AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn survived a scare from Samford, but reeled off 14 straight points in the fourth quarter to close out a 35-16 win on Saturday.
Clint Moseley, not usually known for his rushing capabilities, took a quarterback keeper 22 yards for the score with 11:28 remaining to give Auburn (7-4) the breathing room it would need in the win.
The Tigers added a 10-yard touchdown run from Onterio McCalebb with 2:17 to go for the final margin.
Moseley went 13-of-20 passing for 167 yards and a score, and Mike Dyer rushed 30 times for 157 yards and a score for the Tigers.
Dustin Taliaferro went 17-of-32 for 161 yards, with a touchdown and an interception for Samford (6-5). Kelsey Pope caught 13 passes for 90 yards and a score, while Jeremiaha Gates posted his first career 100-yard game, rushing 28 times for 119 yards.
Samford coach Pat Sullivan was honored with a ceremony before kickoff to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1971 Heisman Trophy he won at Auburn, becoming the school's first Heisman winner.
Samford closed within 21-16 on a 37-yard field goal by Cameron Yaw with 13:22 left to play, set up by a reverse pass from Pope to Gates for 28 yards into Auburn territory.
The Bulldogs had a fourth-and-2 from the Auburn 20-yard line, but opted to go for the Yaw field goal.
The Tigers scored the eventual winning touchdown on a 6-yard Dyer run with 3:25 to go in the third, capping off a 14-play, 70-yard drive in which Auburn handed off to Dyer on the last seven plays and he ran for 51 yards to put the Tigers up 21-13.
Samford had cut the lead to 14-13 with 7:22 left in the third quarter, driving 70 yards in 14 plays -- including 42 on the ground from Gates -- to set up a 28-yard field goal by Yaw, but the Bulldogs could never get the upper hand.
Auburn started off the scoring with a 32-yard strike from Moseley to Philip Lutzenkirchen down the seam, finishing off a nine-play, 55-yard drive and giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 7:07 to go in the first quarter.
The Tigers had a chance to add to their lead on the next drive, but Cody Parkey pushed a 32-yard field goal wide left and Samford took over at the 20-yard line.
The Bulldogs drove 80 yards on 10 plays from their -- aided by a late hit penalty on third down that gave them a first-and-goal at the Tigers' 6 -- and Taliaferro found Pope for an 8-yard score to tie the score at 7-7 with 14:27 left in the half.
Auburn answered right back with a 10-play, 60-yard drive -- ending on a 10-yard touchdown run by McCalebb -- to go up 14-7 with 10:03 in the half, but Samford closed within 14-10 with a 40-yard field goal by Yaw 2:32 before the break, a lead the Tigers took into halftime.
Auburn's offense put up 219 yards in the first half -- 131 passing 88 rushing -- but suffered from two costly lost fumbles around midfield, the second of which set up the Bulldogs' field-goal drive.