GAMEDAY College Football

Auburn 42, Mercer 16

By Justin Ferguson
Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. - Tank Bigsby ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and Auburn opened its season with a 42-16 home win over FCS opponent Mercer.

Bigsby was one of nine players who recorded a carry for the Tigers, who generated 285 of their 497 total yards on the ground. Jarquez Hunter scored three rushing touchdowns, while backup quarterback Robby Ashford generated 168 total yards as he split time with starter T.J. Finley.

At the 1:33 mark of the third quarter, the game was delayed for an hour and 27 minutes due to lightning. Bigsby scored from 39 yards out on the first play after the delay.

Finley finished 9-for-14 passing for 112 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Ashford took over at quarterback midway through the third quarter after Finley's second interception.

Mercer (1-1) had only 101 yards of offense in the first half but found late success after the delay. Fred Payton finished 21 for 36 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Devron Harper.

THE TAKEAWAY

Mercer: The Bears were unable to keep it as close as their last trip to Auburn, a 24-10 loss in 2017, but they still had some positive moments on both sides of the ball. Mercer plays only FCS opponents for the rest of the season, so it can build on a solid two-game start.

Auburn: The Tigers already have an interesting quarterback situation brewing after Finley's two interceptions and Ashford's effective debut. Auburn has another non-conference game next week in which it will be a clear favorite before hosting Penn State, so the quarterback usage will be monitored closely.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter MercAuburn
Auburn TD 9:32 Jarquez Hunter 19 yd run (Anders Carlson kick) 0 7
Auburn TD 3:43 John Samuel Shenker 2 yd pass from T.J. Finley (Anders Carlson kick) 0 14
Second Quarter MercAuburn
Auburn TD 10:17 Jarquez Hunter 2 yd run (Anders Carlson kick) 0 21
Auburn TD 5:04 Tank Bigsby 2 yd run (Anders Carlson kick) 0 28
Merc TD 0:20 Devron Harper 5 yd pass from Fred Payton (Devin Folser kick) 7 28
Third Quarter MercAuburn
Auburn TD 4:47 Jarquez Hunter 1 yd run (Anders Carlson kick) 7 35
Auburn TD 1:21 Tank Bigsby 39 yd run (Anders Carlson kick) 7 42
Fourth Quarter MercAuburn
Merc FG 7:49 Devin Folser 33 yd FG 10 42
Merc TD 0:25 Devron Harper 8 yd pass from Fred Payton (missed kick) 16 42
Team Stats
  Mercer Auburn
First downs 15 22
  Rushing 2 11
  Passing 12 10
  Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Efficiency 8-18, 44% 4-8, 50%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 31-74 41-285
Passing Yards 197 212
Return Yards 53 68
Completions-Attempts-Int 21-36-0 13-21-2
Sacks-Yards Lost 1--6 0-0
Punts 8 1
Punts-Average 45.4 29
Fumbles Lost 3-0 0-0
Penalties - Yards 10-70 3-20
Time of Possession 32:03 27:57
Mercer Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
F. Payton 21 36 197 2 0
Auburn Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Finley 9 14 112 1 2
R. Ashford 4 7 100 0 0
Mercer Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
A. Douglas 9 40 4.4 0
A. Wooten II 12 32 2.7 0
F. Payton 6 6 1.0 0
P. Wroble 1 6 6.0 0
B. Marshall 1 2 2.0 0
Auburn Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Bigsby 16 147 9.2 2
R. Ashford 6 68 11.3 0
J. Hunter 8 34 4.3 3
D. Alston 4 9 2.3 0
J. Johnson 2 9 4.5 0
K. Moore 1 8 8.0 0
T. Dawson Jr. 1 6 6.0 0
M. Johnson Jr. 1 3 3.0 0
T. Finley 2 1 0.5 0
Mercer Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Harper 5 45 9.0 2
T. James 3 42 14.0 0
P. Wroble 3 40 13.3 0
T. Adkins 2 26 13.0 0
A. Douglas 4 23 5.8 0
A. Wooten II 3 17 5.7 0
B. Marshall 1 4 4.0 0
Auburn Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Johnson 4 117 29.3 0
S. Jackson 4 47 11.8 0
J. Shenker 2 25 12.5 1
D. Alston 1 13 13.0 0
T. Dawson Jr. 1 8 8.0 0
T. Bigsby 1 2 2.0 0
Mercer Interceptions
Player Int Yards
T. Moore 1 27
C. Joines 1 0
Auburn Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Mercer Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
T. Turk 8 363 45.4
Auburn Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
O. Chapman 1 29 29.0
Mercer Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Auburn Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
K. Scott 3 34 11.3
J. Johnson 2 11 5.5
Mercer Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
F. Jackson 2 26 13.0
Auburn Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
J. Hunter 1 14 14.0
J. Shenker 1 8 8.0
D. Alston 1 1 1.0
Mercer Missed FG
Player Length
Auburn Missed FG
Player Length




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