Tre Mason rushed for 168 yards and a career-best four touchdowns to lead No. 8 Auburn to a 35-17 win over Arkansas on Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Mason finished the night with a career-best 32 carries as the Tigers improved to 8-1 (4-1 SEC) on the year. His 168 yards rushing were the third-best performance of his career.
After Arkansas (3-6, 0-5 SEC) had scored back-to-back touchdowns to pull within 11 points in the fourth quarter, Mason led the Tigers to a response with a 12-yard touchdown run, his fourth of the night, with 10:17 left in the game.
The touchdown stretched Auburn's lead to 35-17 and marked the first time an Auburn player rushed for four or more touchdowns since Cam Newton against Kentucky in 2010.
The Tigers got on the board first with a 9-yard touchdown run by Mason with 2:35 left in the first quarter. Auburn took over with a short field after Kris Frost recovered an Arkansas fumble at the Razorbacks' 29-yard line.
Following a field goal by Arkansas, Auburn covered up an attempted onside kick and again converted the short field with six points. The drive was punctuated by a 4-yard touchdown run from Mason, who carried 13 times for 93 yards in the first half.
The Tigers came up with a huge goal line stand late in the second quarter with JaViere Mitchell making stops at the 1-yard line on third and fourth downs as Auburn forced the Hogs to turn it over on downs.
Mason kept running hard as the second half began and the junior scored his third touchdown of the day from 5 yards out to cap an 11-play, 65-yard drive. The drive included Auburn quarterbacks Nick Marshall and Jeremy Johnson completing 4-of-4 passes.
The Tigers stretched their lead to 28-3 on an 88-yard touchdown throw and catch from Marshall to Sammie Coates. The play was the longest of the season for Auburn and third-longest pass in school history.
Coates finished the day with three receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown for his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season. In a night heavy on the run game, Marshall completed 7-of-8 passes for 118 yards and the score while also rushing for 59 yards on nine carries.
Arkansas used a long kickoff return followed by a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Allen to Keon Hatcher to claw back in, 28-10, with 6:11 on the clock in the third quarter.
After a three-and-out by the Tigers, Arkansas took advantage of two pass interference calls against Auburn to punch in another touchdown. This time it was Keiro Small scoring from two yards out, but Auburn still led 28-17.
Jonathan Mincy had a career-high nine tackles to lead Auburn. Arkansas' Jonathan Williams led his squad with 104 yards on the ground. Alex Collins added 92 yards rushing.
Auburn is in action next on November 9 at Tennessee. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. CT and be televised by ESPN.
Game captains for Auburn: Chris Davis, Reese Dismukes
First-time starters for Auburn: none
Cassanova McKinzy's interception was his first career interception and the 10th pick for Auburn this season; the last time Auburn totaled 10 interceptions in a season was 11 in 2011.
The first-quarter fumble recovery by Kris Frost was his first career fumble recovery. Gabe Wright's fumble recovery in the fourth quarter was the first of his career.
Tre Mason scored four rushing touchdowns for the first time in his career; the last Auburn player to rush for three touchdowns in a game was Onterio McCalebb vs. Georgia in 2010.
Mason's fourth touchdown of the day made him the first Auburn player to record four or more touchdown runs since Cam Newton against Kentucky in 2010.
Mason finished the game with 168 yards rushing, the third highest total of his career, and with a career-best 32 carries. It was the first time an Auburn player rushed 30 or more times since Michael Dyer against Samford in 2011.
Mason now has 21 career rushing touchdowns and 23 career total touchdowns. Mason has 13 rushing touchdowns this season and has rushed for touchdowns in six consecutive games. This is the fifth time he has scored two or more touchdowns in a game, and the third time this season.
Mason's 13 rushing touchdowns ties him for seventh-best season on the Auburn all-time list and is the most since Cam Newton had 20 in 2010 and most by a running back since Kenny Irons totaled 13 in 2005.
Mason is now tied for 14th among Auburn's career rushers with James Bostic (2,084; 1991-93), passing Secdrick McIntyre (1,916; 1973-76) and Lionel James (2,068; 1980-83). This was his fourth 100-yard game this season and seventh of his career.
Mason has now scored at least one rushing touchdown in six consecutive games and 13 of his last 16 contests.
Auburn has now outscored its opponents 59-10 in possessions following turnovers this season, even though Auburn only leads the turnover margin by one (14-13).
Auburn first-quarter time of possession of 3:38 was the second lowest quarter of the season; Auburn's first-quarter time of possession against Ole Miss was 3:04.
Auburn has now won 84 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points.
The 88-yard touchdown pass from Nick Marshall to Sammie Coates was Auburn's longest play from scrimmage this season, and the longest pass play since a 94-yard pass from Cam Newton to Emory Blake vs. ULM in 2010. The Marshall-to-Coates pass play was the third longest pass play in Auburn history.
Coates has more than 100 yards receiving for the fourth time this season, three of those on the road against SEC opponents.
The victory by Auburn was its first in Fayetteville since a 9-7 win on October 13, 2007. The 35 points scored by Auburn is the most scored by the Tigers in Fayetteville in the series history and the third-highest total ever recorded by Auburn in the series.
Congratulations to retired Auburn sports information director Buddy Davidson, attending his 650th consecutive Auburn football game today, a streak that extends back to 1957. It is also Davidson's 74th birthday today.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Auburn Athletics Dept.