Part II, Auburn 37, LA Tech 13 Game Notes

A report from Jordan-Hare Stadium features news and notes from Auburn's opening victory.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn coach Gene Chizik watched his Tigers run the football 52 times on opening night and throw it 27 times as the Tigers cruised to a 37-13 victory over Louisiana Tech.

"We are more into taking what the defense give us," the coach said. "We are not into did we throw it 40 times? Did we run it 40 times? There are some means behind the madness of what we are trying to accomplish on offense.

"If we feel like running the football 50 times gives us a better chance to win and there are a lot of issues out there. It could be that you are wearing down the defense. It could be the fast pace--whatever the issues are. If we feel like that gives us the best chance to win, that is what we are going to do. We are not so much geared into how many times did we throw it or how many times did we run it? We are geared into what is working so if they give us the pass, we may pass it 50 times or run it 30. I don't know.*

News and notes from Saturday night include:

•Senior Ben Tate passed the 2,000-yard mark in the second quarter. Tate is the 13th Tiger to rush for 2,000 yards, moving past Secdrick McIntrye for 13th place and Lionel James in 12th With 117 yards on 20 carries against the Bulldogs, Tate has totaled 2,076 rushing yards for his career.

Josh Bynes, Zac Etheridge and Craig Steven, each juniors, tied for the lead in tackles with eight apiece.

•The Tigers' opening 13-play drive that covered 69 yards and resulted in a field goal took 5:36. In 2008, Auburn had only two scoring drives of 13 plays or more and only four scoring drives of at least five minutes.

•Tate had to share the spotlight with freshman Onterio McCalebb who picked up 148 yards rushing on 22 carries in his first game. The last Auburn freshman to go for 100 or more yards in his first game was Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson who had 123 yards against Wake Forest in 1982.

•Auburn almost matched its 137.5 yards rushing per game from 2008 with 127 yards in the first half against Louisiana Tech. The Tigers went on to pile up 301 yards rushing to go with 255 passing for a total offense of 556 yards. The total offense was the most by Auburn since piling up 589 yards against Kentucky in 2005.

•Making their first starts for Auburn Saturday were Darvin Adams, Daren Bates, Nick Fairley, Adam Herring, Andrew McCain and Terrell Zachery. Herring started at linebacker in place of junior college transfer Eltoro Freeman who is nursing a hamstring injury. Fairley, also a Juco transfer, opened at defensive tackle ahead of Mike Blanc, who was listed pregame as the starter.

Mario Fannin's eight receptions for 82 yards in the first half topped his best game total of 56 yards in three catches last year against Vanderbilt.

•Kicker Wes Bynum opened and closed Auburn's scoring in the first half with field goals of 25 and 49 yards, the 49-yarder coming on the final play of the half. He added a 47-yarder in the third quarter. Byrum's three field goals match his high for a game and was the fifth time he has recorded three field goals in a contest.

Chris Todd's 93-yard touchdown touchdown pass to Terrell Zachery in the third quarter was the longest play from scrimmage in Auburn history. The previous long was a 92-yard run by Ralph O'Gwynne against Loyola on Nov. 21, 1936, and the longest pass play was an 87-yard pass from Jason Campbell to Silas Daniels Oct. 9, 2004, also against Louisiana Tech.


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