To say it was over before it really got started is an understatement.
Auburn jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first seven minutes, a 28-7 lead after the first quarter, and a 56-7 lead at halftime on the way to an astonishingly easy 63-14 victory over Purdue in the Music City Bowl today.
Jarrett Stidham was fantastic in his final game for the orange and blue, going 15-21 for 373 yards and 5 touchdowns. Darius Slayton caught three of those scores, and he ended up with 160 yards on just those three catches. The Auburn defense was great as well, limiting the Purdue offense and only allowing the Boilermakers to score when the game was well out of reach. Running the ball much of the second half, the Tigers only added one more touchdown after the intermission, just missing out on tying the all-time bowl scoring record of 70 points.
It got started on the third play from scrimmage, as Stidham executed a run fake and hit JaTarvious Whitlow on a wheel route for a 66-yard touchdown. The next two drives ended the same way, with Whitlow touchdowns from 2 yards and 1 yard out respectively. Purdue did crack the scoreboard on a 7-yard Rondale Moore run to pull within two scores at 21-7. Auburn would add a late first-quarter score on Stidham’s second long touchdown of the day, this time hitting a wide open Darius Slayton for 74 yards to extend the lead to 28-7 at the end of the opening frame.
In the second quarter, things didn’t get any better for Purdue. Slayton took a screen pass 52 yards for another touchdown, and then Big Kat Bryant picked off a deflected pass and returned it for a score to make it 42-7 with 12:29 left in the half. Auburn’s longest drive in terms of time ended with a 6-yard Anthony Schwartz touchdown run to make it 49-7, and then Stidham hit Slayton for their final connection on a 34-yard strike with just 2:01 to go to make it 56-7. The 56 points stand as an Auburn record for most points in a single half, and an all-time bowl record for most points in a half of any bowl game ever.
Stidham stayed in the game in the third quarter for a full drive, which was capped by his fifth touchdown pass on a little toss to Ryan Davis, and Auburn led 63-7. Purdue did score on a David Blough touchdown run after that, but as the clock bled into the fourth quarter, Malik Willis came in to run the offense and the clock. Both sides went to the bench with most of the fourth quarter left, and Auburn was able to close out the 63-14 victory. Joey Gatewood kneeled the ball at the 1-yard line instead of going for a touchdown that would’ve tied the all-time bowl scoring record of 70 points.
With the win, the Tigers finish 2018 at 8-5, while Purdue falls to 6-7. Today certainly was a look at what could have been for Auburn this season, but it’s also a look ahead to what could be for next season. No, we won’t have Jarrett Stidham, but much of the talent on the field today will be back. We’ll have more reflection on this game and the season as a whole as we go further, but this is a fantastic win to close out the year. War Eagle!
- Total Yards: 586
- Passing Yards: 378
- Rushing Yards: 208
- Penalties: 3-35
- Third Down: 7-14
- Total Yards: 263
- Passing Yards: 184
- Rushing Yards: 79
- Penalties: 6-60
- Third Down: 5-13
AUBURN: Jarrett Stidham - 15-21, 373 yards, 5 TDs
PURDUE: David Blough - 22-37, 184 yards, 2 INTs
AUBURN: Kam Martin - 11 carries, 58 yards; Shaun Shivers - 11 carries, 33 yards; Malik Willis - 3 carries, 52 yards; Boobee Whitlow - 7 carries, 10 yards, 2 TDs; Anthony Schwartz - 4 carries, 12 yards, 1 TD
PURDUE: Markell Jones - 10 carries, 35 yards; David Blough - 7 carries, 19 yards, 1 TD
AUBURN: Darius Slayton - 3 catches, 160 yards, 3 TDs; Ryan Davis - 5 catches, 23 yards, 1 TD; Anthony Schwartz - 3 catches, 50 yards; Boobee Whitlow - 1 catch, 66 yards, 1 TD
PURDUE: Rondale Moore - 11 catches, 94 yards; Isaac Zico . 3 catches, 31 yards