Auburn Football Final: Tigers Battered, But Beat Bulldogs


Sep 27, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers wide receiver Quan Bray (4) runs a touchdown during the second half against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Jordan Hare Stadium. Auburn won 45-17. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

The first 30 minutes of today’s Auburn football game against Louisiana Tech belonged to Tigers’ QB Nick Marshall, but the second half belonged to Quan Bray.

Bray caught a 44-yard touchdown from Marshall in the fourth quarter that gave Auburn a 31-10 lead, then he added a 76-yard punt return for an exclamation mark on the Tigers’ 45-17 victory over the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. The senior finished with 189 all-purpose yards in the win, which included three receptions for 91 yards and two TD catches.

Unfortunately however, the story of the game for Auburn was injury. Kris Frost, Montravius Adams, Duke Williams and Patrick Miller all limped off the field in the first half or needed to go to the locker room for observation. Adams and Williams were able to return, but the health of the Tigers’ starters didn’t get much better in the second half. Linebacker Cassanova McKinzy was forced to exit early in the third quarter and did not return. He was reportedly given concussion tests on the sideline.

Auburn, who earned the school’s 300th win at Jordan-Hare Stadium, got the scoring started in the first quarter following a big defensive play from sophomore defensive lineman Montravius Adams. The big fella caught a tipped pass for an interception and nearly took it all the way for a touchdown. Instead, he was tackled five yards short of the end zone.

Cameron Artis-Payne would punch it in on the following play to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. Of note, Artis-Payne took the handoff from backup quarterback Jeremy Johnson, who was on the field along with starter Nick Marshall. The two QBs were also on the field together in the second quarter.

The tipped pass was the third of the first two drives for the Auburn defensive line, which is off to a great start in the game. Adams would also recovered a fumble late in the second half to set up another Auburn touchdown.

Overall, the Tigers allowed only 155 yards of total offense in the first half, many of them coming on the final drive which set up a short Louisiana Tech field goal. The Tigers held Louisiana Tech to 321 total yards on the afternoon, which came on 68 plays.

Auburn pushed the lead to 10-0 after Daniel Carlson made a 25-yard field goal, which made up for the 41-yarder he missed earlier in the game. Then, Nick Marshall took over.

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On the last two drives of the first quarter, Nick Marshall found the end zone twice through the air. Despite the ball being tipped at the line of scrimmage, he connected with D’haquille Williams from 18 yards out for the first score, and then hit Bray on a perfectly thrown 37-yarder on the second to push the lead to 24-0.

Always a dual threat, Marshall finished the first half with 98 passing yards on 6-of-9 passing, with the two scores and added 94 rushing yards on eleven carries. Overall, he completed 10 of 17 passes for 166 yards and three TDs and eclipsed the century mark with 105 rushing yards on 13 carries. Artis-Payne carried the ball 22 times for 116 yards and a TD while fellow senior Corey Grant added 13 yards on eight attempts.

In the fourth quarter, Jeremy Johnson took over at quarterback and promptly led the Tigers for a touchdown to give the game its final score. Johnson was 4-for-5 for 53 yards and a 15 yard touchdown toss to CJ Uzomah.