As Ice Cube once said, “Today was a good day.”
For fans of the Auburn Tigers, it certainly was, as they pulled away early in a dominating performance against the Purdue Boilermakers in Nashville. The Tigers played what was easily their best game of the season against a Purdue team that had a lot of momentum coming into this game, while Auburn did not. It was a good way for their seniors to go out and a win, to the tune of 63-14, that should provide some hope for the Tigers going into next season.
The Tigers got off to a hot start as Jarrett Stidham found running back JaTarvious Whitlow on a wheel route for a 66-yard touchdown. This would turn out to be the first of many big plays for the Tigers in this game. After a Purdue punt, the Tigers drove right back down the field and Whitlow punched it in from two yards out. Two plays into the next drive, Purdue quarterback David Blough was picked off by Javaris Davis and Auburn was back in business. A couple plays later, and Whitlow punched in his third touchdown of the game from a yard out.
Purdue tried getting back into the game when they went 78 yards on 12 plays on a drive that was capped off by a touchdown by Purdue star Rondale Moore . The Tigers had none of that though. as they responded quickly on another Stidham touchdown, this time a bomb to Darius Slayton for 74 yards. Just like that, it was 28-7.
After another Purdue punt, Stidham found Slayton again for a 52-yard touchdown. Blough was pick six’ed by linemen Big Kat Bryant afterwards, and this was starting to get repetitive as Purdue had to punt again, which was followed by another Auburn touchdown when Anthony Schwartz got his turn to get to the end zone on a six yard rush.
Auburn capped off the half when they got the ball back, as Darius Slayton scored his third touchdown of the half off a 34-yard pass from Stidham.
Auburn got the ball eight times in the first half and scored the first seven times and the eighth time they took a knee as there was only seven seconds. It was 56-7, and for everyone watching the game, it was time to find something else to do.
The second half started with a Purdue punt and then the final Auburn touchdown when Stidham found Ryan Davis for a five yard touchdown. Purdue got the ball and scored on a 22 yard run by Blough to make it 63-14 and nothing happened the rest of the game scoring wise.
Stidham playing in his final game in an Auburn uniform after declaring for the draft finished the game 15/21 for 373 yards and five touchdowns in what may have been his best game as a Tiger. Darius Slayton had a big day, he only caught three passes but all three went for touchdowns and totaled 160 yards.
The defense kept an explosive Purdue offense in check including Rondale Moore who had 104 yards on 14 touches and nothing went longer then 27 yards. Purdue only averaged 2.9 yards a rush and couldn’t establish the run at the start and it helped lead to a disappointing performance. Blough went 22/37 for 184 yards and two interceptions. The Boilermaker offense wasn't able to get explosive plays and credit belongs to Kevin Steele and Gus Malzahn for the games they called today.
After some turmoil this offseason, the 2019 season will be a big one for Auburn and Malzahn, and that all starts against Oregon.