West Virginia entered the game looking for a statement win. Just a few minutes into the second quarter, however, the Mountaineers were simply hoping to save a little bit of face on their own field, throwing two first-quarter interceptions resulting in 10 Tiger points.
A nine-yard touchdown run by Auburn quarterback Kodi Burns pushed Auburn's lead to 17-3, but that wasn't enough for tenth-year Tiger head man Tommy Tuberville. Smelling blood in enemy waters, Tuberville went for the kill.
On the ensuing kickoff following Burns's run, Auburn kicker Wes Byrum lightly tapped the ball off the tee. West Virginia's kickoff return team was oblivious to the onside trickery, not even paying attention to the loose pigskin dribbling towards midfield.
After easily recovering the well-timed kick, Auburn called for a reverse to wide receiver Montez Billings. Unlike the onside kick, West Virginia was ready for this trick play, snuffing it out behind the line and throwing Billings for a seven-yard loss. The Tiger drive was stymied from the start, with Clinton Durst's 22-yard punt marking the first time Auburn had not scored on the night.
Noel Devine sandwiched runs of six and 20 yards around an eight-yard jaunt by Jock Sanders. On first and 10 from inside Auburn territory, Patrick White rolled to his right with an Auburn defender right in his grill. Under duress, White cocked his left arm and put all he could on the ball while taking a hit from the aforementioned Tiger defender. Ironically, the pass was thrown from the Auburn 44, the same spot where the Tigers had harmlessly recovered their onside kick minutes earlier.
Running free downfield was wide receiver Alric Arnett, who ran under the ball and galloped into the end zone for a 44-yard touchdown strike.
West Virginia was well on its way to a statement win. Auburn, meanwhile, would not score again.