Halftime analysis: W. Virginia 21, Auburn 20


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

AUBURN, Ala. – There was a little more than an hour delay Saturday night in the Auburn-West Virginia game because of lightning and monsoon-like rain at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The Mountaineers lead 21-20 at the half. Here’s a quick analysis of the first half:

Best call: Jordan-Hare Stadium was rocking to open the game after the long delay, but West Virginia didn’t hesitate in trying to quiet the crowd. The Mountaineers went up top on the third play from scrimmage, and Jarrett Brown connected with Bradley Starks on a 58-yard pass down to the Auburn 1. Brown scored two plays later to give West Virginia a quick 7-0 lead, sapping some of the energy from the stadium

Turning point: West Virginia, leading 21-10, was driving deep in Auburn territory early in the second quarter and really seemed to have the Tigers on their heels. But Brown tried to float a pass that Auburn sophomore cornerback Neiko Thorpe intercepted and returned 22 yards. The Tigers were able to convert that turnover into a 42-yard Wes Byrum field goal, pulling within 21-13 when it looked like they might be on the verge of going down two touchdowns or more.

Stat of the half: The two teams have combined for 500 yards of total offense in the first half. But Auburn, which came into the game second nationally in rushing with an average of 345.5 yards per game, only has 50 yards on the ground at the half.