Ok, sure, Idaho scored points early. It wasn't that impressive, though. Their early performance was mostly a result of a few big plays. I told you in the previews that Linehan was good at throwing the deep ball. That's what led to their first 10 points.
Auburn did what was expected with feeding the ball to the running backs and running wide receiver screen plays early on. It probably would have been a lot better for Auburn without some dumb penalties. Jeremy Johnson even looked decent throwing the football down field, although in the first half he wasn't asked to throw it much beyond five yards downfield.
Some people *Scarbinsky*cough*cough* wanted to act like this was close. It wasn't. Auburn was in control after their first stop of the Vandals. Linehan is a decent QB, but without Dezmon Epps, the Vandals just don't have a big deep threat.
Auburn was able to drive the field. The defense was able to come up big. Rudy Ford had a great interception return for a touchdown late in the 1st half, and while Idaho put up a decent fight, the game was long over.
The proof of that was in the first part of the second half. Idaho decided to go for a 4th and 3, but failed to convert. Auburn turned it into a touchdown on a Jeremy Johnson POP pass to Tony Stevens. 42-17 Auburn with 12:02 to play in the 3rd quarter.
Idaho kept going for it on 4th and short and it almost worked out for them. However, after driving down field on a series of quarterback options, they threw an interception in the end zone that Jay Jones ran out. On the first play, Jeremy Johnson threw a beautiful deep ball to Louis that set up the rest of Auburn's drive that ended in a short run for JJ's second touchdown run and a 49-17 Auburn lead with 6:30 to play in the 3rd quarter.
The game was long since over, but Roc Thomas made it even better covering 77 yards on two plays in the 4th quarter to make the score 56-20 with 12:46 to play.
Idaho didn't quit, as they put a back up in and threw a good deep ball. It was too little too late by three quarters, though. Even with the touchdown they were able to score with Auburn's 3rd team in the game.
For Auburn fans, one of the highlights had to be getting Tucker Tuberville into the game. With just over 10 minutes to play, and with his father in attendance, the Tigers got the son of our former head coach into the game for the first time in regular season play.
Unfortunately, he wasn't allowed to do anything but hand the ball off. Still, it was great to see Tucker - whom many Auburn fans remember from when he was a small child attending practices with his father - taking snaps on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Idaho didn't quit, still, driving deep into Auburn territory yet again with the help of some penalties. Those were... questionable... At best. At least from the stands. They allowed Idaho to get yet another touchdown to make the score look a whole lot more interesting than the game actually was.
On the ensuing drive, the crowd gave a good cheer as Tucker ran for 9 yards on 1st down to at least register a stat for the game. Auburn was emptying the bench as Lawyer Tillman even got in on the action for a number of yards to run the clock down. Unfortunately, a bad snap which Tuberville fell on probably erased his stats from the other runs. That snap put Auburn into a punting situation for their last drive.
It wasn't pretty, and the final score was definitely not indicative of the game, but it was a win. The Tigers are bowl eligible going into the Iron Bowl.
War Eagle. Always.