Trick Play Opens The Door For Tigers

Just three plays into Auburn's 38-20 thrashing of Arkansas on Saturday, the Tigers set the tone with a brilliantly executed 67-yard double-reverse pass from quarterback Jason Campbell to wide receiver Devin Aromashodu for a touchdown.

Campbell, 25-9 in 34 career starts for Auburn, began the first-and-10 play with a pitch to senior running back Carnell Williams, who handed off to wide receiver Courtney Taylor, who, in turn, lateraled it back to Campbell.

By this time, the amped-up capacity crowd of 87,451 in Jordan-Hare Stadium was already oohing and aahing at the sight of Aromashodu running 10 to 15 yards behind the Arkansas secondary.

Aromashodu, a 6-foot-2, 204-pound junior from Miami, Fla., who had caught only eight passes all season, had to wait a bit for Campbell's long pass but secured it and then resumed full speed ahead while three Razorbacks defenders gave pursuit.

The Hog trio might have hindered each other a little, coming together as Aromashodu veered to his left. From there, it was only a question of whether Arkansas cornerback Michael Coe could catch Aromashodu.

Coe did, but too late, as Aromashodu lugged him into the end zone.

After just 1 minute, 10 seconds of play, Auburn led 7-0. That advantage grew to 30-0 before the Tigers settled for a 30-7 halftime lead. By intermission, the Tigers already had 322 total yards.

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said he thought that was a misprint at the time.

"I saw Devin wide open and I didn't want to overthrow him," Campbell said. "We worked on the play all week and everyone wanted to run it, but it hardly ever worked in practice."

That's what Williams thought.

"It didn't look too good in practice," Williams said. "It looked kinda shaky."

But Williams' running fake helped sell the play.

"I started like I was going to go around end, and that got the defensive flow going that way."

Auburn right tackle Troy Reddick said he pulled to the right on the play, as if to indicate a running play.

Al Borges, the Tigers' first-year offensive coordinator, put in 12 new plays for the Arkansas game.

"We noticed that Arkansas likes to close their back side on defense real hard" Borges said. "f they hadn't closed like that, the (67-yard scoring play) wouldn't have looked like such a good play."

Borges said Campbell (17 of 19 for 297 yards passing) played as well as he'd ever had a quarterback play in a big game.

"This ranks right up there," Borges said. "But none of our guys could execute these plays unless our offensive line played well. I can't say enough about the improvement they've made this season."

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