Sep 26, 2020; Auburn, Alabama, USA;  Kentucky Wildcats running back Kavosiey Smoke (20) gets past Auburn Tigers defenders and scores a touchdown during the first quarter at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

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Nix fires three TDs as No. 8 Auburn downs No. 23 Kentucky

Bo Nix threw three touchdown passes and Seth Williams caught two to help No. 8 Auburn record a 29-13 home victory over No. 23 Kentucky in SEC play and the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

D.J. Williams tacked on a scoring run and Eli Stove made a touchdown grab as the Tigers improved to 27-6-1 all-time against Kentucky. Nix completed 16 of 27 passes for 233 yards and Seth Williams had six receptions for 112 yards.

Terry Wilson completed 24 of 37 passes for 239 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Wildcats. Kavosiey Smoke rushed for a touchdown and Akeem Hayes caught a scoring pass.

Kentucky controlled the ball for 36 minutes, 29 seconds and held a 384-324 edge in total yards but committed three turnovers while dropping to 2-13 when playing at Auburn.

There were approximately 12,000 students among the 17,490 fans inside Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. Attendance was limited amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tigers led by one at halftime before controlling the second half.

Auburn traveled 76 yards on nine plays with Nix capping the drive with an 11-yard scoring pass to Seth Williams to make it 15-7 with 5:42 left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats answered with Wilson’s 8-yard scoring pass to Hayes with 1:00 left. The ensuing two-point conversion pass failed to keep the margin at two.

Early in the fourth quarter, Wilson fumbled on a third-down keeper and Auburn’s Jamien Sherwood recovered and returned it 7 yards to the Wildcats’ 23-yard line. Five plays later, Nix tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Seth Williams to give the Tigers a 22-13 lead with 10:21 left.

A fake punt failed on Kentucky’s next possession and Auburn took over at the Wildcats’ 27. Two plays later, Nix connected with Stove on a 21-yard touchdown play to increase the margin to 16 with 8:17 remaining.

Auburn led 8-7 in a low-scoring first half that featured a crazy sequence near the end.

Kentucky struck first on Smoke’s 35-yard touchdown run with 6:44 remaining in the first quarter. The Tigers responded with a 1-yard scoring run by D.J. Williams with 4:30 left, and added a two-point conversion from the swinging gate formation when holder Grant Loy connected with John Samuel Shenker.

Late in the half, Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez appeared to score on a 2-yard run but officials ruled his forward progress was stopped short of the goal line.

Two plays later, Wilson was intercepted by Auburn’s Roger McCreary, who returned the ball 100 yards for an apparent touchdown with seven seconds remaining. But teammate Derick Hall was called for a targeting hit during the return that nullified the score.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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