AUBURN, Ala.—No. 10 Auburn scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams to defeat ULM 34-0 Saturday night in front of 87,451 fans in Jordan-Hare Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Both defenses dominated the opening half of play with the teams combining for only 245 yards of total offense. Auburn (1-0) finished sixth in the nation last season in both overall and scoring defense, while the Warhawks (0-1) led the Sun Belt in rush defense.
ULM held Auburn without an offensive touchdown in the first half; however the Tigers were able to find the end zone twice in the first quarter on a nine-yard fumble return by Michael Goggins and a 66-yard punt return by Robert Dunn – Auburn’s first punt return for a touchdown since 1996.
The strong defensive play for both teams carried into the second half with the only touchdown of the third quarter coming after ULM fumbled the opening kickoff of half. Brad Lester scored from three yards out after the Tigers started the possession on the ULM 30-yard line.
The Warhawks held Auburn to just 85 passing yards -- the third fewest allowed by a ULM defense under head coach Charlie Weatherbie.
ULM tight end Zeek Zacharie caught a career-high eight passes for 61 yards to lead the offensive attack. Sophomore Frank Goodin carried the ball 15 times for 39 yards in his first start.
Quarterback Kinsmon Lancaster completed 20-of-32 for 136 yards moving into sixth place all-time on the ULM pass attempts list passing Super Bowl quarterback Stan Humphries with 606.
Auburn’s pair of quarterbacks struggled in their first game in the spread offense as Chris Todd completed 9-of-18 for just 70 yards and Cody Burns completed only 4-of-9 for 15 yards. Ben Tate rushed for 115 yards on 13 carries.
The Warhawks take on another SEC Western Division foe next week playing Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark., on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
AU – Goggins 9-yard fumble return (Byrum kick), 1st, 12:08
AU – Dunn 66-yard punt return (Byrum kick), 1st, 0:04
AU – Byrum 33-yard field goal, 2nd, 2:14
AU – Lester 3-yard run, 3rd, 14:08
AU – Byrum 19-yard field goal, 3rd, 0:24
AU – Slaughter 3-yard pass from Todd (Byrum kick) 4th, 3:11