Neal Anderson ran 36 yards for a tie-breaking touchdown in the third period and scored from the 15 in the final quarter as 13th-ranked Florida ended No. 11 Auburn's 10-game Southeastern Conference winning streak with a 24-3 victory over the defending league champions yesterday before a record Florida Field crowd of 74,397.
Anderson's first touchdown, at 8:36 of the third quarter, broke a 3-3 tie. His second one came with 6:10 left and Lorenzo Hampton scored on a 43-yard run with 41 seconds left.
Bo Jackson, Auburn's all-America running back, played his first game after missing six games with a separated shoulder. Jackson, who did not start and was used sparingly, carried five times for 16 yards -- he had 199 on 34 rushes before he was injured in the second game of the season -- and caught one pass for 15 yards. Auburn won all six games Jackson missed and has lost all three in which he has played.
"I don't think anyone has shut Auburn down like that this year," said Coach Galen Hall, whose Gators are 5-0 since he replaced Charley Pell after three games.
Auburn is 6-3 and 3-1 in the SEC, one game behind Georgia (4-0). Florida (6-1-1, 3-0-1) won its sixth in a row and fifth straight under interim coach Hall. Florida, which has never won the SEC title, plays Georgia next week, but there have been reports the conference might declare the Gators ineligible for the championship and a bowl bid because of a recent NCAA decision to put Florida on probation for three years for violations in the program. The school has until Wednesday to appeal the probation.
The Gators dedicated the game to Pell, who was fired as a result of the NCAA investigation. At the end of the game, many players waved to Pell, who had watched from a private box high atop the stadium.
"We just wanted to let him know he's still in the back of our minds and we're pulling for him," Hampton said.