Mississippi St 0

(1-1, 0-1 SEC)

Auburn 28

(1-1, 1-0 SEC)

Coverage: GamePlan

12:30 PM ET, September 10, 2005

Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL

1 2 3 4 T
MSST 0 0 0 00
AUB 7 7 7 728

Top Performers

Passing: B. Cox (AUB) - 202 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: B. Lester (AUB) - 6 CAR, 34 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Bennett (AUB) - 2 REC, 45 YDS, 1 TD

Auburn 28, Mississippi St. 0

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Brandon Cox passed for 202 yards and two first-half touchdowns and Will Herring recovered a fumble for a TD to lead Auburn to a 28-0 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday.

The Tigers (1-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) rebounded from a season-opening loss to Georgia Tech with their first league shutout since a 9-0 win over Alabama in 2000.

The Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1) have now lost 16 consecutive games against SEC West opponents and even tailback Jerious Norwood couldn't get anything going.

Auburn returned to the formula that resulted in a 13-0 season in 2004: a stingy defense and running the ball to set up the pass instead of the other way around like last week.

The Tigers held Norwood to 39 yards on 10 carries and constantly harried quarterback Omarr Conner.

Cox was nearly perfect in the first half, going 8-of-10 for 132 yards with a 33-yard touchdown to tight end Cole Bennett and a 5-yarder to Devin Aromashodu. He also completed long passes to tailbacks Tre Smith and Kenny Irons, who were largely nonfactors in the opener.

The sophomore's starting debut had turned nightmarish, with four second-half interceptions and a fumble. This time Cox mostly handed off in the second half, finishing 12 of 18 as Auburn managed just 10 yards in the third quarter.

He completed passes of 23 and 38 yards in the fourth quarter. Reserve Brad Lester rushed for a 6-yard TD with 2:03 left to cap the scoring.

The Tigers' running game didn't look all that formidable, managing 118 yards on 41 carries, but it helped control the clock and set Cox up for some big plays.

Conner, meanwhile, was 10 of 19 for 116 yards with an interception after throwing for four touchdowns against Murray State.

Two Bulldog mistakes helped the Tigers take a 21-0 lead midway through the third quarter. Herring recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown after Jonathan Lowe had blundered in calling for a fair catch before fielding Kody Bliss's 60-yard punt at the Mississippi State 6-yard line.

Two plays later, Tee Milons bobbled a screen pass from Omarr Conner. When he got control and tried to run with it, the ball popped loose and bounced into the end zone.

Mississippi State drove into Auburn territory four times, making it as far as the 14 in the first quarter before a sack and penalties pushed the Bulldogs back.

Keith Andrews' 48-yard field goal attempt bounced off the goal post.