Tigers Stick With Game Plan

Tigers Stick With Game Plan

FAYETTEVILLE — Tommy Tuberville didn't give one thought to changing Auburn's offensive philosophy, despite only three points after three quarters against Arkansas.

Tuberville believed in the Tigers' defense, their rushing attack and freshman kicker Wes Byrum.

All three came through for Auburn on Saturday, including Byrum — whose 20-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining put the finishing touch on the Tigers' 9-7 win over the Razorbacks.

"Our philosophy is to play how our defense plays," Tuberville said. "If we feel we can play and win on field goals, we'll play like that on offense. We can open it up and do some things, but tonight was one of those where we just wanted to have a few more points than they did."

Byrum scored all of Auburn's points, connecting on field goals of 22 and 38 yards prior to the game-winning kick. It was his pair of second-half misses, however, that nearly cost the Tigers.

With Auburn ahead 3-0, Byrum missed an opportunity to add to the Tigers lead when he missed a 36-yard attempt to the right to end the third quarter. After his 38-yarder put Auburn up 6-0, he later missed a 46-yard attempt with 4 minutes, 19 seconds remaining in the game.

"I just wasn't hitting the ball right," Byrum said. "I hit some really good, I hit some not well at all."

That was followed by Arkansas' lone scoring drive, which was capped by a Lucas Miller touchdown reception from Casey Dick and gave the Razorbacks a 7-6 lead with 1:36 remaining.

From there, Auburn's offense took over. The Tigers moved 50 yards in eight plays, sparked by Robert Dunn's 30-yard reception from quarterback Brandon Cox.

The pass was unlike the rest of the game for Auburn, which finished with 189 yards rushing on 53 attempts. The Tigers had the ball for 35:53 on offense, compared to 24:07 for Arkansas — led by the running back tandem of Ben Tate and Brad Lester.

Lester finished with 97 yards rushing on 21 carries, while Tate had 94 yards on 23 attempts. Tate did most of his damage in the second half, when he had 82 yards on 19 carries.

While the Tigers offense did just enough, it was the Auburn defense that dominated for much of the game. The Tigers held Arkansas to just 67 yards rushing on 25 attempts, including a season-low 53 yards on 17 attempts by Heisman runner-up Darren McFadden.

"Our goal was to outdo McFadden and (Felix) Jones, and I think we did that," Tate said.

Tate carried the final three plays for Auburn to set up Byrum's game-winning kick from the left hash mark.

"I just needed to hit that for the team, pretty much," Byrum said. "I had a really bad game. I give everything to the offense for getting the ball down there and making it so easy for me."

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