It Keeps On Getting Better for Auburn : SEC: Terry Bowden’s team upsets No. 4 Florida, 38-35, on a late field goal to improve to 7-0.

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From Associated Press

After two seasons without a winning record, the Auburn Tigers were looking for a big victory. On Saturday, they got it.

Scott Etheridge kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1:21 left and Auburn’s defense stopped Florida when it mattered most as the 19th-ranked Tigers beat the previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Gators, 38-35.

Terry Bowden got his sweetest victory yet in his first year at Auburn (7-0, 5-0 Southeastern Conference), while Florida (5-1, 4-1) saw its national championship hopes damaged.


“I wanted so much for these players to feel the good part in college football. They haven’t felt that in a while,” Bowden said.

“This is the best win I’ve been associated with since I’ve been playing here,” receiver Frank Sanders said. “I think we earned a lot of people’s respect with our play today.”

Auburn gave up 560 yards, 386 through the air. But the Tigers sacked Danny Wuerffel four times--all in the second half--and picked off two passes at crucial points.

“We made adjustments to what Florida was doing, but it was really a matter of our defense getting into the flow of what they were trying to do on offense,” said Ace Atkins, who had two sacks.

With the Gators leading, 10-0, and threatening to pull away in the first quarter, Calvin Jackson intercepted a pass and raced 96 yards for a touchdown.

In the fourth quarter, Auburn’s Chris Shelling picked off Wuerffel’s pass and went 65 yards to set up a nine-yard scoring run by Sanders with 7:15 left to put Auburn ahead, 35-27.


On the next drive, Wuerffel threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jack Jackson. He then connected with Willie Jackson in the end zone for two points, tying it, 35-35.

Auburn got the ball with 5:36 remaining and was helped by a 15-yard personal foul against Florida. Etheridge’s field goal capped the 52-yard drive.

“I was a little nervous when I went on the field for the kick,” said Etheridge, a walk-on from Newhall Hart High. “My teammates had played hard the whole game and I knew I couldn’t let them down.”

Florida’s Errict Rhett ran for 196 yards and a touchdown. Wuerffel threw for three scores.

Stan White passed for 267 yards and a touchdown for Auburn.

Florida coach Steve Spurrier said, “they outplayed us in the second half, but I’m extremely proud of the way we fought back and tied the game.”.