In what was one of the most entertaining SEC Championship Games in history, the Auburn Tigers completed their miracle turnaround under first-year head coach Gus Malzahn with a 59-42 victory over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday.
They did it behind the greatest single rushing performance by a running back in the game’s history. Tigers running back Tre Mason gashed the Mizzou defense for an astonishing 304 yards and four touchdowns to cap off an incredible season. Mason broke the game’s rushing record with his first carry in the second half, and he didn’t stop from there.
QB Nick Marshall was also his usual, explosive self on the ground, going for 101 yards on 16 carries and a score. Through the air, Marshall was 9-for-11 for 132 yards and a scoring toss to Sammie Coates.
No, he didn’t throw the ball much, but he didn’t need to as his team rushed for a total of 544 yards on the afternoon.
Missouri put up about as much of a fight as they could in this one, which would have been good enough to defeat most teams on this day.
QB James Franklin was great, throwing for 303 yards and three touchdowns, and running back Henry Josey put up 123 yards on just nine carries.
But in the end, the Missouri Tigers just simply ran out of gas.
With this win, Auburn completes an epic turnaround. Last season, this team finished 3-9 overall and did not win a game in conference play, going 0-8 against fellow SEC opponents.
Now, they’re definitely headed to a BCS bowl game, and could even be headed to Pasadena to play for the national championship, should the Ohio State Buckeyes fall this evening to Michigan State in Indianapolis.