leaving him one short of the school record held by Gerald Robinson.

Cox, who has started 22 straight games, finished 17-for-30 for 228 yard, one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked five times.

Freshman Wes Byrum kicked three field goals as the Tigers improved to 42-8 games at Jordan-Hare since the beginning of the 2000 season.

"You would like to be able for the kids to go away and know that they can play with Auburn," Kansas State coach Ron Prince said. "You don't come to a place like this and expect them to give you the game, you have to take it."

Trailing, 6-3, at halftime, Kansas State took the second-half kickoff 69 yards in six plays to go ahead, 10-6.

Quarterback Josh Freeman, who threw for a freshman school-record 1,780 yards in 2006, was 4-for-4 for 57 yards on the drive before wide receiver Jordy Nelson capped it off with the touchdown pass to Leon Patton on a trick play just 1:54 into the quarter.

Freeman completed 31-of-53 attempts for 261 yard and two interceptions as K-State totally eschewed the running game.

The Wildcats added to the lead on their next possession, when Brooks Rossman kicked a 40-yard field goal for a 13-6 lead at the midpoint of the third quarter.

"The first 58 minutes we were doing everything right, no missed assignments and everybody was tackling," Wildcats defensive end Ian Campbell said. "Then everything just broke down and we stopped doing everything that got us to that point. Everybody tried to do too much. There are no moral victories, you have to give Auburn credit."

Auburn finally responded when Byrum kicked his third field goal, a 31-yarder, to slice the deficit to 13-9 with 1:46 left in the third.

The Tigers had a chance to inch closer early in the fourth, but Byrum was wide right on a 47-yard attempt.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    KANSAS ST 3 0 10 0 13
    AUBURN (18) 0 6 3 14 23 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KANSAS ST - FG, BROOKS ROSSMAN 20 YD, 4:29.
    KANSAS ST 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 20 YD, 0:53. KANSAS
    ST 3-3
    AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 39 YD, 8:31. AUBURN
    6-3
    3RD QUARTER: KANSAS ST - TD, LEO

    Sep 1 11:31 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD AUBURN
    ANTONIO COLEMAN 34 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (WES BYRUM KICK)
    KANSAS ST 13
    AUBURN (18) 23 1:11 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:25 PM
  • 5
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    RUWTbot Took away 93 roots

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:25 PM
  • 98
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    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD AUBURN
    GABE MCKENZIE 3 YD PASS FROM BRANDON COX
    (WES BYRUM KICK)
    KANSAS ST 13
    AUBURN (18) 16 2:01 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:18 PM
  • 81
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:18 PM
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    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 11:05 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    KANSAS ST 3 0 10 13
    AUBURN (18) 0 6 3 9 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KANSAS ST - FG, BROOKS ROSSMAN 20 YD, 4:29.
    KANSAS ST 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 20 YD, 0:53. KANSAS
    ST 3-3
    AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 39 YD, 8:31. AUBURN
    6-3
    3RD QUARTER: KAN

    Sep 1 10:31 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG AUBURN
    WES BYRUM 31 YD
    KANSAS ST 13
    AUBURN (18) 9 1:46 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 10:22 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG KANSAS ST
    BROOKS ROSSMAN 40 YD
    KANSAS ST 13
    AUBURN (18) 6 7:31 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 10:07 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD KANSAS ST
    LEON PATTON 25 YD PASS FROM JORDY NELSON
    (BROOKS ROSSMAN KICK)
    KANSAS ST 10
    AUBURN (18) 6 13:06 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 9:53 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 25 roots (Upset)

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 9:53 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    KANSAS ST 3 0 3
    AUBURN (18) 0 6 6 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KANSAS ST - FG, BROOKS ROSSMAN 20 YD, 4:29.
    KANSAS ST 3-0
    2ND QUARTER: AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 20 YD, 0:53. KANSAS
    ST 3-3
    AUBURN - FG, WES BYRUM 39 YD, 8:31. AUBURN
    6-3

    Sep 1 9:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG AUBURN
    WES BYRUM 39 YD
    KANSAS ST 3
    AUBURN (18) 6 6:29 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 8:53 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG AUBURN
    WES BYRUM 20 YD
    KANSAS ST 3
    AUBURN (18) 3 14:07 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 8:37 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    KANSAS ST 3 3
    AUBURN (18) 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: KANSAS ST - FG, BROOKS ROSSMAN 20 YD, 4:29.
    KANSAS ST 3-0

    Sep 1 8:30 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG KANSAS ST
    BROOKS ROSSMAN 20 YD
    KANSAS ST 3
    AUBURN (18) 0 10:31 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 7:59 PM
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    blueeyes Added 5 roots

    Kansas State vs. Auburn(18)Sep 1 1:03 AM