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Auburn stuns Florida at finish

September 30, 2007|From the Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- On a day filled with upsets, Auburn turned in one of the biggest.

Freshman Wes Byrum kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Tigers to a 20-17 Southeastern Conference victory over No. 4 Florida on Saturday night.

The loss ended an 11-game winning streak for the defending national champions and gave the Gators their first home loss under Coach Urban Meyer. They had won 18 in a row, 17 straight since Meyer took over in 2005.

It also might have jeopardized Florida's chances of repeating. Then again, with all the other upsets Saturday, the Gators surely won't slip too far out of the picture.

Florida (4-1, 2-1) could take a big step forward next week at No. 2 LSU. But if the Gators perform like they did Saturday, they could be in for another long day.

Auburn (3-2, 1-1) played sound defense, prevented Tim Tebow & Co. from making many big plays and took advantage of several mistakes to build a 14-0 lead at halftime.

It was 17-3 before Florida evened the game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

But Auburn came up big in the closing minutes. Byrum attempted the winning kick, just as Meyer called timeout. The kick was true, but Byrum had to do it again -- and he did.

"I was pretty excited," said Byrum, who missed his only attempt last week against New Mexico State. "I had a rough week last week. I wanted to make sure I came back.

"It doesn't get any better than that."

The Tigers rushed the field to celebrate and performed the "Gator Chomp" everywhere in front of 90,685 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.

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