Auburn Wins Another Tight One
by Mike Mitchell
December 31, 2007
Auburn now has three 3-point bowl wins in the last four years after downing Clemson 23-20 in overtime in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
The defensive struggle was deadlocked 17-all after regulation.
Clemson took a 20-17 lead on a 25-yard field goal, but Auburn got a 7-yard TD run from freshman quarterback Kodi Burns for the game-winner. Auburn was faced with a 4th-and-short on their overtime possession but elected to go for the first down instead of kicking a field goal to force a second
Eight of Auburn's last ten bowl games have been decided by six points or less. Six of those eight were victories.
Clemson has faced SEC teams in three of its last four bowl games, and lost the last two after beating Tennessee in 2004.
Burns shared snaps with senior Brandon Cox as Auburn revealed a new offense instituted in bowl practice. Offensive Coordinator Tony Franklin was hired December 12 to add some excitement to a lackluster attack that ranked in the bottom fourth of the SEC conference. Auburn managed 423 yards with the new offense.
Burns also threw a 22-yard TD pass in the third quarter. The pas was his only completion in four attempts, but he ran for a team-high 69 yards. Cox was the designated thrower and completed 25-of-39 for 211 yards with 1 INT.
The vaunted Auburn defense clamped down Clemson's running duo of C.J. Spiller and James Davis. Each scored a touchdown and Spiller had 112 yards on just 8 carries, but 83 of his yards came on a 2nd quarter TD run. They combined for just 101 yards on their other 30 carries.
Clemson quarterback Cullen harper was sacked three times and harassed all night. He threw for just 104 yards on 33 attempts while completing just 14 passes.