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COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 3 | SOUTHEASTERN ROUNDUP

Auburn Offense Comes to Life, Finishes Off Mississippi

September 14, 1997|From Associated Press

Defense alone might have been enough for a 19-9 Auburn victory over Mississippi on Saturday. Dameyune Craig and Tyrone Goodson just made sure.

With the game on the line, Craig threw two perfect passes to Goodson to lead the No. 16-ranked Tigers in a Southeastern Conference game at Auburn, Ala.

Craig and the Auburn offense struggled over the first three quarters. But the senior tandem came through late, first on a 47-yard completion in which Goodson leaped between two defenders for the catch, then on a well-thrown timing pattern into the corner of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown.

That score gave Auburn (2-0, 1-0) a 19-9 lead and ended the hopes of Ole Miss (2-1, 0-1), which was shooting for its first 3-0 start since 1989 and first win in eight games at Auburn.

"This game shows that when things aren't working out for the offense early, everyone can keep focused and we can pull one out," said Craig, who finished 19 for 29 with 245 yards and one touchdown. "We came up with some big plays at the end. But the defense kept us in it today."

The defense allowed only 237 yards to a Mississippi offense that burned the Tigers for 28 points and 401 yards last season. It was the first time Auburn hadn't allowed a touchdown in an SEC game since 1990.

Defense gave Auburn a 12-9 lead when linebacker Ryan Taylor came in untouched and sacked Ole Miss quarterback Stewart Patridge in the end zone for a safety with 9:39 left.

That gave Auburn the ball, and Craig responded with his best throw of the day, a 47-yarder to Goodson to the two. Goodson's celebration after the play cost Auburn a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Two plays later, he made up for it when Craig checked off at the line and threw on target to Goodson, who made an over-the-shoulder catch for the score.

No. 10 Louisiana State 24, Mississippi State 9--Cecil Collins and Rondell Mealey--filling in for the injured tailback and leading rusher Kevin Faulk--combined for 227 yards and two touchdowns in the second half for the Tigers (2-0, 1-1) at Starkville, Miss.

LSU, held to 109 total yards in the first half, drove 74 and 78 for touchdowns on its only possessions of the third quarter to break a 3-3 tie.

Collins rushed for 172 yards on 22 carries in his first college game. After being academically ineligible as a freshman last season, he was suspended from LSU's opener for breaking a team rule. Mealey had 85 yards on 18 carries.

It was LSU's sixth consecutive victory overall and sixth in a row over Mississippi State (2-1, 1-1).

Georgia 31, South Carolina 15--At Athens, Ga., Mike Bobo threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and Olandis Gary filled in capably for injured leading rusher Robert Edwards to give Bulldogs their first 2-0 start since 1991. South Carolina is 1-1.

Gary rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 73 yards and a score.

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