Reese Dismukes doesn’t get excited easily and measures his words carefully.
Reese and the offensive line did their part as the Tigers rushed for a season-high 395 yards and piled up 551 yards total offense. That effort came following some concern about the offensive line getting a good push, especially on first down as the Tigers have been facing man second and long situations in recent outings.
“I’m excited we were able to come out with a victory,” Dismukes said of the win that keeps the Tigers in the hunt for the SEC West title, a shot at the SEC Championship Game and the four-team playoff to decide the national championship.
“As an offensive line, we put it on our shoulders knowing that we were going to have to go out there and put points on the board,” he said. “We know we have to do that in a game like this.”
Dismukes was pleased with the effort following a needed off week to work out some kinks on the offensive line.
“I think we got better tonight. It was a real team effort. We all went out there and did what we had to do to get the win,” he said.
“We knew going in we were going to have to run the ball to win. This game shows we’re going to fight to win and we’re going to fight to the very end. We showed a lot of character tonight.”
It doesn’t get any easier in the SEC West that entered Saturday with four teams rated in the top five in the AP poll. The Tigers visit Ole Miss next week. The Rebels were ranked third in the nation, but lost 10-7 at LSU Saturday night.
“Like Coach (J.B.) Grimes says, it’s one page at a time,” Dismukes said. “We are in the gauntlet now and it’s not going to get any easier. We want it that way because it means we are in the hunt. We’ll get ready for Ole Miss and put this game tonight behind us.”
In other news and notes:
•Auburn is now 310-5 (.984) when scoring at least 30 points.
•The Tigers’ defense has surrendered just 48 second-half points this season (6.9 per game).
•Auburn has out-scored its opponents 72-24 in the final quarter.
•Auburn has scored an offensive touchdown in 42 of the last 46 quarters vs. SEC opponents.
•In the fourth quarter Auburn is converting a quarter-best 16-23 (.696) third-down conversions while holding opponents to 11-30 (.367).
•In the second half alone Auburn is converting 30-48 (.625) on third downs while its opponents are 18-54 (.333). For the entire game Auburn is 55.8 percent (53-95) on third down while opponents are at 34.3 percent (36-105).
•Auburn has tied Florida State for the longest active home win streak nationally at 14 games; Auburn is a perfect 13-0 at Jordan-Hare Stadium since Malzahn took over as head coach for the 2013 season.
•Auburn had two 100-yard rushers in Cameron Artis-Payne (167) and Ricardo Louis (102). It’s the second time in the last three games that Auburn has had a pair of 100-yard rushers (LSU--Artis-Payne 126 yards, Nick Marshall 119 yards). It is also the fourth time this season and the eighth time under Gus Malzahn.
•With three interceptions Auburn now has 13 on the season and 26 in 21 games since the beginning of the 2013 season. Six different Auburn players have intercepted a pass this season.
•Ricardo Louis’ third quarter 75-yard touchdown run was the longest offensive play of the season for Auburn. It is tied for the 24th longest rush in Auburn history all-time and is also tied with Corey Grant (vs. Washington State on 8/31/2013) for the longest offensive play under Malzahn. It is the longest rush by a wide receiver in program history.
•Auburn’s 13 interceptions through the first seven games is its most since the 1996 season (14).
•With 551 yards of total offense on the night, Auburn is now averaging 496.9 yards of total offense on the season (281.0 yards rushing, 215.9 yards passing).
•For the season the Tigers have scored on 29-31 red zone opportunities (.935 scoring percentage), including 23 touchdowns (.742 touchdown percentage).
•The Tigers have the third-longest active streak nationally at 17 for being ranked in the AP’s Top 10 behind Alabama (59) and Florida State (25).
•Three of Auburn’s five remaining opponents are ranked in the top nine in this week’s AP Poll.