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Tale of the tape: Auburn 31, WSU 24


FROM AUBURN — It's a long drive back to Atlanta from here, and an early flight awaits tomorrow. So we'll try to keep this semi-brief. Here's our first tale of the tape of the season.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — Corey Grant was huge for Auburn in this one, rushing for 146 yards on nine carries — that's an average of 16.2 — including a really important 75-yard touchdown run up the left sideline during that flurry of touchdowns in the second quarter. He led a rushing attack that totaled 297 yards and helped compensate for a shaky game by quarterback Nick Marshall.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME — Deone Bucannon deserves mention for his 14 tackles, but hybrid safety/linebacker Robenson Therezie gets the nod for his two interceptions — one early that set up Auburn's first score, and one late to thwart a legitimate scoring treat from the Cougars, who could have tied the game on that possession.

PLAY OF THE GAME — That second interception by Therezie was huge. It was of a pass that was intended for Rickey Galvin, Connor Halliday saying afterward that he thought there was enough room between the corner and the safety to fit it in. But he underthrew the pass and it never had a chance.

STAT OF THE GAME — WSU won't want to cheer itself up with positives as it flies home to Pullman, but there were a few, including the Cougars' 120 rushing yards. That's about 34 percent of their entire rushing output from 2012. Hard to say that isn't progress.

QUOTABLE — “A loss is a loss. But at the same time we’re going to attack each game the same way whether we win or lose. We’re going to go into the next day and prepare for the next opponent. Going into this game I feel that we definitely could have beat them. We don’t believe in moral victories. We went in there and we already knew who they were. We knew what they were going to do. We just have to stop it. We could have donebetter. We could have had less explosive plays, we could have created more turnovers. We could have just did more little stuff to come out on top. And I feel like nine out of 10 times, they wouldn’t beat us.” — safety Deone Bucannon

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Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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