2:30 PM ET, October 23, 2004
Jordan-Hare Stadium, AUBURN, AL
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Auburn is no longer judging its performances by the final score.
Carnell Williams rushed for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tigers (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) allowed only 110 yards in a 42-10 rout of Kentucky on Saturday. But Williams wasn't impressed.
"It kind of showed you how talented this team is," said Williams, who had his first 100-yard performance in six games. "We didn't play too good at all."
The end result was the same for the Tigers (8-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference), who began the week by debuting at No. 4 in the Bowl Championship Series standings.
They overpowered the league's worst defense to overcome a stretch of sloppy play, and rode the nation's No. 2 scoring defense to a fifth straight blowout.
Auburn will take it, pretty or not.
"We didn't play our best game, and we won by 32 points," said Ronnie Brown, who scored on runs of 12 and 17 yards. "That just says a lot about our team coming together."
It also says plenty about the Wildcats (1-6, 0-4), who have dropped five consecutive games and 14 in a row against the Tigers.
Williams, who needed only 17 carries for his third 100-yard game of the season, scored on runs of 1 and 9 yards in the first quarter as Auburn opened up a 21-0 lead in the first 10:29.
Jason Campbell completed 11 of 15 passes for 127 yards but this game belonged to the running backs and the defense, and neither disappointed. All three offensive stars sat out the fourth quarter.
Redshirt freshman Andre' Woodson was sacked seven times in his first start at quarterback for Kentucky with Shane Boyd sidelined by a shoulder injury. He was 14-of-26 passing for only 73 yards and lost two fumbles, the second returned for a late 15-yard score by Kevis Burnam.
Well, he can't say Quentin Groves didn't warn him.
"I told him the first time I hit him, 'I'm going to be back here all day, baby," said Groves, who had three sacks and forced both fumbles.
The Tigers held Kentucky to 37 yards on 36 rushes, constantly penetrating the line to harass Woodson and bury the runners.
"I could have played a lot better, but they are the No. (3) team in the nation and they showed why," Woodson said.
Auburn scored touchdowns on its first three possessions after opening at Kentucky's 29, 35 and 19 with help from two short punts and a fumble by Woodson.
"It was one of the worst starts to a football game that I have ever been part of," said Wildcats coach Rich Brooks, calling his offense "skittish."
Then the Tigers got sloppy and led only 21-7 at the half.
Rafael Little's 3-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 in the second quarter was the first rushing score the Tigers have given up this season.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville then inserted the No. 2 offense, and backup quarterback Brandon Cox promptly was intercepted by Antoine Huffman at the Tigers 40. The defense saved them by forcing a punt.
However, Auburn's last drive of the half ended with two consecutive penalties -- one negating a touchdown pass to Courtney Taylor -- and a sack.
Campbell fumbled a snap from backup center Steven Ross -- subbing for an injured Jeremy Ingle -- on the second play of the third quarter. Kentucky answered with Taylor Begley's 37-yard field goal.
That got the Tigers going again.
Auburn responded by moving 80 yards on nine plays with Brown scoring on a 17-yarder and the rout was on again. Campbell converted a fourth-and-3 with a 7-yard pass to Taylor on the previous play and Williams scampered 36 yards into Wildcats territory.
Kentucky's leading rusher, Tony Dixon, aggravated an ankle injury early and didn't return. Brooks said he and Boyd are out indefinitely.
Tuberville found plenty of fault in the Tigers' effort, including 10 penalties for 90 yards.
"When you are in control of the game like that, there is not a whole lot of emotion or enthusiasm," he said.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-17||4-13|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||2-2|
|TD||11:25||CARNELL WILLIAMS 1 YD RUN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 29 yards.
|TD||7:48||CARNELL WILLIAMS 9 YD RUN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 35 yards.
|TD||4:31||RONNIE BROWN 12 YD RUN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 19 yards.
|TD||11:30||RAFAEL LITTLE 4 YD RUN (TAYLOR BEGLEY KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||13:16||TAYLOR BEGLEY 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yards.
|TD||9:34||RONNIE BROWN 17 YD RUN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||2:46||CARL STEWART 1 YD RUN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 50 yards.
|TD||5:01||KEVIS BURNAM 15 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (JOHN VAUGHN KICK)||10||42|