20 - 23 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Burns' overtime touchdown run lifts Auburn over Clemson

Jan 1, 2008 - 6:53 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Freshman Kodi Burns helped Auburn continue its dominance over Clemson.

Burns threw a touchdown pass and had the winning 7-yard touchdown run in overtime to give No. 23 Auburn a 23-20 victory over 15th-ranked Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday.

Burns, the backup quarterback, had 69 of Auburn's 181 rushing yards as the Tigers defeated Clemson for the 13th consecutive time dating to 1951. With senior quarterback Brandon Cox graduating, Burns played for the first time in three games with new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin's spread offense making its debut.

"It feels great (to win)," Burns said. "Hopefully we have a lot more coming. I've got to prove myself to my coaches and my team. The future is bright."

In the first overtime game since the since the inaugural Peach Bowl in 1968, Clemson (9-4) had the first possession, which ended with a 25-yard field goal by Mark Buchholz for a 20-17 lead.

On Auburn's next possession, Cox converted a key 4th-and-inches with a 2-yard run on a quarterback sneak to Clemson's 14-yard line. Three plays later, with Burns behind center, the freshman faked the handoff and took it himself off the right side for a 7-yard score to give Auburn the win.

"I was a little surprised," Cox said on the fourth-down run. "The coach called the play and I just did it."

"The line was parting holes like the Red Sea all night," Burns said. "I saw a big hole and I took it in."

Cox led the passing game for Auburn (9-4), completing 25-of-38 passes for 211 yards, while Burns completed 1-of-5 with a 22-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.

After Auburn kicked a first quarter field goal, running back C.J. Spiller gave Clemson the lead early in the second.

Spiller took an inside handoff before bouncing it to the outside. He raced to the the left sideline and outran the defense for an 83-yard touchdown run, giving Clemson a 7-3 lead with 13:14 left in the second quarter.

"The offensive line did a great job for me," Spiller said. "I was looking at the Jumbotron at the guy close behind me and sped up to get the touchdown. It was a great feeling."

The run also accounted for almost half of Clemson's total offense in the first half, as quarterback Cullen Harper threw for just 36 yards. However, Clemson did outgain Auburn, 176-147, through the first two quarters.

After Burns' touchdown pass in the third quarter gave Auburn a three-point lead, Buchholz kicked a 22-yard field goal to tie the game on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Following an interception, James Davis ran in a 1-yard touchdown on 4th-and-goal to give Clemson a brief 17-10 advantage with 11:24 left.

Auburn responded less than three minutes later when Ben Tate scored on a 1-yard touchdown run of his own, tying the game at 17-17 with 8:27 to play in regulation.

"We played real good all game and just came up short," Clemson cornerback Crezdon Butler said. "It was a hard-fought game. The ACC and the SEC are the two best conferences in the country. It hurts but we've just got to move on to next year."

Harper, who was the Atlantic Coast Conference's top-rated quarterback, completed just 14-of-33 passes for 104 yards for Clemson, which was denied its first 10-win season since 1990 with the loss.

"Auburn is a great team and we expected a close game," Harper said. "It's time to get back, get to work and start preparing for next year. We had a great year."