YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Auburn Upsets LSU on Second-Chance Kick

Penalty on a missed extra-point try leads to new life and a 10-9 win over No. 5-ranked team.

September 19, 2004|From Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. — The ball finally got to Courtney Taylor, the flag rescued John Vaughn and No. 14 Auburn proved itself a Southeastern Conference contender.

Jason Campbell completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Taylor with 1:14 to play and Auburn got two chances to kick the winning extra point in a 10-9 victory over No. 5 Louisiana State on Saturday.

"It was coming so slow, I was just saying, 'Come on, get here ball," said Taylor, whose touchdown catch was the first of his career.

Then, he watched in shock as LSU was nearly saved again by a missed extra-point kick. Vaughn's first attempt went wide left after a low snap, but Ronnie Prude was called for a personal foul, giving Auburn (3-0, 2-0 in the SEC) another shot.

"[There] couldn't possibly be a bigger relief than that little yellow thing on the ground," Vaughn said.

Vaughn made his next try with holder Sam Rives saving another bad snap for Auburn's 191st consecutive PAT. It prevented a repeat of LSU's season opener when Oregon State's Alexis Serna missed his third extra-point try of the game in overtime for a 22-21 LSU victory.

LSU's Ryan Gaudet instead missed the kick after LSU's touchdown on a brilliant opening drive that was definitely not a sign of things to come.

"That's a really tough game for our players," LSU Coach Nick Saban said. "We just had a lot of opportunities we squandered."

Auburn's final drive provided about the only offensive dramatics. Campbell led a 12-play, 59-yard march that milked most of the remaining 6:38 off the clock.

Ronnie Brown had a 20-yard run and Campbell and Taylor did the rest, including a 14-yard pass on fourth-and-12 from the 28.

The score came on third-and-12, with Campbell finding Taylor in the back of the end zone.

Taylor knelt on his right knee in quiet celebration after the score and many Auburn fans stayed after the game, far less quietly.

"It was a huge sigh of relief," said Campbell, who completed 16 of 27 passes for 170 yards and no interceptions. "We knew if we kept plugging, something would happen."

Taylor wasn't just worrying about the ball getting to him.

"At the same time, I was praying, 'Please God, let me catch this ball,' " he said.

LSU (2-1, 0-1), whose 10-game winning streak ended, moved into Auburn territory behind redshirt freshman quarterback JaMarcus Russell. But his final pass deflected off Early Doucet into the hands of Auburn's Junior Rosegreen with eight seconds left.

"It's a tough way to lose a game," Saban said. "And it's a tough way to end a game."

LSU pounded Auburn, 31-7, last season in Baton Rouge.

Los Angeles Times Articles