The Auburn Tigers started a bit slow but inserted their dominance mid-way through the second quarter against the Samford Bulldogs on Saturday, winning 45-13. Samford put up a good fight that lasted the first quarter, but the game has four quarters somewhere they ran out of gas.
The Tigers drove the field’s length for what appeared to be an inevitable touchdown, landing on the one-yard line, but they got cute throwing three incomplete passes and defaulting with a false start. The drive resulted in a fumble. It was shocking not to see them pound the ball down the throat of an FCS team to break their will early.
Perhaps that’s easier said than done. For whatever reason, that wasn’t in the game plan. The good news is that something happened after that debacle. Indeed, the coaches didn’t have a lot of kind words.
The genie came out of the bottle to grant Auburn the game’s first big play. Payton Thorne threw a beautiful high arcing rainbow pass that landed right in the bucket of Jay Fair 36 yards away. Again they went back to the left corner, which set up the 32-yard touchdown pass to Shane Hooks.
The Auburn defense forced an interception with J.D. Rhym covering like a blanket on a cold winter night. Suddenly, the Tigers were alive thinking about celebrating homecoming as everything was going the way of the blue and orange.
Thorne got greedy, seeking the dagger, but was picked off in the endzone by Kortlan Marsh. Meanwhile, wide receiver Jvaire was wide open coming across the field which appeared to be an easy first down conversion. Football is a game of discipline one must be willing to take what the defense gives you.
The Tigers bounced back quickly from the turnover and scored on their next drive on a 3-yard run by Jarquez Hunter. The Tigers took a 24-0 lead into halftime.
The Tigers came out firing in the second half, scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions. Hunter scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run, and Payton Thorne threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Shedrick Jackson. The Tigers led 38-0 with less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers answered with a touchdown of their own. The Tigers cruised to a 45-13 victory.
The Auburn Tigers were dominant in the second half against the Samford Bulldogs. They scored 31 points in the second half and held the Bulldogs to just 195 yards of total offense.
The Tigers’ offense was led by quarterback Payton Thorne. Thorne threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 25 yards. Running back Jarquez Hunter had a solid game, rushing for 37 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Shedrick Jackson caught five passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers’ defense forced two turnovers and held the Bulldogs to just 195 yards of total offense. Linebacker Owen Pappoe led the Tigers with 10 tackles.
The Auburn Tigers will face a much tougher test next week when they travel to face the Texas A&M Aggies. The Texas A&M Aggies are a ranked team and will be a heavy favorite to win. However, the Tigers have shown that they are capable of beating anyone when they play their best game.
My Concern About Playing Two Quarterbacks
I am concerned about the Tigers playing two quarterbacks. They played both Payton Thorne and Robbie Ashford against Samford.
I understand that the coaches are trying to find the best quarterback for the team, but I think it is important to stick with one quarterback and let him develop. If the Tigers keep switching quarterbacks, it will be difficult for either one of them to get into a rhythm.