The Tigers narrowly missed having two 100-yard rushers against Arkansas State. Artis-Payne finished with 102 yards on 19 carries, including a 12-yard touchdown with 1:43 left in the fourth quarter. Junior Tre Mason actually went past the magic number, but was thrown for a four-yard loss to finish with 99 yards on 14 attempts that included an 11-yard scamper for six points.
Grant added a 17-yard touchdown run and totaled 40 yards rushing on seven carries. As a group, the Tigers piled up 301 yards on the ground against the Red Wolves.
"Of course, every back wants a 100-yard game, but I'll take 99 yards--whatever it takes to win," said Mason, who is 32nd in career rushing in school history with 1,355 yards and rushed for 1,002 yards as a sophomore in 2012.
"The key to every game is trying to wear down the other team by putting fresh legs out there," Mason said. "You can never go wrong with having more firepower in you arsenal. Those guys are fresh and I'm looking forward to the rest of the year."
Mason praised his offensive line. "They are great. They are veterans and know what they are doing. We are winning now and winning is contagious. I'm looking forward to a win next week against Mississippi State."
In other news and notes:
*Auburn captains against Arkansas State for the second straight game were center Reese Dismukes and defensive back/punt returner Chris Davis. Arkansas won the toss and deferred until the second half with Auburn receiving the opening kickoff and proceeding to drive 67 yards for a touchdown.
*Gus Malzahn is the sixth Auburn head coach to go up against his former team after facing Arkansas State where he was the head coach last year. Other Auburn head coaches that faced former teams are: Tommy Tuberville, 7-3 against Ole Miss; Terry Bowden, 1-0 against Samford; Pat Dye, 2-0 versus East Carolina; Jack Meagher, 0-2 against Rice and Mike Harvey, 1-0 against Alabama.
*Thirteen members of Malzahn's staff at Arkansas State in 2012 are on the current Auburn staff in some capacity this season including offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee and offensive line coach J.B. Grimes.
*Auburn is now 3-0 against Arkansas State. Previous wins over the Red Wolves were 27-0 in 2006 and 52-26 in 2010 when the Tigers won the national championship.
*The Tigers have won 79 straight games when scoring 30 or more points going back to 56-49 four-overtime setback to Georgia in 1996. Auburn is 294-4 when scoring 30 or more points.
*In holding Arkansas State to nine points on three field goals, it marks the first time since a 17-6 win over Florida on Oct. 15, 2011 the Tigers have held an opponent without a touchdown.
*In 2013 Auburn opens its season with three home games for the 12th time in school history.
*The 1988 Auburn team that won the SEC championship under Coach Pat Dye was honored at Saturday's game against Arkansas State. That team finished 10-2 and was ranked seventh in the nation.
*Also honored in a pre-game ceremony was former Auburn defensive back Zac Etheridge, who received the 2013 James Owens Courage Award. The award is named for Owens, Auburn's first black scholarship football player. A minister, Owens has a debilitating illness. Etheridge started on Auburn's 2010 national championship team a year after severe neck injury against Ole Miss almost ended his career. Etheridge is now as assistant coach at Georgia Tech.
*With his 146 yards rushing in Auburn's opener against Washington State last week, Corey Grant became the 59th player in school history with a 100-yard rushing game. By running for 102 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Arkansas State, Cameron Artis-Payne is the 60th running back to run for 100 yards or more in a contest.
*Auburn has returned at least one kickoff for a touchdown each of the last six seasons, which is the third longest streak in college football. Junior running back Tre Mason has two touchdown returns, one in 2011 as a true freshman and one this year in the opener against Washington State.