AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- The ball finally got to Courtney Taylor, the
flag rescued John Vaughn and Auburn (No. 15 ESPN/USAToday; No. 14 AP) proved itself an SEC
Jason Campbell hit Taylor for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 1:14
to play and Auburn got two chances to kick the winning extra point
in a 10-9 victory over LSU (No. 4 ESPN/USAToday; No. 5 AP) Saturday.
"It was coming so slow, I was just saying, 'Come on, get here
ball," said Taylor, whose first career touchdown catch proved
Then, he watched in shock as LSU was nearly saved again by a
missed extra point. Vaughn's first PAT attempt went wide left after
a low snap, but Ronnie Prude was called for a personal foul, giving
Auburn (3-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) another shot.
"[There] couldn't possibly be a bigger relief than that little
yellow thing on the ground," Vaughn said.
Vaughn drilled his next try through the uprights with holder Sam
Rives saving another bad snap for Auburn's 191st consecutive made
PAT. It prevented a repeat of LSU's season opener when Oregon
State's Alexis Serna missed his third extra point of the game in
overtime for a 22-21 LSU victory.
LSU's Ryan Gaudet instead missed the kick following LSU's
touchdown on a brilliant opening drive that was definitely not a
sign of things to come.
"That's a really tough game for our players," LSU coach Nick
Saban said. "We just had a lot of opportunities we squandered."
Auburn's final drive provided just about the only offensive
dramatics. Campbell led a 12-play, 59-yard march that milked most
of the remaining 6:38 off the clock.
Ronnie Brown had a 20-yard run and Campbell and Taylor did the
rest, including a 14-yard pass on fourth-and-12 from the 28.
The score came on third-and-12, with Campbell finding Taylor in
the back of the end zone. Taylor knelt on his right knee in quiet
celebration after the score and many Auburn fans hung around after
the game, far less quietly.
"It was a huge sigh of relief," said Campbell, who was
16-of-27 for 170 yards and no interceptions. "We knew if we kept
plugging, something would happen."
Taylor wasn't just worrying about the ball getting to him.
"At the same time, I was praying, 'Please God, let me catch
this ball," he said.
LSU (2-1, 0-1), which had its 10-game winning streak snapped,
moved into Auburn territory behind redshirt freshman quarterback
JaMarcus Russell. But his final pass deflected off Early Doucet
into the hands of Auburn's Junior Rosegreen with 8 seconds left.
"It's a tough way to lose a game," Saban said. "And it's a
tough way to end a game."
LSU pounded Auburn 31-7 last season in Baton Rouge, a crippling
blow to a team that had SEC championship aspirations that now seem
far more realistic.
"All we had to do was just keep giving our offense chances to
score," Rosegreen said. "It feels real good because last year
they took our heart. All week, we've been thinking about payback."
LSU's shaky offense -- with Russell and Marcus Randall rotating --
finally caught up with the defending BCS champions.
The game's status was in doubt until Friday morning because of
Hurricane Ivan, which affected both Alabama and Louisiana but
didn't prevent a sellout crowd.
Those 87,451 fans were treated to a pair of defenses that allowed few yards
and no points after the first 17 minutes in a stalemate that lasted
nearly to the end.
The previous six meetings had been decided by an average of 20.5
With both offenses playing conservatively, it was the defenses
that tried to turn the momentum with big stops late in the third
LSU drove to Auburn's 33 but got pushed back 30 yards by
penalties and a sack.
Auburn moved to the LSU 3 but Campbell's pass to Anthony Mix in
the end zone fell incomplete on fourth down.
"We were just fighting for field position, because we knew we
could make a 50-yard drive," Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said.
"We just kept fighting and fighting to get that field position."
Randall directed a nearly flawless opening drive, moving LSU 80
yards on 14 plays and hitting Dwayne Bowe for a 9-yard touchdown
pass. LSU only completed one more pass before the half and Randall
was 0-for-3 the rest of the way.
"After that opening drive, we just said we weren't going to
give them anything else," Auburn's Stanley McGlover said.
Auburn then drove to LSU's 5-yard line but settled for Vaughn's
29-yard field goal. The only other scoring until the final minutes
was Chris Jackson's 42-yard field goal for LSU early in the second