- Cullman, Alabama

November 3, 2012

AUBURN NOTEBOOK: True freshman QB steady in first start

By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times

AUBURN — While he didn't "wow" anyone in his first career start, quarterback Jonathan Wallace did about as well as expected, managing the game en route to an easy Auburn victory.

The true freshman completed 9 of his 16 passes for 164 yards, including his first-career touchdown and interception.

The Phenix City-native connected with sophomore Trovon Reed late in the fourth quarter on a slant route that the wide receiver took 40 yards into the end zone for the score.

Wallace also completed two passes of 20-plus yards and also made a couple of first downs with his feet.

% Getting defensive: The Tigers played their best defensive game of the year on Saturday, holding the New Mexico State offense to just 83 yards rushing, far and away its lowest yield of the year.

The 305 total yards allowed by Auburn's D was its lowest of the year since LSU gained just 355 back in September.

% Making history: Senior linebacker Daren Bates found himself in the Tigers' record books when he scored on a 62-yard fumble recovery midway through the third quarter. It was the longest fumble return for a touchdown by an Auburn player since 1969.

The play was made when the Tigers knocked the ball loose from Aggie quarterback Andrew Manley around the 40-yard line. Bates scooped the ball up and made a nice return all the way to the end zone, which included a superb stiff-arm that knocked a New Mexico State defender to the ground.

% Winning with offense: With the Tigers' win on Saturday, Auburn has now won 76 consecutive games in which it has scored 30 or more points, including both of the Tigers' wins this season.

The last time Auburn failed to win a game while scoring 30-plus points was in 1996 when the Tigers lost a four-overtime affair to Georgia by a score of 56-49.

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at