Auburn shuts down Mercer 42-16 in season opener

Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley (1) throws a pass as Mercer linebacker Ken Standley (15)...
Auburn quarterback T.J. Finley (1) throws a pass as Mercer linebacker Ken Standley (15) applies pressure during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | Source: AP)
Published: Aug. 31, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2022 at 10:47 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The Auburn Tigers dominated the Mercer Bears in its first game of the season Saturday night.

Auburn completed the game with 497 total yards.

Auburn put up the first points on the board. Running back Jarquez Hunter scored a 19-yard touchdown run with 9:32 left in the first quarter. The Tigers scored an additional touchdown to round out the first quarter of the game.

Auburn continued to control the game in the second quarter. Two more touchdowns would give the Tigers a commanding lead over Mercer.

A last-minute touchdown would give Mercer its first score of the first half. Quarterback Fred Payton passed to wide receiver Devron Harper for a five-yard touchdown with only 20 seconds left in the second quarter.

Auburn led Mercer 28-7 at halftime.

The Tigers further expanded their lead over the Bears in the second half of the game. With 4:47 remaining in the third quarter, Hunter returned with a 1-yard touchdown run, his third TD of the night.

Mother Nature interrupted the third quarter of the game. Lightning in the area delayed the game for about an hour and a half.

Auburn returned to finish the quarter with yet another score. With 1:33 left in the third quarter, running back Tank Bigsby ran for a 39-yard TD.

Kicker Devin Fosler added to the Bears’ points by scoring a 33-yard field goal with 7:49 left in the fourth quarter. The Mercer Bears scored another TD with only 25 seconds remaining in the game. Payton passed to Harper for the 8-yard touchdown run.

In the end, the Bears were no match for the Tigers.

Auburn went on to defeat Mercer 42-16.

“We got plenty of things to work on. It wasn’t perfect,” said head coach Bryan Harsin. “There’s a lot of stuff we have to get better at. That’s the beauty of the first game of the season, you get a chance to know your team a whole lot better after four hours of playing. And now what we’ll do is we’ll assess tomorrow. And then when we get back to work, we’ll look at what we did well, what we didn’t do well, the things we have to work on. And then we’ll start preparing for San Jose State.”

The Auburn Tigers (1-0) will take on San Jose State at Jordan-Hare Stadium next Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Not reading this story on the WSFA News App? Get news alerts FASTER and FREE in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store!