Auburn received to start the game and drove down the field at will. You could tell they were the superior team, but the Southern defense did a great job to stop the first drive with so much effort it was unfortunate they suffered from a 50-yard field goal strike by Daniel Carlson.
Southern came out hurry up style mustering only a three-n-out. The quarterback got jittery feet the pocket was there; he got impatient the series ended with a sack. Again the Tigers moved down into Southern territory the dive stalled they tried another 50-yard field goal this time unsuccessful.
Southern had the ball 3:58 with zero yards passing or running in six plays. On the next series, Kerryon Johnson took a little hand off and sprinted for 60 yards for the score 10-0 Auburn. They had 126 yards to none at the 5:11 mark of the first quarter.
J Bowdry came up with an interception at the Auburn 47. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t move the ball and inch they turned the ball over on downs. The Auburn defense was just to dominate. Auburn QB Jarrett was drilled from the blind side by Chris Delarosa he went one way and the ball the other Tomarcio Reese picked it up for the defensive score giving GA. Southern their first appearance on the scoreboard 10-7 with:36 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Unfortunately, the offense had -3 passing yards and only 2 rushing yard for -1 total yards in the game. Southern Stats -3 passing 7 rushing total of 4 yards at the 9:43 mark in the second quarter.
Kerryon Johnson tore off right tackle heading for the end zone it was wide open, but you could tell on the cut when he planted his right foot something went wrong with his leg down he went on the 12-yard line. QB Jarrett Stidhman ran the option to perfection for another Auburn score keeping the ball for 14 yards when the Green Sea parted. Auburn was up 17-7.
On their next possession out of I formation, Kam Martin tore off right tackle for 36 yards to open up the flood gates. 24-7
GA Southern showed tenacity putting together a drive that made it down to the Auburn 28 yard line before Stephen Roberts stayed home on the read option to tackle shai Wertz for a five-yard loss. The next play disaster struck. Jeff Holland swallowed the QB on a sack causing them to lose 8 more yards.
The GA Southern defense forced a fumble recovery at the Auburn 34 yard line again they couldn’t move it an inch, so they attempted a 44-yard field goal that fell short. Give them an A for their first half effort it’s something decent at 24-7 with a total of 37 yards in the half to the opponents 302 yards.
Auburn came out of the break Stidham hit Ryan Davis for a 19-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 9 play 61-yard drive to put themselves firmly in control of their destiny. By the end of the third quarter, they had 394 yards to Georgia Southern’s 40.
Early in the fourth quarter, Southern put together their best drive of the night earning every inch down to the Auburn 4 yard line they were faced with fourth and goal again they came up short.
The ball went over on downs then Kam Martin ran over them for 61 yards. The 6 play 95 yards drive ended with a perfect strike from Jarrett Stidham to Will Hastings for the lights out touchdown with 9:18 remaining in the game. From that point “it was just practice” to quote Allen Iverson.
In summary, Jarrett Stidham showed why he earned the starting QB position. He hadn’t played football in two years he showed poise and the ability to overcome adversity and “that throw to Will Hastings in the corner of the end zone was big time” said Coach Gus Malzahn. He finished the game 14-24-185 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Kerryon Johnson and Kam Martin both contributed 136 yards rushing. Martin replaced Johnson who got a little banged up, but that’s the beauty of football next man up. The Auburn Tigers defense were just monsters of the south allowing GA Southern to gain a total of 78 yards for the entire game while offensively they put up 535 yards. Auburn took out Georgia Southern 41-7. Hopefully the tune up worked successfully on the engine they will need it next week in Death Valley.