Trotter Good Enough When It Counts

Barrett Trotter led the Auburn offense down the field for a score when the Tigers desperately needed it as Auburn pulled off a win at #10 South Carolina.

Columbia, S.C.--Auburn quarterback Barrett Trotter struggled mightily for the first 55 minutes against a tough Gamecock pass rush, throwing a pair of ill-advised interceptions and failing to lead the offense to enough points.

However, it was what he did in the final five minutes that counted leading the Tigers to a 16-13 victory and throwing the game-winning touchdown to Philip Lutzenkirchen with 1:38 remaining.

Auburn took possession at its own 43-yard line with 5:27 to go, but found itself in a third-and-13 situation when Trotter found DeAngelo Benton over the middle for 15 yards.

"I saw a window pop open really quickly," Trotter said. "He made a really great play and I got it through there."

That was the confidence builder the Tigers needed as they went 4-4 on third down on the final possession. Trottter was 3-5 passing on the 12-play, 57-yard drive.

Trotter admitted he was a bit nervous before the final series, but said he tried to convey confidence to the offense in the huddle before the drive.

"You're a little nervous, but once you get out on the field you forget about all that stuff and play," he explained. "I just told them, ‘Let's go win the game. Let's be done with it.' It had been a long game and we knew we had a chance to win if we put it in the end zone one more time."

Trotter's strike Benton marked the 11th time that Auburn had crossed the 50-yard line in the game. However, the Tigers just had a field goal and touchdown to show for it on the prior 10 trips.

"You just have to forget about those and go on and play," Trotter noted. "You can't do anything about it. Thinking about it and dwelling about it is not going to do any good. You've got to just forget about it as much as you can, be confident, know that you can play, know that you can win and that's what we did on the last drive."

Kiehl Frazier converted a third-and-two run and Onterio McCalebb scampered 19 yards up the middle on a draw on third-and-nine to set up Auburn at the South Carolina 14.

After a pair of Michael Dyer runs, his 40th and 41st of the game, Auburn was faced with third-and-five at the nine. Gus Malzahn the called on a play familiar to Auburn fans. Lutzenkirchen lined up at tight end on the right side, blocked for a moment, then popped open for the touchdown in the left flats--the exact same play Lutzenkirchen scored on to tie Alabama last year with Wes Byrum's extra point giving Auburn the 28-27 lead.

"Same play," Trotter said. "You just kind of lull them to sleep and they forget about that guy on the end of the line over there, and Lutz can sneak out. It worked, so we're going to keep running it I guess.

"I didn't see it," Trotter added, because he was knocked down on the play. "A.J. Greene had to come up to me and tell me, ‘Hey man, we scored,' because I didn't have any idea.

"We've probably run that play 150 times in practice," Trotter continued. "Y'all may not see it, but we run it all the time."

Lutzenkirchen fumbled as he was crossing the goal-line, but the call on the field was a touchdown and the review held up for an Auburn score. Cody Parkey's extra point made it a field goal game at 16-13.

Parkey then sent the kickoff through the end zone into the hedges, and Trotter could hardly watch as South Carolina marched near field goal range.

"I watched some of the last drive," the quarterback explained. "I was on a knee and couldn't hardly stand to watch some of it. I was a little bit nervous and praying a lot."

Trotter finished the day just 12 of 23 passing for 112 yards and the lone touchdown. He had two interceptions and was sacked four times, 3.5 by Melvin Ingram, who pressured Trotter consistently from start to finish.

"It wasn't really pretty," Trotter said. "The defense played great all day. We had trouble getting it into the end zone at times. Turnovers, my turnovers really, kept us from getting field goals which would have helped us at the end of the game and not put so much pressure on the defense. But we came out with a win, and any time you do that on the road in the SEC it's a great day.

"It's a great win on the road," he added. "It's a great atmosphere and all of those things. To come out with a win the way we did, it's a great win. We couldn't have done it without the defense. They played great the whole day."

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