AUBURN, Ala. (AP) -- Blake Field completed 13-of-20 passes for
200 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start to lead
Auburn to a 37-14 victory over I-AA Western Kentucky Saturday.
Field got his chance when starter Brandon Cox came down with a
stomach virus shortly before game time and was unable to play. Cox
is expected to be back in the lineup when Auburn plays South
Carolina next week.
Auburn (3-1) took control of the game early, jumping out to a
24-0 halftime lead and holding the Hilltoppers to just 98 yards
total offense in the first half.
But Western Kentucky (2-1), the top ranked team in I-AA, fought
back with two fourth quarter touchdowns to make the final score
Field showed few rookie jitters. He completed passes to 10
different receivers and had no interceptions.
Kenny Irons rushed 18 times for 111 yards and a touchdown for
the Tigers, who featured a balanced attack. Auburn rushed for 209
yards to complement the 200 passing yards.
Quarterback Justin Haddix rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown
and completed 11-of-21 passes for 176 yards for Western Kentucky.
He was intercepted twice.
Lerron Moore had a 1-yard-run for a Western Kentucky score.
For one play, Western Kentucky looked like it could hang one of
the defending Southeastern Conference champions. Haddix ran for 51
yards on the game's first snap, setting up a first down on Auburn's
28. But the Hilltoppers could not move the ball from there and
Chris James missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.
It was as close as Western Kentucky would get to scoring in the
From there, Irons took over for Auburn. Irons carried the ball
seven times for 54 yards on the Tigers' first possession, which
ended in a 28-yard John Vaughn field goal. It was the first of
three field goals for Vaughn.
On Auburn's next possession, Iron had an 8-yard touchdown run
and finished the first half with 108 yards.
Field threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter -- 38
yards to Brad Lester and 9 yards to Anthony Mix -- as the Tigers
took a 24-0 halftime lead.
Field also had a 13-yard scoring toss to Lee Guess in the fourth