Tank Bigsby rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries to lead the Auburn Tigers to a 42-16 home win over the Mercer Bears in Auburn’s season opener on Saturday.
T.J. Finley went 9-of-14 passing for 112 yards, and Ja’Varrius Johnson caught four passes for 117 yards to flank Bigsby for Auburn.
Fred Payton went 21-of-36 passing for 197 yards and two touchdowns for Mercer (1-1).
Auburn wasted little time getting going, jumping out to a 28-0 lead by late in the second quarter.
Jarquez Hunter opened the scoring on a 19-yard touchdown run with 9:32 remaining in the first quarter to give Auburn a 7-0 lead, and then the Tigers took a 14-0 lead with 3:43 left in the first on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Finley to John Samuel Shenker.
Hunter then scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 10:17 to go in the second quarter, and Bigsby had his own 2-yard scoring run with 5:04 left in the second to put Auburn ahead 28-0.
Mercer did get on the scoreboard just before halftime, cutting Auburn’s lead to 28-7 with 20 seconds left on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Payton to Devron Harper.
In the third quarter, Auburn drove 80 yards in seven plays and took a 35-7 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Hunter with 4:47 remaining.
The game was suspended late in the third quarter due to lightning in the area, and on the first play after the delay of more than an hour, Bigsby scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to give Auburn a 42-7 lead.
Mercer made it 42-10 Auburn with 7:49 remaining in the game thanks to a 33-yard field goal by Devin Folser, and then rounded out the scoring with 25 seconds left on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Payton to Harper.
–Field Level Media
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