You Can Call Him Mr. Touchdown

Ben Obomanu showed again he knows how to get the ball into the end zone.

Auburn, Ala.--Leading 13-3, on the Auburn's first possession of the second half the Tigers drove to the Ole Miss one-yard line when tailback Kenny Irons was stuffed, bringing up fourth down.

The Auburn offense stayed on the field and went up to the line of scrimmage, hoping to not once again stall inside the red zone.

"We don't really have a play call," said Auburn quarterback Brandon Cox. "We try to draw them offsides, they come offsides, we snap it and throw the fade. If they don't, we audible to a play."

A hard snap count by Cox sent Rebel defenders across the line of scrimmage, and that's when he lofted a pass into the corner of the end zone for receiver Ben Obomanu. The Auburn senior wideout made the catch over a Rebel defender for a touchdown, moving into a tie for second place in Auburn history with 17 career touchdown receptions.

"We were anticipating them jumping off sides," Obomanu said. "It was a great chance to get a free play in. Brandon did a good job of throwing to me. God allowed me an opportunity to make a play and score a touchdown. It was a nice catch and nice play."

Ben Obomanu gets his touchdown vs. the Rebels.

Obomanu clearly made the catch in bounds, but the play was reviewed.

"I caught it with my hands and tried to hold it up over his hands so the referees could see that I had control of the ball," he said. "I even had control of the ball going down, in my opinion. I figured that the play was going to stand because I did a pretty good job of catching it. It was up to whoever was reviewing the play to make sure."

The reception tied Karsten Bailey, who played at Auburn from 1995-1998, for second on the touchdown catches list, but 12 behind Auburn legendary receiver Terry Beasley, who had 29 from 1969-1971.

"Since scoring against South Carolina they told me that my next touchdown would put me in second place," Obomanu said. "It took me a while for me to get into the end zone, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to even be on the list anyway.

"I've read a lot about (Beasley) and admire some things he's done in Auburn history. It's a great opportunity to be on the list with him and others as well.'

Obomanu caught only one other ball for seven yards, but played a major role in the offense in other ways. Auburn tailback Kenny Irons had rushed for 182 yards against Arkansas and 218 against LSU in the previous two games, which made him the number one target for Ole Miss defenders all day. Offensive coordinator Al Borges took advantage of the over-pursuing Rebels and gave Obomanu a chance to show his speed on a pair of reverses.

"That was a nice opportunity to showcase some of the things I can do with the ball in my hand," Obomanu said of his two runs. One went for 27 yards, and the other for 16.

"We saw an opportunity to take advantage of the defensive linemen and defensive end playing the run a little more," he added. "That was one of the things that the whole play was about was to keep the defense honest a little bit--not really to score a touchdown or get over eight yards. It was a great opportunity to be able to turn it into a nice little play and help the offense out.

"A lot of times defensive ends don't pay attention to the wide receivers going in motion like that. I was able to get the ball a couple of times to open it up and keep them guessing, keep them on their heels a little bit."

Obomanu, a senior from Selma playing as a graduate student, leads the team with 22 receptions for 241 yards and four scores.

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