17 September, 2017
But this is not exactly what the Tigers (2-1) were looking for after being held without a touchdown in a 14-6 loss at third-ranked Clemson the previous week.
Despite the turnovers, Auburn moved the ball efficiently in the 24-10 win over the Bears.
Auburn backup quarterback Sean White was admitted into a Lee County detention facility for appearing in a public place under the influence hours after the Tigers beat Mercer at home.
"We got the victory today". They were flying around the ball making plays, and they forced five turnovers.
Last week against Clemson, Auburn put together the worst offensive performance of Gus Malzahn's coaching career. Pettway finished with 128 yards on the night but the team averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. We've got to run the football better. Any time it's a neck injury and one of your players gets carted off the field, that's a very scary deal.
The Mercer defense gave Stidham all day to throw, and he had little trouble moving the ball through the air. Stidham took the Tigers down the field on 10 plays for 78 yards, capped by Pettway rush over the right tackle for a 9-yard touchdown. The drive ended on a 29-yard field goal from Carlson to give Auburn a 10-3 lead heading to the half. It's also tied for the second-most in Malzahn's career. Mercer added a field goal before the end of the half and trailed by only seven points despite being outgained by 200 yards.
Auburn: The Tigers have a lot of work to do offensively, despite piling up a 510-245 lead in total yards.
Mercer subsequently answered any questions about how they would handle the moment with a 12 play, 83-yard touchdown drive to pull within a touchdown with 13 minutes remaining. But a holding penalty and an unsportsmanlike conduct call kept the Tigers from reaching the end zone, and normally dependable kicker Daniel Carlson hooked a chip-shot attempt from 26 yards to leave Mercer within range of a massive upset. The defense responded again, forcing a three and out before Kamryn Pettway sealed the win with his third touchdown run. The Tigers will open SEC play on the road next week versus Missouri.
"We executed the game plan". Stidham was picked off when Kam Lott ripped the ball away from Nate Craig-Myers, a lackluster effort by the intended receiver that symbolized the entire afternoon. You just don't know how they are going to react in a 90,000-seat stadium for the first time against an SEC team ranked 15 in the country with an unbelievable defense.