(Saturday, October 15th)
Final Score: (24) Auburn 17, Florida 6
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Barrett Trotter threw a touchdown pass to DeAngelo Benton late in the first quarter, and 24th-ranked Auburn shut down Florida in a 17-6 victory at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Onterio McCalebb ran for a touchdown for the Tigers (5-2, 3-1 SEC), who held the Gators to 194 total yards and two field goals by Caleb Sturgis.
They also took advantage of a muffed punt catch by Florida late in the fourth quarter to secure the victory, and ended the game with a sack.
"I couldn't be more proud," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said of his defense. "I see it in practice. I see the way they work in practice, and I see a pattern of them understanding the urgency of being a better defense."
Auburn's offense was by no means dominant, or even widely effective. The Tigers gained only 278 yards and Trotter completed only 2-of-8 throws before being replaced by Clint Moseley for the second half. Cody Parkey made just 1- of-3 field goal tries.
But Moseley threw for 90 yards and Michael Dyer ran for 73, enough to lift Auburn to a win.
With starting quarterback John Brantley out with an ankle injury, Jeff Driskel and freshman Jacoby Brissett combined to throw for 120 yards as Florida (4-3, 2-3) dropped its third consecutive game. The Gators, who also missed star running back Jeff Demps because of injury, have scored only 27 points in those contests.
"Both guys (Driskel and Brissett) didn't do anything that really hurt us in the game, but then again didn't do anything to help us," said Florida head coach Will Muschamp.
Despite their offensive struggles Saturday, the Gators were still in the game during the fourth quarter, even after McCalebb ran for a 14-yard touchdown on the first play of the frame.
That score made it a 14-6 contest, but on its ensuing possession, Florida moved across midfield and made it deep into Auburn territory. The Gators had a first down at the Tigers' 22-yard line and were in good position after Chris Rainey ran for six yards.
But Rainey was then dropped for a three-yard loss, and Driskel's third-down pass went for only three yards. Faced with a fourth down, the Gators went for it rather than kick a field goal, but Driskel's pass fell incomplete.
Florida held Auburn to a three-and-out on the next two Tigers possessions, but couldn't take advantage of the defensive effort.
After the first, Rainey nearly fumbled the ball away on the punt and Florida went three-and-out. Disaster struck on the second.
Robert Clark got his hands on the ball but couldn't control it, and Auburn's Ikeem Means recovered. Instead of starting a drive near midfield with three minutes to play, Florida was forced to send its defense back on the field to stop Auburn with a short field.
The Gators kept the Tigers out of the end zone, but Parkey managed to sneak a 42-yard kick through the uprights, giving Auburn a 17-6 lead and essentially securing the victory.
Auburn got on the scoreboard with 2:11 left in the first quarter, after Rainey fumbled the ball away on a punt return. The turnover gave the Tigers the ball at the Florida 32, and on the third play of the drive, Trotter found Benton for a 25-yard score.
Rainey's fumble was one of five the Gators had Saturday, and one of two they lost.
Sturgis connected from 47 and 25 yards on consecutive Florida possessions in the second quarter, bringing the Gators within 7-6. That was the score at halftime after Parkey missed a 45-yard try as the second quarter expired.
Parkey missed a 42-yarder shortly into the third quarter, but the missed opportunities didn't end up costing the Tigers.
Saturday's matchup was the first in the series since 2007. Auburn holds a 43-38-2 advantage all-time...The Tigers have won 12 consecutive games at Jordan-Hare...The teams combined to convert only 4-of-26 third downs.
10/16 00:22:03 ET