No. 9 Auburn 33, The Citadel 3

Saturday, September 25th 2004, 5:39 pm
By: News On 6

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) _ Undefeated Auburn got just what it needed in its sandwich game between a couple of high-stakes contests.

The ninth-ranked Tigers got plenty of rest for their starters, solid games from Carnell Williams and Jason Campbell and production from the backups in a stress-free 33-3 win over Division I-AA's The Citadel on Saturday.

``We took care of business,'' Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said. ``It wasn't anything exciting. It was just one of those days when we went out and got it done.

``I could tell the focus was on a little bit different team than the one we were playing today.''

Such as, perhaps, No. 11 Tennessee, next week's opponent on the road? Or even No. 13 LSU, which the Tigers squeaked by a week ago?

Campbell was 11-of-14 for 194 yards and Williams rushed for 95 yards and a 1-yard touchdown on 22 carries, then both players sat out the second half.

The Tigers (4-0) had no problem overcoming a few sloppy plays against the Bulldogs (0-2) in a workmanlike tuneup for next week's showdown against the Volunteers.

Williams admitted Tennessee was ``kind of in the back of my mind.''

``I'm not saying we overlooked The Citadel, but in the back of our minds we were kind of thinking about Tennessee,'' said Williams, who lost two first-half fumbles in Bulldogs territory.

The Tigers have a six-game winning streak for the first time since opening the 1997 season 6-0, and only missed their second shutout of the season on a field goal in the fourth quarter.

``After a big win like last week, sometimes it can be tough to come out and get focused for the game,'' said safety Will Herring, who had an interception on The Citadel's first play. ``We just wanted to go out and get better because we know we have to play our best game next week in Knoxville.''

Auburn outgained The Citadel 593-169 in yards overall, allowing just 71 yards passing and eight first downs. Most fans left by the fourth quarter.

The Tigers led 23-0 at the half despite a handful of mistakes, and the backups didn't let up much. Only LSU has scored on Auburn in the first half this season.

Backup Ronnie Brown, the league's No. 4 rusher, sat out the game with a sore hamstring. Redshirt freshman Carl Stewart gained 91 yards on 10 carries in his place, including a 1-yard TD.

Campbell scored on a 1-yard sneak. Backup Brandon Cox came in late in the first half and went 11-of-17 for 165 yards, including a 10-yard TD pass to Jamoga Ramsey.

The Citadel's only points came on a 28-yard field goal with 6:01 left by Blake Vandiver, set up by Ern Hill's 79-yard kickoff return from his own end zone.

``They really worked hard to do what they are coached to do, and I am proud of them,'' Bulldogs coach John Zerhelt said. ``I thought that they never quit, and they played hard.''

The Bulldogs' starting quarterback, Justin Hardin, finished 3-of-8 for 16 yards. Backup Duran Lawson was 3-of-6 for 55 yards, most on a 42-yarder to Gary Domanski.

Tailback Nehemiah Broughton said the Bulldogs weren't intimidated.

``We didn't feel like underdogs today,'' said Broughton, who had 73 yards on 19 carries. ``We never feel overmatched.''