"Great Win" For Fannin and Tigers

Running back Mario Fannin talks about the win over the Florida Gators.

Gainesville, Fla.--Auburn's goal coming into Saturday night's showdown with the fourth-ranked Florida Gators was simple. Just win the game. It didn't matter how it was done, just get a victory. That was exactly what the Tigers did in The Swamp as the defense played very good football and the offense did more than enough to get a win.

Part of the strategy on offense was to run the football and keep the explosive Florida offense off the field. The Tigers did that well as they gained 121 yards on the ground when taking out the losses by quarterback Brandon Cox. The tandem running backs of Benjamin Tate and Mario Fannin both rushed for over 60 yards. Fannin says it was a huge game for the offense to come out and get the job done.

"We just made up our minds that we were going to come out and play hard for four quarters," Fannin says. "On offense we had a little trouble clicking in the beginning but every day we worked hard in practice to get the offense together. It showed tonight. We made big plays. We converted on third downs. We ran the ball well. When you do those things you can't do anything but win."

It wasn't just a night running the ball though as Cox had his best game of the season. Completing 17-26 passes for 227 yards, the senior stepped up when Auburn needed him the most. Fannin says he never had a doubt about the kind of game Cox would play against Florida.

"Brandon did a great job," Fannin says. "He was struggling in the beginning but he pulled himself together to help the team. He became that leader on and off the field. He struggled a little bit but he's recovered from it. He did a great job tonight."

The Florida game was a special one for the redshirt freshman running back because in the end his final two school choices were the Tigers and Gators. Having been to several games in The Swamp on visits, Fannin says it was nice to play and get a win against the team that was almost his.

"I was a little hyped," Fannin says. "I saw my recruiting coaches when I was coming in walking the field. That made me more hype. I had to keep my composure during the game and make sure I did everything right but at the same time stay pumped. It's a big win. We all played together as a team. We showed today we were the better team."

With a victory over Florida, Auburn now finds itself squarely back in the SEC race after showing it can win in the toughest of environments. Fannin says that the Tigers just made up their minds they weren't going to come home without a victory and executed to make that vision a reality.

"It was a great win," Fannin says. "We prepared hard in practice and we just made up our minds that we were going to come out and play hard all four quarters. It's just a great win."

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