Ben Tate had a career high 31 carries and his 10th career 100-yard rushing game as Auburn (5-2) lost to Kentucky (3-3) 21-14.
Auburn is now 24-6-1 all-time against Kentucky, and Saturday was the first time since 1966 the Tigers lost to the ‘Cats.
“They are a good football team,” said head coach Gene Chizik. “They have some very good players and are very well coached. We had our chances to win the game. We didn’t do it.”
Auburn took the lead midway through the first quarter when sophomore defensive back Neiko Thorpe picked up a blocked field goal attempt by senior kicker Lones Seiber and returned it 69 yards for a touchdown. It was Auburn’s first blocked kick returned for a touchdown since 1981, when Chris Martin returned one 77 yards against Georgia Tech.
Senior running back Ben Tate had a record setting night. Tate ran for 132 yards, his third straight game with over 100 yards on the ground. He has run for more than 100 yards in all four of Auburn’s SEC games this year. Tate moved past Ronnie Brown (2000-04), Brent Fullwood (1983-86) and Stephen Davis (1993-95) for fifth on Auburn’s career rushing list with 2,815 yards.
His 1-yard touchdown run late in the first half was his fifth rushing touchdown of the season and the 19th of his career.
His 19 rushing scores tied him with Brad Lester for ninth in Auburn history.
Kentucky tied the game at 14 with 6:29 left in the game as junior quarterback Will Fidler took a quarterback draw up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown run.
Sophomore wide receiver Randall Cobb scored the game’s final touchdown and accounted for all of Kentucky’s yards on the five-play, 68-yard drive, which included a 61-yard rush on second and six from the Kentucky 32.
Auburn will go on the road next week and face the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium.