Going into the game, one of the biggest goals for Auburn tonight was to run the football more effectively. Mission accomplished.
Auburn had 3 players with over 100 yards rushing and ran for 467 yards total as Auburn celebrated Homecoming with a 55-16 win over Kent State.
The rushing attack was led by Boobee Whitlow who had 17 carries for 135 yards and 2 TDs. Shaun Shivers and Joey Gatewood, primarily in the 2nd half, each had 12 carries totaling 102 yards. Gatewood also had 2 TDs as he played some in the 1st half and took almost all of the QB snaps in the 4th Quarter.
After Kent State took the opening possession down the field for 71 yards on 17 plays for a Field Goal, the Auburn running game took over. Auburn ran 2 successful screen passes to Eli Stove, Bo Nix had 2 QB keepers on the drive for 35 yards, and the drive was capped off by a 3 yard TD run from Boobee Whitlow.
After forcing a Kent State punt, Auburn went 93 yards on 7 plays which included a 39 yard run by Whitlow and capped off by a 35 yard TD run by Kam Martin to make it 14-3.
After a Kent State Touchdown cut the lead to 14-10, Auburn’s offense went back to work. The running game, along with a 27 yard completion to Sal Canella, was key on the next drive and it was capped off by a 1-yard TD run from Nix.
Auburn led 24-10 at halftime as Anders Carlson added a 45 yard field goal on the final play of the first half.
In the second half, Auburn took the kickoff and drove down the field to put another Touchdown on the board. Whitlow had 43 yards rushing on the drive and he finished it with a 16 yard TD run, his 2nd of the night. The drive also featured Anthony Schwartz’s first catch of the season.
After Kent State missed a Field Goal, the Tigers executed a successful Flea Flicker with Nix finding Eli Stove for a 49 yard Touchdown making it 38-10. Nix had one more drive on the night which led to another Carlson FG to make it 41-10 after the first play of the 4th Quarter.
Woody Barrett, the former Auburn QB, led a Touchdown drive for Kent State making it 41-16. After a missed 2-point conversion, Gatewood took over for Auburn on the next 2 drives leading them to successful 69 yard drives in which both ended with Gatewood TD runs to make the final score 55-16.
Bo Nix was 12-16 for 161 yards and a TD pass while also running for 21 yards and a rushing TD. Eli Stove led the receivers with 6 catches for 88 yards and a TD.
While most things went well, there were a few unfortunate events that took place tonight. Derrick Brown left the game on the first drive and didn’t return. There was no update during the game or postgame other than he was “winded” so that’s something to monitor this week. Also, Smoke Monday was ejected for targeting and will miss the first half against Texas A&M.
Auburn moves to 3-0 on the season and now they enter into the SEC schedule with a road game at Texas A&M who beat Lamar 62-3 tonight. War Eagle!