September 23, 2017
Kerryon Johnson ran for five touchdowns in the road win
By Greg Ostendorf
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Saturday marked Auburn’s first trip to Missouri in program history, and after a convincing 51-14 win, it’s likely the visiting Tigers can’t wait to come back. They dominated in all three phases and secured their first SEC victory of the season.
After struggling at times the past couple weeks, the offense put together its best performance through the first four games. On the first play from scrimmage, Jarrett Stidham connected with Kyle Davis for 58 yards — the longest pass play of the season for Auburn. The drive was capped by a Kerryon-Johnson touchdown run, a theme for the rest of the night.
Johnson, playing for the first time since the season opener, ran for 48 yards and five touchdowns — one shy of the Auburn single-game record set by Carnell “Cadillac” Williams in 2003.
Stidham had another solid day as he went 13 of 17 for 218 yards and threw a 57-yard strike to Nate Craig-Myers for his lone touchdown of the game. He gave way to Malik Willis late in the third quarter, and the true freshman got his first snaps and finished the game for Auburn.
The defense might not have played up to its standard, allowing 340 total yards, but it was still another impressive performance by a unit that came in No. 2 nationally in total defense and was highlighted by six tackles for loss, two sacks and three turnovers.
The first turnover came on Missouri’s second drive when Carlton Davis pulled in his first interception of the season. Then early in the second quarter, Jeff Holland sacked the quarterback and forced a fumble that was recovered by teammate Marlon Davidson and returned 33 yards. Finally in the second half, Montavious Atkinson tackled the ball carrier, forcing the ball loose, and Daniel Thomas and came away with it.
Even the special teams got back on the right track Saturday. Kicker Daniel Carlson, who had missed some kicks to begin the season, looked like the Lou Groza Award finalist from a year ago as he made all three of his field-goal attempts from 41, 52 and 54 yards.
Following Saturday’s win, Auburn will return home next Saturday where it will face Mississippi State at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Greg Ostendorf is a Staff Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: