ATLANTA (AP) – Will Muschamp’s defense made a couple of huge plays early for No. 6 Auburn to offset three interceptions by Jeremy Johnson, and the Tigers held off Louisville and surprise quarterback Lamar Jackson for a 31-24 victory Saturday.
The Tigers’ first touchdown in the season opener was set up by an interception. Justin Garrett returned a fumble 82 yards to make it 14-0.
That’s just what Auburn wanted out of Muschamp, who took over as defensive coordinator after being fired as coach at Southeastern Conference rival Florida.
Not that it was smooth sailing for the Tigers, who led 17-0 at halftime and seemed to be up comfortably 31-10 after a touchdown with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Jackson, a freshman who got the bulk of the playing time over three more experienced quarterbacks, led the Cardinals to a couple of late touchdowns that made Auburn sweat it out.
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