Auburn’s 31-10 win over Memphis in Birmingham Bowl

Auburn’s 31-10 win over Memphis in Birmingham Bowl

Sean White started at quarterback for Auburn (6-6), which avoided a losing season. Gus Malzahn has a personal streak of 22 winning seasons as a coach.

Paxton Lynch, perhaps the top quarterback prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft, led a potent Memphis (9-3) offense but it was not enough.

— Gus Malzahn confirms Kevin Steele will be Auburn’s next defensive coordinator.

— Malzahn on season: “We had some close losses… but these guys played their tail off.”

— Malzahn says seniors “meant a lot to the program” and helped Tigers reach BCS National Championship.

— Kris Frost: “We’re praying for Cass (McKinzy)”

— Kris Frost feels good about what Auburn’s next defensive coordinator is inheriting.

— Carlton Davis says his freshman season was a “growing year.” He tried to improve at least one thing in practice every day.

— Quarterback Jeremy Johnson “handled himself like a champ,” Malzahn says. “He gave us momentum in that second half, there’s no doubt about it.”

— Malzahn says Carlton Davis is “starting to establish himself as one of the better lock-down corners in our league.”

— Jovon Robinson on facing Memphis: “It’s definitely been a blessing… This game today is special because it’s personal. I knew a lot of guys who play for Memphis… It’s a rivalry for me.”

— Malzahn happy that Jovon Robinson protected the football.

— Malzahn is proud of the defensive effort, says Tigers “harassed” Paxton Lynch.

— Malzahn on his players: “Great to see the smiles on their faces.” Says good things are ahead.

— Memphis QB Paxton Lynch: “My own performance, I’m definitely disappointed in myself. … I’m not really worried abut what I’m going to do after this right now.”

— A Memphis player, what appeared to be No. 39, accosted a member of Auburn’s equipment staff after the game. There was a scrum on the turf on Auburn’s sideline and the player stole a football and ran off the field.

Darrell Dickey says on postgame altercation with a player and Auburn equipment staffer: “We will certainly look into what happened and get the facts squared away. … Certainly that’s not us … but I don’t have all the information with me at this time.”

FINAL: AUBURN 31, MEMPHIS 10: Auburn’s last drive runs out the clock and Auburn comes away with the win to finish 7-6. Memphis ends at 9-4

AUBURN 31 MEMPHIS 10 – 4:44: Peyton Barber opens the drive with a 15-yard gain and a first down.


— Auburn forces a turnover on downs and will take over at its own 22.

AUBURN 31 MEMPHIS 10 – 12:57: Jovon Robinson carries one in from 4 yards out

— Memphis forced to punt again and Marcus Davis with a 56-yard return to the Memphis 6-yard line.

AUBURN 24 MEMPHIS 10 – 14:57: Jeremy Johnson runs in from five yards out

— Jovon Robinson enters the quarter with 22 carries for 102 yards


— Jeremy Johnson opens the drive with a 17-yard run. Sean White comes back in, throws a 29-yard strike to Melvin Ray.

— Memphis goes three-and-out and Auburn takes over at own 24.

— AUBURN 17 MEMPHIS 10 – 3:12: Jeremy Johnson throws an 11-yard scoring pass to Jason Smith

– Jovon Robinson with runs of 1, 3, 6, 0 and 2 yards. Sean White with passes of five yards to Marcus Davis and 16 yards to Ricardo Louis. Jeremy Johnson comes in on first-and-10 from the 11 and connects with Jason Smith for a touchdown.

— Memphis goes nowhere and Marcus Davis returns a punt 30 yards to the Memphis 44-yard line.

— Sean White completes a 21-yard pass to Melvin Ray to convert a third down. Peyton Barber tops the 1,000-yard mark for the season on the drive. Auburn’s drive stalls and Memphis will take over at its own 11 with 8:37 to go.

— Tray Matthews intercepts Paxton Lynch in the end zone and returns it to the six-yard line. Carlton Davis tipped the pass to setup Lynch’s fourth interception of the season.

— Auburn’s kickoff goes out of bounds

Some news at halftime regarding the futures of Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams, who are both draft eligible following this game. They were among the five Auburn underclassmen whose draft prospects we reviewed earlier this week.


— Gus Malzahn tells ESPN at halftime: “We’re just not getting it done. … Turnovers are the difference in the game.”

— Kevin Phillips leads Auburn with 37 passing yards in the first half

— Sean White is intercepted on the ensuing drive, his second in as many possessions, and that may do it for the redshirt freshman. White has had a terrible game so far, 3 of 7 for 28 yards and two interceptions and was nearly picked off a third time.

— AUBURN 10 MEMPHIS 10 – 3:06: Sean White is intercepted on fourth-and-two and Memphis’ Reggis Ball returns it 53 yards for a game-tying touchdown.

— Blake Countess blocks a 34-yard field goal attempt by Jake Elliott with 5:55 to go.

— Cassanova McKinzy goes down with an apparent right leg injury. The senior linebacker is helped off the field and did not place any weight on his right leg with 8:34 to go in the quarter. Updates to follow.

— Auburn goes three-and-out and Memphis takes over at own 48.

— AUBURN 10 MEMPHIS 3 – 10:03: Jake Elliott 53-yard field goal

— Memphis drive stalls.

— Auburn tries a trick play on a reverse pass with Jason Smith, who throws directly to a defender. Memphis regains possession.

— Memphis facing fourth-and-two from the 50 and Auburn calls another timeout. Memphis fails to convert.


Auburn forces a punt and starts at its own 21. Tigers facing a forth-and-one to open the second.

— Last time Auburn held an opponent scoreless in a quarter was the first quarter against Georgia.

— AUBURN 10 MEMPHIS 0 – 1:58: Kerryon Johnson 8-yard run

— Tony Stevens with catches of 12 and 13 yards. Jovon Robinson adds runs of 10, 0, 3 and 4 yards. Kerryon Johnson has a nine-yard run and caps the drive with a eight-yard scoring run.

Paxton Lynch delivers a strike to the left side for a conversion but is later sacked by Carl Lawson and other players. Auburn forces a punt and will take over at its own 30.

— AUBURN 3 MEMPHIS 0 – 8:35: Daniel Carlson 20-yard field goal is good.

— Auburn converts a fourth down with a trick play as punter Kevin Phillips tosses to Kerryon Johnson, who runs it to the 5. AU stalls though and settles for a 20-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson.

Story by AL.com