Pat Sullivan's first trip to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 15 years started with a pre-game ceremony in his honor and ended with his Samford team giving the defending national champions all they could handle for three quarters.
The Bulldogs hung in with Auburn - Sullivan's alma mater - until the Tigers reeled off 14 fourth-quarter points for a 35-16 win Saturday.
Sullivan, the fifth-year Samford head coach, was honored before the game to commemorate the 40th anniversary of his 1971 Heisman Trophy win at Auburn, the school's first Heisman.
The ceremony included around 50 of his former teammates, and both teams stood at the 25-yard lines to pay tribute, with Auburn's players raising their helmets high as the former Tigers quarterback received a standing ovation.
Jimmy Speigner, one of Sullivan's Auburn teammates, even informed Sullivan that he'd be pouring the ashes of former teammate Ronnie Ross - who died of cancer in December 2009 - on the field before the game.
Ross caught Sullivan'...