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Recap | Box Score | This Week's Scoreboard
Auburn 23, Florida 20
Posted: Sunday October 14, 2001 01:58 AM ET
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AUBURN, Alabama (Ticker) -- Damon Duval rained on Florida's parade.

Second-ranked Florida saw its national title hopes suffer a significant blow when Duval kicked a 44-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining to give Auburn a stunning 23-20 victory in the Southeastern Conference.

Lining up in a steady rain that started on Auburn's final possession, Duval got off a strong kick that started at the right upright before hooking through the middle of the posts with distance to spare.

"This feels great," Duval said. "To come out and beat the No. 1 team in the nation feels great. The defense did what they had to do to stop them, and the offense played tough all game. I have the easy job. For the third week in a row, I just came out and put it through the uprights. I really wasn't nervous at all."

Last week, Duval kicked three field goals in the fourth quarter, including a 47-yarder with 18 seconds remaining, as Auburn rallied for a 16-14 victory over Mississippi State. On September 29, Duval's 49-yard field goal with 2:58 reamining gave Auburn a 24-21 win over Vanderbilt.

The Tigers are 11-2 in games decided by three points or less since coach Tommy Tuberville replaced Bill Oliver at the start of the 1999 season. Saturday easily was Tuberville's biggest win at the school.

Auburn (5-1, 4-0) moved 1 1/2 games in front of Mississippi for the lead in the SEC West and put itself in position for a possible rematch with Florida in the SEC championship game.

The Tigers have conference road games remaining with Arkansas, Georgia and Louisiana State as well as a home contest with Alabama.

The last time the Tigers defeated a team ranked as high as second was on October 15, 1994 when they knocked off No. 1 Florida in Gainesville.

Florida (5-1, 3-1 East) had won its last seven meetings with Auburn.

The Gators fumbled three times and the only one recovered by Auburn was costly.

Freshman running back Derrick Graves chased down a bad snap on a punt and fell on the ball at the Florida 2 in the closing seconds of the third quarter. Casinious Moore was stopped on consecutive rushes, but Chris Butler scampered around right end for a two-yard score to give the Tigers a 17-13 lead five seconds into the fourth.

"When I scored, it was unbelievable," Butler said. "We worked hard all week and it showed. We are not going to stop working. We got a wonderful win tonight, but it's not over."

Freshman linebacker Mayo Sowell interecpted Rex Grossman and had a seven-yard return to the Florida 22 to set up Duval's 32-yard field goal, giving the Tigers a 20-13 advantage 2:33 into the fourth.

"I just played my coverage, which was covering the receivers, and it was a bad throw by the quarterback," Sowell said. "The ball came to me and I was able to catch it. We were a little shorthanded at linebacker and we all stepped up to the challenge. We put ourselves into a position to win the ballgame and we came through."

The Gators answered 18 seconds later as Jabar Gaffney got behind two defensive backs for an 80-yard TD reception from Grossman.

Grossman, who passed for a school-record 464 yards and five touchdowns in last week's 44-15 victory over LSU, was 25-of-42 for 364 yards and two touchdowns. But the sophomore was intercepted four times.

Auburn had a chance to regain the lead as it drove to the Florida 10, but quarterback Daniel Cobb fumbled and safety Todd Johnson pounced on the ball in the end zone with just over seven minutes remaining.

After stopping Florida, the Tigers again turned the ball over as linebacker Mike Nattiel recovered Moore's fumble at the Auburn 45. But three plays later Karlos Dansby intercepted Grossman's pass at his own 8 and had a 16-yard return. This time Auburn held onto the ball as Cobb directed a 10-play, 49-yard drive that resulted in the winning field goal.

Cobb, who replaced starter Jason Campbell late in the first quarter, was 11-of-23 for 152 yards and did not throw an interception as the Tigers extended their home-winning streak to 11 games. Cobb overcame a rough start by completing seven of his final eight passes.

Jeff Chandler and Duval exchanged 45-yard field goals in the first quarter before Auburn took the lead 3:57 into the second when Cobb capped an 11-play, 59-yard drive with a one-yard plunge.

Chandler booted a 32-yard field goal 21 seconds before halftime to pull the Gators within 10-6.

Grossman was intercepted on Florida's first possession of the second half, but tossed a 20-yard TD pass to Reche Caldwell to give the Gators a 13-10 lead with 7:48 left in the third.

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