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NCAA Game Summary - Auburn vs. Nebraska



(Monday, January 1st)

Final Score: (10) Auburn 17, (22) Nebraska 14

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - John Vaughn snapped a third-quarter tie with a 42-yard field goal for the only scoring of the second half, as 10th-ranked Auburn held on for a 17-14 victory over No. 22 Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.

Carl Stewart ran for a score and caught a touchdown pass for the Tigers (11-2), who won a bowl game for the fourth time in the last five years. It was the second Cotton Bowl appearance for Auburn, which lost to Texas A&M in the annual New Year's Day classic after the 1985 season.

Brandon Cox completed 10-of-21 passes for 111 yards with a score for Auburn, which lost only to Arkansas and Georgia during the season. Kenny Irons ran for 72 yards on 24 carries in the victory.

Zac Taylor threw for 126 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Nebraska (9-5), which lost its final two games of the season. The Cornhuskers dropped the Big 12 Championship Game against Oklahoma, but still earned their first New Year's bowl game since losing to Miami in the Rose Bowl after the 2001 season.

It was the 44th bowl game for Nebraska, fifth-most all-time, and its fourth Cotton Bowl appearance. The Huskers fell to 1-3 all-time in the Dallas New Year's contest.

Auburn was clinging to a 17-14 lead with just over five minutes to play, but turned the ball over when Cox was sacked and fumbled. Nebraska took over at the Tiger 42 and soon picked up a first down at the 29 with an eight-yard run by Marlon Lucky.

The Cornhuskers lost a yard on the next three plays and faced 4th-and-11. Rather than attempt a long field goal, head coach Bill Callahan tried for the first down and Taylor's pass toward the sideline was well overthrown.

Auburn took over with 1:36 to play and ran out all but the final 10 seconds.

Following a punt, Taylor's desperation heave from his own 23 fell incomplete.

Taylor finished the game 14-of-26 passing. Lucky had 88 yards on 25 carries and caught six passes for 67 yards.

The teams combined for only 408 total yards of offense -- 230 for Nebraska and 178 for Auburn -- but the first half featured a pair of touchdowns for each.

Nebraska took the opening kickoff and marched 80 yards in 15 plays for the game's first score. The Cornhuskers converted four third downs on the lengthy series, including a 19-yard shovel pass to Lucky on 3rd-and-19. Nate Swift made a nice catch in the end zone on a 13-yard pass from Taylor for the score midway through the first quarter.

Taylor was intercepted by Auburn's Karibi Dede on Nebraska's next series and the 52-yard return gave the Tigers a first down at the Cornhusker nine. On second down, Cox found Stewart in the end zone with a nine-yard pass to tie it.

Nebraska then turned the ball over at its own 14 early in the second quarter when punter Dane Todd dropped a snap, and the Tigers capitalized just four plays later when Stewart scored on a one-yard run for a 14-7 lead.

The Cornhuskers responded with a 72-yard drive for the tying touchdown. Brandon Jackson capped the seven-play series with a 20-yard touchdown run with nine minutes left in the half.

Neither team threatened again until the start of the third quarter when Auburn crossed midfield with its first possession, but Irons fumbled to stop the drive.

The Tigers got the ball back after a punt and drove to the Nebraska 25 before Vaughn drilled a 42-yard field goal to give his team a 17-14 lead.

Nebraska reached the Auburn 33 on its ensuing possession, but the Tiger defense stiffened and forced a punt. The Cornhuskers didn't mount another threat until their last series.

Game Notes

Auburn beat Nebraska for the first time in four all-time meetings. The teams hadn't played since October 2, 1982 -- a 41-7 Nebraska rout at Auburn...Auburn improved to 18-13-2 all-time in bowl games, while Nebraska fell to 22-22...The last Cotton Bowl appearance for Nebraska was after the 1979 season -- a 17-14 loss to Houston.

01/01 15:31:56 ET

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