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3 is enough for Auburn in win over Mississippi State

September 14, 2008|From the Associated Press

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Only a former defensive coordinator such as Tommy Tuberville could have enjoyed this.

Wes Byrum kicked a 36-yard field goal in the second quarter and that was all No. 9 Auburn needed to defeat Mississippi State, 3-2, Saturday night.

"It was a true defensive game," Tuberville said. "And I'm an old defensive coach, so I was liking it a little bit. But I wished we would've scored a few more points."

The Tigers (3-0, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) committed three turnovers, missed two field-goal attempts and handed the Bulldogs their only points with a safety. But Auburn gave up only 116 yards to Mississippi State (1-2, 0-1).

The Tigers' new spread offense still has a lot of work to do. Chris Todd was 14 for 26 for 154 yards and Ben Tate ran for 92 yards in 20 carries.

"We obviously need to go back to the drawing board a little bit," Tuberville said. "But we did make some plays. You take away the penalties and the fumbles, and I thought we did a decent job at times."

Mississippi State scored with 7:05 left the fourth quarter when Auburn offensive lineman Ryan Pugh was called for holding in the end zone, giving the Bulldogs two points.

The Bulldogs could have tied the score at 3-3, but Adam Carson missed a 38-yard field-goal attempt with 12 minutes left in the third quarter.

"We had chances, but we didn't make the plays," Bulldogs Coach Sylvester Croom said. "When we had open receivers, we didn't throw to them. When we threw to them, we didn't make the catches."

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