Quarterly Report

What follows is a quarter-by-quarter look at Tennessee's 38-28 loss to Auburn in the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.</


RECAP: Exploiting Tennessee's leaky pass defense, Auburn took the opening kickoff and drove 86 yards in four plays to go up 7-0. Jason Campbell hit wide-open Courtney Taylor on the first scrimmage play of the game, and missed tackles in the Vol secondary allowed Taylor to gain 56 yards to the Vol 30-yard line. Campbell kept for six yards, then threw to tight end Cooper Wallace for 21 to the Vol 3-yard line. Cadillac Williams fumbled on at this point but Cole Bennett recovered in the end zone, giving Auburn its quick TD. After a three-and-out by Tennessee, Auburn was at it again, driving 67 yards in nine plays to go up 14-0. The big plays were a 14-yard shovel pass to Ronnie Brown, a 14-yard throw to Obomanu and a 14-yard run by Cadillac Williams. Williams eventually got the TD on a five-yard sweep.

After another three-and-out by Tennessee, the Vol defense finally got a stop, forcing a three-and-out by the Tigers. Tennessee had its third consecutive three-and-out but Auburn punter Kody Bliss fumbled a snap on the Tigers' ensuing possession, with UT recovering at the Auburn 14-yard line. A Cedric Houston run, a pass to Houston and two more Houston runs enabled Tennessee to score on the final play of the quarter, closing to 14-7.

KEY PLAY: Bliss' bobbled snap. Just when it appeared that Auburn was ready to blow things wide open, this mishap allowed Tennessee to get back in the game.

KEY PLAYER: Jason Campbell. He completed his first seven throws and finished the period 10 of 13 (with one drop and one throwaway) for 143 yards.

KEY STAT: Auburn outgained Tennessee in the quarter 169 total yards to 26.


RECAP: Undaunted by Tennessee's touchdown, Auburn went 80 yards in nine plays to go up 21-7. The big plays were a 25-yard pass to Courtney Taylor, a 28-yard Campbell scramble and a 14-yard Campbell run on a quarterback draw. Campbell eventually hit Taylor with a four-yard pass for the TD.

Tennessee picked up one first down, then punted. Auburn drove from its 13-yard line with an assortment of short gains. Going for it on fourth-and-six at the Vol 29-yard line, Campbell hit Ben Obomanu with an 18-yard pass to the Vol 11-yard line with 15 seconds left in the half. Campbell made a rare mistake at this point, throwing a pass that was tipped twice -- by Omar Gaither and Kevin Burnett -- then intercepted by Corey Campbell in the end zone.

KEY PLAY: The interception by Campbell. Had Auburn scored there to go up 28-7, the Vols' comeback hopes would've just about evaporated.

KEY PLAYER: Campbell (again). His second-quarter stats: 8 of 11 for 74 passing yards, plus 49 rushing yards.

KEY STAT: Pick one ... Auburn ran 49 offensive plays in the half, UT 20. Auburn gained 303 total yards, UT 39. Auburn had 217 passing yards, UT 15. Auburn had the ball 21 minutes 26 seconds, UT 8:34. Auburn had 17 first downs, UT 2.


RECAP: A very questionable holding call against Vol receiver Chris Hannon nullified a 70-yard touchdown run by Cedric Houston on Tennessee's second play of the third quarter, and UT wound up punting.

Campbell fumbled on Auburn's first possession of the period after a hit by Kevin Burnett, and Turk McBride recovered at the Tiger 20-yard line. An illegal-receiver-downfield penalty against Albert Toeaina nullified an 11-yard completion to Justin Reed but Rick Clausen hit Robert Meachem with a 17-yard touchdown pass on third-and-seven, narrowing the deficit to 21-14 with 9:39 left in the period.

Tennessee eventually got the ball back at its 20-yard line. Gerald Riggs found an opening behind left guard Rob Smith and burst 80 yards to a touchdown that tied the score 21-21 with 6:05 left in the period.

Auburn answered at this point, going 85 yards in just six plays for a 28-21 lead. The big plays were a 19-yard completion from Campbell to Ronnie Brown, an interference call on Vol cornerback Roshaun Fellows and a 53-yard TD bomb to Devin Aromashodu.

KEY PLAY: Riggs' TD run. That tied the score and showed Auburn that Tennessee was not going to go quietly.

KEY PLAYER: Riggs. He ran for 98 yards in the quarter.

KEY STAT: Tennessee had 154 total yards in the period but had 65 yards in penalties and lost another 60 yards that were nullified by the penalties.


RECAP: Auburn drove to the Vol 5-yard line on its first possession of the period but stalled, settling for a 22-yard John Vaughn field goal that padded its lead to 31-21.

Riggs rambled 43 yards on the first play of UT's ensuing possession. A 16-yard pass to Tony Brown moved the ball to the Auburn 9-yard line, and Riggs scored from there, capping a five-play, 80-yard drive that whittled the gap to 31-28 with 10:07 to play.

Auburn retaliated, however. The Tigers moved to the UT 43-yard line. When UT's Turk McBride was flagged for offsides, Tennessee's defenders relaxed. Campbell went ahead with the play, however, hitting Ben Obomanu with a 43-yard scoring strike that widened the lead to 38-28 with 6:56 to play.

Tennessee advanced to its 44-yard line but a fourth-and-two pass to Tony Brown was rushed and fell incomplete with just over three minutes left, essentially ending the Vols' upset bid.

Auburn drove to the Tennessee eight-yard line, then let the final 26 seconds tick away without attempting to add to its point total.

KEY PLAY: The bizarre bomb to Obomanu. That mental lapse by Vol defenders ended Tennessee's hopes of notching the upset.

KEY PLAYER: Campbell. His heads-up throw to Obomanu on the ''free play'' following the offsides whistle sealed Tennessee's doom.

KEY STAT: Campbell passed for 374 of Auburn's 515 total yards. Omar Gaither had 17 tackles for the Vols.

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