Part 2, Auburn 27, Southern Miss 13 Notes

More news, notes, quotes and statistics are featured from Auburn's football victory over Southern Mississippi.

Auburn, Ala.--Senior linebacker Merrill Johnson gave the defense overall good marks for its performance in a 27-13 football victory over Southern Miss on Saturday.

"I think we played a pretty good first two quarters, then they wore us down a little bit in the third quarter," Johnson said. "Then we picked it back up in the second quarter. We have to put all four quarters to be good every week."

Johnson said the defense was hoping for a second straight shutout and was disappointed when that didn't happen. "That first touchdown hurt, but we just had to bounce back and keeping on going," he said.

Cornerback Jerraud Powers agreed. "We are just going out doing our job and trying to have fun while we are doing it," he said. "You have a ego about teams scoring. We had that shutout last week. We wanted into come into the game and try to get a shutout also...Southern Miss had some success late. That is going to happen. We just have to keep playing good defense and good football."

Other news and notes include:

*Eleven different Tigers made receptions, the most for the Tigers since 11 players caught passes vs. Ole Miss in 2005.

*One of Auburn's starting receivers, Chris Slaughter, did not play and because of violation of team rules, head coach Tommy Tuberville said. The coach did not say when Slaughter would return to action.

*Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora said, "I was pleased with the way the defense hung in there the entire game. They forced four turnovers. They did a great job. They were out on the field a long time, especially in the first half."

*Auburn safety Zac Etheridge had praise for coordinator and secondary coach Paul Rhoads. "Coach Rhoads had a great day," he said. "We have been doing well. Every day in practice we learn more. He's a great coach and every day he's into it. He makes us work hard. That is why we are playing like we are."

*Tuberville had praise for USM receiver Deandre Brown, who caught eight passes for 88 yards. Tuberville said that Brown will be the best freshman receiver the Tigers will face. Etheridge pointed out that he is impressed, too.

"He is a great receiver who was recruited by a lot of SEC schools," Etheridge said of the six-foot-six receiver. "Going against him was tough because of his height. We don't usually see a lot of receivers as tall as him. It's great to go up against a guy like that."

*Auburn junior defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks said he was pleased the Tigers limited Southern Miss to 37 rushing yards. "It takes all 11 to shut down the run game like that, not just with one man or with one line," Marks said. "We hit them right in the middle and that's what shut them down."

Commenting on his second game playing in the system directed by Rhoads, Marks said, "Anytime you run something the second time, you are going to get better. We're just trying to go out there and set the tempo and speed the game. We'll keep getting better. Every game we are going to play better than the game before. We are going to play our best in the bowl game."

*Auburn's five fumbles were the most for an Auburn team since the 2001 game vs. Florida.

Ryan Pugh

*Ryan Pugh, who moved from right tackle to center for the game, said he found out at Auburn's next to last practice for the Southern Miss game he would probably start at center because Jason Bosley's sore shoulder was causing him problems making shotgun snaps. Bosley and Pugh switched positions.

*Auburn improved its all-time record to 17-5 vs. Southern Miss.

*Running back Ben Tate said he believes the "offense is beginning to click." The junior rushed for 71 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 51 more yards.

*Clinton Durst averaged 44.2 yards on five punts in his second college game.

*It took Chris Todd just 10 minutes of game time to throw for 90 yards, five more than Auburn's passing total from the opening game.

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