Archive

ShareThis Page
Auburn throttles Purdue, 63-14, at Music City Bowl | TribLIVE.com
U.S./World Sports

Auburn throttles Purdue, 63-14, at Music City Bowl

The Associated Press
5857185857187a41e50a5a054518b0fb2422d861343e
Auburn players celebrate after defeating Purdue in the Music City Bowl on Friday, Dec. 28, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Auburn finished its up-and-down season with a spectacular performance.

A record-setting encore in the Music City Bowl.

Jarrett Stidham threw for a career-high 373 yards and five touchdowns in his final college game, and Auburn pounded Purdue, 63-14, on Friday.

The Tigers (8-5) opened the season with a top-10 ranking before stumbling in SEC play against unranked and ranked teams alike. The Tigers finished with their first postseason victory since the 2015 Birmingham Bowl against Memphis and a whole bunch of records.

Auburn scored the most points by an SEC team in a bowl, topping Alabama’s 61-6 win over Syracuse in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1, 1953. The Tigers had a chance to match the most points ever in a bowl at 70, most recently by Army in the Armed Forces Bowl last week, but took a knee at the Purdue 1 after a replay review overturned a late TD run by Joey Gatewood.

“We’ve had some ups and downs this year,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said, crediting his seniors for keeping the Tigers together. “This was a big win for us.”

Stidham, a junior who already declared his intention to leave early for the NFL Draft, got the Tigers off to a fast start, and they poured it on from there.

“We just tried to make those explosive plays that we’ve needed all year,” Stidham said.

Auburn scored TDs on its first eight possessions. It tied the Music City Bowl records for most points and TDs set by West Virginia in 2000 — with 5:36 left in the first half. By halftime, Auburn led 56-7 with the most points scored in any half in program history after holding the ball for only 11 minutes. It was the most points by one team in a half in any bowl.

“I mean it was a thing of beauty to watch from the sideline to watch the guys make plays,” Malzahn said. “When we make explosive plays and we play fast, we’re a pretty good offense, and today it all came together. I really believe that will carry over to next season.”

Purdue (6-7) dropped three of its last four games in its second season under coach Jeff Brohm.

“That one snowballed faster than most,” Brohm said. “I’ve been part of games that were a bad outcome, but that one happened fast. Credit to them, they made their breaks. Every little thing that went wrong seemed like it could. We got behind the eight-ball early.”

Auburn started the game with the ball and needed only 63 seconds to set the tone, with Stidham finding JaTarvious Whitlow for a 66-yard TD pass. Whitlow also added a pair of short TD runs as Auburn led 28-7 at the end of the first quarter.

The Tigers outgained Purdue, 586-263, in total offense and had only one three-and-out late in the third quarter. Purdue was intercepted twice and turned it over on downs twice. Auburn punted once all game.

Darius Slayton set a bowl record with TD catches of 74 , 52 and 34 yards and finished with 160 yards receiving. Javaris Davis had a sack and an interception in the first quarter for Auburn, and Big Kat Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for a 45-7 lead with 12:29 left in the first half.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.