Auburn Footbal Notes: Kicking Game Big Factor

News and notes on Auburn's 17-13 SEC football loss to Georgia are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--The kicking game was a huge factor in the first half of Auburn's 17-13 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs.

The Tigers and Bulldogs each missed field goals with Auburn's Tez Doolitte blocking a Blair Walsh 21-yard attempt on Georgia's opening drive and Wes Byrum continuing his inconsistent season with a miss from 42 yards in the final minute of the first half that would have given Auburn a 9-7 lead.

A bobbled snap by Clayton Crofoot following Marion Fannin's 52-yard touchdown reception from Kodi Burns with 14 seconds left in the first quarter was the difference in Georgia's 7-6 lead at the half.

In addition to the extra points and field goals, Auburn punter Clinton Durst miss-hit a punt that carried about 25 yards but took a huge bounce and backed the Bulldogs up to their own six-yard line mid-way through the first quarter. That punt was good for 56 yards.

Durst's punt out of his own end zone that was fumbled by Georgia's Prince Miller and recovered by Auburn's D'Antoine Hood at the Auburn 48 set up the Tigers' first-half touchdown on the next play with 14 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. Durst was roughed on the play so had Auburn not gotten the ball back the Tigers would have gotten a first down and retained possession at its own 21 after the penalty.

In other news and notes from Saturday's game.

*Mario Fannin became the first Tiger this season to score on a running play and a pass play in the same game. His touchdown reception from Kodi Burns covered 52 yards and his run for a TD was from 35 yards out. Carl Stewart was the last to do it in the win over Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.

*In holding Georgia to 17 points, Auburn became the third team this year to limit the high-scoring Bulldogs to 20 for fewer points. Wityh Auburn trailed 7-6 at the half, it was only the second time this season the Tigers did not have a lead at the half. The other time was in a loss at Ole Miss.

*Auburn's ability to keep opponents' running games out of the end zone continued against Georgia as both Bulldog touchdowns came on pass plays--in the second and fourth quarters. The Tigers have allowed only four rushing touchdowns this year, which is second best in the nation. The Tiger defense hasn't given up a first-quarter touchdown in 11 outings this year. The only touchdown surrendered by Auburn in the first quarter came against Tennessee Martin when Robert Dunn fumbled attempting to field a punt and it was recovered in the end zone by UTM.

An oddity in the first half involved time of possession. Georgia had the ball an 9:45 to Auburn's 5:14 in the opening quarter. In the second quarter, the Tigers turned it around, controlling the ball 10:21 to 4:39. At the half, Auburn owned a 15:35 advantage to 14:25 for the Bulldogs.


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