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Auburn football: Keys to Tigers' win over Louisiana-Monroe

GAMELINE

KEY PLAYER

Defensive tackle Nick Fairley didn’t take the day off. The junior added a sack and three tackles for a loss to his increasingly impressive résumé. Fairley, the SEC leader in both categories entering the day, now has five sacks and 11.5 TFLs this year.

KEY MOMENT

ULM won the coin toss and deferred. Two plays later, Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb raced around the right edge and along the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 after only 32 seconds. The Warhawks never recovered.

KEY DECISION

Auburn got its starters plenty of rest. Defensive end Antoine Carter didn’t play. The second team took over early in the second half. Quarterback Cam Newton was in for 2 1/2 quarters before giving way to Barrett Trotter. It should keep the Tigers fresh as they get back to SEC play.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“This year’s team is very special and is very capable of taking that extra step rather than taking a step back.” — Newton, on Auburn trying to avoid a nose dive, such as the three-game losing streak that followed its 5-0 start last year.

BY THE NUMBERS

0

Designed runs for Newton, who finished with negative 11 rushing yards after being sacked once. Auburn coaches weren’t going to put their star at risk to injury when there wasn’t a need.

16

Auburn’s wins in 16 tries against teams currently in the Sun Belt. The Tigers also beat Arkansas State this year.

35

Players in Auburn history who have rushed for 1,000 yards in their career. Senior tailback Mario Fannin became the latest after his 89-yard performance brought his career total up to 1,085.

12

Rushing yards ULM had heading into its final drive against Auburn’s third-team defense. The Warhawks finished with 38 yards on 33 carries, a 1.2-yard average.

— Andy Bitter

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