War Eagle Extra

Auburn football: Keys to Saturday's win over Furman

GAMELINE

STAR OF THE GAME

Auburn quarterback Chris Todd was nearly perfect in the only half he played, completing his first 14 passes and finishing 17-for-18. He threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns, hooking up with wide receiver Darvin Adams three times for scores.

KEY MOMENT

Furman got on the board with a field goal to trail 7-3 when Auburn went 80 yards in eight plays and just under three minutes, finishing the drive with an easy 9-yard touchdown run by Ben Tate to make it 14-3 and set the tone for a runaway victory.

KEY DECISION

Auburn’s second- and third-teamers might have looked sloppy in the second half — a muffed punt and a fumble directly led to a pair of Paladins touchdowns — but the coaches’ decision to get the starters a full half of rest after 10 straight weeks of action was more important than preserving some stats.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“Our football team and coaching staff and players really felt like we needed to do something in recognition of the fact that Zac (Etheridge) wasn’t playing out there on the field with us today. This is what we came up with. ... It meant a lot to our football team. He is a huge part of what we do and who we are. This is just a great way to recognize him.” — Auburn coach Gene Chizik, on the team wearing white wrist bands with the number “4” on them to honor Etheridge, who suffered a season-ending neck injury last week.

BY THE NUMBERS

21: Career sacks by defensive end Antonio Coleman, who got to Furman quarterback Jordan Sorrells in the first quarter. That ties him with defensive line coach Tracy Rocker (1985-88) and Craig Ogletree (1986-89) for third on Auburn’s all-time sack list.

3: Incompletions thrown by Auburn quarterbacks Saturday in 30 attempts. That set a team record for completion percentage (90.0) with at least 30 attempts, breaking the previous mark of 75.6 set against Georgia Tech in 1971.

1-19: Furman’s record against Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) opponents since 1987.

6: Points Furman had scored in three previous games against Auburn. The Paladins had 31 Saturday.

— Andy Bitter

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