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Game Recap: Auburn 63, Alabama State 9

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I-85 rivalry = DOMINATED.

Alabama State v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Get ready, because this game recap is going to be lengthy.

One of the big criticisms against Gus Malzahn has been his tendency to play as vanilla as possible in paycheck games. Usually, this results in the team coming out flat and not playing well (see the Mercer game last year). We totally understand the reasons for these types of games, but DANGIT I WANT TO BLOW OUT THE BAD TEAMS TOO!

Auburn didn’t need to do much to take care of Alabama State tonight, and they only threw the ball eight times overall. The rushing attack pounded from the start, and Auburn did pretty much what they wanted once the line started establishing itself.

However, things didn’t start exactly like Auburn would have wanted, but the post-Washington, pre-LSU hangover is a real thing. The Tigers’ first drive went three-and-out, and the second drive resulted in a fumble from Boobee Whitlow as Auburn neared the red zone. Alabama State completed a 51-yard pass to move into scoring position, but missed a 43-yard field goal. After that, Auburn buckled down, and executed a 10-play, 74-yard drive for the game’s first points. Jarrett Stidham scored from six yards our on the keeper to put the Tigers up 7-0.

Auburn got the ball right back and after a couple runs, Stidham hit Anthony Schwartz for 57 yards and his first career touchdown, capping a 5-play, 81-yard drive that gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead. On Alabama State’s next drive, the first play was a pass from Darryl Pearson that Daniel Thomas picked off and took 29 yards for a touchdown. It was Auburn’s second touchdown in just seven seconds at the end of the first quarter.

After riding the run game in the first quarter, Auburn again turned to the ground on the first drive of the second quarter. Kam Martin barreled in from four yards out to cap an 89-yard drive that took just six plays to cover. The Tigers led 28-0 with 11:30 to play in the first half. With the floodgates open, Auburn kept going, though. After touchdowns had been scored on offense and defense, Jamien Sherwood blocked a punt that Devan Barrett picked up and returned for a touchdown midway through the second quarter. The 10-yard touchdown gave Auburn a 35-0 lead.

Ahead by five touchdowns, Daniel Thomas again gave the offense a short field with an interception, and Anthony Schwartz scored his second touchdown on a 23-yard reverse into the students.

42-0 Auburn. Then we lost the shutout. Malik Willis entered the game in place of Jarrett Stidham and got tackled in the end zone after keeping a zone read. Auburn’s lead was cut to 42-2 (not sure I’ve ever seen that score before), and that’s where things stood at halftime.

If there was any threat for Alabama State to make a run in their first drive after halftime, Jordyn Peters ended that with a sack on fourth down near midfield, and Auburn took over. Harold Joiner capped a 10-play, 48-yard drive with his first career touchdown a few minutes later to give the Tigers a 49-2 lead late in the third quarter.

Alabama State finally found the end zone late in the third quarter after Griffin King fumbled a punt return and gave the Hornets a short field. Kha’darr Davis tossed a jump ball for Joe Williams, who hauled it in for a 29-yard score to pull the Hornets within a 49-9 margin.

In the fourth quarter, Shaun Shivers got into the action as he scored a touchdown to increase the lead to 56-9, crossing the 100-yard mark on the drive as well. Malik Miller added a 14-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to push the final margin out to 63-9 in favor of Auburn.

The Tigers will take what they learned tonight into the week and prepare for LSU next Saturday afternoon at 2:30 pm CST. That game can be seen on CBS.

TEAM OFFENSE

AUBURN

  • Total Yards: 567
  • Passing Yards: 138
  • Rushing Yards: 429
  • Penalties: 4-30
  • Third Down: 2-10

ALABAMA STATE

  • Total Yards: 205
  • Passing Yards: 158
  • Rushing Yards: 47
  • Penalties: 10-77
  • Third Down: 2-15

STAT LEADERS

PASSING

AUBURN: Jarrett Stidham - 6-11, 113 yards, 1 TD

ALABAMA STATE: Darryl Pearson - 6-15, 99 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs

RUSHING

AUBURN: Boobee Whitlow - 14 carries, 122 yards; Shaun Shivers - 13 carries, 117 yards, 1 TD; Anthony Schwartz - 3 carries, 50 yards, 1 TD; Kam Martin - 7 carries, 40 yards, 1 TD

ALABAMA STATE: Talesin Farmer - 10 carries, 40 yards; Ezra Gray - 3 carries, 17 yards

RECEIVING

AUBURN: Anthony Schwartz - 3 catches, 67 yards, 1 TD; Ryan Davis - 3 catches, 34 yards

ALABAMA STATE: Ezra Gray - 3 catches, 16 yards; Dieu Aristilde - 1 catch, 51 yards

DEFENSE

AUBURN: Daniel Thomas - 2 INTs, 1 TD; K.J Britt - 5 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 PBU; Jamien Sherwood - 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU

ALABAMA STATE: Joshua Hill - 8 tackles, FF; Jeffrey Hill - 7 tackles, PBU

SPECIAL TEAMS

AUBURN: Christian Tutt - 1 punt return, 32 yards

ALABAMA STATE: Ezra Gray - 3 KOR, 58 yards