AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Kenny Irons and Brad Lester rushed for two
touchdowns each and Lester returned a kick 93 yards for another TD,
helping Auburn roll to a 63-3 victory over Ball State on Saturday.
Brandon Cox completed 16 of 19 passes for 171 yards and a
touchdown for the Tigers (2-1), who had five tailbacks score and
reached the end zone on every possession against the Cardinals
Irons carried 11 times for 147 yards, including a 68-yard score,
and didn't play in the second half. The Tigers had been searching
for a tailback tandem among four contenders, and Irons and Lester
did their part to emerge from the logjam.
Lester had a 70-yard run to set up his 3-yard TD in the fourth
quarter and gained 91 yards on seven carries. The Tigers gained 390
yards rushing and averaged 10 yards per play.
Lester's kick return in the third quarter ruined Ball State's
momentary good mood after the team's lone score, a field goal. It
was Auburn's first score on a kick return since 2000.
Even reserve Tristan Davis, a converted defensive back, scored
on a 52-yard run in the closing minutes against the beleaguered
Ball State has given up 169 points in its first three games and
was short-handed, with seven players suspended in a continuing
investigation of alleged NCAA violations discovered last spring.
Things don't get any easier for the Cardinals, who visit Boston
College next week to continue a brutal schedule.
The game allowed Auburn to continue a weeklong audition for the
kickoff job. Punter Kody Bliss started -- effectively getting the
day off from his regular job -- but Zach Kutch and Matt Clark also
got plenty of extra work as Auburn blasted to a 35-0 halftime lead.
Auburn gave several starters the day off to recuperate from
minor injuries and started playing some reserves well before
halftime. Overall, the Tigers got 74 players in the game.
Ball State's Joey Lynch was 14 of 24 for 127 yards.