Auburn Tigers: Kerryon Johnson Powers SEC Opening Rout
Coming off two disappointing offensive performances and a tumultuous week, the Auburn Tigers needed a spark. They got it with the return of running back Kerryon Johnson.
Sidelined by a hamstring injury suffered during Week One, the junior didn’t rack up many yards. The ones he did were crucial though, as they put points on the board. For the night, Johnson had 48 yards and five touchdowns. That last statistic placed him one shy of tying the program’s single-game record set by Carnell (Cadillac) Williams in 2003.
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham shook off two subpar performances, turning in one of his best of the season to date. On the first play from scrimmage, he hit a wide-open Kyle Davis 58 yards downfield. That set up the first score of the night, a one-yard run by Johnson.
Missouri got on the board late in the second quarter, with Drew Lock hitting Damar Crockett for a 19-yard touchdown. That capped a 10 play drive, their first sign of life in nearly two weeks.
It didn’t last long though, with Kam Martin ripping off a 47 yard run on Auburn’s next possession. They ended up settling for a Daniel Carlson 41 yard field goal, extending the lead to 31-7 heading into halftime.
The second half was much the same, as Johnson tacked on his final touchdown of the night by fighting his way into the end zone.
Just over a minute later, Auburn struck again. Buoyed by a fake punt that failed miserably, Stidham decided to take a shot downfield. It worked to perfection, with wide receiver Nate Craig-Myers hauling in a 57-yard touchdown pass. That marked the end of Stidham’s night, as he gave way to freshman Malik Willis with the game quickly turning into a rout.
Then it was Carlson’s turn to shine. The reigning Lou Groza Award finalist looked the part, knocking a 52 and 54 yarder through the uprights to put the finishing touches on Auburn’s first SEC win of 2017.
Lock hit J’ Mon Moore with a 25-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, giving Missouri something to build upon moving forward. Following next week’s bye, they face Kentucky in Lexington.
Next up for Auburn is a home date against Mississippi State next Saturday, September 30th. Games set for 6 p.m. EST, 5 Central.