Auburn coach Gus Malzahn: “We probably played our best overall game of the year”
Auburn (4-2, 1-2 SEC) gave up 497 yards of total offense to Kentucky (4-2, 2-2 SEC) on Thursday night, but senior linebacker Justin Garrett sacked Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles on Kentucky’s final drive of the game to secure Auburn’s first SEC win of the season.
The Tigers held on to win 30-27 in a sold-out Commonwealth Stadium. Auburn quarterback Sean White is still without a touchdown in three starts, but the freshman threw for a career-high 255 yards.
Running backs Peyton Barber and Kerryon Johnson combined for three touchdowns and kicker Daniel Carlson added three field goals. That was enough to hold off the explosive Wildcats, who haven’t beaten Auburn at home since 1966.
Here is the postgame reaction:
Yes, Auburn gave up 497 yards of offense but the Tigers were able to limit a Kentucky team that had been perfect in the red zone entering Thursday night’s game. The defense came up with timely stops when it mattered, including Garrett’s sack with Kentucky driving to win or tie the game with under a minute remaining.
Malzahn: Big win for our team. I'm very proud of our players and coaches. … We probably played our best overall game of the year
— Tom Green (@AUBlog) October 16, 2015
Auburn’s offense tried to keep pace with Kentucky, as the Tigers put up 407 yards of offense. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has stressed the team’s need for explosive plays, and the team finally got them with the help of wide receiver Ricardo Louis.
Louis proved to be a reliable deep threat for White. The senior receiver finished with seven receptions for 154 yards. Malzahn told reporters after the game that it was the first time Louis has been 100 percent healthy all season. It showed.
Auburn's Gus Malzahn says Sean White "really had a good game through the air… we wanted to be more aggressive. He did a good job."
— Auburn Gold Mine (@AUGoldMine) October 16, 2015
The defense came up with the big play to win the game late after Malzahn chose to punt on fourth-and-1 near midfield. Garrett had the most important stop of the day, but freshman cornerback Carlton Davis also had a key interception in the first half with Kentucky inside the 10-yard line.
Malzahn on the defense: "When the game is on the line, you need your defense to respond and they did." #MGMAuburn
— Matthew Stevens (@matthewcstevens) October 16, 2015
Barber has performed well the entire season. He followed up his five-touchdown performance against San Jose State with another two scores on Thursday.
ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE AN AUBURN TIGER!!! ??????
— Peyton Barber (@Pb25Peyton) October 16, 2015
Whoomp, hair it is! pic.twitter.com/Irgf00XcK4
— The War Eagle Reader (@wareaglereader) October 16, 2015